So you want to destroy data on your SSD?

SSDs are, on the whole, very resilient and data is a lot harder to corrupt than your standard HDD. Give that a hard shake and you may find your data is corrupted, but what about a SSD? Some of the common, and somewhat amusing theories of how to effectively destroy the data on a SSD are to use a blow torch, stick it in the microwave or smash it with a hammer. We do not recommend you go to these extremes, as fun as they may be, as we show you how to destroy data on your SSD.

What some people do not realise, is that if you press delete, without the relevant software, even though the file is not showing when you open the drive, it is still there in the background. SSDs are always moving files from cell to cell. So, to try to best describe this, if you deleted a file from a location, the deleted data could get moved to another random location. This means that even though you could think the file has been deleted, it can still exist in one cell, or another. However, until the time that the file is deleted by the SDD, it is still there.

It is always worth ensuring that any sensitive data is always stored with an encryption tool, to protect your data in the event the SSD is lost or stolen, it gives an extra degree of protection. Some people argue that there is no requirement to do a wipe, if data is encrypted but it is better to be safe than sorry.

It is entirely possible to delete data from your SSD, however you should be aware that this is more of a system reset opposed to a full data wipe.

The ways in which you can erase data on your drive are:

ATA Secure Erase

This should not really be used unless you are trouble-shooting, as it can reduce your drive’s life, although only by a small amount. The ATA secure erase works by marking all the cells on the drive as empty. Caution does need to be exercised however, as yhis will erase all your data, and will not be recoverable, by even data recovery specialists. 

Secure Erase Using Manufacturer Software

When you buy your SSD, you will probably have been provided with manufacturer software. If your drive has not been provided with software, you will often find it with a simple Google search. Try the manufacturer’s name, combined with the phrase ssd secure erase utility, this will usually bring up the relevant programme.

If you have accidentally deleted data, it is always worth seeing if data recovery is possible. Your best bet would be to bring in experts in the field.