SSDs are among the most widely used, fastest, and most advanced storage mediums. Their efficiency and extremely fast read and write speeds can be attributed to their efficiency. There may have been times when you delete a file on your SSD and wonder if it is securely deleted or if someone can still recover it? The answer to this can depend on a variety of factors. SSDs work very differently than HDDs, and to Secure Erase SSD is an entirely different process.
This article will discuss the best software to secure erase SSD in Windows 11/10 and whether you should secure delete data on your SSD. Please follow the steps and words of caution in this article very closely as any step, if missed, can prove detrimental to your drive’s health.
Is Secure Erase Bad for SSDs?
Secure Erase isn’t entirely bad for SSDs, but one should do it with caution and the right software.
The standard file shredder software we usually use for HDDs will not work with SSDs. Instead, it will decrease the lifespan. Unlike HDDs, SSDs have a finite life. The life of SSDs is measured in terms of wear cycles. Every time you write or read data from an SSD, it causes some level of wear.
For traditional file shredder tools to permanently delete a file, they should be able to find the actual location of the file. They can check with the master table and then secure erase it. However, in SSD, it works differently due to the TRIM command.
SSD writes data to a block instead of a location. The TRIM command also keeps shuffling data to ensure the wear is evenly spread across all the blocks. SSD will keep a record of every shuffle it makes, but no software will be able to target a particular location. The PC has no idea where the data is, and only the SSD controller can fetch it for the OS.
So if a standard secure delete software is used, it will wipe out the entire block and other data, and it will decrease the lifespan. It is the primary reason why OEM software is the defacto software for SSDs.
In short, SSDs are designed to self-maintain, and you should not ideally be wiping your disks too often.
How Do I Secure Erase an SSD in Windows 10/11?
Before securely erasing an SSD, it is best to back up your data in an external drive as, during the wiping process, there is always a risk of losing data, be it an SSD or HDD.
- Manufacturer’s software
- File Shredder
- Wipe and Erase SSD with DiskPart Clean All Command
Always make sure to take a backup of your data. In case of accidents, recovering data will be hard.
1] Manufacturer’s software
Using your manufacturer’s software is one of the easiest and safest ways to erase files from SSD securely. Most manufacturer software will utilize the ATA secure erase command, which completely resets all the blocks on an SSD and does not cause wear. All your data will be permanently erased in this process, and there will be no way for you to recover it, so make sure you already have it backed up. Some of the most popular Manufacturer’s software for SSDs include:
- Intel Solid-State Drive Toolbox
- Samsung Magician SSD Tool
- Western Digital SSD Dashboard
- Crucial SSD Storage Executive
There are many other manufacturers out there, and we certainly can’t list all of them out. The manufacturer’s applications are readily available for download on the official website.
GParted is nothing like a traditional file shredding application. It is not an application. Gparted is a bootable interface (iso file) that can be used to resize, wipe, copy or move partitions or entire SSD and HDDs.
The interface is simple and precise. To access that, you have to first create a bootable drive with Gparted on it, then plug it in before powering it on your computer. After that, you have to access the BIOS and then select the respective drive to boot into the Gparted interface. You can then navigate through the simple interface of Gparted to secure erase your SSD.
Eraser is a simple yet effective file shredder that works on the drive’s simple mechanism of residue data. The tool is entirely free for download and provides a very straightforward interface. You can choose from multiple levels of file shredding, each more powerful and precise than the other. Eraser also lets you schedule the Erasure to be at peace of mind regarding the safety of your files.
4] File Shredder
File Shredder is yet another file shredder software offering additional functionality over all the traditional file shredding softwares out there. You get to choose from five different levels of file shredding offering you better control over how you wish to shred your files. Like the other softwares on this list, File Shredder is also completely free to use and packs in a not so modern but easy-to-use UI.
5] Wipe and Erase SSD with DiskPart Clean All Command
Before using DISKPART, it is essential to understand a few things about it. Firstly, Diskpart is a command-line utility used to create, resize or wipe partitions for drives attached to a computer. All the changes done with it are irrevocable, and you will be erasing all the data while using the DiskPart CleanNow command. Let’s look at the steps on how to use it:
- Open Windows Terminal with admin privileges
- In the Windows terminal, type DiskPart. It will take you into the Diskpart module, where you can perform the rest of the operation.
- Now type List Disk and press Enter. This command will list all the disks currently available on your computer.
- Now type Select Disk <N> and press the Enter key. Replace N with the disk number. This command will select the disk, which it will erase in the next step.
- Now type Clean All and press Enter. Let DiskPart do its job.
SSDs are currently the most efficient storage devices and require little to no maintenance. The best way to maintain an SSD in a healthy state is not trying to maintain it in a healthy condition, be cautious of how many cycles wear your cause. We hope this article proved to be helpful and informative for you. Please make sure you share it with everyone.
Should I Defragment My SSD?
SSDs don’t need defragmentation at all. If you defragment an SSD, all you will do is take some cycles out of its finite life. SSDs maintain themselves, and unlike HDDs, they don’t slow out on fragmentation.
When I Delete My Files On My SSD, Are They Permanently Deleted?
When you delete a file on an SSD, it is not permanently deleted until a new file is written in its place. Recovering deleted files from an SSD is a lot more complex than HDD since SSDs stores file data in separate blocks, the location of which is only known by the internal system.