By Lily / Last Updated September 28, 2020

Format SSD or erase SSD before selling

SSDs are of great popularity among computer users. People use them as the primary drive for the operating system, frequently-used programs and personal data. Some people even have more than one SSD and are in need of selling one of them. At this time, what comes first is to delete personal data. You may already know that “deleting” does no help in this case. There are two probable methods: erase SSD or format SSD. Which one is better?

1. Format SSD

Formatting SSD is a process of cleaning data to prepare an SSD for initial use. A new file system can be generated in the process. However, some or most of the cleaned data can be recoverable with special tools.

2. Erase SSD

Erasing SSD is a software-based method of overwriting the data that aims to completely destroy all electronic data residing on an SSD by using zeros and ones to overwrite data onto all sectors of the device. As a result, the data is rendered unrecoverable.

Now you see, to make your personal data unrecoverable, you should choose to erase SSD before selling.

Can you wipe SSD just like wiping HDD?

SSDs store information on microchips and contain no moving parts whereas HDDs record information on a storage platter by moving a mechanical arm with a read/write head over a spinning platter. In addition, SSDs rely on an embedded processor and interconnected flash memory chips while the platter inside HDDs is coated with magnetic media.

Hdd Vs Ssd

Thus, a degausser has the ability to permanently erase a hard disk drive but it proves to be ineffective at erasing data from a solid-state drive. How to wipe SSD before selling securely? Please move on to the next part.

How to erase SSD before selling securely and completely?

Here are two secure methods to wipe SSD before selling that I’d like to introduce:

Method 1. Erase SSD before selling using manufacturer utilities

Most manufacturers supply software for their SSDs in order to update firmware and perform tasks like secure erase. Here is a brief list of such utilities people often use: Intel Solid State Toolbox / OCZ Toolbox / Corsair SSD Toolbox / Samsung Magician / SanDisk SSD Toolkit.

However, those utilities only apply to SSDs of the same manufacturer. Is there a kind of software that can work on all the SSDs? The answer is YES.

Method 2. Erase SSD before selling via a versatile tool

AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional is such partition software that can help erase all brands of solid-state drive. As its new feature “SSD Secure Erase” is only usable in Windows 7, you have to connect the SSD to be erased to a computer of Windows 7 operating system. Then, you can securely erase SSD before selling within several steps (PS.: The demo version is for a free trial):

Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant. Click “All Tools” and choose “SSD Secure Erase Wizard”, or right-click on the WD My Passport and select “SSD Secure Erase”.

Click SSD Secure Erase Wizard

Step 2. Choose the disk you are going to erase from the list and click “Next”.

Select SSD

Step 3. In the pop-up window, check the SSD identification information again in case that you erase a wrong disk. You’ll find the SSD is under a frozen state which is set to ensure no one can modify your drive settings. Perform a hot swap to disable this restriction.

Frozen State

Tip: How to perform a hot swap?
▪ First, open computer case (rear cover or drive shell) and find the SSD you’ll erase.
▪ Second, unplug the power cable and then disconnect the SATA data cable from SSD.
▪ Third, after a few seconds, reconnect the SATA cable to the SATA port and then plug the power cable back to finish the hot swap.

Step 4. Now, click “Next” to start wiping all data on SSD securely and completely. The erasing process will take a short time.

Erasing Process

Notes:
▪ Once the wipe operation is carried out by AOMEI Partition Assistant, the data can not be recovered by any data recovery software. Please back up all the important files to cloud or external hard drive before you do.
▪ AOMEI Partition Assistant is not a file-level wipe software but a sector-level one. So you can only use AOMEI Partition Assistant to wipe partitions or disks. After a partition/disk has been wiped, all the files on it will be erased simultaneously. If you do need to wipe a specific file, then you have to download a file-level wipe software.

Conclusion

AOMEI Partition Assistant is your best choice to erase SSD before selling in the secure and complete mode. You may enjoy more powerful features with it, such as disk conversion between MBR and GPT without deleting partitions, OS migration on GPT disks, recover lost partitions on SSD drive, clone SSD in Windows 10/8 To Go, etc.