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Best software to wipe an SSD. A solid-state drive (SSD) is a solid-state storage device that uses integrated circuit assemblies to store data persistently, typically using flash memory, and functioning as secondary storage in the hierarchy of computer storage. It is also sometimes called a solid-state device or a solid-state disk, even though SSDs lack the physical spinning disks and movable read–write heads used in hard disk drives (HDDs) and floppy disks.
Compared with electromechanical drives, SSDs are typically more resistant to physical shock, run silently, and have quicker access time and lower latency. SSDs store data in semiconductor cells. As of 2019, cells can contain between 1 and 4 bits of data. SSD storage devices vary in their properties according to the number of bits stored in each cell, with single-bit cells (“Single Level Cells” or “SLC”) being generally the most reliable, durable, fast, and expensive type, compared with 2- and 3-bit cells (“Multi-Level Cells/MLC” and “Triple-Level Cells/TLC”), and finally quad-bit cells (“QLC”) being used for consumer devices that do not require such extreme properties and are the cheapest per Gigabyte of the four. In addition, 3D XPoint memory (sold by Intel under the Optane brand), stores data by changing the electrical resistance of cells instead of storing electrical charges in cells, and SSDs made from RAM can be used for high speed, when data persistence after power loss is not required, or may use battery power to retain data when its usual power source is unavailable. Hybrid drives or solid-state hybrid drives (SSHDs), such as Apple’s Fusion Drive, combine features of SSDs and HDDs in the same unit using both flash memory and a HDD in order to improve the performance of frequently-accessed data
- Formatting data on the drive will erase everything and it is advised to make a backup before proceding.
- If you format partition your Samsung Portable SSD X5 after purchase, the software stored in the drive will be deleted. You will then need to navigate to the link above if you wish to download the “Samsung Portable SSD” application.
We’re taking a look at a mix of popular third-party applications as well as some of the most common manufacturer’s software:
- Intel® Solid State Drive Toolbox (manufacturer software)
- Samsung Magician (manufacturer software)
- GParted (third-party software)
- EaseUS (third-party software)
We’ll start off with a pair of widely used kits from two prominent manufacturers, Intel and Samsung, and then move onto freeware options from third-party companies. While those are freely available, there are paid services that offer their own advantages. PartedMagic
is a long-established and still regularly updated paid option (and it actually started out as freeware).
1. Intel Solid-State Drive Toolbox
For Windows users with an Intel SSD, the Intel Solid-State Drive Toolbox offers loads of useful features throughout the life of your device. It’s extremely easy to get started and the “Secure Erase” tab should be available on the left-hand side of the software’s main interface. Just select “Secure Erase” and follow the prompts.
Thanks to TRIM functionality and evolving tech, some programs like the Intel SSD Toolbox can also safely optimize your drive for better performance. Just like with other updates on your PC, you can configure your drive optimizer to run on whatever schedule best suits your routine.
Another benefit of using the Intel SSD Toolbox is its comprehensive support options
. You’ll find thorough installation instructions, warranty information, and detailed instructions for how to deal with a variety of routine maintenance issues. Overall, Intel’s SSD offering is convenient and easy-to-use.
2. Samsung Magician
The Samsung Magician
utility offers a similar suite of features compared to Intel’s Toolbox, but it has a more streamlined and up-to-date interface. Still, you’ll find the “Secure Erase
” features in essentially the same place: around the middle of the left sidebar. Click on that tab to select your drive and follow the prompts to erase.
Novice users may find that Samsung Magician is a bit more user-friendly when getting started. While you may sometimes find a little more information on your display than you need, the simple layout keeps everything from feeling cluttered. If you’re trying to extend the life of your device, this software also provides an easy way to troubleshoot issues and keep tabs on drive health.
Having a more modern and user-friendly interface is helpful in this case, though Samsung doesn’t offer dedicated support for the Magician utility. However, you can easily find more software information on their SSD web page
Short for GNOME Partition Editor, GParted
is a trusted and well-established piece of software. It was also recently updated to handle a variety of drive tasks, in particular partition management. It’s open-source and has the benefit of working with most operating systems, making it a great option for Linux SSD users.
Getting started can be a bit more challenging than other software, because GParted is designed for optimal performance when it boots from physical media. That means you’ll need to follow the instructions
to create what’s called a Live CD or USB, then load the application using whichever physical media your computer supports.
Despite the slight complexity of setting up GParted, you will find plenty of support topics
and a ton of other user reviews and guides on the web. It’s totally free to use, but you can make a donation to the developers at your discretion.
4. EaseUS Partition Master
Another long-standing third-party option, EaseUS Partition Manager offers a good basic utility for securely erasing your SSD and a variety of paid options. To secure erase, simply select the drive you want to clean and right-click. Next, select “wipe data” from the drop-down and follow the prompts.
Both the free and paid options provide an inventory of your drives with a variety of commands available. You can check out their professional plan
if you want to commit to EaseUS, or you can try it out at no cost via a trial version.
If you need more information about the Partition Master utility or any other EaseUS programs, check out their dedicated support center
PCDiskEraser is a free data destruction program that runs before the computer boots up, like DBAN and the other programs from above.
Data Sanitization Methods: DoD 5220.22-M Using PCDiskEraser is really easy because you simply select the disk that should be erased, confirm the selection, and then PCDiskEraser immediately begins shredding the whole disk. Download PCDiskEraser
Do you really need to secure erase an SSD?
For the typical user, performing a secure erase or elaborate drive cleaning doesn’t need to be done frequently. The size and volume of files you handle throughout the year and the type of hardware you use also comes into play.
Low capacity and high volume scenarios make a maintenance routine more relevant. Fortunately, most management software makes optimization and cleaning extremely simple.
Bearing that in mind, the biggest reason most users will have to secure erase is when they’re reselling or recycling a used SSD. This guarantees that all of your information is secure from all potential future owners of the device.
The other major benefit is to future owners, who then receive a clean, well-maintained device. Whether you’re selling to a stranger or friend, this helps improve the SSD’s shelf life while delivering the best possible value.
Remember to use caution and know your device
It’s important to remember that older software and older SSDs can be more sensitive compared to the most up-to-date iterations. If your device is more than a few years old, you should make the extra effort to confirm compatibility and potentially work with a professional.
Depending on the state of your drive, it’s also important to remember to make a backup of any content you want to preserve. Secure erase procedures are designed to delete everything beyond recovery, so if you forget something, chances are you won’t be able to get it back using any conventional form of recovery software.
Consider using a trusted cloud storage provider
to back up your most important files before you get started, so you can feel confident that your secure erase goes completely according to plan.
Just like other USB storage devices, an SSD can also be re-formatted using Windows native formatting tool. You can also install the software that comes with your Samsung Portable SSD or download it from http://www.samsung.com/samsungssd