Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Intel SSD Toolbox on WinXP x64

If you use an Intel x25-m (G2) on Windows XP, then you've probably been eagerly awaiting the Intel SSD Toolbox now that both the TRIM-capable firmware and new toolbox are released. I was too, so I downloaded it today.

I just installed it on a 64-bit XP box, only to see this screen when I tried to run it:

Having no idea what this means, I googled it. (which quickly pointed me to the readme, which is linked on the download page for the toolbox itself. Silly me, I should have read it first. The readme document used a very wild font, but it boils down to this:

Without a hotfix, the toolbox does not work correctly on Windows XP 64-bit. The hotfix you need is supplied on this page (also linked in the readme). The details don't look related to shadow copying, and you have to jump through a couple of hoops to get it.

After you 'View and request hotfix download', give Microsoft an email address, and submit a form...you will get an email with a link to the hotfix, and the password for the password-protected zip file it contains with a password that changes weekly! I have never before had to 'request' a hotfix file, let alone enter a password - I completed the process diligently though, as a secret agent might do, and now the Intel SSD Toolbox is working on my Windows XP x64 machine.

NOTE: The reason it's so much work to download the hotfix is probably because, as of this writing, the hotfix has not undergone full testing. Also, it is a very specific hotfix for Windows 2003/XP x64*.  It recommends staging (i.e. non-production upgrade first). You should backup your files and perform this on a non-critical machine first, or update at your own risk.

* windows XP x64 is based on Windows 2003, so it is distinct from 32-bit XP.

This post is for personal reference, as well as for the 10 seconds it might save someone else out there. It seems like kind of a strange edge case...