redrocket

Surest way to destroy data on SSD

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Looking for a mechanical solution for destroying data on SSD drives.

I don't care if it makes the drive unusable, my focus is on making any data on the drive unrecoverable by any means.

I know I can throw it in the fireplace, burn the chips with a blowtorch or cut them in half with wire snips, but that's not what I'm looking for.

What I want to know, is where on the circuit board or what pin of what chip, can I apply 12 to 24 volts of medium to high current, that will ensure complete destruction of all memory registers in all the flash chips on the drive?

I know this may be more of a question for an electrical engineer, but I'm hoping someone here may have an answer or be able to point me in the right direction.

Thanks to anyone that can help.

~Rocket

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I'd just throw it in the microwave for a couple of seconds. Instant death to every piece of silicon in there.

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Current SSD firmwares are relative immature. If you really, really need all data to be completely unrecoverable, then my personal take is to either:

  1. Ensure no data is ever written to the drive in un-encypted form. In other words, use OS-level encryption such as Windows Bitlocker or Apple Filevault 2. Wipe drive with the manufacturers disk utility after use.
  2. Physically shred the drive. (If you don't have a shredder handy, then removing the PCB and cutting through the NVRAM chips will do nicely.)

I personally wouldn't try to use a microwave oven, as the microwave can be damaged. If you don't care about the microwave, then I guess it's a viable way to go -- just remove the casing first, and radiate the naked PCB for a while.

Here is a security.SE thread about why many forms of software-only wiping of SSDs are potentially unreliable.

If you have a 'good' SSD which has full-disk encryption (a.k.a. SED, AES), then try the secure wipe from the manufacturer's disk utility software. See above link.

Edited by 270673

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I personally wouldn't try to use a microwave oven, as the microwave can be damaged. If you don't care about the microwave, then I guess it's a viable way to go -- just remove the casing first, and radiate the naked PCB for a while.

Actually, Microwave Ovens are quite resilient. You should see some of the stuff I have nuked!! Also, the chips will be destroyed pretty much instantly, a second or two would be plenty, and it shouldn't even release too much magic smoke...

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Your idea of putting 24v across the might not succeed if it burns out some link along the way to the chips. DBAN (Darik's Boot and Nuke, free) for home user or business without tons of super secure data. A little more sensitive? Do the original then follow up by removing case and beating with a hammer into little tiny pieces, then (if even more sensitive) blowtorch. The almost ultimate would be industrial shredder then melt.

If that's not enough, DBAN and put in a safe until someone figures out a way to securely erase SSDs.

Edited by clicker666

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