Secure SSD formatting


  1. Posts : 14
    Windows 10 Pro 1903
       #1

    Secure SSD formatting


    Hi,

    I've just registered to tenforums to ask you for help with an appropriate way of formatting an SSD drive in order to prepare it for installing Windows on a second machine.

    I've watched numerous videos on YT and read "tons" of articles and I'm still very confused what method or program to use. For years I was using DBAN with my HDDs but the author states it clearly that " it cannot detect or erase SSDs".

    From what I understand SSDs are structured in a different way than HDDs that's way traditional ways of erasing their contents might be harmful (e.g. decrease their durability). By traditional I mean using "quick / full formatting" with Windows built-in tools and by formatting I mean overwritting the disk with 0's or 1's and preparing it to be readable by the system.

    I'm not that knowledgeable about SSD disks and wouldn't like to harm them by doing something wrong.

    What methods are you using?
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 920
    Windows 10 Pro
       #2

    Most named brand SSD's come with/ or allow download of, a manufacturers utility (Samsung, Intel, WD) that has a secure erase function. You may find that if your SSD is not one of the major brands, it uses the same controller/ NAND flash and could possibly use the same utility, a little research would be needed.
    As far as Windows formatting is concerned, I really can't see that it would be an issue, Windows issues the Format command, then the disk controller enacts it. Since Windows (from I think 7 upwards) has native SSD support you would be perfectly fine using Windows Format, quick/ full makes no difference.
    As for reducing lifetime of the SSD, all writes do that and you would have to format the disk (full format) several thousands of times to make a dent.
    I use Windows to format, partition, SSD's (and NVME's) and have had no issues.
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 14
    Windows 10 Pro 1903
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Pejole2165 said:
    Most named brand SSD's come with/ or allow download of, a manufacturers utility (Samsung, Intel, WD) that has a secure erase function.

    Since Windows (from I think 7 upwards) has native SSD support you would be perfectly fine using Windows Format, quick/ full makes no difference.

    Thank you very much for a quick reply and your suggestions.

    Apologies for not giving more details about the model: it's HP SSD S700. I've completely forgotten to turn to HP site in the first place. Here's the information I found there:

    "To securely erase all user data from an SSD and restore the drive to a fresh-out-of-box performance state, the National Institute of Standards Technology supports the “SECURITY ERASE UNIT” command. (...) This command does not actually write anything to the drive. Instead it causes the SSD to apply a voltage spike to all available NAND in unison, resetting every available block of space in one operation forcing the drive to “forget” all stored data which cannot be recovered by even advanced data recovery services.".

    which is followed by a 5 step instruction how to do it on HP devices provided with this command in their UEFI.

    I can't understand why they make life so complicated instead of giving (like other manufacturers) a simple tool downloadable from their web page.

    Anyway, I'll stick to your advice to using quick / full formatting.
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 920
    Windows 10 Pro
       #4

    HP...Go figure....most of the big box shifters do some very odd/ annoying/ pointless things with their products. A little research can often turn up some surprising info.
      My Computer


 

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