If you are buying a new laptop or computer, it is advisable to install a Solid State Drive (SSD) rather than a traditional Hard Disk Drive (HDD). SSD drives are superior in speed, stability and even use less power. This however does not mean SSDs are flawless; they are just prone to fail in different ways. So how do you destroy your SSD when it fails?
Firstly, let us look at the differences between the two different types of hard drives. A traditional HDD has moving, spinning platters holding coated with magnetic material. Due to the moving components, it made them susceptible for mechanical failure. We have probably all experienced this over the years and seen various error messages implying your hard drive is beginning to fail or has completely died!
At this stage, it was time to replace, recover the data then destroy the old disk.
To destroy a traditional HDD, degaussing, shredding, wiping and crushing are very effective methods. SSD drives differ by the fact they have no moving components, instead using flash memory. So can we use traditional methods of destruction on an SSD?
Wiping an SSD Drive
If the drive is in full working order and you wish to reuse it, you must wipe the drive. There are many software solutions on the market to wipe the data from an SSD. The software writes a series of zero and one characters over the existing data and making the drive reusable once complete.
Older versions of hard drive wiping software may not function on SSD drives. We advise choosing an accredited piece of software that verifies the removed data.
Degaussing an SSD Drive
As SSD drives do not store data magnetically, degaussing a drive will do nothing to the data! Degaussing is perfect for magnetic media such as traditional HDDs, server tapes etc. but unfortunately NOT SSDs!
If a drive has failed or you do not want to reuse the drive consider the following physical destruction options.
Crushing an SSD drive
Physically breaking a drive is the simplest way to prevent access to a hard drive. Crushing a drive is quick, simple and does not use electricity. For example, our hard drive crusher, EDD, is perfect for the task. When an SSD goes through a crushing machine, it literally bends and snaps. The process itself is clean and can happen wherever you require.
Shredding an SSD drive
A good old-fashioned shredder is perfect at physically destroying all types of hard drive. The data bearing chips are broken into small pieces making the data unrecoverable. With the drive in pieces, the recovery of raw materials is possible for their reuse in manufacturing.
Shredding services can be either at your site or off-site. On-site options are slightly more expensive due to the large shredder being transported to your site. If you'd like to find out more, see our hard drive shredding page.
Whichever method you chose, check to see if the drive works and decide whether to reuse it. As the waste hierarchy prioritises the reuse of equipment, consider wiping first before physical methods of destruction. If you wish to discuss the destruction of SSD drives please call us on 01234 315496.
If you're a home user we offer a free hard drive destruction service for single drives.
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