SSD secure erase - sometimes failing, why?
Posted on 2013-01-30
I'd like to clarify what "secure erase" I am talking about, it's the function built into some ssd drives' firmware that allows you to erase the whole drive in seconds.
I have used the OCZ tool on 4 of their drives, 3 succeeded, one (identical model) failed ("drive is security locked"). I used the intel ssd tool on 1 intel ssd drive and it erased alright. I used the Samsung tool on one of their drives, it failed ("secure erase could not be completed").
I wonder what makes some of them fail. I really would like to have that function working because it's so much quicker than a normal wipe. [Actually, it's even the only method there is to securely erase an SSD, at least our government says that.]
I read that power cycling the drives would help but that changed nothing: unplugged, waited a minute, replugged, same result. So I resorted to normal wipe and after a full wipe of the OCZ, I was able to do the secure erase, too. Left me puzzled but I tried the same on the Samsung one: no, this time no luck, same error. Tried different buses: SATA3, SATA2, USB.
Anyone experienced here?
Environment: 64 Bit Vista, as well as win8 x64. SSDs: intel 520 series 180 GB, Samsung 840 non-pro 120 GB, OCZ Vertex2 120 GB. Latest versions of their tools.