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Secure erase usb flash drive


Tony Montana

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I'm Interested by the security of the data written on my Voyager GT 16GB.

 

A traditional way to securely erase a hdd drive is to write random data in every sector (LBA) of the disk.

 

With Flash drives, the job is more complex because of the wear leveling of the flash controller.

 

Wear leveling is a technique used to help prolong the life of USB Flash drives. See at http://www.corsairmemory.com/_faq/FAQ_flash_drive_wear_leveling.pdf

 

Data can be written to an address on a flash memory a finite number of times (10000 or 100000), if you write to the same spot over and over and over, it is conceivable that the flash device would wear out at that location. So, flash drives use wear leveling to make sure this does not happen.

 

Wear leveling works to distribute data evenly across each memory block of the entire USB Flash drive. This process decreases the total wear on the drive, thereby increasing the lifetime of the drive.

 

In consequence, when you overwrite a data, the physical blocks containing the data who want to erase, and the physical blocks effectively written are not the same because of the round-robin algorithm of wear leveling. The first physical block are flagged free but not physically erase !

 

I'm looking for a secure way to erase all the physical sectors one time to be sure that no data present before can be recovered.

 

Any idea ?

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