Well, it's been 6 days since I posted this, and obviously.. no replies.
hmmm... There is a post at the top of the main SSD page that states "Intel DOES monitor the SSD.."
and herewith is a quote from that post:
The intent of the Intel SSD community is for Intel’s SSD customers to exchange ideas, thoughts, experiences and questions concerning their SSD and to provide guidance and answers to others in a supportive environment. Intel monitors this community regularly and, on a selective basis, publically responds to posts. In other cases, Intel may respond to a post via a ‘Private Message’ which is an email sent directly to the poster.
Is there a period of time BEFORE Intel responds?
You have two options regarding "wiping" the drive. Either a secure erase via the Toolbox or other method (with the 120GB SSD installed with an OS on the Win 7 PS), or simply quick format the 80GB SSD and run the SSD Optimizer on it.
Although Vista does not provide the TRIM command, install the OS in AHCI mode, with the IRST F6 driver during installation, and the full IRST package after OS installation. Then use the Optimizer on the Vista PC, which hopefully has a SATA chipset that is supported by the Toolbox.
Contact Intel Support directly if you want their opinions, the main intent here is a user support forum.
Thanks for the info parsec.. I'll be doing the install after I can open my gift.