If you have an Intel solid-state drive, you might want to grab the latest version of the company’s SSD Toolbox. This helpful little utility has been given a new interface that most folks should find easy to navigate and understand. Contextual help information is integrated throughout, and even tech-savvy enthusiasts should find the functionality useful.
The utility can be used to apply firmware updates and to check whether Windows features like the built-in defragger and pre-fetching mechanisms are optimized for an SSD. A secure-erase function is included, as well, and drives can be trimmed manually using the app.
I played around with the new SSD Toolbox during an IDF session back in September. The new interface is very nice, and I particularly like its ability to monitor some of the SMART attributes used to characterize drive wear. Intel SSDs have an E9 attribute—otherwise known as the “media wearout indicator”—that starts at 100 and ticks down as the flash’s write-erase cycles are consumed. If you’re curious about how much data has been written to the drive, an E1 attribute tracks the total number of host writes, too.