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Community Manager

Erasing dead SSD drive?

How do you erase a SSD drive before returning it to the store or RMA for refund if your drive is not seen by the "Select a Drive"/Toolbox?

If you have a magnetic drive you can use a Big Magnet before returning it but it seems I can't find an answer for SSD's.

So how do I make sure if I return it that the data can't be restored?


PS. Please don't answer if the drive has to be seen by whatever suggestion you make. This is for SSD drives that are dead.


I cloned and have backups but my worry is that I can't erase confidential data, so this is not about saving data.

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Community Manager

Like with mechanical HDDs, it depends on what "dead" means.

If "dead" means "there are lots of bad LBAs and the drive locks up or stalls when reaching a certain point", then yes, you can still erase some/most of the drive. If "dead" means absolutely no I/O works to the drive, BIOS doesn't see it, etc. then no, there's no easy way to erase the contents of the drive. You could open the drive up and short out the NAND cells, but this would void your warranty and kill any chance of an RMA.

You're going to have to trust the company you bought the SSD from to not "steal" your data. I've yet to read of this ever happening though (with any company, SSD or MHDD!), so I'm of the opinion it's just paranoia.

If you have confidential data of the severe sort (e.g. PII, etc.), then you should be using an encrypted filesystem. Linux offers this, FreeBSD offers this, Windows 7 offers this. Use it.