Erasing a SSD

I'm having difficulties secure erasing an Intel 530 SSD. I want to 
repartition it to move it to another PC - it had multiple partitions on.
The SSD refuses to come out of the "security frozen" state when trying 
to use the Intel toolbox. Their "help" says "Intel recommends obtaining 
a drive utility with Secure Erase ...". Does anyone know of such a utility?

Alternatively I thought of just creating a single large NTFS partition, 
filling it with data files, deleting the files, then issuing trim. Does 
this sound ok? Filling it unpartitioned with zeroes is no good because 
zeroes is not the same as erased.

-- 
Russell
0
Russell
2/16/2014 10:57:20 AM
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On 16/02/2014 10:57, Russell Gadd wrote:
> I'm having difficulties secure erasing an Intel 530 SSD. I want to
> repartition it to move it to another PC - it had multiple partitions on.
> The SSD refuses to come out of the "security frozen" state when trying
> to use the Intel toolbox. Their "help" says "Intel recommends obtaining
> a drive utility with Secure Erase ...". Does anyone know of such a utility?
>
> Alternatively I thought of just creating a single large NTFS partition,
> filling it with data files, deleting the files, then issuing trim. Does
> this sound ok? Filling it unpartitioned with zeroes is no good because
> zeroes is not the same as erased.
>
Visit this website for Intel SSD toolbox:

https://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&DwnldID=18455#help

-- 
Dakota
Felixstowe UK
0
Dakota
2/16/2014 11:33:35 AM
"Russell Gadd" <> escribi� en el mensaje news:ldq5ig$29o6$1@news.grc.com...
> I'm having difficulties secure erasing an Intel 530 SSD. I want to 
> repartition it to move it to another PC - it had multiple partitions on.
> The SSD refuses to come out of the "security frozen" state when trying to 
> use the Intel toolbox. Their "help" says "Intel recommends obtaining a 
> drive utility with Secure Erase ...". Does anyone know of such a utility?
>
> Alternatively I thought of just creating a single large NTFS partition, 
> filling it with data files, deleting the files, then issuing trim. Does 
> this sound ok? Filling it unpartitioned with zeroes is no good because 
> zeroes is not the same as erased.

The "security frozen" state is usually set by some BIOS/UEFI or by a few 
third party utilities to prevent other (malicious) programs to set/change 
the drive user or master password or use of security erase features. Once 
the drive security status is set to frozen, only a power cycle can unlock it 
(that's why the BIOS sets it again on every boot).

If the BIOS/UEFI is the one setting the security state to "frozen", you'll 
surely have options to disable this behavior in the BIOS/UEFI settings. If 
there is no specific option to enable or disable freezing drives security, 
try to disable passwords used when the computer is powered on if you're 
using them, because the BIOS/UEFI may be applying that passwords to the disk 
drive too (Warning: you must disable the passwords using the BIOS/UEFI 
settings. Do not clear them by taking out the computer CMOS battery or using 
the clear settings jumper on the motherboard, because that way won't clear 
the password on the disk drive!).


If there aren't options in the BIOS/UEFI settings to disable freezing drives 
security and *you're sure that no password is set in the disk drive*, you 
can take the drive to another computer that do not set the security state to 
"frozen" (if a password is set, the drive will refuse to read or write any 
sectors; but you may be able to use the security erase commands with the 
Intel utility if the other computer does not freeze security features and 
the password is not set as the drive "master" password).

Another "quick and dirty" trick may be to boot to some OS like MS-DOS or 
FreeDOS, then unplug the drive power cable for a few seconds and plug it 
again (this will do a power cycle, security features will be unlocked until 
something freezes them again). Then, without reboot the computer, use some 
utility to issue the "security erase" commands, if you want to erase its 
contents that way. The utility "HDAT2" can be used for such purpose 
(Warning: HDAT2 is an advanced disk diagnostics and settings program; using 
the wrong program options or setting wrong options/features to the drive may 
erase your data or render the drive unusable, until the right options are 
set back; please, ask before using any unknown option), as it boots the 
computer to FreeDOS (I think it's FreeDOS, I'm not sure right now), stop at 
the command prompt (you can unplug the power cable now and plug it again 
after a few seconds), the run HDAT2 to use the security erase feature.


