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Question about formatting SSD before reinstalling Windows

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I want to reinstall Windows on my SSD, how do you guys usually do this? Do you secure erase the SSD or can I simply use the format function during the Windows install?

I'm still more or less a noob when it comes to SSDs :D

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I generally choose not to use secure erase but just the Windows format tool. Secure erase just causes needless wear on the drive.

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Well there you go :o

I have always used secure erase, didn't realise I was wearing the drive unnecessarily, thought it was necessary to restore full speed.

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See, that's why I'm asking :D I already heard both arguments... and I really don't know what's better.

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Maybe it depends on the drive itself? Just rechecked my original thread on the OCZ forums, I was told to always use secure erase and never format.:59:

Edited by Jimbo
wrong smilie

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Hmm, I guess since my drive supports TRIM a simple quick format should be sufficient, at least that would make sense to me. If anyone has some more info let me know, I'll reinstall tomorrow (or more accurate today, wow, it's already late :D).

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Pretty sure mine does also, but go with what Brian said, I have no experience with Intel drives & he has the same model as you.

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Secure erase is useful when you need to restore factory performance to your SSD or when you want to make sure that there are no leftovers in case you want to sell it, my SSD is SLC based and I really don't worry about the wear and tear plus it doesn't support TRIM and therefore every time I want to reinstall Windows I secure erase it first and then proceed with the rest.

FYI, formatting an SSD does not restore its performance, only TRIM can (for MLC based SSDs) and secure erase for both SLC and MLC.

In your case, that you have an MLC based SSD, you can go ahead and format your drive without having to secure erase it, the performance difference does not justify the time you will spend doing it or the wear and tear to your NANDs. Once you have Windows installed and TRIM will kick in, you will get almost optimal performance.

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@StamatisX - Your name is hard to spell. ;)

But thanks for that, I'm going with format from now on. My drive wasn't cheap originally, want to get max life from it. Even though it's bound to end up as a ridiculously fast storage drive once I move to SATA3.:38_002:

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@Jimbo LOL yeah I know, if you break it to: sta - ma' - tis is easier... wink.png

Indeed, protecting the SSD from excessive wear and tear is a good practice but I wouldn't be so worried about it... I mean you will probably have it replaced before it starts having problems. Checking SMART attributes once in a while will definitely help you detect potential failure of the SSD and protect you from a possible loss of data. For me it is more important to have an SSD with a reliable controller rather reliable NANDs, if NANDs start failing you can restore a big percentage of your data and have enough time to make a backup, if the controller fails though just paint it blue and throw it in the sea...

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