Securely wipe/erase SATA SSD hardrives via USB. How? Free app?

  1.    27 Apr 2018 #1

    Securely wipe/erase SATA SSD hardrives via USB. How? Free app?


    Not sure if this is the right forum. Mods move as you see fit.

    I built a new machine and will probably be giving away the parts of the old one. However I want to wipe/erase the SSD drives before I do. I have a USB to SATA cable that I use to access the drives. Can I securely erase them through this cable from windows, or is an app of some sort necessary? I understand that manufactures provide utilities for this, but I can't find any from Crucial. All the drives are Crucial.

    Hoping someone here can point me in the right direction.
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  2.    27 Apr 2018 #2

    Yes, you can do this. Tim Fisher has put together an excellent story at Lifewire entitled "41 Free Data Destruction Programs." I've used one of those myself, Disk Wipe, with good results.
    HTH,
    --Ed--
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  3. Clintlgm's Avatar
    Posts : 901
    Win 10 pro Upgraded from 8.1
       27 Apr 2018 #3

    Using diskpart should be more than sufficient for ordinary situations. Paid programs like HD Tune will write 0 to ever sector effectively wiping any data on the disk. If you have top Secret date Bleach bit or some other professional software would be required.
    In Real life, Diskpart to Clean your disk/SSD should be more than sufficient Erase Disk using Diskpart Clean Command in Windows 10 Windows 10 Tutorials
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  4.    27 Apr 2018 #4

    Good point, @ClintIgm. I had assumed that the OP wanted to do the "7X overwrite with 0s" routine usually required to reduce the efficacy of forensic discovery. But you are correct to observe that for recipients who may be assumed to be of "good intent" (why else would you give it to them), such precautions may not be necessary. I will also assert that many security experts believe that media destruction (usually by crushing or shredding) is the only sure way to prevent determined efforts at data recovery.
    Thanks!
    --Ed--
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  5.    27 Apr 2018 #5

    CalypsoArt said: View Post
    I have a USB to SATA cable that I use to access the drives. Can I securely erase them through this cable from windows, or is an app of some sort necessary?
    Yes and no probably.

    You can access the SSD using the cable but you can not securely erase a SSD by just writing stuff to it. It is just how they work. You can't tell what they write where and the ATA secure erase is not implemented correctly in many SSD (see link below).

    On HDD you could write zeros to fill the disk but this approach doesn't work at all on SSD - the data remains - all you have done is marked controller translation table to use different blocks. If you are really serious about it you should destroy them.

    If you are only mildly concerned (you aren't expecting a government agency to try to retrieve it) then encrypting the whole disk with bitlocker (if you have 7 Ultimate) or Veracrypt (if you don't) and then reformatting should be adequate-ish.

    You don't say what version of Windows you have but if you have 7 Ultimate you could follow this tutorial and take the "Encrypt entire drive" option. It works the same in Windows 7 iirc. Turn On or Off BitLocker for Removable Data Drives in Windows 10 Windows 10 Tutorials

    You still will not know if there is stuff in the overprovisioning blocks though and as they aren't presented to the operating system there is nothing you can realistically do about that. I think you'd have to be seriously paranoid to worry about that though.

    Have a look here - it is quite an interesting read I think : forensics - Can wiped SSD data be recovered? - Information Security Stack Exchange
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  6.    27 Apr 2018 #6

    lx07 said: View Post
    Yes and no probably.

    You don't say what version of Windows you have but if you have

    You still will not know if there is stuff in the overprovisioning blocks though and as they aren't presented to the operating system there is nothing you can realistically do about that. I think you'd have to be seriously paranoid to worry about that though.
    I'm running Win 10 Pro 64. I'm not that worried, I just want to be sure If I gave the drives to a friend they would not accidentally run into my banking information. Most recovery techniques would be beyond them.

    I'd like to give away the parts rather than send them to a land fill. But destruction is an option.

    Thanks all for the replies.
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  7. Clintlgm's Avatar
    Posts : 901
    Win 10 pro Upgraded from 8.1
       27 Apr 2018 #7

    CalypsoArt said: View Post
    I'm running Win 10 Pro 64. I'm not that worried, I just want to be sure If I gave the drives to a friend they would not accidentally run into my banking information. Most recovery techniques would be beyond them.



    I'd like to give away the parts rather than send them to a land fill. But destruction is an option.

    Thanks all for the replies.
    Then using diskpart to clean the drive would be sufficient it put the SSD back in as original shipped condition to the next system it sees. Technically your data could still be there but not easily certainly not accidentally accessed.
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  8. Cliff S's Avatar
    Posts : 22,322
    Win10 Pro, Win10 Pro N, Win10 Home, Win10 Pro Insider Fast Ring, Windows 8.1 Pro, Ubuntu
       27 Apr 2018 #8

    Clintlgm said: View Post
    Then using diskpart to clean the drive would be sufficient it put the SSD back in as original shipped condition to the next system it sees. Technically your data could still be there but not easily certainly not accidentally accessed.
    Diskpart clean, and then when the ssd is Optimized(retrim), all data is unrecoverable.
    defrag (disk) /o
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  9.    28 Apr 2018 #9

    Cliff S said: View Post
    Diskpart clean, and then when the ssd is Optimized(retrim), all data is unrecoverable.
    defrag (disk) /o
    Unfortunately, you are completely wrong. Please do not confuse other users using false informations.

    @CalypsoArt: Please see how can I wipe my SSD clean? - Windows 10 Forums and subsequent posts. You can always use PartedMagic software to Secure Erase your SSDs.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    28 Apr 2018 #10

    I thought Crucial's Storage Executive had the ability to do a PSID Revert , which effectively is a secure erase , not sure if it works with your particular Drive though? try the Crucial Forums , there has been a number of posts there over the last few years on the PSID Revert.

    Crucial Storage Executive Tool | Firmware Download | Crucial.com
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