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Community Manager
1,228 Views

SSD Toolbox deployment in an Enterprise setting ?

Hi

I work in for a large corporate with thousands of Lenovo XP notebooks and we are retrofitting Intel SSDs. The TRIM tool wasn't written with the managed environment in mind and documentation is lacking. A problem is the scheduling running under the context of the end-user. Obviously AD passwords change but the Scheduled Task credentials remain the same. When a task tries to launch with an out of date password .... user accounts locked out.

Plus the command line for the tool includes the unique drive serial number ! Annoying for automation.

Today I've written a script to be deployed with SCCM that reads the disk's serial number, creates a scheduled task to launch SSD optimisation using that serial and runs the tool in the SYSTEM context, rather than end-user. It appears to be working. It certainly runs the process.

Question Time:

1) how to know if the optimiser is running correctly ? All I know is that it is running when scheduled.

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Other questions

2) Do we really need to run this tool ? Any figures on performance degradation ?

3) Updating firmware seems to be only possible by booting a machine from a CD. This is not feasible in a global environment with many remote branches. Does Intel have a more credible deployment method ?

We have Version 1.2 deployed. Version 1.3 available from 22 March 2010. Release Notes don't explain what changed apart from 'continual improvements'. 4) What changed ?

5) Intel Read Me explains there can be an issue with encrypted drives. All disks are encrypted at my place. Anyone encountered trouble ?

6) Intel ReadMe also advises not to have defragmentation as hangs can occur. We are using 3rd party PerfectDisk. Should we disable?

7) I read on forums that the optimiser isn't working well with non-Intel motherboards. Any comments ?

8) Optimisation duration appears to be unpredictable. I've seen it take some seconds. Read of case taking up to 25 minutes. ??

This could be a problem as Intel advise not to use the machine during optimisation. My wish is to schedule optimisation once a week at lunch time. There should be no risks to end-user productivity.

9) Can there be conflicts with other system management activities like AV scans or SCCM processes ?

10) Intel warns Hibernation during optimisation can result in a non-booting machine. Can standby also be affected?

Overall, I'm not too impressed.

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7 Replies
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New Contributor II
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1-If there are any issues with the Toolbox during the optimization, it will be immediately reported by the tool. There is no "direct" evidence that the optimization was done, because it manages the "empty" space of the drive, the main evidence of the optimization is the fact that the drive will not experience performance degradation.

2- Yes, since XP is not capable of handling TRIM natively and the only way to maintain the performance of the drive is to set the optimization via scheduled sessions.

3-No, unfortunately there are no other methods to update the firmware.

4-Unfortunately we cannot disclose that information

5-We have not received any technical advisory or report about this topic.

6-Yes, the defragmenter should be disabled to prevent wear out of the drive, since the drive is based on a completely different architecture the defragmentation process are not suitable for the SSD.

7-If your SATA controller is unable to set the drives in non RAID configuration you might experience issues with the Toolbox.

8-If the optimization is taking more than a few seconds is certain that there is a problem at Operating System or hardware level.

9-none that we are aware of

10-that will depend on the DIPM settings of your system

Highlighted
Community Manager
31 Views

Thanks Mauriceb@Intel , this sheds some light on the case. I see there have been 1087 views since I posted this and that indicates to me I'm far from the only one wondering about this.

After a break looking at other issues I'm working with a colleague on this case again.

The scheduled task's command line if using the Toolbox's own method to create a scheduled task is

"C:\Program Files\Intel\Intel® Solid-State Drive Toolbox\Intel SSD Toolbox.exe" -t C CVPO016101G3080JGN Yes

1) Using ® in a file path is for what benefit ?

As stated earlier having the serial number CVPO016101G3080JGN in the command line is poorly thought out. WMI reports the serial as VCOP1016103G80J0NG using set objEnum = svc.execQuery ("select SerialNumber from win32_physicalMedia") or using WMI Tools.

Intel Toolbox reports CVPO016101G3080JGN

WMI reports VCOP1016103G80J0NG

Each pair of characters is swapped in order. This makes coding the reading of the serial number and translating it to create a scheduled task inconvenient.

2) What is the actual serial number and why are they mixed up as above ? Do we need the serial for it to run ?

3) Is there a way to easily extract Intel Toolbox's version of the serial ?

4) -t refers to what ?

5) Presumbly C means C drive ?

6) What is the sufffix "Yes" for ?

7) Are the command line options documented somewhere ?

8) Having no feedback mechanism in the tool is a real problem when we want to know if it has worked. Saying that we would "just know" from the absence of performance degradation isn't good enough.

Example

From the command line I just ran all the following with absolutely no feedback or response. No clue what happened, if anything.

