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  1. #1
    ROG Member Array The Spirit of Morpheus PC Specs
    The Spirit of Morpheus PC Specs
    MotherboardASUS Maximus X Hero (BIOS Version 1801)
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    Memory (part number)G.Skill Trident Z RGB 2x8GB DDR4-3200 CL14-14-14-34 (1.35V, XMP 2.0, A2 & B2) (F4-3200C14D-16GTZR)
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    Exclamation Maximus X Hero: ASUS Secure Erase despite NVMe-SSD *not* listed in QVL (= dangerous?)

    Hi,

    I did a massive HW Upgrade approx. 2 months ago (new MB, new CPU, new memory, new GPU and new SSD in addition to new HDD, new optical drive and now also a new case). The new Motherboard is the ASUS Maximus X Hero flashed to the latest BIOS version (1801) via USB BIOS Flashback (without CPU being present at the time). A few weeks ago, I started to assemble the new parts together and with my new case having arrived just recently, I'm finally done assembling and the PC is running fine since a few days - at least, I cannot see or find any defects or issues on ANY of the above mentioned components

    Now, I want to Secure Erase my NVMe SSD (Samsung SSD 970 Evo Plus 1TB, M.2 (PCIe x4), released to market End January 2019, no new firmware available yet...), after having already done the same to my HDD. There are 3 ways I can do this: 1.) Secure Erase/Enhanced Secure Erase via Linux command line, 2.) Secure Erase via manufacturer-provided method (preparing a SE bootstick with Samsung Magician software) and 3.) Secure Erase directly from the BIOS/UEFI (Tools -> Secure Erase). With the latest BIOS version 1801, my Maximus X Hero now also supports SE for NVMe-SSDs!

    I want to do method 3.) first, but the above mentioned SSD is not listed in the QVL for Secure Erase (and neither is the regular 970 Evo - the latest Samsung NVMe models listed in the QVL are the 960 Series), which is quite understandable since the "Plus" model came to market AFTER the latest BIOS Update for M10H was released, which was in End December 2018. In particular, I was scared by this warning that is displayed in the "Secure Erase" menu of the "Tools" section:

    "WARNING: Ensure that you run Secure Erase on a compatible SSD. Running Secure Erase on an incompatible SSD will render the SSD totally unusuable.
    NOTE: For the list of Secure Erase-compatible SSDs, visit the ASUS Support site at www.asus.com/support"


    I don't know, what to do now - I don't want to brick my new-purchased SSD, that's for sure...

    T.S.O.M.
    Last edited by The Spirit of Morpheus; 04-06-2019 at 10:07 PM.

  2. #2
    ROG Guru: Yellow Belt Array Guitarmageddon888 PC Specs
    Guitarmageddon888 PC Specs
    MotherboardMaximus x code bios1704
    Memory (part number)8700k 5.1/4.9avx
    Graphics Card #1MSI 2080 gaming trio
    MonitorHP Omen 27"
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Spirit of Morpheus View Post
    Hi,

    I did a massive HW Upgrade approx. 2 months ago (new MB, new CPU, new memory, new GPU and new SSD in addition to new HDD, new optical drive and now also a new case). The new Motherboard is the ASUS Maximus X Hero flashed to the latest BIOS version (1801) via USB BIOS Flashback (without CPU being present at the time). A few weeks ago, I started to assemble the new parts together and with my new case having arrived just recently, I'm finally done assembling and the PC is running fine since a few days - at least, I cannot see or find any defects or issues on ANY of the above mentioned components

    Now, I want to Secure Erase my NVMe SSD (Samsung SSD 970 Evo Plus 1TB, M.2 (PCIe x4), released to market End January 2019, no new firmware available yet...), after having already done the same to my HDD. There are 3 ways I can do this: 1.) Secure Erase/Enhanced Secure Erase via Linux command line, 2.) Secure Erase via manufacturer-provided method (preparing a SE bootstick with Samsung Magician software) and 3.) Secure Erase directly from the BIOS/UEFI (Tools -> Secure Erase). With the latest BIOS version 1801, my Maximus X Hero now also supports SE for NVMe-SSDs!