Hope this helps...

0
MiguelMS
2/16/2014 1:04:56 PM
On 16/02/14 11:33, Dakota wrote:
> ...
>> The SSD refuses to come out of the "security frozen" state when trying
>> to use the Intel toolbox. ...
>>
>>
> Visit this website for Intel SSD toolbox:
>
> https://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&DwnldID=18455#help
>

Already got it - see excerpt from my post above.

-- 
Russell
0
Russell
2/16/2014 2:01:44 PM
On 16/02/14 13:04, MiguelMS wrote:
> ...<snip>

Thanks for your post.

I can't see any options in the BIOS on this or the machine I want to 
transfer the SSD to. There's definitely no security passwords set.

I looked at the HDAT2 web site but didn't see where it would allow to 
issue the secure erase command. Also I would be a bit nervous of using this.

Thinking further about my idea of repartitioning the drive and filling 
it with data, perhaps the drive would fill up before I completely fill 
up the partition because it won't know that the "dirty" blocks are not 
valid data so will try to relocate them elsewhere. Is this thinking 
correct or will it see that an OS-logical location is being overwritten 
and release the old data?

-- 
Russell
0
Russell
2/16/2014 2:46:51 PM
On Sun, 16 Feb 2014 10:57:20 +0000, Russell Gadd
<invalid@invalid.invalid> wrote:

>I'm having difficulties secure erasing an Intel 530 SSD. I want to 
>repartition it to move it to another PC - it had multiple partitions on.
>The SSD refuses to come out of the "security frozen" state when trying 
>to use the Intel toolbox. Their "help" says "Intel recommends obtaining 
>a drive utility with Secure Erase ...". Does anyone know of such a utility?
>
>Alternatively I thought of just creating a single large NTFS partition, 
>filling it with data files, deleting the files, then issuing trim. Does 
>this sound ok? Filling it unpartitioned with zeroes is no good because 
>zeroes is not the same as erased.


Found this from Intel

http://www.intel.com/support/ssdc/hpssd/sb/CS-034543.htm


KenW
0
Ken1943
2/16/2014 3:02:15 PM
On 16/02/14 15:02, Ken1943 wrote:
> ...<snip>
>
> Found this from Intel
>
> http://www.intel.com/support/ssdc/hpssd/sb/CS-034543.htm
>
>
> KenW
>
Yes I've been through that. It still doesn't work and leads to their 
recommendation "If the Security Freeze Lock message continues to 
display, Intel recommends getting a drive utility with Secure Erase and 
running Secure Erase from that utility."

My only idea at this stage is filling the drive then emptying it and 
letting trim do its work to get garbage collection to clear everything 
(except the area used for the directory).

-- 
Russell
0
Russell
2/16/2014 4:28:27 PM
On Sun, 16 Feb 2014 10:57:20 +0000, Russell Gadd wrote:

> I'm having difficulties secure erasing an Intel 530 SSD. I want to 
> repartition it to move it to another PC - it had multiple partitions on.
> The SSD refuses to come out of the "security frozen" state when trying 
> to use the Intel toolbox. Their "help" says "Intel recommends obtaining 
> a drive utility with Secure Erase ...". Does anyone know of such a utility?

This is supposed to be a list of such utilities

http://pcsupport.about.com/od/toolsofthetrade/tp/free-data-destruction-software.htm

according to

http://pcsupport.about.com/od/termss/g/secure-erase.htm


-- 
no nym
0
no
2/16/2014 4:40:24 PM
On 16/02/14 16:40, no nym wrote:
> ...<snip>
>
> This is supposed to be a list of such utilities
>
> http://pcsupport.about.com/od/toolsofthetrade/tp/free-data-destruction-software.htm
>
> according to
>
> http://pcsupport.about.com/od/termss/g/secure-erase.htm
>
>
HDDerase looks a likely candidate. Most of the others appear to try to 
write zeros to the drive which is no use for a SSD since this is still 
considered valid data not empty. I'll study this and try it.

