SSD Destruction

Drive Disintegration

Drive disintegration is the only process that we currently recommend for destruction of solid-state drives. Drive disintegration is a shredding process using approved hardware that reduces the drives to ultra-fine particles measuring no more than 4mm square.

The National Security Agency (NSA) provides guidance for high security SSD destruction in NSA/CSS Storage Device Sanitization Manual 9-12. It requires high security SSD destruction devices to “reduce any solid state storage device to particles measuring four millimeters square or less in area (2mm by 2mm is the most common particle size)”.

In addition to following NSA regulations for high security standards, we also look to The Center for Memory and Recording Research at UC San Diego (CMRR) for guidance on best practices and potential considerations for emerging technologies.

The research at the CMRR has proven that:

  • Traditional degaussing techniques DO NOT work for SSD’s
  • Overwrites can be effective occasionally but results were poor overall
  • Built-in ATA commands were effective but not across all drives
  • None of the traditional sanitization processes used for HDD’s were effective.

Based on our own experience along with the research at the CMMR at UCSD and the NSA’s guidance, our top recommendation for disposing of SSD’s with sensitive data is to always use the drive disintegration process.