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Zeroing SSD drives

I have an external flash drive that I want to get rid off. I've deleted & formatted it from within Windows but I want to make sure no one can get to the data. Are there any tools I can run to make sure no data is recoverable from the drive?


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marked as duplicate by Zoredache, Lucas Kauffman, Scott Pack, voretaq7 Mar 28 '12 at 19:22

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Isn't this just the same as this? – Zoredache Mar 28 '12 at 19:13
Also see:… – Zoredache Mar 28 '12 at 19:22
@Zoredache no, it's not - SSDs do have a SATA interface which has a whole set of additional functionality compared to the USB mass-storage protocol (which is a very limited subset of SCSI). So with the secure erase functionality unavailable, the answer for a USB storage would be different. – the-wabbit Mar 28 '12 at 19:28
@syneticon-dj The end result is the same though: There are some vendors that don't support "secure erase" (and nobody has a full list of the offenders), so the only way to be sure is to nuke it from orbit... – voretaq7 Mar 28 '12 at 20:02

The best way to make sure no one can read it is by burning it.

If that's too drastic use Fileshredder or SDelete to shred your flashdrive.

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If you are extremely paranoid, then even DBAN may not be enough since it is flash media, and there may be some relocated blocks that would not be touched. – Zoredache Mar 28 '12 at 19:15
DBAN wipes everything on the Hard Drive; if he just wants to erase everything from within Windows DBAN recommends File Shredder – Chris S Mar 28 '12 at 19:16
I'll edit my answer. – Lucas Kauffman Mar 28 '12 at 19:17
side note: I've added sdelete to the list as it is a Microsoft (Sysinternals) tool doing basically the same. – the-wabbit Mar 28 '12 at 21:01

Can't go wrong with a BFH before the fire.

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If you don't need to use it, yes, burn or smash it with a hammer. Otherwise you can also boot up a ubuntu livecd, install wipe, and wipe the usb clean. This assumes that your OS is not linux. If it is linux to start with, wipe can usually be found for your distro.

I found this one for windows, but have not tried it.

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I have an external flash drive that I want to get rid off....Are there any tools I can run to make sure no data is recoverable from the drive?

Yes: A hammer. Or a blow torch. Or both.

Flash drives employ wear leveling and other techniques that make it extraordinarily difficult to encure that they have been properly erased. The only truly secure solution is complete physical destruction of the chips.

See also the question Zoredache pointed to in his comment and various topics over on regarding erasing solid-state media (flash drives).

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