How to Wipe an SSD

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A common misconception among average computer users is that deleting files from your solid state drive (SSD) is the same as wiping the data. This is because when files and folders are erased, there appears to be more disk space on your drive. The problem is that merely erasing data doesn't remove it completely. According to Gizmodo.com, an erased file is not completely removed from your SSD until the file is replaced with new data. Fortunately, there are several tried and true methods for successfully wiping an SSD.

Things You'll Need

  • OS X installation DVD

Macintosh OS X

  • Insert the SSD into the slot on your laptop, or into the external SSD drive reader connected to your computer. Turn on the computer, and insert the OS X system disc that came with your Mac.

  • Select your preferred language and the OS X welcome screen will appear. Click on the Open Disk Utility icon in the Installer Menu Bar. Wait for the Disk Utility Window to open, and select your SSD in the list of drives inside the left panel of the window.

  • Click on the "Erase" tab on the right side of the Disk Utility window. Click on the Volume Format drop-down menu, and select "Mac OS X Extended (Journaled)." Click on the drive's name field, and enter a name for the SSD after it has been erased.

  • Click on the radio icon in front of the 7-Pass Erase option. Click on the OK button followed by the "Erase" button. Wait for the OS X to clear the data from your SSD.

Windows

  • Insert you SSD drive into the slot on your computer, or into your external SSD drive reader. Turn on your computer, and click on the Start button in the lower left corner of your desktop screen.

  • Click on the search bar in the Start menu, and type "Administrative Tools." Click on the Administrative Tools icon for a populated list of applications. Double-click on "Computer Management" from the list. Enter your administrative login credentials, and click on the "Continue" button to proceed.

  • Click on the "Storage" icon in the far left pane of the Computer Management window. Double-click on "Disk Management" below the Storage icon. A small window labeled "Initialize Disk" will appear. Click on your SSD inside the window, select the Master Boot Record (MBR) option, and click OK. The window will close, and your disk information will appear in the center pane of the Computer Management window.

  • Scroll down in the Computer Management window's center pane until you see your SSD's information. Click on the SSD info, right-click and click on "New Simple Volume." The New Simple Volume Wizard will appear. Click on the "Next" button twice. Then select a drive letter from the drop-down menu in the window. Click on the "Next" button again.

  • Select the "Format this volume with the following settings" option. Set the file system to NTFS, the Allocation Unit Size to default and then type the name of the SSD into the Volume Label text field. Click on the "Next" button to continue. Click on the "Finish" button to clear the SSD drive.

Tips & Warnings

  • There are a few security options for erasing a drive in OS X: Don't Erase Data, Zero Out Data, 7-Pass Erase and 35-Pass Erase. According to the University of Delaware, a 7-Pass Erase is sufficient by government standards for erasing data from a hard disk.

References

  • Photo Credit Ethan Miller/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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