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Completely format an SSD

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hey guys,

Is there a method I can use to completely (and I mean completely) format an SSD to the point that the data will be unrecoverable?

I currently have a Samsung 850 Evo and the software suite that comes with it includes a "secure erase" built in. How secure is this really? Should I use it? Should I use something else?
post #2 of 13
an industrial strength electro-magnet, or specially-designed "wiping" software that overwrites every single sector with 0's and 1's
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Not sure if I can get my hands on an industrial strength magnet so I'll go with option 2. The issue though, is that i read in several places that SSD's write and retain information differently than a standard HDD and as such, cannot be erased through conventional DoD level formatting software. Do you know of any software specifically designed for an SSD?
post #4 of 13
i believe you have to use a disk wiping utility that utelizes TRIM to reset all the "sectors" of a ssd. it is true that they arent physical sectors, so a write-heavy conventional overwriting program would just be wasting ssd life. TRIM resets the "sectors" on a SSD that have been marked unused(conventional delete).
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
And this method would be enough to make all data unrecoverable?
post #6 of 13
if TRIM is utelized properly, it should reset all unused ssd "sectors" to factory settings. Check to see if your hard drive comes with a wiping utility, and verify that TRIM is utelized.
post #7 of 13
I recomend download CCleaner. Erase and wipe all data without the ability to recover data.
Edited by TheParisHeaton - 4/26/17 at 1:54am
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post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by acheleg View Post

an industrial strength electro-magnet, or specially-designed "wiping" software that overwrites every single sector with 0's and 1's

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheParisHeaton View Post

I recomend download CCleaner. Erase and wipe all data without the ability to recover data.

Bad advice! Very bad! Not only is wiping by writing 1s and 0s unnecessary to "wipe" an SSD, it reduces the write life of the SSD by the size of the SSD with each pass. Secure Erase (similar to but not the same as TRIM) is the only safe way to "wipe" and SSD without unnecessary write life reduction. It also is faster and is every bit as secure as overwriting 1s and 0s multiple times. One pass with Magician's Secure Erase works just fine for 'wiping" an SSD clean with no hope for recovering the data being erased. Parted Magic can also be used to Secure Erase an SSD.

For more information on using Secure Erase (and why), read this article by one of OCN's resident drive gurus.
     
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post #9 of 13
TRIM is a feature included in windows 7 and 8.1, that i know of. you can use the command prompt to check and see if trim is enabled, and if so, it should work along with your hard drives data wipe program wonderfully. it will send out an electrical signal to reset all unused "sectors" to zero.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by acheleg View Post

TRIM is a feature included in windows 7 and 8.1, that i know of. you can use the command prompt to check and see if trim is enabled, and if so, it should work along with your hard drives data wipe program wonderfully. it will send out an electrical signal to reset all unused "sectors" to zero.

You are NOT paying attention! DO NOT USE AN HDD WIPER TO "WIPE" AN SSD! PERIOD! Doing so will create unnecessary writes on the SSD, reducing the write life dramatically with each pass.

The purpose of TRIM is NOT to erase an SSD. It's only purpose is to restore cells which have deleted data that is still present in the cells to an empty state that can be written to. You would have to manually erase everything on the SSD to get TRIM to work for "wiping" all the cells, which is inefficient and hard on the SSD.

Again, the only SAFE way to "wipe" an SSD is to use Secure Erase! Since you obviously couldn't be bothered to read what I linked earlier, here is the link again:

http://www.overclock.net/t/1227597/how-to-secure-erase-your-solid-state-drive-ssd-with-parted-magic

Sean Weber works with HDDs and SSD professionally and has forgotten more about them than most of us will ever know. Read his article and pay attention to what he has to say!
     
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