Question Samsung Evo 980 Pro - Does "secure erase work" if encryption is disabled ?

DaXia

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Jul 31, 2015
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You can create a bootable secure erase usb with samsung magician. If I understand it correctly, what makes secure erase actually "secure" is the fact that it removes the encryption key so that everything on the drive becomes unrecoverable.

But is the drive automatically encrypted from the beginning or something, because if its not, then what good is removing the encryption key? In samsung magician, it says "encryption - disabled". Does this mean that my secure erase was not secure at all?
 

JWNoctis

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Jun 9, 2021
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Some drives encrypt everything on the physical media even without enabling hardware encryption. In fact, some don't even support user-accessible hardware encryption at all, yet allow secure erase by the mechanism you described.

Either way, there's no way for most end-users to verify that the data is indeed securely encrypted. Things are supposedly better now, but some early SSDs were so bad in this aspect that their "AES-nnn" encryption was actually just used to encrypt some short length of random string, and the actual data was merely XOR'd with said string i.e. trivial to recover.

Use software encryption if you don't want to trust hardware, and bring a hammer for real data sanitization.
 

USAFRet

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You can create a bootable secure erase usb with samsung magician. If I understand it correctly, what makes secure erase actually "secure" is the fact that it removes the encryption key so that everything on the drive becomes unrecoverable.

But is the drive automatically encrypted from the beginning or something, because if its not, then what good is removing the encryption key? In samsung magician, it says "encryption - disabled". Does this mean that my secure erase was not secure at all?

"The Samsung Secure Erase utility creates a bootable USB that you can use to permanently destroy all data stored on an SSD by erasing data from all cells. "


Not just deleting the encryption key.
 
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