SSD drive wipe question


#1

I have CCCleaner Professional, and I want to do a complete SSD hard disk wipe. CCC won’t let me no matter what parameters I check.

Could my 1-Terrabyte SSD be too large for the procedure? Or something. . . ?


#2

ok, first question, what’s on the drive? is this the drive windows is on?


#3

Do NOT attempt to wipe your SSD. That puts too many unnecessary writes on the SSD and is not needed to permanently remove data from the SSD. Instead, use your SSD’s utility to Secure Erase the drive. It’s faster (almost instantaneous) and will not measurably reduce write life.


#4

Thanks, MightyGaz. Yes, Windows is on that drive, I think. I run Chrome a lot, too, soI dunno. . . I wanted to donate the drive to someone who is desperate for one, but if it proves to be damaged, I will dispose of it.


#5

Like Lady Fitzgerald said, SSD’s aren’t meant to be wiped like hard drives.

Wiping a hard drive involves writing and re-writing each sector at least three times:

  • once with all zeros
  • once with all ones
  • once with random data or another pattern

The reason is that even after erasing a magnetic medium once, or even twice, there’s always some residual magnetic flux that could be used to reconstruct the original data. Completely flipping the bits more than once is usually enough to wipe that flux out completely.

But with SSD’s, things are a little different. Unlike magnetic media, SSD’s work through the transfer of electrons, much like billions of tiny batteries. And just like batteries lose their ability to be recharged after a while, SSDs lose their ability to be erased and re-written.

So erasing and re-writing the drive multiple times like that will significantly shorten its life. It’s also unnecessary, because there’s no way to read the residual magnetic flux on a flash memory cell - not only does it not have a residual charge, but just getting to the memory cell to make the attempt would likely destroy the medium.

What you want is software that will issue the ATA "Secure Erase " command. This, basically, resets the state of all of the cells on the drive back to their erased state. Note that a secure erase still uses a full write cycle of the drive, but it only uses one cycle, rather than the several cycles (plus potential issues due to wear leveling) that a regular hard drive utility would use.

I would suggest going to the web site for your hard drive manufacturer to look for SSD tools. When I had a problem with a Crucial drive recently, I was able to use Crucial’s tools to reset my drive’s state and bring it back to life.


#6

Thanks, wilsontp! Sounds like good advice.

I really don’t care if the SSD is too damaged after wiping; I’ll just get a new one. Still don’t know why CCCleaner Professional lets me do a Wipe Free Space but not the whole enchilada. . .


#7

I don’t know who the manufacturer is unless I remove it from my laptop. I can’t seem to find a record of it; I might have grabbed it at Wal-Mart. It has been showing signs of overwork; I’ve had it since 2011, l believe.

I think that the manufacturer is “Western something-or-other.” I’ll keep looking.


#8

Western Digital.

you can see the model number in Device Manager.
-> Right click on the Start button
-> Device Manager
-> Disk Drives
It will be in there.

However, if you’ve been using it as a daily driver for 7 years, chances are good that it’s already reaching the end of its life. And man, a 1TB SSD was expensive in 2011…


#9

Thanks, LadyF~

I don’t much care if the SSD is rendered kaput; I will just buy a new one. I’ve had it for about seven years, and I think it might be failing, but I don’t know for sure; some strange error messages, though, makes me think maybe. . .


#10

you cant wipe it because its in use. what you are trying to do is impossible, as it would wipe everything, including windows, and the ccleaner program itself.


#11

WD has had SSDs only the past couple of years or so, not seven years. It must be something else.


#12

Thanks again, O Great Nerd :smile:

You might be on the way to becoming my new best friend. :grinning:

I will follow these instructions. Spaciba!


#13

In terms of actual SSDs, you’re correct. However, with 1TB of storage, I’m betting we’ll find out he has an SSHD. I’m a little fuzzy on when WD started selling those (I want to say Seagate was first), but the timing seems about right for some of the earliest models.


#14

You are probably correct about the drive being an SSHD (I totally didn’t pick up on that :roll_eyes: ). However, as far as I know, the WD SSHDs didn’t come out until late 2012 or early 2013. The Seagate SSHDs came out well before the WDs (and weren’t worth beans; don’t ask how I know).


#15

I suppose we’ll see, if @Hainanchick makes it back to tell us what he found out. I admit that I’m a little curious myself.

And if it really is a 7 year old SSHD… I wouldn’t be one bit surprised if the solid state cache is worn out. The 32GB SSD cache in my Dell laptop died two years ago. I could have replaced it with an M.2 drive, but Dell mounted the drive in a completely inaccessible location which requires completely disassembling the laptop to reach.


#16

That was the primary reason I loved Lenovos. I could get at everything that needed getting at by removing a handful of screws on the back and removing the panels. RAM just popped in and out. The drive was secured in an easily removable sled with only four screws. No special tools were needed.

'Tis a pity Lenovo started putting malicious crapware and rootkits on them. I no longer can trust them.