How to securely delete my data from the SSD?

Discussion in 'SSDs & Data Storage' started by Sgt_Strider, Jul 19, 2014.

  1. Sgt_Strider

    Sgt_Strider Gawd

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    I have an old Intel 40GB SSD. It's one of the earliest models of SSDs that Intel released on to the market. I want to sell it and get whatever I can for it. Before I do that, I need to know how to securely remove my data from the SSD. The Intel SSD software have a secure delete option. Does that really work? Does anyone else here have any suggestion on what I should do to securely wipe my SSD?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Suprfire

    Suprfire 2[H]4U

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  3. evilsofa

    evilsofa [H]ardForum Junkie

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    The best way is to fill the drive with useless data, then encrypt the entire drive with Truecrypt 7.1a using a very complex key. Then forget the key, and run secure delete from Intel's SSD toolkit.
     
  4. Zepher

    Zepher [H]ipster Replacement

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    Is your data worth the $10-20 you might get for the drive?
    I personally don't sell my old drives, I either use them in other systems, store them, or destroy them if they are no longer functioning or no longer worth using.
     
  5. jedimasterben

    jedimasterben 2[H]4U

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    What? Why would you do that when secure erase completely flips the NAND's state?
     
  6. devman

    devman 2[H]4U

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    Mostly because the efficacy of secure erase cannot be ensured (a manufacturers might screw up the implementation for a particular drive controller).
     
  7. Xaero_toast

    Xaero_toast Limp Gawd

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    dd if=/dev/random of=/dev/sda
     
  8. devman

    devman 2[H]4U

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    You'll likely want to use /dev/urandom if on Linux or it might take forever.
     
  9. evilsofa

    evilsofa [H]ardForum Junkie

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    OP has one of the earlier consumer SSDs. The industry didn't have secure delete figured out quite so well then. Current SSDs - some of them, at least - get to securely erase in a few seconds simply by securely wiping the internal encryption keys they've been using.

    It may be that using a current version of Intel's SSD toolkit will do secure erase better on old SSDs, but I don't know that.
     
  10. Liger88

    Liger88 2[H]4U

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    Any normal HDD Secure Wipe utility is going to work on an SSD just fine when doing a full wipe. However, using those utilities for a file/folder, free space wipes isn't going to work well to save your life, but when it comes to full disk wipes they still do the trick just fine.

    I wouldn't trust some manufacturers "few second" wipe claims reliably for reasons already pointed out with flawed designs. Hard Drives also have those built-in quick erase functions for well over a decade, yet everyone who knows better is using a third-party option that takes hours or days. Helps when you've spent countless hours testing a multitude of recovery options to verify those efforts aren't just smoke and mirrors. Makes waiting mean something.
     
  11. the_servicer

    the_servicer [H]ard|Gawd

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    Has anyone tried DBAN for this purpose?
     
  12. Sgt_Strider

    Sgt_Strider Gawd

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    I have heard about that before. How does one go and use Truecrypt to do that? The SSD have 37.3GB of total space and right now there is 14GB left. I'm assuming Windows and Office is taking up most of the space. Since I can't delete Windows and still use Truecrypt, are you recommending that I delete and uninstall everything except for Windows and then create a volume that occupies the remaining space left in the SSD with a complex password?
     
  13. PornoSatan

    PornoSatan 2[H]4U

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    Tired of all these overly elaborate methods of securely erasing things, as if it's possible to uncover hidden bytes under bytes or something. All BS.

    Throw it into a Linux box.

    dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/sdX

    Done, call it a day. The entire drive including the MBR has been completely overwritten with useless data.
     
  14. cbf123

    cbf123 n00b

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    This is an okay option if you don't have secure erase. The main problem is that some percentage of the space is reserved for blocks that go bad, caching, etc.. If you just overwrite the drive as you suggest, it might be possible to extract usable data from the reserved portion. Not a trivial job, but possible.

    It's probably good enough to sell it to someone, probably not safe against the NSA.
     
  15. evilsofa

    evilsofa [H]ardForum Junkie

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    DBAN does not work properly on SSDs due to the wear leveling algorithms that SSDs use, and will not result in a secure erase. It's a HDD-only tool.
     
  16. Sgt_Strider

    Sgt_Strider Gawd

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    Help?
     
  17. drescherjm

    drescherjm [H]ardForum Junkie

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    If you are that worried about the data on your SSD I would not sell it for the $10 to $20 that you will get. Instead use it for a different purpose or hit it with a sledge hammer a few times before throwing it away.. Otherwise Secure Erase should be enough. Or as others said TrueCrypt the drive. That should cause the drive to overwrite most cells. Some of the overprovisioned cells may have your data on them however it would be extremely difficult for someone to get to that data. I believe they would have to desolder the the NAND from the SSD to do that.
     
  18. Sgt_Strider

    Sgt_Strider Gawd

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    My only problem with DBAN is that it doesn't work with USB drives. I no longer have an optical drive installed. Are you aware of any apps that are as effective as DBAN, but works either from within Windows or boots up from USB?
     
  19. Sgt_Strider

    Sgt_Strider Gawd

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    Not sure if you even bother to read the texts that were quoted, but I'll post it again. How does one go and use Truecrypt to do that? The SSD have 37.3GB of total space and right now there is 14GB left. I'm assuming Windows and Office is taking up most of the space. Since I can't delete Windows and still use Truecrypt, are you recommending that I delete and uninstall everything except for Windows and then create a volume that occupies the remaining space left in the SSD with a complex password?
     
  20. evilsofa

    evilsofa [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I have not myself attempted to use Truecrypt since I have not had to secure delete an SSD for sale purposes, but I would for starters not run Windows from the SSD in question; I would run Windows and Truecrypt from some other drive to work on the SSD to be sold.
     
  21. crzykid71

    crzykid71 Limp Gawd

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    ^ Couldn't agree more. It's not too hard to use something like Recuva to dig up old data if someone wanted to snoop. You could wipe it & afterwards run recuva to verify everything was erased to be sure.
     
  22. Sgt_Strider

    Sgt_Strider Gawd

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    Good idea. How does one use Truecrypt to write data that will occupy the entire drive?
     
  23. drescherjm

    drescherjm [H]ardForum Junkie

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    It was a little after 4am.. I took the Help to mean Bump sorry.

    You can not do this with the OS on the drive. You need to boot off of some other disk containing the OS and install TrueCrypt and use the full disk encryption method.