Jump to content

Secure Erase Guide for SSD's


Speedway
 Share

Recommended Posts

You can "Secure Erase" your SSD's through Windows 7 Prior to booting into the OS! I wipe my SSD's and reinstall Windows about 3-4 times a year just as preventative maintainence since I have them in RAID 0 and no trim support! I know at first I was just formatting them like normal when reinstalling windows, but my drives started to slow down. When I was looking for reasons why, I found out that only formatting them WILL cause SSD's to slow down over time! They have to be wiped by methods other than the conventional format Windows command. Here is the way I do it using the Secure Erase command with Windows :cheers:

 

Here is a guide to Secure Erase:

 

Hold Shift + F10 during BOOT --> this will take you to a Command Prompt

when you get here you will see the prompt >

type diskpart - which will change your prompt to diskpart>

then type - list disk - this will list your drives, you need to find your SSD and remember the number!

next at the prompt you will type - clean all

diskpart>clean all - which prompts you to select a disk ( hope you rem which is your SSD ;))

select your SSD and then hit enter! This will take some time, but it is working, so just let the Secure Erase do its thing until it is finished! Once you have Secure Erased your SSD, you can then reinstall Windows, and it will be faster again!

 

Here is the Command Line:

>diskpart

diskpart>list disk

"your drives are then listed"

diskpart>clean all

"select your SSD, and let it finish the Secure Erase"

 

Hope this helps :thumbsup:

 

Warning - All Data on the drive will be lost with this process! Make sure you have saved everything you want PRIOR to using Secure Erase!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, you can't REALLY erase all the data on an SSD with current methods no matter how many pass you go over it with. Even in a lab setting using the best technology the SSD still had 10% of its data on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, you can't REALLY erase all the data on an SSD with current methods no matter how many pass you go over it with. Even in a lab setting using the best technology the SSD still had 10% of its data on it.

 

LoL, I know that even on a wiped drive there are methods to recover the data, I put the warning for users to get what they want off of the drive before following my guide ;) Don't want an angry noob coming on here mad at me cause all their prom pics are gone :rofl:

 

This is just a method to help with speed lose on SSD's

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Huh, I didn't know this. Can anyone explain why SSD's slow down with reformats and if this method helps?

 

I got this info straight from Intel ;) Thought I was calling to RMA my SSD's, and found out that I was wiping them the wrong way :blush: After using the Secure Erase, my read/write times increased! Needless to say, there was no need for the RMA after :biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Huh, I didn't know this. Can anyone explain why SSD's slow down with reformats and if this method helps?

If you can't use the TRIM command the SSD has no idea what data is valid or not on the drive - so eventually even with "free" space it will only be able to write as fast as the garbage collection algorithm can run. Most current SSDs will run garbage collection in the background to mitigate this (I've seen no speed decrease with my pair of Indilinx drives with the newest firmware).

 

 

Actually, you can't REALLY erase all the data on an SSD with current methods no matter how many pass you go over it with. Even in a lab setting using the best technology the SSD still had 10% of its data on it.

You can do it - you just can't use tools designed for HDDs to do it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To restore a SSD to a factory fresh state requires a Secure Erase that adheres to the ATA ANSI standard. This is not what the Clean All command does. Unless one uses a utility provided by the drive manufacturer to perform a Secure Erase the only two ways of doing this is with HDDErase or HDParm. Intel was the first SSD manufacturer to specify that a Secure Erase would restore drive performance. I'm not sure why an Intel employee would tell you to use a DiskPart command that leave the drive in a degraded stated state.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To restore a SSD to a factory fresh state requires a Secure Erase that adheres to the ATA ANSI standard. This is not what the Clean All command does. Unless one uses a utility provided by the drive manufacturer to perform a Secure Erase the only two ways of doing this is with HDDErase or HDParm. Intel was the first SSD manufacturer to specify that a Secure Erase would restore drive performance. I'm not sure why an Intel employee would tell you to use a DiskPart command that leave the drive in a degraded stated state.

