Windows 10 Reset PC remove files vs fully clean drive on a SSD


  1. Posts : 13
    Windows 10 Pro
       #1

    Windows 10 Reset PC remove files vs fully clean drive on a SSD


    Sorry if this had already been answered, I searched Google and this site and couldn't find an answer.

    I was gifted an old HP laptop that was upgraded to Windows 10 a long time ago (it also originally came with a HDD and was upgraded to a SSD) and I want to do a full reset so I can give the laptop to a family member. My friend used this laptop for their business, so it is important their files get properly erased. I know how to reset the pc, and I know what "just remove my files" and "fully clean the drive" does on a HDD (I believe it writes random data over the drive if unencrypted and if encrypted it just does a quick format which gets rid of the encryption keys), but what happens if I chose the full clean option on a SSD?

    If I understand SSDs correctly, writing random data to an SSD doesn't actually get rid of old data, so if windows does that it would just be a waste of time and put unnecessary wear and tear on the SSD.

    Since the laptop originally shipped with an HDD, if I choose "fully clean the drive" does windows recognize that it's working with an SSD and change it's behavior?

    Or is the correct option with an SSD to select "just remove my files" and then run a trim command later?

    I want to be sure that I properly erase my friends data before giving the laptop away.

    Thanks in advance!
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 38,881
    windows 10 professional version 1607 build 14393.969 64 bit
       #2

    See this tutorial on reset remove files:
    Reset Windows 10

    Code:
    If you're planning to donate, recycle, or sell your PC, use this option and choose to fully clean the drive. 
    This might take an hour or two, but it makes it harder for other people to recover files you've removed.


    See the clean and clean all options in this tutorial:
    Erase Disk using Diskpart Clean Command in Windows 10

    Code:
    The clean all command performs the same action as the clean command above, but includes 
    to specify that each and every sector on the disk is zeroed (secure erase), which completely 
    deletes all data contained on the disk. This will make the data on the disk unrecoverable.


    HP has a large number of government contracts.
    To meet cleaning standards they typically have firmware/software in the BIOS for cleaning drives on their business models.
    https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c06204100

    For consumer models you'll need to check the BIOS menu to see if there are options (boot and repetitively click F10).

    HP Disk Sanitizer (for HD)
    HP Secure Erase (for SSD)
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 13
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Hi zbook, thanks for your reply, but it doesn't answer my question.

    I already know how to reset the pc. I'm asking for clarification on how a full clean behaves with an SSD.

    I've also already looked through reset pc tutorial and it doesn't cover this question (unless I missed it).
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 38,881
    windows 10 professional version 1607 build 14393.969 64 bit
       #4

    I've posted the best Ten Forum's tutorials along with a HP knowledge base webpage.

    There are different types of SSD's:
    Everything You Need To Know About SSD Wear & Tear


    Nobody can tell how the lifespan has been impacted by choosing each:
    reset, clean install, clean, clean all (secure erase)
    (a SSD can fail for many reasons)

    It's a personal decision how to balance the tradeoffs.
      My Computer

  5. Paul Black's Avatar
    Posts : 14,098
    Win 10 Pro 64-bit v1909 - Build 18363 Custom ISO Install
       #5

    Hello @qcksilver,

    If you want to see the Predicted Failure Status, type [ Copy & Paste ] this into an Elevated CMD Prompt and press Enter . . .

    Code:
    
    @echo off & echo. & for /f "usebackq delims=" %a in (`"wmic /NameSpace:\\Root\wmi Path MSStorageDriver_FailurePredictStatus"`) do (for /f "delims=" %b in ("%a") do (if not "%b"=="" echo  %a))

    I hope this helps.
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 13
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #6

    EDIT:
    This is a reply to:
    zbook said:
    I've posted the best Ten Forum's tutorials along with a HP knowledge base webpage.

    There are different types of SSD's:
    Everything You Need To Know About SSD Wear & Tear


    Nobody can tell how the lifespan has been impacted by choosing each:
    reset, clean install, clean, clean all (secure erase)
    (a SSD can fail for many reasons)

    It's a personal decision how to balance the tradeoffs.

