LC Technology announced recently that its Solid State Doctor SSD utility suite has been updated with improvements to provide overprovisioning and cloning a solid-state drive over to another SSD, as well as TRIM support for Windows users.
"For Windows 7 and 8 systems that need extra functionality above, beyond or in addition to what they already have native or via what is supplied as part of their SSD, LC joins others in providing options for using and managing their NAND flash devices, including cloning or data migration," said Greg Schulz, founder of the analyst firm StorageIO.
According to LC Technology, the Solid State Doctor product is able to extend the lives of SSDs by allocating some of an SSD's flash memory to the storage processor to provide what the company said are optimal memory management functions.
The product also can be used to clone the contents of an entire SSD to a new drive, the company claims. And the TRIM support for Windows 7 and 8 users can help preserve storage space by enabling drives to write to areas of an SSD where data has been previously deleted, according to LC Technology.
The product also offers a Secure Wiping ability that returns drives to their raw state, as well as functions that allow users to access a drive's built-in diagnostics, according to the company.
LC said its product uses Self-Monitoring Analysis and Report Technology (SMART), which the company claims tracks read and write errors, the temperature of an SSD, and other factors. According to the company, monitoring this data can help forecast when a drive failure could occur.
Solid State Doctor also provides data on every drive in a user's system -- data including firmware version, supported features and lifetime drive usage.
StorageIO's Schulz said that some NAND flash SSD products -- including those focused more on the lower-end market and consumer space -- support higher capacity and lower cost by having less space reserved for protecting or isolating against errors, bad blocks or worn-out cell pages.
"LC provides an alternative to the OS supplied or for SSD drive vendors that do not supply management tools with their drives," Schulz said.
According to the company's website, the automated TRIM command is supported in Windows XP SP3 32-bit, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2008 in the 32- and 64-bit versions, with the latest service packs on Microsoft file systems. The company said the feature is not compatible with RAID, SCSI drives or with SAS SSDs.
Solid State Doctor is available for $29.95 from the LC Technology International website.