Here is a lot of additional information in case it helps pinpoint the root cause of Toolbox software launching with grayed out buttons, freezing the screen, and causing BSOD's. Please let me know if anything here looks suspect.
Report from Intel System Identification Utility
Intel System Identification Utility Reference Number: 0275 6996
Date Created: Friday, October 10, 2014 12:05:09 PM
SYSTEM INFORMATION Computer Manufacturer Sony Corporation Computer Model VAIO Operating System (O/S) Microsoft Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3 Operating System Build (O/S) (build 2600) Operating System (version) 5.1.2600 O/S Language 0409 System RAM 2.1 GB .NET Framework Version 3.5.30729.01 CD or DVD Device MATSHITA UJ-842D System Hard Drive Overview System Total Storage Size: 211.6 GB Local Disk C: 211.6 GB Used space: 32.9 GB Free Space: 178.7 GB Memory Detail Total Physical Memory 2.1 GB Available Physical Memory 1.2 GB Total Virtual Memory 2.0 GB Physical Drive 0 Maker Model INTEL SSDSC2CW240A3 Bus Type ATA Solid State Drive Firmware Version 400i Internet Browser  Internet Explorer Internet Browser Version  8.0.6001.18702 Internet Browser  Firefox Internet Browser Version  32.0.3 (x86 en-US) CHIPSET INFORMATION Chipset Software Status Intel® Chipset Installation File (INF) detected not detected Detected Chipset INF Version not detected Chipset INF Status not detected Latest Version Available not detected Detailed Chipset Information Intel® Chipset Identification Utility GRAPHICS INFORMATION Graphics Product  Mobile Intel(R) 945GM Express Chipset Family Graphics Driver Version not detected Driver Status not detected 3D Acceleration Yes Hardware Transform & Lighting Support No Video Memory 128.0 MB Vertex Shader Support 0.0 Pixel Shader Support 2.0 Microsoft DirectX* Version 9.0c Current Graphics Resolution 1280x800 Current Color Depth 32 Bits Per Pixel Graphics Product  Mobile Intel(R) 945GM Express Chipset Family 3D Acceleration Yes Hardware Transform & Lighting Support No Video Memory 128.0 MB Vertex Shader Support 0.0 Pixel Shader Support 2.0 Raw EDID  00 FF FF FF FF FF FF 00 36 7F 40 00 0E 00 00 00 00 0C 01 03 80 FF FF FF EA 00 00 A0 57 49 9B 26 10 48 4F 21 08 00 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 9A 20 00 90 51 20 1F 30 48 80 36 00 00 00 00 00 00 79 9A 20 00 90 51 20 1F 30 48 80 36 00 00 MOTHERBOARD INFORMATION Manufacturer not detected Model VAIO AA Number not detected BIOS Vendor Phoenix Technologies LTD BIOS Version R0083N0 BIOS Release Date 07/10/06 System Memory 2.1 GB Sound Card SigmaTel High Definition Audio CODEC PROCESSOR INFORMATION Manufacturer Intel Model Genuine Intel(R) CPU T2400 @ 1.83GHz Intel Processor analysis tools Intel Processor analysis tools CPU Speed 1.8 GHz Link to Processor Specification Link to Processor Specification CPU Revision 3D CPU Type 00 CPU Family 06 CPU Model 0E CPU Stepping 8 WIRED NETWORKING INFORMATION Wired Networking Product Driver Version 126.96.36.199 Driver Status Device is unknown or unsupported Intel PROSet Version not detected Hardware IDs PCI\VEN_11AB&DEV_4351&SUBSYS_81E6104D&REV_15 WIRELESS NETWORKING INFORMATION Wireless Networking Product not detected Driver Version not detected Software/Driver Status not detected Latest version available not detected Hardware IDs Bluetooth\0004&0007
Intel® Chipset Identification Utility
82945GM/GMS/82940GML or 82945GT
Intel(R) 82801GBM I/O controller hub (ICH7M)
Gfx String not set
There are two partitions on this SSD. The first partition is the Sony VAIO Restore partition with device drivers and SONY apps. The second partition is the C: drive. Both partitions have starting offsets that are a multiple of 4096.
