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Computer Components Software

How to Properly Wipe an SSD

Understanding SSD Wiping

Unlike traditional hard disk drives (HDDs), SSDs use different data management techniques. A simple file deletion or traditional format doesn’t fully erase data from an SSD, making it recoverable by tech pros and state actors.

Methods

– Manufacturer Specific Secure Erase Tools

  • Most reliable and recommended method.
  • Look for a “Secure Erase” tool from your SSD manufacturer’s website (Samsung Magician, Intel SSD Toolbox).
  • These tools send commands to the SSD controller to completely erase all data.

– Third Party Software

Options include Parted Magic, DBAN (Darik’s Boot and Nuke) or disk wiping tools within partition managers like EaseUS Partition Master.

These involve creating a bootable USB drive that launches the wiping software.

ATA Secure Erase (BIOS Level)

Some computers have a built in Secure Erase function in their BIOS/UEFI settings.

Check your motherboard documentation for instructions.

Encryption Based Wiping

If your SSD supports hardware level encryption, you can sometimes render data unrecoverable by changing or deleting the encryption key.

Read your SSD’s documentation for this feature.

Important Things

Backup: Back up any important data before wiping your SSD.

Boot Drive: If wiping the boot drive, you’ll need a bootable USB with the secure erase tool or the ability to access BIOS settings.

Physical Destruction: For extremely sensitive data, the only guaranteed way is physical destruction of the SSD.

Choosing the Best Method

Manufacturer tools are the simplest and most reliable option if available.

For SSDs without a dedicated tool, Parted Magic is a great third party solution.

BIOS level Secure Erase is convenient if supported.

Encryption based wiping is drive specific.

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