    I want to do method 3.) first, but the above mentioned SSD is not listed in the QVL for Secure Erase (and neither is the regular 970 Evo - the latest Samsung NVMe models listed in the QVL are the 960 Series), which is quite understandable since the "Plus" model came to market AFTER the latest BIOS Update for M10H was released, which was in End December 2018. In particular, I was scared by this warning that is displayed in the "Secure Erase" menu of the "Tools" section:

    "WARNING: Ensure that you run Secure Erase on a compatible SSD. Running Secure Erase on an incompatible SSD will render the SSD totally unusuable.
    NOTE: For the list of Secure Erase-compatible SSDs, visit the ASUS Support site at www.asus.com/support"


    I don't know, what to do now - I don't want to brick my new-purchased SSD, that's for sure...

    T.S.O.M.
    I have always used parted magic for this sort of thing. It's not free anymore but it's highly useful and good to keep stashed on a thumb drive for these types of uses. As for your original question, yes that would make me nervous too. Not sure the method it uses to do the erasing.
    https://partedmagic.com/nvme-secure-erase/

  3. #3
    ROG Guru: Yellow Belt Array SK8 PC Specs
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    I have used bios Tools , Secure Erase on a SSD not listed in the past BUT it was a older SSD I was not stressed over it if I killed it lol, It did clean it and its still going. But I am not so sure I would use it on a new SSD not listed. I have never used parted magic but it does sound like good advice and your best bet .
    Last edited by SK8; 04-07-2019 at 03:01 PM.
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  4. #4
    ROG Member Array The Spirit of Morpheus PC Specs
    The Spirit of Morpheus PC Specs
    MotherboardASUS Maximus X Hero (BIOS Version 1801)
    ProcessorIntel Core i7-9600K (boxed, soldered, NOT delidded)
    Memory (part number)G.Skill Trident Z RGB 2x8GB DDR4-3200 CL14-14-14-34 (1.35V, XMP 2.0, A2 & B2) (F4-3200C14D-16GTZR)
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    MonitorSamsung SyncMaster PX2370 LED (23.5", TN, LED-Backlight, connected via HDMI)
    Storage #1Samsung SSD 970 Evo Plus 1TB (M.2, PCIe x4, NVMe) (Driver/Firmware v. 3.1.0.1901 / 2B2QEXM7) (M2_1)
    Storage #2Western Digital WD Gold 8TB (3.5", SATA-6G, 256MB Cache, 7200 RPM, helium-filled)
    CPU CoolerNoctua NH-D15 Air Cooler
    CasePhanteks Enthoo Pro Tempered Glass Edition (Midi-Tower, support up to EATX)
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    Hey,

    Thank You both for your replies! I think, I will give ASUS Secure Erase a try - I guess, the warning message is for reference only or a disclaimer, so ASUS is legally covered for the case, someone destroys his/her SSD with that function. Is that so?

    I mean WHY should that function kill a SSD, just because it is not listed in QVL? I don't think, the Samsung 970 Series is fundamentally different to the 960 Series (which is QVL-approved)...

    Does anyone else have experience with this function in conjunction with a "non-approved" NVMe-SSD?

    About Parted Magic: I already know it and it isn't really necessary if you have a recent Linux distribution - it will likely have the NVMe CLI program included and if not, you can manually get it's repository afterwards

    Just my 2 cents,

    T.S.O.M.

  5. #5
    ROG Guru: Yellow Belt Array Guitarmageddon888 PC Specs
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    In doing some more research, it appears there is both a secure erasse as well as a sanitize function in parted magic, and I'm not sure which type Asus refers to in the bios. Older drives could only secure erase while newer can also sanitize. Secure erase would just remove the drives mapping table, while sanitize for newer drives actually removes the table plus all data.

  6. #6
    ROG Guru: Orange Belt Array geneo PC Specs
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    Why not do it with the Samsung secure erase. That will work and is safest.
    Why do you feel you need to secure erase it?

    Btw, all the secure erase should do is send a command to the processors in the ssd and wait for it to finish.
    Last edited by geneo; 04-08-2019 at 09:09 PM.