Notice the "pciide-BAD" below. I believe ahci is better than ide, but most posts about this say it doesn't matter for XP. In any case, I don't know if there is an AHCI driver available for the SATA controller on this laptop.
The performance numbers are pretty depressing. But the laptop works better than it was with a spinning disk.
All the unexpected shutdowns (13 in all) have been the result of BSODs from launching the Intel SSD Toolbox or frozen screens from launghing the Toolbox for which I was forced to turn off power.
Intel SSD Properties under Device Manager -> Disk Drives
Notice the IDE\ prefix
How can I find out whether the Intel SSD is using the Ultra ATA or the Serial ATA controller? Are there AHCI drivers available for this SATA controller? Would moving from IDE to AHCI make any difference on XP?
Based on this other thread ... Re: SSD Toolbox crashes after launch, I removed Toolbox version 3.2.3 and installed an older version - v 3.1.6. Older versions are not available on Intel download site. I found older versions of the Toolbox here... Download Intel Solid State Drive Toolbox 3.1.6 Free. I don't know whether this download is free of malware. But I can definitively state that 3.1.6 runs like a charm on my machine. It does everything it's supposed to.
- Question to Intel - what changed between 3.1.6 and 3.2.3 to make the toolbox unusable on my machine? Perhaps new features but lack of testing on older operating systems? Are there any new features in 3.2.3 that I would miss in 3.1.6? I am willing to provide any information that Intel needs to diagnose the problem and hopefully fix the issue in a future release.
- Can someone at Intel send me a link to the official 3.1.6 toolbox? I'd prefer to use the one from Intel rather than a copy from another site.
- Can someone help my understand what I need to do so as to achieve the published specs for the 520 SSD - sustained sequential reads/write of 550 / 520 MB/s and latency of 80-85 micro-seconds? The published specs can be found here ... ARK | Intel® SSD 520 Series (240GB, 2.5in SATA 6Gb/s, 25nm, MLC). The figures reported by AS-SSD and ATTO fall woefully short.
- Finally, given the system information as reported by Toolbox 3.1.6 (see below), please help me determine whether I can run an AHCI driver instead of the current IDE driver for this SATA controller and drive.
I've gone as far as I could go on my own. Need help from the experts to get better performance from this drive.
Thank you for sharing all this information and feedback. It is extremely important for us to know about this.
Here you can see all changes on different versions:
We strongly recommend you using it on AHCI since it’s the recommended configuration from our side.
Thanks for the pointer to the Toolbox release notes.
My laptop bios has no way to specify AHCI although my Intel SATA controller (Intel 82801GBM/GHM ICH7M family) supports AHCI. I imagine if the bios doesn't support AHCI, I can't use it, right?
Is there an official Intel download site for older versions of the Toolbox? I would like to try out the more recent Toolbox releases (besides the most current one that freezes my screen) but I'd prefer not to download again from a 3rd party website.
Lastly, as you can see on the CrystalDiskInfo screenshot, the Intel 520 SSD fails to report its operating temperature. Why is that so? My old spinning disk used to report operating temperatures.
The software may be showing incorrect information. My best recommendation is for you to contact our web ticket support and request for a previous version of Toolbox.
I reverted back to Toolbox 3.2.3 to reproduce the BSOD. Here is a picture of the BSOD. I am unable to save/retrieve the memory dump. I can't locate any *.dmp file on the c: drive. Hope I have provided enough diagnostic information to identify the issue.
I tried one release earlier than 3.2.3. The last one I found at Download Intel Solid State Drive Toolbox 3.2.3 Free was 3.2.1. This version of the Toolbox works fine on my laptop. Therefore, the bug causing the BSOD was introduced in version 3.2.3.
I will contact Intel web ticket support to request an official Intel version of Toolbox 3.2.1 and to troubleshoot the missing temperature reading.