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[Tutorial] Restoring SSD performance and imaging Disk


ewarwoowar

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I have good luck using my MB ESata port because it is tied to a separate Jmicron controller (ASUS Maxumus III) that I can switch on or off in Bios. I couple it to a TT Docking bay.

 

First I do a complete shut down ... Power off. Then disconnect all system drives.

 

Next I install the SSD in the dock and power it up. Then I boot to my Parted Magic CD. At his point the only drive in the system is the SSD. I secure erase with the Esata port active and it works every time. I think the trick is more the cold boot than anything because it unlocks the drive but having the separate controller seems to help too.

 

I fought the same thing until I came across this trick through many trial and error attempts. I have (had) 4 R60's in Raid so finding something that worked fast was needed. I would just repete the process with a cold boot each time for each drive. It took about 45 minutes to erase all. Then I would connect the remaining drives, create the new array and re image using Acronis. Whole job took about an hour to back in operation.

 

Obviously this works for me with my system but if you have Esata maybe it is worth a shot.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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I had a strange problem.

 

I was having some major issues with my computer crashing, and eventually theorized that the RAID was becoming unstable or a drive was corrupted or something. So I wanted to secure erase the drives.

 

I successfully got up the the very last window for Secure Erase in PartedMagic, but when I activated it, the final window (the one that's supposed to disappear when the drive is finished erasing) disappears in 1-2 seconds. No error messages, no explanations. Clearly the drive could not have finished erasing in one second.

 

In light of this, I was forced to use the External Erase features instead of the Internal Secure Erase. My computer is working fine now, but I don't think External Erase does anything for performance recovery, so its not something I'd want to use.

 

Any ideas why the Internal Erase command was behaving oddly? Ive used IDE, AHCI, RAID, unplugged the drives before booting, the works!

 

Even before PartedMagic, I tried HDD Erase, but I don't think it likes my motherboard or something, because the drives never show up there.

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  • Corsair Employee
When you run Parted magic after the secure erase command just run the partition editor and see if the partition is still there if it is then it is not erased. And you will have to hot plug the drive to unlock it before you run the secure erase command.
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When you run Parted magic after the secure erase command just run the partition editor and see if the partition is still there if it is then it is not erased. And you will have to hot plug the drive to unlock it before you run the secure erase command.

 

But is it even possible for the drive to be properly erased in 2 seconds? That doesn't seem possible. Even if the partitions don't show up, couldn't that simply mean that the MBR was cleared or something, but not necessarily that the drive was fully zeroed out? Also, I booted PM with the drives disconnected from power and data too, so they were unlocked too.

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There is no need to erase an ssd using Parted Magic and having the headache of having your disk in a frozen state.

Within Acronis program there is in the Tools and Utilities section the Acronis DriveCleanser Tool, according to the help section it utilizes a number of the most popular data destruction algorithms such as:

 

Algorithm (writing method)

Passes

Record

 

Fast

1

Logical zeros (0x00 numbers) to all sectors to shred.

 

United States Department of Defense 5220.22-M

4

1st pass – randomly selected symbols to each byte of each sector, 2 – complementary to written during the 1st pass; 3 – random symbols again; 4 – writing verification.

 

United States: NAVSO P-5239-26 (RLL)

4

1st pass – 0x01 to all sectors, 2 – 0x27FFFFFF, 3 – random symbol sequences, 4 – verification.

 

United States: NAVSO P-5239-26 (MFM)

4

1st pass – 0x01 to all sectors, 2 – 0x7FFFFFFF, 3 – random symbol sequences, 4 – verification.

 

German: VSITR

7

1st – 6th – alternate sequences of: 0x00 and 0xFF; 7th – 0xAA; i.e. 0x00, 0xFF, 0x00, 0xFF, 0x00, 0xFF, 0xAA.

 

Russian: GOST P50739-95

1

Logical zeros (0x00 numbers) to each byte of each sector for 6th to 4th security level systems. Randomly selected symbols (numbers) to each byte of each sector for 3rd to 1st security level systems.

 

Peter Gutmann

35

Peter Gutmann's method is very sophisticated. It's based on his theory of hard disk information wiping (see http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/secure_del.html).

 

Bruce Schneier

7

Bruce Schneier offers a seven-pass overwriting method in his Applied Cryptography book. 1st pass – 0xFF, 2nd pass – 0x00, and then five times with a cryptographically secure pseudo-random sequence.

 

So creating a bootable rescue media usb or cd (personally I prefer the usb method) you can do all the work, making backups, secure erasing and restoring a backup.;):

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But the goal here isn't necessarily destruction of data, but restoration of drive performance. From that standpoint, which (if any) of those methods would return the drive to factory fresh? Is there a method on there to Zero every byte?

 

Edit: I notice there is an option in there to create your own algorithm. If you simply have it write the pattern "00" to overwrite all the data, would that be like the internal secure erase command? I am fuzzy on all the fine points of drive wiping.

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I am having a problem here while attempting to use Erase Disk from Parted Magic. When I select the Internal cleaning option I receive an error message that says something like it only works with drives with a security mode feature set option on it. Thus, I couldn't go any further.

 

I am using the P128 SSD (which I just purchased a month ago) with the latest updates and w/ TRIM support.

 

What is the problem?

 

PS - I've tried with the SSD in ACHI and IDE.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Writing 00 to each location on a SSD is not the same as a "Secure Erase" function. Several of us have tried writing "00", "FF", and it does not work to truly restore your drive performance. This is why people are backing up thier entire SSD and erasing it. It would be nice to have a program that just erased unused space periodically or when you wanted but that is not the case. There are two options that I know of if you want to make your drive as fast as possible without doing a backup... 1. If your SSD supports TRIM, use an OS that also supports TRIM. 2. If you have a P series, ensure it has more than 15% free space and when you computer powers up, stop it at the BIOS screen and leave it be for a few hours. If you have the current firmware it will automatically secure erase the unused areas.

 

It's my personnal belief that no one should have to routinely backup and secure erase a SSD just to maintain performance. It's a crock of crap. I for one can't wait for a reasonable priced 500GB fast SSD that works as it should without extra user maintenance.

 

Sorry for jumping off topic.

 

-Joe

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JDawggS316

You will need to use another MB and or controller to run the Secure erase on.

I have an MSI MB that does the same thing and I have to move the drives to another MB to erase them TG for Hot swap bays.

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  • 2 weeks later...
But is it even possible for the drive to be properly erased in 2 seconds? That doesn't seem possible...

Yes

We are talking about SSD (it will take a lot longer on a HDD), so it can take less than 10 seconds and it depends on the speed and size of the SSD. On my P128 it took around 8 seconds.

 

This is the difference on performance after following the tutorial above on a Corsair P128

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v219/jojesa/Untitled.jpg

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What happens if you just do a quick format with 32k allocation and you dont do secure erase with parted magic. I recieved a x64 as replacement, its still sealed do i need to do the above tutorial to install windows7.

 

A secure erase erases all data and writes the value "0" to all cells making them overwritable. This is also what Trim does over time. A cell with any other value than "0" is regarded as filled by the OS and will not be overwritten.

 

Somebody correct me if i am wrong, but if you do a format without secure erasing the disk first, it will leave the used, non "0" cells unformatted?

 

If you have received a disk from Corsair it is secure erased already, so just do a format.

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ok so that means install the ssd in case and insert windows 7 disk and install. sorry for all the questions.

 

i would reccomend you to hook it up and format it on another PC before you install 7. . This do assure functionality. Nothing worse than coming half way through the installation to find out there's something wrong with the disk.

 

Cheers,

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See im asking all these questions because the 1st x64 I installed and installed windows 7 without parted magic tutorial, then ran it for a few months and it was fast geez. So I wanted to install windows 7 64bit. I then booted up with normal hdd and used ssd as secondary and went to my computer and quick formatted it with 4k allocation after that the drive just crashed and had to be replaced. I guess my question is can a ssd drive be quick formatted without using parted magic and when i done that why did my ssd mess up and be replaced. Also what allocation for Corsair x64, i used 4k and the ssd messed up. i jst want to be 100% before i use the ssd again because its still sealed and lying in my draw. thanks
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I have had some problems with this. I am sure that I followed every step as accurately as possible (except for Part D as I am only using a single drive, and not RAID), but after using Acronis to restore the image to the SSD, the system refused to boot. It got to a point where it had on the screen

Controller Bus 0..... and some other parameters, but refuse to go any further unless I disconnected my SDD. I've had to reformat the SSD and restart from scratch :(

 

If anybody has any ideas as to what might have gone wrong, I would love to hear them!

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Ok my questions and research has finally paid off, I used the tutorial and it works. I could not secure erase my ssd at home coz of the frozen state(my motherboard I guess) so i took it to work and done on my work machine and worked 100%. formatted it with 32k:). I printed the entire tutorial so i can have it next to me just in case;). speeds look nice, thanks guys.

 

Before Tutorial

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z239/clintgunit1234/atto-1.jpg

 

After Tutorial

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z239/clintgunit1234/after.jpg

 

Crystal Disk Info

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z239/clintgunit1234/after1.jpg

 

My crystal disk info image why dont i have the the power on count result and what does that window mean with all the Raw Values.

 

 

Now just to load my Windows7 image with Acronis boot disk and check again with ATTO. With a little help from Megan Fox, I love my ssd.

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Thats why this tutorial is outdated now becuase I wrote this before TRIM. The only reason this is valid is for SSDs that haven't had a firmware update to support TRIM or for drives in a RAID configuration.
So, does the V128 with shipping firmware support TRIM? My Win7 system claims it's enabled.
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