Article Number: 000150908
Article Summary:This article explains the industry standard methods of disk sanitization for solid state hard drives (SSD).
In this article, the term "disk sanitization" refers to the process of eliminating all data on the storage device so that it is impossible to recover.
There are currently three conventional methods for sanitizing SSD’s. These three methods apply to sanitizing an entire physical disk, but not specific files or folders.
It should be noted that sanitization methods for spindle hard drives do not apply to SSD’s.
This is a common method of sanitization for non-encrypted SSD's. It is designed to put the drive in a raw state by overwriting each bit of data as a zero. The command set exists within the SSD firmware, and management of the process is conducted by software that operates within a bootable environment on a USB key.
Dell do not recommend any software capable of utilising this process but you can find some useful information on the subject at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_erasure
On a self-encrypting hard drive (SED), the encryption key is stored within a small storage area on the drive, and the SED internal hardware passively encrypts and decrypts the incoming and outgoing data respectively. Access to the drive occurs through either software pre-boot authentication or a BIOS password.
Encryption management software allows a system administrator to delete and regenerate the encryption key residing in the SED, which leaves the previously written data indecipherable and therefore securely unrecoverable. As with ATA Secure Erase, the drive is left in a raw state, and a new key is generated within the drive.
Products are available that destroy SSD media through smelting or shredding. This is the only method of SSD sanitization approved by the United States Department of Defense and the National Security Agency. The DOD/NSA standard for smelting SSD’s requires a licensed furnace rated at 1,600 degrees Celsius. The DOD/NSA standard for shredding SSD media requires that fragments be reduced to less than 2 millimeters in edge length using an NSA/CSS evaluated shredder.
More information regarding DOD/NSA compliant sanitization for SSD’s can be found on the NSA site: Media Destruction Guidance .
21 Feb 2021