The Solid State Doctor's "Secure Erase" feature is called "Secure Wipe Tool". The Secure Wipe Tool will allow the user to securely delete the entire contents of the drive. This feature will place the drive in its original unformatted RAW state without any file system. The data on your drive cannot be recovered after running a secure wipe. As a safety feature, the Secure Wipe Tool will NOT allow the user to erase the contents of their boot drive.
To test the secure wipe feature of the Solid State Doctor, we plugged our OS RAID volume back in and attached the SanDisk Extreme II we just cloned to, as a secondary drive, and launched the secure wipe tool. A warning message pops up and you confirm that you want to secure wipe the drive by selecting "Yes".
Secure wipe completes in a couple of seconds without the need to hot plug the drive or re-boot your system.
We took a quick look at Windows Disk Manager and secure wipe did in-fact return the drive to a RAW state. We know this because we had to initialize the drive before we could access it, which means the drive is in a RAW state, just like when its secure erased using hdparm or in a factory new state. Knowing that this could have not been an actual "Secure Erase" in a conventional sense, I got on the phone with David Zimmerman, president of LC Technology and asked him about LC Tech's "Secure Wipe" process.
David informed me that a secure wipe is not accomplished in the same way as a secure erase. A secure erase requires a reboot and or a hot plug to accomplish because the BIOS locks the drive. A secure erase command involves sending a charge of sufficient voltage to the NAND to instantly reset it to a new or RAW state (all 0's). LC Technology's proprietary "Secure Wipe" tool utilizes, you guessed it... proprietary technology to accomplish the same end result as a secure erase through different methodology that does not require a restart or hot plugging. All David would tell me is the drive is erased, TRIMMED, and returned to a RAW state all at once permanently erasing all partitions and data, restoring the drives performance to a new state.
Overall the Solid State Doctor SSD Utility Suite 3.0 performed very well. The key features of the software performed perfectly. I can overlook little flaws like the drives internal temperature not registering in the S.M.A.R.T. data and, the fact that you cannot TRIM RAID volumes with the Optimize Tool. The fact that this utility is universal in nature is a really big deal.
Tasks like drive cloning and secure erasing (wiping in this case) that were once a dark art are now as simple as a click of the mouse. Not having to restart or hot plug to securely erase data, clone partitions or regain like new performance are key feature that clients in the enterprise sector will especially appreciate.
I really like the Solid State Doctor SSD Utility Suite 3.0 and this will actually be the first time such a "Tool Box" will remain on my OS partition because it manages to do everything I want from an SSD Utility, nothing I don't want (like running in the system tray on startup) but, most of all I can use it with every single SSD that I own.