  7. #7
    ROG Guru: Platinum Belt Array Rockford's Avatar
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    if its not in the QVL, its working better

    in 10 years time i have bought two QVL memory kits that failed, and was not compatible

    so take the QVL with a pinch of salt
    Last edited by Rockford; 04-08-2019 at 02:42 PM.
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  8. #8
    ROG Member Array The Spirit of Morpheus PC Specs
    The Spirit of Morpheus PC Specs
    MotherboardASUS Maximus X Hero (BIOS Version 1801)
    ProcessorIntel Core i7-9600K (boxed, soldered, NOT delidded)
    Memory (part number)G.Skill Trident Z RGB 2x8GB DDR4-3200 CL14-14-14-34 (1.35V, XMP 2.0, A2 & B2) (F4-3200C14D-16GTZR)
    Graphics Card #1Gigabyte GeForce GTX 770 4GB WindForce 3X OC Rev. 2 (FW 425.31 WHQL) (PCIEX16/X8_1)
    Sound CardCreative SoundBlaster X-Fi Titanium PCIe x1 (Driver Version 2.17.0008 / 6.0.1.1348) (PCIEX1_3)
    MonitorSamsung SyncMaster PX2370 LED (23.5", TN, LED-Backlight, connected via HDMI)
    Storage #1Samsung SSD 970 Evo Plus 1TB (M.2, PCIe x4, NVMe) (Driver/Firmware v. 3.1.0.1901 / 2B2QEXM7) (M2_1)
    Storage #2Western Digital WD Gold 8TB (3.5", SATA-6G, 256MB Cache, 7200 RPM, helium-filled)
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    Quote Originally Posted by geneo View Post
    Why not do it with the Samsung secure erase. That will work and is safest.
    Why do you feel you need to secure erase it?
    Because I can't create a bootable USB stick with the Samsung Magician software (Version 5.3) for some unknown reason - probably because I installed Magician on a computer that hasn't any Samsung drive on it. The "Secure Erase" option on the Magician main control panel just won't show up - even when I insert and select a FAT32-formatted usb stick on the control panel...

    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarmageddon888 View Post
    In doing some more research, it appears there is both a secure erase as well as a sanitize function in parted magic, and I'm not sure which type Asus refers to in the bios.
    It has nothing to do with Parted Magic, it's part of the (S)ATA specification - drives with SATA 3.2 (or maybe 3.1) feature set shall support "SANITIZE" commands. The most well-known commands are "SANITIZE OVERWRITE [PATTERN]" (for HDDs only), "SANITIZE BLOCK ERASE" (for SSDs only*) and "SANITIZE CRYPTO SCRAMBLE" (both HDDs and SSDs*, for encrypted drives). Any recent Linux distribution should support the SANITIZE feature set via the hdparm program/command. Newer SCSI drives also support very similar SANITIZE commands.

    Neither the classic ATA Secure Erase/Enhanced Secure Erase nor SANITIZE is of use for NVMe drives, because, as the name implies, these commands are for (S)ATA HDDs and SSDs only (and probably also SCSI drives) - but not for SSDs that use the NVMe/PCIe interface. *However*, nowadays, the NVMe protocol has it's own command set NVMe-CLI - which I mentioned in my first reply. And this command set has it's own "Secure Erase" feature set, which can be used to secure erase/reset NVMe-SSDs. It's either included in recent Linux distributions or it's repository can be manually downloaded/fetched afterwards

    But I'm NOT sure, ASUS Secure Erase is the same or uses the same interface/protocol for it's actions...

    * = for SATA-based devices only; so, only SATA-SSDs can use this command set appropiately/safely. DON'T USE these commands for NVMe/PCIe-SSDs or any other drive that's not connected via SATA interface!

    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarmageddon888 View Post
    Older drives could only secure erase while newer can also sanitize. Secure erase would just remove the drives mapping table, while sanitize for newer drives actually removes the table plus all data.
    Yup, newer drives should support SANITIZE and yes, it seems to be better than classic "Secure Erase" - but it is also slower and possibly also more dangerous (according to tinyapps.org, some HDDs were bricked after being issued the "SANITIZE OVERWRITE" command), so use it with extreme caution!

    T.S.O.M.
    Last edited by The Spirit of Morpheus; 04-08-2019 at 09:15 PM.

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