-- 
Russell
0
Russell
2/16/2014 5:15:54 PM
On 2/16/2014 5:57 AM, Russell Gadd wrote:
> Filling it unpartitioned with zeroes is no good because zeroes is not the
> same as erased.

I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around your differentiation. If 
all meaningful content has been wiped out and made inaccessible by being 
nulled out, how is the result not the same as 'erased'? Even the more 
paranoid military/security organizations have an approved method for 
clearing classified data from drives and not one of them use the term 
'erased' -- each is some combination of rewrites of zeroes and random data 
over the entire surface of the drive until nothing is recoverable.

In any case, I've used DBAN (Darik's Boot and Nuke) dozens of time to 
erase/clear/sanitize (choose your term) drives and it has never failed yet. 
http://www.dban.org/
0
John
2/16/2014 5:34:19 PM
On 16/02/14 17:34, John McGaw wrote:
> On 2/16/2014 5:57 AM, Russell Gadd wrote:
>> Filling it unpartitioned with zeroes is no good because zeroes is not the
>> same as erased.
>
> I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around your differentiation. If
> all meaningful content has been wiped out and made inaccessible by being
> nulled out, how is the result not the same as 'erased'? Even the more
> paranoid military/security organizations have an approved method for
> clearing classified data from drives and not one of them use the term
> 'erased' -- each is some combination of rewrites of zeroes and random
> data over the entire surface of the drive until nothing is recoverable.
>
> In any case, I've used DBAN (Darik's Boot and Nuke) dozens of time to
> erase/clear/sanitize (choose your term) drives and it has never failed
> yet. http://www.dban.org/

Yes I've used DBAN before, but DBAN is not suitable for SSDs. This is 
not about destroying data it's about performance.

This is my simple explanation, not being an expert: The mechanism SSDs 
use for writing data is complex. SSD's have to erase blocks before 
writing any data including zeroes. Some also do compression. Writing 
more data does not erase blocks - in fact it will fill them up and cause 
the SSD more work shifting data around thus impacting performance. To 
get back to factory-fresh performance all blocks need to be in an erased 
state. There are special ways to do this including TRIM and Secure 
Erase. There is also "Enhanced" secure erase which does some of the 
paranoid stuff also. If you search the web you'll find lots of info 
about this.

-- 
Russell
0
Russell
2/16/2014 7:25:52 PM
"Russell Gadd" <> escribi� en el mensaje news:ldqj0s$2h17$1@news.grc.com...
>
> Thanks for your post.

You're welcome :)


> I can't see any options in the BIOS on this or the machine I want to
> transfer the SSD to. There's definitely no security passwords set.

Then, probably the BIOS (or some third party utility installed there) is 
freezing the security features on it's own. The purpose of doing such a 
thing is that if not frozen, any malicious program with administrative 
priviledges may issue security commands to set a password on the drive or 
even start a security erase. By freezing the security features on startup, 
that won't be possible.


> I looked at the HDAT2 web site but didn't see where it would allow to
> issue the secure erase command. Also I would be a bit nervous of using
> this.

If you can take the drive to another computer temporarily, then you'll be 
able to use the Intel utility to start the security erase process without 
the drive security features being frozen (provided that the other computer 
doesn't freeze the security features too...). Because you said that there 
are no passwords, that would be the easiest way, if you want to use the 
security erase feature and the Intel utility.

If you can't take it to another computer, you may use any other "ssd-aware" 
erase utility that doesn't use the drive security erase feature (if they try 
to use the security erase feature and it's frozen, they won't be able to use 
it). Such utilities usually may overwrite all locations with binary 1s 
(instead of 0s or random data) and/or they issue the "trim" command to every 
location too, so once the operation is finished, the SSD knows it's all free 
too. Other people have already suggested erasing utilities on this thread.

