What is zero filling SSD drive?
Zero filling SSD drive is a method of wiping the Solid State Drive contents and overwriting them with zeros. In that way, each bit in the disk will be replaced by a zero value. Therefore, it is called zero filling. Once the SSD drive is overwritten with zeros, the process cannot be undone. Then the data will be completely deleted and unrecoverable.
In one word, zero filling hard drive is a great disk data sanitization method to help secure your personal files against from potential data thefts. So it is always required when you want to throw away, sell or give away your old Kingston, Samsung, SanDisk and other brands of SSD.
How to zero out an SSD drive in Windows 10/8/7?
To fill SSD drive with zeros in Windows 10/8/7, there are two tools you can make use of- Command Prompt or a third-party disk wiping tool (AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional).
1. Zero fill SSD via Command Prompt
First of all, enter Command Prompt window by pressing Win+R to open Run dialogue, inputting cmd and hitting on Enter.
Secondly, in the prompt window, execute the command: format f: /fs:NTFS /p:1. It will format the F drive with NTFS file system and write zeros to each sector of the drive for a single pass. You can input “P:2” instead to write zeros for twice passes when necessary.
Thirdly, type “Y” on your keyboard and press “Enter” to confirm your operation.
At last, wait for the process to be completed. You will be asked to enter a Volume Label, and then you can type one according to your requirements or hit on “Enter” to ignore it. If your SSD drive has several partitions on, you need to repeat the same steps to write zeros to each partition.
2. Fill SSD with zeros via AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional
The first method requires some basic knowledge of commands. Besides, you have to execute the same formatting command on several different partitions if there is more than one volume on SSD drive. To avoid all the troubles, AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional is worth your trying.
With a user-friendly and intuitive interface, you can easily choose the right disk or partition to wipe data rather than running the complex commands. Besides, it can fill an entire SSD drive with zeros at one time. If you just want to write zeros to only one partition on the disk, the “Wipe Partition” feature is helpful. Below is how to zero-fill SSD drive in Windows PC. It has a Demo Version for a free trial.
Step 1. Install and launch the software. Right-click the SSD drive you plan to wipe and select “Wipe Hard Drive”.
Step 2. In this pop-out window, select the first way “Fill sectors with Zeros” to write zeros to the chosen SSD.
Note: If you want to fill SSD with random data, go for the second method.
Step 3. Back to the main interface, click “Apply” to commit the pending operation.
The same steps are also applicable for zero filling Kingston, Samsung, SanDisk Solid State Drive in Windows 10/8/7 and Windows XP/Vista.
Is it safe to zero fill SSD drive?
Although users can find methods to help fill SSD with zeros or random data, some of them might worry whether it is safe to write zeros to SSD drive like the below one:
“I was planning to wipe my Samsung SSD drive completely by overwriting the data with zeros before selling it to some random stranger. But I have heard a lot of people claim that ‘you shouldn't zero-fill/random-data fill an SSD’ and ‘perform dozens of zero-fills will have real impact on its life span’. Therefore, is there some other reasons, such as zero-filling being an insecure measure?”
So, it is safe or not to fill SSD drive with zeros? We can get some clues from how the SSD functions. Different from HDD, SSD adopts a different mechanism to store data. When you delete a file on SSD drive, a TRIM command will be issued to the drive by the OS. That helps to delete data from the SSD drive. Therefore, a simple delete operation can remove data from your SSD. The zero filling method is much more proper for wiping HDD rather than for SSD.
Besides, SSD drives come with a fixed number of write cycles. The frequent zero-filling operation will make it prone to damage and reduce its lifespan. Hence, it is not safe to fill zeros with SSD drive.
A safer way to erase SSD in Windows PC
From the above, we get to know that it is not a secure way to write zeros to SSD drive. So, it is necessary to apply another way to securely erase the SSD drive. Luckily, AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional provides a feature named “SSD Secure Erase”, especially for securely erasing all data from different brands of SSD drives without hurting its performance and lifespan. The steps are listed below.
①This function can only work on Windows 7 computer by far, so please connect your SSD drive to a computer running Windows 7 and make sure it is detected successfully.
②Hard drive erasing will result in data loss. It is suggested to perform a local backup or cloud backup on crucial files before you start.
Step 1. Open AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro. Right-click the SSD drive and select SSD Secure Erase from the menu.
Step 2. Please choose the SSD you want to securely erase and click Next.
Step 3. Now you can check the identification information of the chosen Solid State Drive and click Next.
Step 4. If your SSD drive is in a frozen state, you will receive the following warning and cannot continue. Then you can follow the guides to relieve the frozen state.
See how to relieve SSD frozen state:
1. Open your computer case. If it is a laptop, open the computer's rear cover or drive shell.
2. Locate the SSD that needs to be wiped. And unplug the power cable from the SSD drive.
3. Disconnect the SATA data cable from the SSD.
4. Then reconnect the SATA cable to the SATA port on the SSD.
Step 5. After successfully relieving the frozen state of SSD drive, you can click Next and start to erasing SSD.
Step 6. At last, you can see the Samsung SSD has been securely erased and turned into unallocated space.
Now, you must learn how to zero fill SSD drive as well as why it is not safe. If you care more about the performance and lifespan of your SSD, the “SSD Secure Erase” from AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro is much better and securer. Besides, this powerful software also supports aligning SSD partitions to optimize its data reading and writing speed.
If you are running the Windows Server operating system, you can try AOMEI Partition Assistant Server, full-featured, and compatible with both Windows and Server PC.