    Sorry, but I don't think you understand my question.

    I'm not concerned about wear and tear of the SSD.

    To clarify, I want to make sure that:
    A) The data on the SSD is properly erased (which a random data write will not do)

    B) Not waste hours waiting for a random data write to complete (and while not horrible for the drive, it isn't exactly good for it either. But yes, I know the wear and tear will be only be minor)

    C) I'm also curious about how windows handles a full clean with a SSD when reinstalling Windows. I like to learn :)

    D) I want to make sure the drive is erased without losing the licence for Windows 10 (remember that the laptop originally came with Win 8) so I'd like to do a clean install through the OS which is already installed and fully licensed. This means I can't just wipe the drive with a secure erase like you suggested.

    Unless I won't lose the licence if I reinstall through a USB Windows installation media? In which case I can just perform a SSD secure wipe on the drive. I find Windows licensing to be kinda confusing, so I'd be happy to learn that I can wipe the drive without losing the license.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Paul Black said:
    Hello @qcksilver,

    If you want to see the Predicted Failure Status, type [ Copy & Paste ] this into an Elevated CMD Prompt and press Enter . . .

    Code:
    
    @echo off & echo. & for /f "usebackq delims=" %a in (`"wmic /NameSpace:\\Root\wmi Path MSStorageDriver_FailurePredictStatus"`) do (for /f "delims=" %b in ("%a") do (if not "%b"=="" echo  %a))

    I hope this helps.
    Cool, I'll try this tomorrow, thanks!
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 38,881
    windows 10 professional version 1607 build 14393.969 64 bit
       #7

    Once Windows 7 or 8.1 has been upgraded to Windows 10 the data remains on Microsoft servers.

    With the data on Microsoft servers end users can clean install Windows 10 or 11.

    The exception is a major hardware change:
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/...d-fb3fc72b6665


    There are different types of drive tests:

    Long and short generic
    Long and short DST
    Surface
    Benchmark
    File system
    SMART (attempts to predict failure)



    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/soft...load/windows10
    Download Windows 10 ISO File
    Create Bootable USB Flash Drive to Install Windows 10



    Cleaning up a Drive - Format vs Secure Wipe - SSD and HDD - UEFI and SecureBoot - Windows 10 Installation Guides
    Sanitize or Secure Erase SSD? What's the Difference?
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 13
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #8

    zbook said:
    Once Windows 7 or 8.1 has been upgraded to Windows 10 the data remains on Microsoft servers.

    With the data on Microsoft servers end users can clean install Windows 10 or 11.
    Is this true even if using a different Microsoft account after windows is re-installed? When the drive is wiped with the old user account, when a new user account is set up will Win 10 still be fully licensed?

    I thought that Microsoft stores upgrade product keys in your Microsoft account. My knowledge of Windows licensing is limited though, so maybe I'm wrong about that?

    This is the license and hardware history of the laptop:

    OEM is an old version of Windows (not sure if 7 or 8) -> Free upgrade to Windows 10-> User A signed in -> HDD replaced with SSD a few years ago -> Given to me

    I would like to do a clean install of Win 10 and then User B be the only user of the laptop.
      My Computer

  9.   My Computer


  10. Posts : 13
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #10

    So I haven't found the answers to any of my original questions, but I didn't want to spend any more time on this laptop, so I decided to gamble and just try wiping the drive. I can confirm that the windows license successfully re-activated after re-installing windows and creating a new account.

    I used a parted magic usb stick to secure wipe the SSD, then used a windows installation media USB to re-install windows. I created a new account as a local account. Connected to the internet, and windows shows as activated. Bit of a gamble, but I'm really glad it worked!

    I'm still curious what the windows reset/installation wizard does if you have a SSD and you select "fully clean the drive," and if it is smart enough to erase data differently than it would with a HDD. So if anyone knows and feels like sharing, I'd love to know!
      My Computer


 

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