From time to time it's just better to clean everything off of the table and to start over with a fresh surface - and it's the same with SSDs. The Secure Erase feature sends voltage to the SSD which deletes all of the data and puts the drive back in a fresh out of box state.
You cannot secure erase a drive if the operating system is on it from within Windows. To make life easier Samsung has also added a utility that will build a bootable partition on a flash drive and load a secure erase software tool. You simply reboot the system with the thumb drive still plugged in and set that device in the BIOS to boot to. The software will secure erase your drive, taking everything off of it including your Windows installation and data. So, remember to backup all your data.
As a SSD reviewer, I secure erase a lot of SSDs. In my experience with testing Magician's SE tool, I found it easier to erase a drive with Intel's RAID setting over Intel's AHCI setting.
The newest tab inside Magician is the one everyone is talking about, Rapid Mode. The version of Magician 4.2 reviewers tested only works with the new Samsung 840 EVO. We tried Rapid Model with an 840 and 840 PRO, but the software did not pass the recommended requirements test.
Samsung stated at the 2013 SSD Global Summit that the 840 PRO would be eligible for Rapid Mode, but didn't say if the 840 would be omitted from eligibility. There isn't anything technically limiting Rapid from working with the 840 or any other SSD for that matter, other than settings.
I honestly wouldn't be surprised to see someone hacking the software or the system registry to get Rapid working on other SSDs as well.
This is the first time we've written a deep dive on Samsung's Magician software, although we covered it in our 840 PRO reviews around a year ago. The software is progressing nicely, something we like seeing with products included as accessories with SSD purchases.
At this time, only a very small number of companies include software tools with consumer SSDs and I feel the inclusion of such a useful feature really will drive our readers to certain brands. Corsair, Intel and Samsung has the most robust packages on the consumer side and the Intel and Samsung software packages even work with the company's enterprise SSDs.
As the tab for Rapid Mode notes, Samsung is moving beyond the intended purpose of such software and is adding in advanced features. Adding Rapid Mode is a big feature and it will increase the number of users installing Magician on their PCs. This is a software step forward for consumer SSDs and it comes at a time when the hardware, mainly the NAND flash, is taking a step back in both latency and endurance. To continue to move forward, software solutions are needed to overcome hardware problems. Samsung has their quicker-fixer-upper ready to go, but we can't say that about other SSD manufacturers at this stage.
Look for Samsung to release Magician 4.2 in the coming days when e-tails ship the new Samsung 840 EVO SSDs.
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