Wipe SSD: Sanitize or Secure Erase SSD?

July 26, 2019

This article provides you what’s the difference between sanitize or secure erase SSD. You can learn it and decide which one is suitable for you to wipe SSD.

Wiping SSD is different from wiping HDD

Wiping hard drive is necessary for some situations. For example, if you would like to reuse an old hard drive, or resale the old hard drive, you’d better wipe hard drive before reuse or resale so that the old data cannot be recovered by any tools.

Wiping SSD is different from wiping HDD since the way of storing data to SSD is different from the way to HDD. HDD is essentially a metal platter with a magnetic coating that stores your data; while SSD stored data on interconnected flash memory chips. It is doomed that wiping SSD is different from wiping hard drive. If you use the same way as wipe HDD to wipe SSD, it may hurt the SSD and it may decrease its lifespan.

For wiping SSD, sanitize or secure erase SSD should be much safer for SSD. But which one to choose?

What’s the difference between Sanitize SSD and Secure Erase SSD?

Secure Erase and Sanitize both securely erase the data on the SSD and andreset the SSD to factory settings. After you Sanitize or Secure Erase SSD, all user data will be permanently destroyed on the solid state drive and cannot be recovered. But they are different. Secure Erase only deletes the mapping table but will not erase all blocks that have been written to. While Sanitize will delete the mapping table and will erase all blocks that have been written to. Thus, Secure Erase is faster to complete than Sanitize.

Note: not all SSD support Sanitize. For example, if you want to know whether your SanDisk SSD supports Sanitize, you need to refer to the SanDisk SSD Dashboard to check it.

How to Sanitize SSD or Secure Erase SSD?

To Sanitize SSD, you need to see if your SSD support Sanitize. If it supports, you should figure out how to Sanitize or Secure Erase SSD.

Sanitize SSD

Sanitizing is the removal of sensitive data from a system or storage device with the intent that the data cannot be recovered by any known technique. Sanitizing SSD using ATA Secure Erase is the most effective. ATA Secure Erase will wipe the entire contents of a drive. When an ATA Secure Erase command is issued against an SSD’s built-in controller (SSD should support ATA Secure Erase), the SSD controller resets all its storage cells as empty, in other words, it restores the SSD to factory default settings and restores SSD performance. But different SSD would have a different way to Sanitize or Secure Erase SSD.

Here we will introduce you how to Sanitize SSD or Secure Erase SSD. If you are using SanDisk SSD, then you can go to the SanDisk SSD Dashboard to see if the SanDisk SSD support Sanitize. Here we will take an example of how to sanitize SanDisk SSD.

1. Get into theSSD Dashboard, select Toolstab.

2. In the Tools Tab, select Sanitize.

3. 1). If you are planing to sanitize the non-system SSD, then, you can simply select Erase and follow the prompts to sanitize SSD.

2). If the SSD you are planing to sanitize is a system drive, you need to Choose Create a bootable USB drive that can be used to sanitize the boot SSD.

Restart your computer with the bootable USB you created, and follow the prompts to sanitize SSD.

Secure Erase SSD

If you do not want to Sanitize SSD or you can’t Sanitize SSD, you can make use of Secure Erase SSD. The SanDisk SSD Dashboard also provides you the function of Secure Erase SSD. Just get into the Tools, select Secure Erase SSD and follow the prompts to secure erase SSD.

You may be reminded that the selected SSD is currently in a Security Frozen state, therefore the Secure Erase cannot be performed. Then, you need to unfrozen the SSD by the following steps:

1. Disconnect the power cable to the SSD.

2. Re-connect the power cable to the SSD.

3. Click the Select Drive Refresh button and then perform Secure Erase again.

After those steps, restart the operations. If you get this message again, this drive cannot be erased.

However, those are the ways of sanitizing or secure erase SanDisk SSD. If you are using other SSDs, you’ll need other ways to wipe SSD. Well, in order to manage all hard drive, here we highly recommend you a great hard drive manager, AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro, which can help you wipe hard drive quickly and restore the SSD to the peak performance. No matter SanDisk SSD, or Kingston SSD, Samsung SSD, Toshiba SSD, etc, it can secure erase them in a short minute. Here are the steps of how to secure erase SSD with AOMEI Partition Assistant.

Step1. You need to prepare a Windows 7 computer. Connect your SSD to the Windows 7 computer. Then, install and launch it. It will show you the basic situations of your hard drives. Then, click SSD Secure Erase Wizard at the left pane, or right click the SSD, select Secure Erase SSD.

Choose SSD Secure Erase Wizard

Note: It will give you a notice that this operation would erase all data on the solid state drive. If you have any important data on the hard drive, back it up before erasing. Click Next to move on.

Step 2. Here you need to choose the SSD that needed to be securely erased. Click Next.

Choose Your SSD

Step3. Here you may meet the problem that your SSD is in a frozen state. Click “here” in the following picture to do a hot swap for this SSD to relieve the frozen state.

Frozen State

Step4. After reliving the frozen state of the SSD, you can continue to secure erase SSD with AOMEI Partition Assistant. When it complete, it will remind you that the SSD has been erased successfully. Click Finish.

Erasing Process

This is the whole progress of how secure erase SSD with AOMEI Partition Assistant. If you want to sanitize or secure erase SSD, you can try this tool. Its friendly interface helps you operate it easily. Besides, it has many other features that can help you manage your hard drive in the best status like repartition hard drive, upgrade hard drive without reinstallation, etc. It is worth to use.