 

So are you saying that although Secure Erase does restore preformance, it still isn't the best way to wipe an SSD? Can either HDDErase or HDParm be used on an SSD? I am mainly concerned with performance, and I know that Secure Erase does help in this regard. But, I would also want to know a "better free way" if it is out there! I appreciate any help you can give on this :cheers:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Secure Erase, using HDDErase or HDParm, does restore performance to SSDs. It is simply a command that is sent to the controller of the drive. The controller then runs a built-in routine that resets the NAND to an erased (non-programmed) state. Secure Erase was originally developed for conventional drives. The controller of the drives were programed to write zeros (0x00) to the entire drive once the command was received. With SSDs, NAND programmed with 0x00 will be in a used state and require an erase-before-write which will degrade performance. SSD manufacturers have wrote the firmware of the controllers so that when a Secure Erase command is received 0xFF will be issued to the NAND which results in all cells being placed in an erased state. This is a factory fresh state and writes can take place without the need for an erase first.

 

Other utilities such as DiskPart do not have this capability because instead of issuing a command that the controller acts upon the utility is doing the actual writes. The /Clean All command of DiskPart will result in 0x00 being written to the entire drive. This is the reason for the difference in completion speed of these type of utilities and an actual ATA spec'd Secure Erase. When the controller of a SSD receives a Secure Erase command a high voltage is applied to the substrate of the NAND and the entire drive is reset to 0xFF in a few hundred milliseconds. DiskPart and other similar utilities actually write 0x00 to the entire drive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you can't use the TRIM command the SSD has no idea what data is valid or not on the drive - so eventually even with "free" space it will only be able to write as fast as the garbage collection algorithm can run. Most current SSDs will run garbage collection in the background to mitigate this (I've seen no speed decrease with my pair of Indilinx drives with the newest firmware).

 

I have this SSD with trim enabled, am I good, or do I still need to use the secure erase method?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Secure Erase, using HDDErase or HDParm, does restore performance to SSDs. It is simply a command that is sent to the controller of the drive. The controller then runs a built-in routine that resets the NAND to an erased (non-programmed) state. Secure Erase was originally developed for conventional drives. The controller of the drives were programed to write zeros (0x00) to the entire drive once the command was received. With SSDs, NAND programmed with 0x00 will be in a used state and require an erase-before-write which will degrade performance. SSD manufacturers have wrote the firmware of the controllers so that when a Secure Erase command is received 0xFF will be issued to the NAND which results in all cells being placed in an erased state. This is a factory fresh state and writes can take place without the need for an erase first.

 

Other utilities such as DiskPart do not have this capability because instead of issuing a command that the controller acts upon the utility is doing the actual writes. The /Clean All command of DiskPart will result in 0x00 being written to the entire drive. This is the reason for the difference in completion speed of these type of utilities and an actual ATA spec'd Secure Erase. When the controller of a SSD receives a Secure Erase command a high voltage is applied to the substrate of the NAND and the entire drive is reset to 0xFF in a few hundred milliseconds. DiskPart and other similar utilities actually write 0x00 to the entire drive.

 

 

Good information. I know this is asking a lot, but I have about 5 hours in so far and am still lost.

 

I have an XPS 13 Ultrabook on the way with the 128 G SSD. I usually reformat a couple of times a year and did not realize how complicated the SSD reformat was until now.

 

My ultimate goal is to set the PC up the way I want it, then make an image back up so I can easily reformat in the future.

 

I'm thinking of using Macrium Reflect Free. The XPS has several partitions, so I guess I just select all of them when making an image with Reflect.

 

Then us HDDErase to erase drive. Then (I'm still lost on how to use Reflect, as their instructions are not very clear for a layman)...but hook up external HDD and select image restore.

 

Will that work properly? I keep hearing about alignments and stuff. Do I need to take a crash course on how to align the drive as well? Or will the above work well?

 

Any help will be greatly appreciated. Also, if anyone knows of any good step by step tutorials, from start to finish, that would be awesome.

 

 

 

PS Not that I want to go this route, but I assume that using the factory image restore thing in Windows 7 is not a good idea on an SSD?

Edited by Guysakar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...