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Running hdparm -I /dev/sda on a SanDisk SSD PLUS 1000GB produces this:

not supported: enhanced erase
2min for SECURITY ERASE UNIT

What does that mean?

I assume that I could do hdparm --security-erase PWD to securely delete data within two minutes. Meaning that after issuing the command, the SSD's controller would return zeros (or ones) for all the data on the SSD and within two minutes the SSD's garbage collector would have removed enough electrons from the charge traps to make the data physically unretrievable.

Alternatively, if the SSD encrypts transparently, the security erase feature could replace the encryption key (as discussed here) and make all data unreadable, including HPA and DCO. But I doubt replacing the key takes two minutes, leaving me in the dark what the "2min for" refers to.

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From SanDisk's Knowledge Base:

Secure Erase is different from Sanitize because it only deletes the mapping table but will not erase all blocks that have been written to. Sanitize will delete the mapping table and will erase all blocks that have been written to. Therefore, Secure Erase is faster to complete than Sanitize. After you erase the drive using Secure Erase or Sanitize, all user data will be permanently destroyed on the selected drive. This data cannot be recovered.

2 minutes would imply that the mapping table is being overwritten.

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  • Thanks! Does the "2min" mean that the mapping table is overwritten within two minutes? That seems a bit long to me. Dec 17, 2022 at 11:18
  • I couldn't find any data on how many overwrites, or what post checks - there could be a bit of this done in 2 mins
    – Rory Alsop
    Dec 17, 2022 at 12:07

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