"C:\Program Files\Intel\Intel® Solid-State Drive Toolbox\Intel SSD Toolbox.exe" -t C CVPO016101G3080JGN Yes

"C:\Program Files\Intel\Intel® Solid-State Drive Toolbox\Intel SSD Toolbox.exe" -t C CVPO016101G3080JGN

"C:\Program Files\Intel\Intel® Solid-State Drive Toolbox\Intel SSD Toolbox.exe" -t C

"C:\Program Files\Intel\Intel® Solid-State Drive Toolbox\Intel SSD Toolbox.exe" -t

Running this opens the gui of the tool

"C:\Program Files\Intel\Intel® Solid-State Drive Toolbox\Intel SSD Toolbox.exe"

Many thanks for your comments.

Highlighted
Community Manager
31 Views

For all those long-suffering admins out there .... here's how we did it, despite Intel's lack of support (Maurice excepted)

VBscript to create a scheduled task.

Checks the tool is present.

Creates a weekly task

Runs under SYSTEM.

One critical part is missing. You still need to invert the WMI result serial code to the one the Intel tool uses. I don't have that code part to hand.

If you are reading this you will probably figure it out.

Good luck.

' Filename: Schedule SSD TRIM.vbs

 

' Configure Scheduled Intel TRIM on SRWP with SSD disks to maintain their performance

 

' Company Name, Author

 

' Created 19 October 2010.

 

'

 

' Version history

 

'

 

' 1.0 19 October 2010 First release

 

'

 

'

 

'

 

'

 

'

 

On Error Resume Next

 

Set objFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")

' Make sure the pre-requisite Intel SDD software is installed.

 

If Not objFSO.FileExists ("C:\PROGRA~1\INTEL\INTELS~1\INTELS~1.EXE") then

 

wscript.quit

 

end if

 

Set objFSO = Nothing

 

'Debug part to be removed.

 

'Set objFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")

 

'Debug part to be removed.

 

'Set objTextFile = objFSO.OpenTextFile ("c:\temp.txt", 8, True)

 

' Read the disk serial. Need a way of transposing the result to the needed format.

 

set svc = getobject ("winmgmts:root\cimv2")

 

set objEnum = svc.execQuery ("select SerialNumber from win32_physicalMedia")

 

for each obj in objEnum

 

Diskserial = obj.SerialNumber

 

next

 

Set objShell = CreateObject("Wscript.Shell")

 

part1 = " /create /TN " & Chr(34) & "Company Name Intel SSD Toolbox TRIM" & Chr(34) & " /TR "

 

part2 = Chr(34) & "C:\PROGRA~1\INTEL\INTELS~1\INTELS~1.EXE -t C " & DiskSerial & "Yes" & Chr(34)

 

part3 = " /SC WEEKLY /d WED /ST 12:15:00 /RU " & Chr(34) & "NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM" & Chr(34)

 

SpecialParameters = part1 & part2 & part3

 

'Debug part to be removed.

 

'result = "C:\Windows\System32\schtasks.exe" & Specialparameters

 

'Debug part to be removed.

 

'objTextFile.WriteLine(result)

 

'Debug part to be removed.

 

' objTextFile.Close

objShell.Run "C:\Windows\System32\schtasks.exe" & Specialparameters

 

Set objTextFile = Nothing

WScript.Quit

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Highlighted
Community Manager
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+1 having this issue.

Thanks for the VB for writing the scheduled task...

Funny thing:

get-wmiobject Win32_physicalMedia | select SerialNumber

returns the inverted serial on some machines and the right one on others. Has anyone heard from Intel regarding this issue? Both the Intel SSD ToolKit and the Intel Firmware upgrade CD is able to extract the correct Serial from machines where the above powershell gets the inverted value.

Someone from Intel needs to answer this post.

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Community Manager
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Hi, our simple approach to this is that we schedule for both normal and transposed. Only one will run

Greetings from Zurich.

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Community Manager
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Yeah, i thought about doing that also.

How dit you invert the numbers? Can i have the script?

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Community Manager
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Hi Mystery Machine,

In reference to the following comment:

"As stated earlier having the serial number CVPO016101G3080JGN in the command line is poorly thought out. WMI reports the serial as VCOP1016103G80J0NG using set objEnum = svc.execQuery ("select SerialNumber from win32_physicalMedia") or using WMI Tools.

Intel Toolbox reports CVPO016101G3080JGN

WMI reports VCOP1016103G80J0NG

Each pair of characters is swapped in order. This makes coding the reading of the serial number and translating it to create a scheduled task inconvenient."

We've had our engineers investigate, and this looks like a software bug. The author of the WMI code is not taking into consideration the bytes being swapped as they are transferred over the SATA bus. Nothing to do with the drive! Hope this helps.

Scott, Intel Corporation

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