How to Securely Erase SSD without Hurting Its Lifespan

August 25, 2017

Learn to perform Secure Erase on an SSD to wipe out the data permanently or recover its perform

You need Secure Erase

Due to the huge difference in internal architecture between a solid state drive (SSD) and a hard disk drive (HDD), you cannot use the same used to wipe a hard drive to wipe an SSD. It is reported that regular processes used to clean SSDs will actually leave data behind.

To wipe an SSD may degrade its life span if not managed correctly because SSDs have a limited number of writes. To solve all these concerns, a method called Secure Erase was introduced. Secure erase SSD will effectively and securely wipe data from an SSD.

Parted Magic Secure Erase

Linux-based boot disc Parted Magic is often used to perform ATA Secure Erase for SSDs and HHDs. Secure Erase by Parted Magic will erase your SSD safely or invoke the built-in ATA Secure Erase routine.

It supports NTFS, FAT, exFAT, ext3, and ext4, so you can use it under Windows and Linux systems. It has many features for managing your files and partitions.

How to wipe an SSD securely

When you want to sanitize your SSD in order to recover performance or just simply want to secure delete data from SSD to install system fresh, you can follow the steps below to securely erase an SSD:

Step 1: Download the Parted Magic image and then burn it to a USB disk or CD.

Step 2: Boot your computer from the Parted Magic media. When it is fully loaded, click on the lower-left hard drive icon, click System Tools, and then select Erase Disk.

Erase Disk

Step 3: Click on the button "Internal:Secure Erase command writes zeroes to entire data area" and then click Continue.

Internal Secure Erase

Step 4: choose the SSD that you want to erase and then click the OK.

Select Drive

Step 5: If the drive's security state is set to frozen at boot time in BIOS/EFI, click on the Sleep button to put your computer to sleep. Then wake it up by pressing the power button and repeat Step 2 through Step 4.

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Sleep

Step 6: Leave the password as default, "NULL", and click OK.

Password Null

Step 7: Then click YES to confirm the operation. If your SSD supports Enhanced Secure Erase, it will ask if you want to use it.

Click Yes

Never disconnect the power or interface cable to the drive before the process of Secure Erase SSD is complete. In this way, all data will be erased and it does not hurt your SSD.

SSD Secure Erase within Windows

AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is a free disk partition management tool that provides SSD Secure Erase feature. You can use it to securely erase any SSDs within Windows 7. If you are using Windows 10 or Windows 8, you need to unplug your SSD and connect it to another computer running Windows 7.

1. Connect your SSD via SATA port to a Windows 7 computer. To ensure the erase process go smooth, you cannot connect it via USB port. Download and install this free software.

2. Open AOMEI Partition Assistant, and select SSD Secure Erase Wizard from the left panel and click Next.

Secure Erase

3. Select the SSD that you want to Erase and click Next.

Select SSD

4. Double check the SSD identification information in case of wiping the wrong SSD. Click Next to continue.

Confirm

5. In the next screen, you are likely to see the SSD is in Frozen state and it cannot be unlocked. In that case, you can unplug the SATA cable and plug it.

Frozen State

6. After reconnecting your SSD, click OK to start the SSD Secure Erase.

Finish

Almost instantly, the Secure Erase process is complete and you will see the SSD shown as a block of unallocated space. Secure Erase can completely wipe all the data clean from your SSD and all the data are not recoverable.