Windows – Can a Military-Grade wipe harm an SSD

hard drivepartitioningssdwindows 7

I recently sold my 128GB Crucial M4 SSD (I have a much larger capacity OCZ SSD, which is faster), and need to wipe the drive.

I know that the 'toughest' wipe that can be done is a 35 zero-write military-grade 'nuke', which essentially wipes the data on the drive 35 times over.

I wouldn't normally bother with this secure-erase, but the drive contained classified high-security software files of my own creation, and I really do not want anybody else to gain access to the information.
There's rumors that just a single format will do it, but I've tested this and my drive-recovery software was able to find the files after the SSD was formatted.

No, I'm not going to destroy the actual SSD, since that'll be a waste of money, and the fact that I've already sold it for a fairly handsome price.

My question is, can a 35 zero-write wipe harm an SSD?
I will continue researching on how to wipe my data completely (I know that formatting just recreates the partition table, and doesn't remove the actual files), but I'm curious whether the 35 zero-write will harm an SSD in any way.

Best Answer

I've written an answer in the past on wiping drives. Its tangential to your question but there's no practical purpose in doing a 35 pass DOD wipe on a modern drive. The guttman method, which the DOD wipe is based on assumes you were wiping a drive with much bigger data domains than a modern drive, with unknown internal encoding.

As for damage, while 35 passes is quite a lot of writing, modern SSDs, even MLC and TLC drives quite happily handle thousands of cycles and terabytes of writes -There are many endurance tests floating around online such as this.While entirely pointless, this isn't likely to appreciatably reduce your drive's lifespan. What you really want to do is a sata secure erase - which tells the drive you want those sectors erased, and incidentally dosen't need 35 passes.