I have a 240 GB ssd that contains my entire system (distro and kernel). I want to wipe it and start fresh following these instructions: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/SSD_memory_cell_clearing

Will doing so from within the system itself create any problems? I plan to reinstall a new distro from a bootable USB afterwards. Also I don't intend to back up the drive as there is nothing on it I need.

  • Why not just wipe the drive from your bootable USB device? – Stephen Kitt Mar 7 '15 at 21:39
  • I considered that but my SSD was partitioned with lvm and encrypted with luks. Will that have an effect on installing from the USB? – Nick Aguila Mar 7 '15 at 21:45
  • 4
    No, if you're going to wipe it completely before installing it doesn't matter what's on it currently. – Stephen Kitt Mar 7 '15 at 21:59
  • If I have a bit of paper with Spanish (I can not read spanish) written on it in pencil, then I can erase in as easily as if it was written in English (I can read English). Same if it is encrypted. Same if it is a harddisk or ssd. – ctrl-alt-delor Mar 7 '15 at 22:24
  • easier instructions: blkdiscard /dev/dataloss – frostschutz Mar 7 '15 at 23:09

Given that you're planning on reinstalling from a USB device, I'd recommend wiping your SSD after booting from the USB device rather than doing it from the running system booted off the SSD.

That said, it should be possible to start the wipe from the system booted off the SSD. But there's a fair chance the kernel will panic very shortly thereafter, and given that the secure wipe takes a little time I'm not sure what effect that might have (at least if the kernel reboots after panicking). I suppose the SSD manufacturers handle this properly, especially since it's a security measure, but it's not something I'd like to test on one of my own drives!

  • You may want to wipe/shred the secure data, but I would not trust the ssd. Those things do all sorts of weird things: you can never know if you have deleted some data, unless the device supports a secure delete, and you trust it. But if you trust the encryption, then you don't have to delete. – ctrl-alt-delor Mar 7 '15 at 22:28
  • The instructions Nick linked to perform a secure erase of the device. – Stephen Kitt Mar 7 '15 at 22:33

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