Best way to format a 2nd hand/used SSD?

Sammy43

Reputable
Sep 8, 2014
44
0
4,530
0
Hey,

Bought a used SSD for very cheap. Most people probably wouldn't recommend doing that, but it's for a 2nd PC and it isn't going to be doing all the much, plus it was really cheap (as it's only low capacity).

I am going to be installing fresh windows 10 on it, what's the best way to fully format/nuke the drive?

Saw some people recommending DBAN on someone else's post, is this the best option or is formatting using the windows install software good enough?

Thanks in advance!
 
As mentioned, the secure erase command isn't being used here to try to make anything unrecoverable. It's used because there's no simpler way to get the drive to write over every user sector which returns the drive to as-new condition. Normally if sectors are marked bad, no further attempt to read or write to them is ever done even if their corruption was due to something unrelated to the physical media like power loss. Forcing a write there means if they really are bad, the firmware can remap them to spare cells and you can see what happened in SMART. If they are good they are returned to service.

I should also point out that these utilities are routinely used for systems and SSDs that don't support TRIM to keep writes fast at the cost of just 1 P/E cycle. Zeroing guarantees there is nothing leftover that can confuse TRIM (and therefore avoids automatic zeroing by garbage collection) so writes will perform just as fast as a new drive. Simply blowing away the partition or quick formatting doesn't. Once it is in use, your own OS can keep the drive properly TRIMmed because it keeps track of and knows which files are actually deleted.
 

Sammy43

Reputable
Sep 8, 2014
44
0
4,530
0


You think using the format option on Windows 10 USB install process would be sufficient?

Don't own an external dock unfortunately and don't want to take apart my main PC lol

Thanks.

 
The best way is usually with the SSD manufacturer's own zero-fill utility, as such utilities are intended to correct drive problems rather than to make recovery impossible.

Even these utilities will not remove anything from the service tracks (where the drive's firmware lives!) or other hidden areas such as where the NSA or malware inject their software.
 


You have to decide whether to make the investment. If ya look at it as "Spending X dollars to use it one time", that's different than "This is something i will use 50 times. We have 3 of them.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817153066

 

Sammy43

Reputable
Sep 8, 2014
44
0
4,530
0


It's a Kingston drive. On their site they recommend HDDErase software?
 

Sammy43

Reputable
Sep 8, 2014
44
0
4,530
0




I will buy one at some point. I really barely would use it currently though, although it is a good investment for the future.

Just looking for a quick and easy way to do it just now.
 
Looks like Kingston SSD Toolbox can only secure erase their Sandforce based drives in up to Windows 7, so HDDErase should be fine. It uses the standard SATA secure erase command (like the other zero-fill utilities) so can wipe things even DBAN can't, such as sectors marked bad.
 
Wait wait wait ... we are NOT talking about secure erasing a drive so no one can ever restore it and get at the data .... we are talking about make a drive suitable for writing over it. Who cares if there's naked pictures of the Kardashians on it ... or NSA secrets .... it's going to be written over. When preparing a drive retrieved from an old build, 95% of the time we just quick format it. If it is troublesome, never had to do more than DISKPART and full format.
 

Sammy43

Reputable
Sep 8, 2014
44
0
4,530
0



Thanks, that's great. Will just try use HDDErase, but not sure how I will boot it from a USB drive.. Will need to figure that out.
 

Sammy43

Reputable
Sep 8, 2014
44
0
4,530
0




To be honest a secure erase/format is preferred as I don't know what has previously been on the drive. If Kim Kardashian pics I might have to recover them before I do so lol.

I don't even have the drive yet, still waiting on it arriving, but just wanted to get a head start on plans on how to format so I can do it whenever I get it.
 
As mentioned, the secure erase command isn't being used here to try to make anything unrecoverable. It's used because there's no simpler way to get the drive to write over every user sector which returns the drive to as-new condition. Normally if sectors are marked bad, no further attempt to read or write to them is ever done even if their corruption was due to something unrelated to the physical media like power loss. Forcing a write there means if they really are bad, the firmware can remap them to spare cells and you can see what happened in SMART. If they are good they are returned to service.

I should also point out that these utilities are routinely used for systems and SSDs that don't support TRIM to keep writes fast at the cost of just 1 P/E cycle. Zeroing guarantees there is nothing leftover that can confuse TRIM (and therefore avoids automatic zeroing by garbage collection) so writes will perform just as fast as a new drive. Simply blowing away the partition or quick formatting doesn't. Once it is in use, your own OS can keep the drive properly TRIMmed because it keeps track of and knows which files are actually deleted.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS