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What You Need to Know About Solid State Drive Destruction

By Shopify API March 26, 2019

Efficiently erasing data from solid state drives (SSDs) is a critical component of managing your secure data. Since the internal technology behind SSDs are different than hard drive disks (HDDs), the method of destruction must also be different. It’s helpful to first look at the differences between SSDs and HDDs to understand the need for different destruction methods. SSD? HDD? What’s the difference? [caption id="attachment_4744" align="alignright" width="300"]solid state drive shred 108 solid state SSD shred from the 108 Solid State Drive Shredder[/caption] HDDs have been around a long time and consist of moving parts. A spindle (sort of like the arm on a record player) holds platters coated with a thin layer of magnetic material that write information on the drive when it is spinning. HDDs are encased in a metal casing. Hard drives typically use electricity to spin the platters, which generate more heat and noise, than SSDs.  More recently, SSDs have become the popular option. Unlike the traditional HDD, SSDs consist of no moving parts. They are made up of memory chips connected by circuits with a connector. SSDs are lighter than HHDs because they do not have the rotating disks or spindle that the HDD requires. Why does the destruction method of an SSD differ from an HDD? Since HDDs store information magnetically, one of the most popular ways to destroy them is by the method of degaussing. A hard drive degausser employs the process of using strong  magnetic fields (measured in gauss, or oersteds) that demagnetizes the hard drive, making the data unretrievable. At Whitaker Brothers, we recommend pairing degaussing with physical destruction to ensure your your sensitive data remains unrecoverable. Since SSDs do not contain magnetic parts like the HDD, you can’t destroy it with a degausser. Since HDDs and SSDs have different considerations regarding proper destruction of media, it’s important to know that inserting a solid state drive into a hard drive shredder would not be recommended. If you already have a hard drive shredder, it is possible for it to shred solid state drives, but you should know that that there are new technologies that have come out that can do a better job at tackling modern storage media, such as the extremely data dense SSDs

What is the best way to destroy a solid state drive?

In order to guarantee complete destruction of solid state media, it is crucial to destroy your SSDs to the smallest possible particle size.  Physical destruction is the best way to destroy your SSDs ensuring that your data is safe. Whitaker Brothers has a line of trusted destroyers and shredders guaranteed to destroy your solid state drive down to shred sizes as small as 0.16” x 0.6”.

[caption id="attachment_4745" align="alignleft" width="300"]solid state drive and shredded solid state drive from the 108 hard drive shredder A side by side comparison of an SSD and the resulting shred particles after being run through the 108 solid state shredder[/caption]

CRUSH: The Datastroyer Spike Destroyers work by delivering up to 20 tons of force to your SSD through 187 interlocking razor sharp teeth to physically destroy your SSD and render it useless.

ELECTRIC SHOCK:  If you are unsatisfied with this level of destruction, some of our destroyers also offer a feature that will send an electrical pulse through the destroyed media to ensure proper destruction.

SHRED: Also available is the newest machine that is capable of destroying solid state drives, the Datastroyer 108 Solid State Shredder. Unlike other drive shredders on the market, this machine is specifically designed to reduce solid state media to shred waste particle size smaller than what any other drive shredder can do. This shredder works by using claw-like cutting cylinders to pull the digital media through the machine, shredding it into 0.15” x 0.598” pieces. The 108 solid state is ideal for on site destruction of solid state drives. Due to the rapid modernization of technology, destroying your SSDs at the end of their life is essential to reducing the risk of a data breach.  If you’re unsure whether your current procedure of solid state destruction is effective, give us a call and we’ll let you know know what you can do to improve your data security method.  

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