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Is the Secure Erase in the toolbox comprehensive and 100% effective?

I have a client that has Intel 320 series drives @ 300gb that they are replacing. The drives are in good working condition, but he wants a guarantee that all data will be erased prior to re-marketing them. Based on this forum and other research it seems that I can not find a consensus on whether the Secure Erase in the Toolbox is 100% effective for this task. In the past we have also used devices such as Aleratec duplicators/wipers and a Wiebetech device to do D.O.D. sanitizing on magnetic drives, but from what I understand this may not be optimal for SSD's. The client does not want to toss out good, valuable drives by crushing them, and would like a high level of certainty that data is protected prior to selling. What is the thought on this forum? What is Intel's position on this? Thanks for any help/insight!

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Honored Contributor II

Hello Jeff-S,

The Secure Erase function available in Intel® SSD Toolbox is considered a form of Low Level Format, and is used to "purge" or "zero" the drive.

Secure Erase is an unrecoverable operation that permanently deletes all data on an Intel SSD. Secure Erase executes the ATA Security Erase Unit command and the Enhanced Erase Mode command to eliminate not only the user data section of the SSD, but also the reserve data area; for the SSD 320 models, it also generates a new AES encryption key, rendering any data remnants completely unrecoverable. This makes Secure Erase different from a standard delete or format operation.

You can find additional details about Secure Erase in the following documents: Intel® Solid-State Drive Toolbox User Guide, pages 27-29. Intel® Solid-State Drive Professional 1500 Series and Secure Erase

If you run a Secure Erase with Intel® SSD toolbox before re-purposing the drives, the data on them will be removed beyond forensic reconstruction.

Here are some additional considerations:

- Secure Erase under Windows can be complicated since the drives will frequently be in a Security Freeze Lock state. If you encounter this condition, you may want to use the HDPARM utility under Linux.

- Please be aware that the re-sold drives will not have a warranty from Intel to the purchaser. Our warranty is only valid for the original purchaser of the drive and is not 'transferable'.