Wiping SSD Drive

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by rubberducky, Mar 15, 2010.

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  1. rubberducky

    rubberducky Registered Member

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    Is it possible to securely wipe a SSD Drive beyond recovery? I heard that unlike hard drive, securely wiping a SSD beyond recovery is not possible. Is it true? Will future SSD Drive address this problem?
     
  2. Pleonasm

    Pleonasm Registered Member

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    From where did you hear this? Can you please provide citations?

    There is only one such consideration with a solid-state drive about which I am aware. Wiping an individual file on a solid-state drive may not succeed in destroying the contents of the file, due to the wear-leveling mechanism that dynamically maps logical to physical disk clusters. However, if you simply delete a file and then wipe all of the free space on the drive, then the file’s contents should be destroyed.
     
  3. networkguy66

    networkguy66 Registered Member

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    Everything I have read indicates once a file is deleted from SSD with trim enabled, its gone. There's no data to overwrite like platters. With SSD's, a page (the area where data is written) is either empty or full. When trim is enabled, when you delete a file, the OS (Either windows 7, the newest version of Linux kernal, or Windows server 2008 RC 2 - the only OS's that support trim) sends a message to the SSD controller (that must also support trim - not all do) that a file is deleted, the controller zaps that page empty to be used later. Its not like a platter drive where the data is still there, waiting to be overwritten. In non trim SSD, wear leveling simply writes to the pages until its full, at which time when new data needs to be written, the OS tells the controller "hey, I need to write new data", and the controller finds previously full pages of no longer needed data, zaps it empty, then writes the new data to the page.

    In a nutshell. I did some tests of my own on an Intel X25 drive, and using Recover My Files and Get Back Data, and I was unable to recover a deleted 5 meg power point presentation, a one page .txt file, and a one page word doc. Anecdotal, perhaps. But it does support everything Ive read.
     
  4. Pleonasm

    Pleonasm Registered Member

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    Nnetworkguy66, your comments about TRIM were interesting. More information on the same theme...

    It seems that the question of whether TRIM actually destroys data beyond recovery is still indeterminate at this point.

    (Edit: Clean-up of quoted text.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2010
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