If you can't find an "ssd-aware" erase utility, you can always get back to 
HDAT2 (or any other erase utility that uses the security erase features of 
the drive) and the trick of unplugging the power cable (to unfreeze the 
security features) after botting the computer and before starting the 
program.

In fact, if you're "brave" enought (not recommended!!! I used this once and 
it worked, but I don't think it should be even considered as "safe"), you 
can boot Windows, unplug the drive power cable for a few seconds (Windows XP 
will wait even a few minutes retrying operations before crashing with a blue 
screen; the system may crash anyway if the drive controller on the 
motherboard or the drivers have bugs and fail if the drive doesn't reply to 
commands or if they don't properly handle such unexpected situations!) and 
plug it again. That way, the security features will unfreeze and you'll be 
able to use the Intel utility on the computer where security features were 
previously frozen.


> Thinking further about my idea of repartitioning the drive and filling it
> with data, perhaps the drive would fill up before I completely fill up the
> partition because it won't know that the "dirty" blocks are not valid data
> so will try to relocate them elsewhere. Is this thinking correct or will
> it see that an OS-logical location is being overwritten and release the
> old data?

I don't really know if I understand your question, but I think that's not 
correct, old data will be overwritten at some point even if no locations are 
marked as "unused" with the "trim" command... The only difference is the 
write performance.

You can read the full details here: 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trim_%28computing%29

0
MiguelMS
2/16/2014 7:36:53 PM
SUCCESS! I have an erased SSD.

HDDerase from here did the trick.
http://cmrr.ucsd.edu/people/Hughes/secure-erase.html

It still initially refused to work because of the security freeze but I 
followed the suggested procedure of shutting down, unplugging the SSD, 
then attaching after booting to the DOS environment to run HDDerase. 
This way the BIOS didn't have a chance of locking it. It's slightly 
nerve-wracking as, according to them, this is the most risky method as 
you are hot-plugging. However hot-plugging was the advice when using the 
Intel toolbox, which I had tried on numerous occasions before (without 
success) so I wasn't so worried about hot-plugging damaging the SSD.


Thanks to all the people who posted suggestions.

-- 
Russell
0
Russell
2/16/2014 7:39:26 PM
On 16/02/14 19:36, MiguelMS wrote:
> ... The purpose of doing such a
> thing is that if not frozen, any malicious program with administrative
> priviledges may issue security commands to set a password on the drive
> or even start a security erase. By freezing the security features on
> startup, that won't be possible.
Yes I see the reason. Intel can't do anything with just software as this 
could be reproduced by malware. It's a pity they didn't add a simple 
physical switch, perhaps via a pinhole.

> ... Such utilities usually may overwrite all
> locations with binary 1s (instead of 0s or random data) and/or they
> issue the "trim" command to every location too, so once the operation is
> finished, the SSD knows it's all free too. Other people have already
> suggested erasing utilities on this thread.
Yes I have used a utility - see my latest post. However I'm not totally 
convinced about the writing data route as I understand there's some 
compression going on inside the SSD so they could store the data in a 
very small space if it's all the same. But maybe TRIM would then release 
all the blocks where the previous data was stored. So I guess it might 
work. Presumably then I'd have to run the system for a while in a fairly 
idle state to allow garbage collection to do its job. It's all a bit vague.

> If you can't find an "ssd-aware" erase utility, you can always get back
> to HDAT2 (or any other erase utility that uses the security erase
> features of the drive) and the trick of unplugging the power cable (to
> unfreeze the security features) after botting the computer and before
> starting the program.
Yes I did need to do the unplug-plug trick.

In any event it's sorted now - many thanks for your ideas,


-- 
Russell
0
Russell
2/16/2014 7:53:14 PM
P.S. It's something that I expect Steve will incorporate in his drive 
erase utility (if and when it gets written). Assuming he perfects the 
avoidance of dependence on BIOS in Spinrite 6.x perhaps he'll be able to 
leverage that to simulate a reboot so as to release the lock.

