Selling PC, tips for wiping OS SSD?

Hello everyone,

I have 2 computers I'm going to sell, and I want to completely wipe their drives before selling them, just to be sure there's no way (no easy way for normal users at least) to recover the data on them. Going to reinstall Windows on both of the machines. This goes mainly for the SSD's as I'm not that familiar with how they do things. Any tips will be greatly appreciated.

For the laptop:
It has only one drive, an Intel 330 SSD. How do I wipe this? I've seen some tips for wiping a non-OS SSD, but little in the way of wiping the main drive? Is there some program that I can put on a bootable USB to wipe it from BIOS before reinstalling Windows?

For the desktop:
It has a Samsung 850 SSD for the OS, and a secondary HDD. For the HDD I was planning to use DBAN for the wipe. Can DBAN be used in Windows, or do I have to use a bootable USB?

Also, same problem as the laptop for the SSD. EDIT: Just found out that Samsung Magician can be used to create a bootable drive to wipe that SSD.

One forum post I read said to use this command to write 0's to the entire disk. But I don't know how to use it (cmd?) and if it will even work on an SSD:

# dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=1M

Just format the drives when you're installing Windows. I don't recall if there is an option to do a full format in the installation wizard (I believe it defaults to quick format and there may not be an explicit option for a secure format) however if you Shift+F10 you can using command prompt and diskpart to wipe them (typing "diskpart clean all" should be enough to zero out all of your drives). Recovering anything after that is really only possible in theory. Multipass formatting is for nutters and only serves to wear out your drive.

You could use a drive wiper utility, but I've heard for an ssd, data can be recovered with almost any number of overwrites. Really if you have data you want to make sure no one has access too then pull the drive, don't sellit with the computer. Otherwise there are plenty of utilities to use. If I was going to recommend one off hand I would say just use ccleaner. It's got a pretty good one.

According to this: https://security.stackexchange.com/questions/12503/can-wiped-ssd-data-be-recovered

Data wiping on an SSD is unreliable at best. HOWEVER, that was 5 years ago so perhaps things have changed.

Try encrypting the drive first, that way if someone does get the data back they can't access it.

i dont know what you are talking about.. you are meant to leave things like porn, incriminating photos of yourself and a loaf a bread for the next person.. think of their social media status if they cant share those things!

SnowyGamester:
Just format the drives when you're installing Windows. I don't recall if there is an option to do a full format in the installation wizard (I believe it defaults to quick format and there may not be an explicit option for a secure format) however if you Shift+F10 you can using command prompt and diskpart to wipe them (typing "diskpart clean all" should be enough to zero out all of your drives). Recovering anything after that is really only possible in theory. Multipass formatting is for nutters and only serves to wear out your drive.

When do you do the Shift+F10 then? In Windows after the format and reinstall is complete? Also, does that command overwrite the drive with 0's?

I know professionals can get data back from almost anything. What I'm concerned with is only really to make sure that it's not as easy as downloading some software and pull back the formatted data because it's only the registry that's removed, while the files are still there until they're overwritten. The data on the machines isn't all that sensitive, mainly family photos, otherwise I would pull the drives.

Saregon:
When do you do the Shift+F10 then? In Windows after the format and reinstall is complete? Also, does that command overwrite the drive with 0's?

Shift+F10 when you are selecting what partition to install Windows on during the installation will bring up command prompt. Cleaning with diskpart will zero out everything so nothing should be recoverable. This will do more than a standard quick format which only recreates the required partition data but leaves everything largely untouched until it is eventually overwritten. Once it finishes then you can create new partitions and install Windows.

Or you could just install Windows normally and wipe the free space using CCleaner afterwards. That'd probably be the simpler route.

There are programs that will wipe a drive clean, and overwrite the drive as many times as you feel secure with. I would think that'd be enough to make you feel secure.

Couldn't you copy the same file over and over again to fill up the drive and THEN use CCleaner to wipe said drive?

 

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