5 Steps to Secure Erase Crucial SSD with Freeware

September 14, 2017

How do you erase SSD like Crucial M500/MX100/M4 SSD? With so many SSD erase utilities out there, which one performs best? Following tells you how to secure erase SSD in simply five steps.

Why need to erase Crucial SSD securely?

Nowadays, SSDs are great replacement for HDDs in OS installation, so do to Crucial SSDs. Some famous series of Crucial SSDs like Crucial M500, Crucial MX100, Crucial M4, etc. are widely used in PCs. However, when you’ve done with a system at work, you may need to wipe data on SSD for a second use. When you want to resell the SSD to others, you don’t want the sensitive data of your own to be recovered with malicious intentions.

Besides, SSDs are known for better performance than HDDs. When you find the SSD’s performance is getting lower and lower, it is time to secure erase SSD Crucial. Secure erase returns SSD to factory status and improves the performance of SSD as it is new, and brings less harm to SSD’s service time. That is to say, secure erase on SSD is beneficial to SSD performance and lifespan.

Secure erasing SSD vs HDD

Since SSD has different read and write ways compared to HDD, it needs new techniques to do the erasing. Traditional way of wiping data on hard drive overwrites all files. But this cannot apply to erasing SSD because the way of garbage collection and wear leveling on SSD are different. The “overwriting” method may leave un-erased data in odd places in the NAND Flash array. Then, the necessary of securely erasing SSD emerges.

Secure Erase vs Quick Format on Crucial SSD

SSD secure erase has something different from normally quick format. In a nutshell, secure erase clear data with the help of ATA erase command lines to write 0 to every block on the SSD. It clears all data to reduce the time of reading and writing. But a quick format won’t. When you delete data it isn’t really deleted, it is just marked for deletion. Next time, when you rewrite data to that block, the reading and writing times would increase. That would reduce SSD lifespan since it has limit read and write times.

Nevertheless, a quick format is good enough if you just want to reinstall your operating system to your Crucial SSD because a Quick Format will trigger SSD TRIM for the entire disk.

Crucial Storage Executive software: Sanitize Drive

As is known to all, Crucial SSDs are one of the products of Micron Technology. Storage Executive is a free tool for Crucial SSD released by Micron to manage its performance. One of the features of Storage Executive is used to clear all data stored on the drive. Open this software and you’ll see “Sanitize Drive” option in the left pane. This function has same effect as Crucial SSD ATA secure erase, according to their Support. The clean process is based on how much data on your Crucial SSD.

Crucial Storage Executive

Storage Executive software does great job when secure delete Crucial SSD, yet the SSD it compatible might be limited. According to Crucial official website, Storage Executive support Crucial MX-series, BX-series, M500, and M500 SSDs. So many SSD series but still some SSDs are not included, like Crucial M4.

In addition, some users reported that Crucial Storage Executive not working sometimes. Moreover, it would be awkward if you want to erase other brands of SSD such as Samsung SSD, Kingston SSD, Intel SSD, etc. in the future since Storage Executive only works for Micron/Crucial SSD. Generally speaking, the dedicated tools only work on their brand SSDs. As a result, you may need another SSD secure erase tool as a “Plan B”.

Free SSD secure erase utility for Crucial SSD

AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is a free tool that works on Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista. It has different arrangements for wiping data on hard drive and securely erasing SSD, Wipe Hard Drive and SSD Secure Erase Wizard. This software also in virtue of ATA secure erase command line to erase data on block level. The tool has easy-to-use user interface, which makes it suitable for all level computer users. Download the freeware to have a try.

Important: Please note, this feature will delete any operating system data, user data, and other contents of the partitions currently on the drive, and also remove the partitions themselves. Information stored in the controller remains unaffected, such as the firmware and SMART data. It is also suggested do not erase SSD frequently.

How to secure erase Crucial SSD on Windows 7 in 5 steps?

Crucial SSD Secure Erase

Step 1: Connect the Crucial SSD to a Windows 7 computer and make sure it is not the boot drive. Directly attached to a straight-forward SATA controller should work reliably.

Step 2: Open AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard and click on “SSD Secure Erase Wizard” in the left “Wizards”.

Step 3: Select the Crucial SSD to securely erase. Double click the selected disk will bring SSD information out, so that you can tell if it is the right one.

Step 4: You may encounter SSD frozen state which is used to protect SSD’s settings. Do a hot swap* to release it.

Step 5: Now, you’ve entered the Crucial SSD secure erase process. Wait for the progress to be completed.

*To perform a Hot Swap:

  • First, open computer case, rear cover or drive shell and find out the SSD you’ll erase.

  • Second, unplug the power cable and then disconnect the SATA data cable from SSD.

  • Finally, after a few seconds, reconnect the SATA cable to the SATA port and then plug the power cable back to complete the hot-swap.

Tips:

  • To secure erase Crucial SSD on laptop or SSD that with Windows operating system installed, you need to uninstall the SSD and connect it to a computer runs Windows 7 to do SSD secure erase.

  • If you find the SSD performance losing after secure erasing, let the drive sit idle for an extended period to allow in-built Garbage Collection to clean all cells and effectively prepare it for another use.

Summary

No matter which method you’ll use to secure erase SSD Crucial, the most important thing is to keep SSD’s performance and lifespan unaffected. AOMEI Partition Assistant is all-around partition manager, with its Professional edition, you’re allowed to quick partition the disk after erasing.