-- 
Russell
0
Russell
2/16/2014 7:57:34 PM
Russell Gadd wrote:

> I'm having difficulties secure erasing an Intel 530 SSD. I want to
> repartition it to move it to another PC - it had multiple partitions
> on.  The SSD refuses to come out of the "security frozen" state when
> trying to use the Intel toolbox. Their "help" says "Intel recommends
> obtaining a drive utility with Secure Erase ...". Does anyone know of
> such a utility?
> 
> Alternatively I thought of just creating a single large NTFS
> partition, filling it with data files, deleting the files, then
> issuing trim. Does this sound ok? Filling it unpartitioned with
> zeroes is no good because zeroes is not the same as erased.

There is a Windows version of HDPARM that may work for you.  Info at
http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/content.php?285-Secure-Erase-for-Windows

Also, unlike an HDD, an empty SSD is 'filled' with 1s, NOT 0s.
0
John
2/16/2014 10:01:26 PM
"Russell Gadd" <> escribi� en el mensaje news:ldr4vb$2sep$1@news.grc.com...
> On 16/02/14 19:36, MiguelMS wrote:
>> ... Such utilities usually may overwrite all
>> locations with binary 1s (instead of 0s or random data) and/or they
>> issue the "trim" command to every location too, so once the operation is
>> finished, the SSD knows it's all free too. Other people have already
>> suggested erasing utilities on this thread.
> Yes I have used a utility - see my latest post. However I'm not totally 
> convinced about the writing data route as I understand there's some 
> compression going on inside the SSD so they could store the data in a very 
> small space if it's all the same. But maybe TRIM would then release all 
> the blocks where the previous data was stored. So I guess it might work. 
> Presumably then I'd have to run the system for a while in a fairly idle 
> state to allow garbage collection to do its job. It's all a bit vague.

I've read you've used the HDDerase utility. That utility issues the drive 
security erase feature commands, so after any data overwritting, it's 
suppossed to have left every location of the drive in the "unused" state (as 
if a "trim" command was used), I think that no further action is needed. You 
don't need to manually issue the "trim" command or let the drive do garbage 
collection, it's already supposed to be in a "factory default" state. In 
fact, the HDDerase utility has done the same erase procedure that the Intel 
toolbox utility was trying to do. Anyway, once you've created the drive 
partitions again, you may use the Intel toolbox utility to manually run the 
"trim" command on unused locations, just to be sure.


> In any event it's sorted now - many thanks for your ideas,

You're welcome :)

0
MiguelMS
2/16/2014 11:17:09 PM
Russell Gadd <invalid@invalid.invalid>, Sun, 16 Feb 2014 10:57:20
+0000 

>I'm having difficulties secure erasing an Intel 530 SSD. I want to 
>repartition it to move it to another PC - it had multiple partitions on.
>The SSD refuses to come out of the "security frozen" state when trying 
>to use the Intel toolbox. Their "help" says "Intel recommends obtaining 
>a drive utility with Secure Erase ...". Does anyone know of such a utility?


Aside from the other replies, I might add my purely personal opine.
The Intel 530 series is a mongrel group. 520 series got thumbs-up.
I had one specifically to install Linux releases (Solyd / Sabayon),
for use with a lenovo Edge laptop. It (Intel 530) would never, and
I do mean never, get recognised under BIOS so that a system could be
installed. I tried different PCs with UEFI and "Trad" modes. Failure
everytime. Plenty of Google hits on the subject if one feels the need
to saerch. It _was_ possible to create a "standard" simple NTFS volume
under Windows (7) OS and that's how the SSD has ended up, as a drop-in
spare. Will never touch them again. Myself, I gave up the challenge.
Good luck.
 
