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I sometimes replace SSDs in our office PCs with bigger and faster ones. A few days after doing that, I want to wipe the old SSDs because they might contain sensitive company data.

Back in the old days, when we used HDDs, I just plugged them into my USB-SATA Docking station and wiped them by overwriting them with random data.

Obviously, we don't do that for SSDs; instead, we use the "secure erase" feature with some tool provided by the SSD manufacturer (Samsung Magician, in my case).

Unfortunately, Samsung Magician does not recognize an SSD connected via USB. Thus, the only way I found was to shut down my PC, crawl underneath my desk, disassemble my PC, install the drive as an internal drive, wipe it, and then do everything in reverse.

I'd like to avoid that. Can I somehow connect SSDs externally to my PC and still have them recognized my Samsung Magician (or securely erase them some other way)? I read about eSATA (external SATA), but my motherboard does not provide an eSATA connector.

  • You need a bench PC for doing this, that way you don't have to crawl around on the floor. I see no other way to do what you want. – Moab Mar 5 at 13:41
  • @Moab: I think I found another way: There are internal SATA docking stations, which can be installed in a drive bay and (hopefully) just pass the SATA signal through. Since my motherboard supports SATA hot plug, that should be exactly what I need. I just ordered one and will report back if it works. – Heinzi Mar 5 at 14:31
  • Nice solution!. – Moab Mar 5 at 17:36
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Instead of a USB-SATA docking station, get an internal SATA docking station (Example).

They allow you to attach an SSD without disassembling your PC, but still connect the SSD directly via SATA. If your motherboard supports SATA hot plug (might need to be enabled in your BIOS settings), you don't need to shut down your PC to switch SSDs.

I was able to successfully secure erase a Samsung SSD using Samsung Magician this way. (Unfortunately, Magician forces you to boot from a USB stick to secure erase a drive, so you won't be able to avoid the reboot.)

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