Will a file shredder hurt my SSD?

KamilKozyra February 3, 2013

Hi, how are you doing? I use a Samsung 840 series 250GB SSD in my laptop. Will using a shredder like Freeraser hurt my SSD’s performance? TRIM is enabled.

Thanks :)

  1. Joey Kilian
    February 6, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Once or twice should be fine. Just don't use it once a week.

  2. Oron Joffe
    February 3, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Adding to what others have already said, it's important to know *why* there's no need for more than one pass. On mechanical hard discs, every write operation leaves a "residue" of the magnetic state of the bit before it was written. Thus, with suitable equipment, one could (in theory anyway) read data that has been erased, much as one can read text that has been erased from a piece of paper. This does not happen in SSDs. Once you have written a "1" or a "0", that is the only value that can be read from that bit.
    Therefore, to securely erase your disc, you only need to write on it once, and this will have a minimal impact on the lifespan of the SSD.

  3. ha14
    February 3, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Depends if Freeraser support Trim. if yes then all LBAs on the are marked for deletion, or when you quick shred tall LBAs are TRIMed and thus marked for deletion.

    If Freeraser do not support Trim, then LBAs are not Trim marked so SSD will keep track of the data on them until they are reused. This will cause extra wear on the SSD so on life span and performance.

    TRIM is a SATA command that enables the operating system to tell an SSD what blocks of previously saved data are no longer needed as a result of file deletions or using the format command. When an LBA is replaced by the OS, as with an overwrite of a file, the SSD knows that the original LBA can be marked as stale or invalid and it will not save those blocks during garbage collection. If the user or operating system erases a file (not just remove parts of it), the file will typically be marked for deletion, but the actual contents on the disk are never actually erased. Because of this, the SSD does not know the LBAs that the file previously occupied can be erased, so the SSD will keep garbage collecting them.[26][27][28]

    The introduction of the TRIM command resolves this problem for operating systems which support it like Windows 7,[27] Mac OS (latest releases of Snow Leopard, Lion, and Mountain Lion, patched in some cases),[29] and Linux since 2.6.33.[30] When a file is permanently deleted or the drive is formatted, the OS sends the TRIM command along with the LBAs that are no longer containing valid data. This informs the SSD that the LBAs in use can be erased and reused. This reduces the LBAs needing to be moved during garbage collection. The result is the SSD will have more free space enabling lower write amplification and higher performance.[26][27][28]
    If a particular block were programmed and erased repeatedly without writing to any other blocks, the one block would wear out before all the other blocks, thereby prematurely ending the life of the SSD. For this reason, SSD controllers use a technique called wear leveling to distribute writes as evenly as possible across all the flash blocks in the SSD. In a perfect scenario, this would enable every block to be written to its maximum life so they all fail at the same time. Unfortunately, the process to evenly distribute writes requires data previously written and not changing (cold data) to be moved, so that data which are changing more frequently (hot data) can be written into those blocks. Each time data are relocated without being changed by the host system, this increases the write amplification and thus reduces the life of the flash memory. The key is to find an optimum algorithm which maximizes them both.[38]

  4. salim benhouhou
    February 3, 2013 at 11:09 am

    you can use file shredders but use only one time pass .

  5. Alan Wade
    February 3, 2013 at 8:37 am

    The basic answer is No you will not damage your SSD's performance. At least no more than you would damage an ordinary hard disk's performance.

  6. aditya bhat
    February 3, 2013 at 6:11 am

    hey no worries your file shredder wont hurt your ssd
    go ahead and shred i have done that myself

  7. Manuel Guillermo López Buenfil
    February 3, 2013 at 5:21 am

    What this program does is overwrite the file a certain number of times (1 time in fast destruction, 3 times in forced destruction, and 35 times in ultimate destruction). So the effect will be the same as creating a new file with that size. As Adam mentioned, SSDs aren't very resilient, but they do resist a very big number of uses, enough for this activity to be insignificant.
    A fast destruction (1 overwrite) should be enough. I remember reading that nobody has shown the ability to recover data that has been overwritten once (citation needed).

  8. Jim Chambers
    February 3, 2013 at 3:33 am

    One pass with file shredder should suffice.

  9. Adam Campbell
    February 3, 2013 at 1:55 am

    According to: //www.makeuseof.com/tag/download-hard-drive-of-the-future-101-guide-to-solid-state-drives/, "each transistor may only be written to a certain number of times before it becomes “stuck” and cannot be written to any more" so basically in theory the file shredder will write lots of data over the "chunk" where the file is, lessening the number of remaining writes on the "chunk". In practice however, you shouldn't need to worry about it.

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