0
Bazza
2/17/2014 12:42:11 AM
On 17/02/14 00:42, Bazza wrote:
> ... <snip>
> Aside from the other replies, I might add my purely personal opine.
> The Intel 530 series is a mongrel group. 520 series got thumbs-up.
> I had one specifically to install Linux releases (Solyd / Sabayon),
> for use with a lenovo Edge laptop. It (Intel 530) would never, and
> I do mean never, get recognised under BIOS so that a system could be
> installed. I tried different PCs with UEFI and "Trad" modes. Failure
> everytime. Plenty of Google hits on the subject if one feels the need
> to saerch. It _was_ possible to create a "standard" simple NTFS volume
> under Windows (7) OS and that's how the SSD has ended up, as a drop-in
> spare. Will never touch them again. Myself, I gave up the challenge.
> Good luck.
>
>
So far my luck seems to be holding out. I've had no problem with this on 
2 computers (2 separate SSD's) - Gigabyte and Asus motherboards. At 
least there's the 5 year warranty (which is partly what persuaded me to 
buy them).

-- 
Russell
0
Russell
2/17/2014 7:10:29 AM
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If you or your friend is concerned with 'how do i really make sure that my datas are save' or 'i need to get rid of some important data', then these videos are what you need. You see, that he takes his business serious. Real serious. Take a look. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THD6MlbN0DE&feature=player_embedded http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNIDfZxIT0w&feature=player_embedded http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBdiFQoostg&feature=player_embedded http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2y7byU2A9As&feature=player_embedded -- -------------...

Internet Eraser
Hi, I'm new to this newsgroup so bear with me if this question has been answered before. I have ZoneAlarm Pro 3.0 installed yet when I went to this site: http://www.interneteraser.com, and closed my browser window, they popped up another window displaying my C: drive contents. ZoneAlarm didn't let out a peep. I have file and printer sharing on but only bound to netBEUI. I am also running ICS. NetBIOS is off. GRC's website probe shows that all my tested ports are running in steath mode. Obviously, if this site can see my files, others can too. How are they able to do...

Erasing of keywords
Name: Rob ten Bouwhuys Email: shamblerat12movedotnl Product: Firefox Summary: Erasing of keywords Comments: Dears Sirs my enthousiasm for your product and websurfing in general has diminished greatly since my settings and keywords are resetted now twice already. My keywords in the bookmarks i consider essential to access a great many sites in little time. Apart from frequent prgram crashes i seriously consider achange of browsers. Please fix this soon or you will end up with Nestcape ...

Web resources about - Erasing a SSD - grc.techtalk

Erasing David - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Erasing David is a 2010 dramatized documentary ( docufiction ) film from the United Kingdom. Stating that as of today the UK is "one of the three ...

The LAW: Bret Hart - Martha is "Erasing" Owen Hart's Career - YouTube
http://fightnetwork.com/ - Bret Hart shares his candid thoughts on the upcoming Owen Hart DVD, which the WWE is releasing and his thoughts on ...

Erasing debt is pointless if it means there is nothing to leave future generations
The intergenerational report does not look widely enough at issues other than ageing.

PTSD and the ethics of erasing bad memories
Researchers believe they are getting closer to helping former soldiers and others haunted by the past delete memories of fear, but some ethicists ...

Dow Jones hits record high, erasing 5 years of losses
The Dow closed at an all-time high Tuesday, beating the previous record it set in October 2007, before the financial crisis and Great Recession. ...

Inflation Report Shows Food Price Hikes Erasing Lower Energy Costs
OTTAWA - The annual pace of inflation in Canada edged higher in May as lower energy prices were more than offset by other increases including ...

TV Networks Confront Ad Blockers Erasing Their Commercials Online
The rise of ad blocking online has worried marketers and web publishers alike, but even TV networks are having to confront the disruptive technology ...

When Erasing Symbols of Slavery, Don't Forget the Democratic Party
In the aftermath of the mass shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC, there are increasing and ever louder ...

How Apple, Inc. went thermonuclear on Samsung, erasing Android's primary profit center
After failing to do much more than embarrass Samsung Electronics in years-long legal battles over patent infringement, Apple has rapidly obliterated ...

Megaupload: Erasing our servers as the US wants would deny us a fair trial
On Friday, Megaupload asked the Virginia judge overseeing its criminal copyright case to spare the data on its servers from deletion. Megaupload ...

Resources last updated: 11/28/2015 4:15:28 PM