One of the recommended procedures when disposing or recycling a computer or hard drive is to completely erase the existing data on the hard drive by reformatting, overwriting the data or using a drive wiping program. This works quite well on standard ATA, SATA, and SCSI drives that use spinning magnetic platters. Apparently, these techniques do not reliable remove data from solid state drives (SSDs).
There currently are no reliable methods to guarantee complete erasure of data on SSDs. The exception appears to be when the hard drive contents are encrypted. Simply deleting the stored encryption key renders the rest of the data unusable. There has been some experimental research into a solution, but nothing has been adopted by the SSD manufacturers yet. For more details, there is a more complete article on TechRepublic. The original research can be found at Non-Volatile Systems Laboratory web site.
For the interim, physical destruction via industrial shredding appears to be the best solution to sanitizing data on solid state drives.Share