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How to Secure Erase (reset) an Intel Solid State Drive (SSD)

By now many have heard about the performance degredation found in Intel SSDs due to the write/rewrite commands. Although they remain incredibly fast, there are some instances where you may wish to “reset” the drive or at least secure erase the drive for a second sale or install in a different computer or server.

An Intel quote: “An alternative method (faster) is to use a tool to perform a SECURE ERASE command on the drive. This command will release all of the user LBA locations internally in the drive and result in all of the NAND locations being reset to an erased state. This is equivalent to resetting the drive to the factory shipped condition, and will provide the optimum performance.”

The Center for Magnetic Recording Research no longer has HDDErase 3.3 on their website which is needed to secure erase the Intel X18-M, X25-M and X25-E. HDDErase 4.0 is not compatible with the Intel SSDs but should be used for all other hard drives. HDDErase 3.3 is available below:

Download HDDErase 3.3 (Intel SSD Compatible) here.

Included in the zip file are usage instructions. Be sure you can create a DOS 6.22 boot disk (in Windows XP explorer, right click on the “A drive” and select “format” and “create boot disk”). Then include the HDDErase.exe file on the disk.

You must also disable AHCI (SATA Mode) if enabled in your BIOS before you boot into DOS for the utility to run and work properly. Most BIOS will have an option to emulate IDE mode for SATA ports. Be sure to switch it back to AHCI once you are done.

Secure erasing the Intel SSD only takes about a minute.




Matt Simmons

Well, that’s interesting. I wonder what it’s doing on the back end? Maybe the DOS equivalent of dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda1?

I’d like to know more. Thanks for posting this!

[...] one doesn’t support the Intel series. Here is a somewhat well detailed guide on what to do: How to Secure Erase (reset) an Intel Solid State Drive (SSD) – IIS Hacks | Server Resources __________________ Rig: Intel Xeon W3520 @ 4.1GHz (1.20V) | Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P | OCZ [...]

Securely Erasing Dell Stock SSD

[...] no point in going through that effort – using DBAN would actually work better for that. I found this page that linked to a tool said to do a secure erase on some SSDs. You can try it and see if it claims [...]


THis is not working for me, I get the message: “This drive does not support the security set features”

My netbook is an Acer Aspire One A110, 8GB Intel SSD, but there’s a problem, I don’t have advanced option in BIOS, so I can’t set AHCI Mode disabled! The BIOS Utility is InsydeH20 Setup Utility, wih no Advanced Options. Thanks!

[...] you going to wipe the OS and reinstall? That is why you want to use Secure Erase. If so, then get HDDErase 3.3. That is the only version that will work correctly on Intel SSDs. __________________ OCN Water [...]

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