After hours of more digging I finally found Parted Magic and followed the tutorial here. I checked my drive with smart defrag, and the analysis still shows it has insansley defraged. Is this normal? Does the app just not read the blocks correctley? Going to run HDTune in a moment to check my before and after scores.
This is the procedure, which worked for me and my 2 Intel X-25M SSD's running in RAID0:
1. Make a complete backup of your RAID array and store it onto a hdd.
2. Create a bootable MS DOS medium (floppy, CD or USB stick) with HDDERase v3.3.
(HDDErase 4.0 doesn't work with Intel Postville SSD's)
3. Make sure, that your SSD's are connected with the first SATA ports (port0 and port1).
4. Enter the RAID ROM Utility (CTRL+I) and delete the RAID array.
4. Set the SATA Controllers of your SSD's to "IDE" or "Compatible" mode.
5. Disable the other SATA Controllers.
6. Boot off the DOS medium.
7. Run HDDErase.exe and do a secure erase with both SSD's one after the other.
8. While rebooting enter the BIOS and set the SATA Controllers to "RAID".again.
9. Enter the RAID ROM Utility and recreate the RAID array.
10. Reboot, enter the BIOS again and make sure, that the RAID is the first bootable hdd (Option "HARD DISK BOOT PRIORITY").
11. Recover your RAID backup by using the backup you have done at step 1.
12. Boot into your OS, which is on the RAID0 array.
EDIT: When I wrote my report about how I safely erased my SSD's running in RAID0 I forgot to mention, that I broke the RAID before starting the procedure and recreated it at the end.
Since using Parted Magic, do I really need to use HDDErase? Parted Magic offers the Secure Erase feature, and it even works with the disks still in RAID, so I just wonder if HDDE offers any benefit over PM? As I understand it, the principal of HDDE is that it uses the Secure Erase command. PM offers this, and many other features. So from what I can see they are the same thing are they not? My benchmarks were much better this time, and Random Access scores were better as well. Although typically, random access wise, the scores were not up by much. We are talking about a matter of dropping from 2 ms to 1 ms, which is still far ahead of all my mechanical drives.
As for the tips, thanks but I already tried all of that. I made sure to disconnect the sata cables on all my other drives to be safe to make sure there was no way to format them. I tried both ACHI and IDE using the guide here. However when I got to step 3,Issue the ATA Secure Erase command, I got a permission denied error. So I tried it as sudo. Then it said sudo time was not a valid command. I tried to switch to superuser, although oddly the command prompt never changed from a $ to a #, but it still denied me permission.
So as long as the secure erase was issued,and did not brick my SSDs, then there is no need to get HDDErase working is there?
It is not easy to verify what happened to the SSD after doing a secure erase with any tool, which has not been approved for it.
Until now I always followed the advice of the technical experts and used just HDDErase 3.3 for doing a secure erase of my Intel X-25M SSD's ("Postville"),.
Well any idea how to get it working then? As I said, the tips you provided simply did not work. These were the exact steps I tried, with no avail sadly. And also you say HDDErase 4.0 is not compatible with the Postville SSDs, but I thought that was fixed with the latest firmware updatem or was that pertaining to a diffrent model? I know I saw mention of this here on the forums numerous times, but I do not recall a reference to a specific model.
Well any idea how to get it working then? As I said, the tips you provided simply did not work.
It works, if you are doing the correct BIOS settings. Since each mainboard model has different BIOS setting options, it is not easy to let you know the special settings for your mainboard.
Although it was not always easy, I succeeded at least with the secure erase of my Intel SSD by using HDDErase 3.3 with different mainboards and even with a notebook.
Your step by step is useless with out one critical detail. From the Toolbox User Guide:
Secure Erase cannot be run on a bootable SSD or on an SSD with a partition.
This statement done by Intel is only valid for the Intel Toolbox, because this application can only be run from within Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 and the OS wouldn't work anymore after the erasure of all data.
Contrary to the Intel Toolbox it is no problem to do a secure erase with the tool HDDErase on a bootable SSD containing the OS partition, because this tool only needs a DOS environment and it is very easy to create a bootable floppy, CD or USB with just the required DOS files and the file HDDERASE.EXE.
Since all data of all SSD partitions will be deleted after having done the secure erase, it is very important, that the user has done a complete backup of the SSD content before going to execute the HDDERASE.EXE.
Well after yet many many hours wasted trying to get hdderase working again, I give up! I am convinced the app will not work on my current PC. I suspect it has something to do with the SATA controller as I have searched and searched and tried every damn trick on the Internet...I tried disconnecting the power cable or data/sata cables and tried to boot hdderase. No luck. I deleted the RAID array, Deleted all the data off the disks. Set the discs to IDE mode and disabled the extra 7th SATA controller. Hell I even tried to boot an SSD off the 7th SATA port which is a Jmicron controller vs Intel Controller and still a big fail. I tried to launch Mini XP(Live copy of WinXP) and tried to install the SSD Toolbox but it failed because the .NET framework 2 was not installed. That wouldnt install due top limitations set for the OS. Tried to configure the settings myself, with no luck. It would be fantastic if Intel simply provided an official bootable no fus tool to secure erase our SSDs, but I doubt that will ever happen. Untill that day, I will stick with Parted Magic. Nice simple GUI, and it executes the Secure Erase command. It also offers Enhanced Secure Erase which claims to write a predetermined amount of data to the disk as stated by the SSD manufacturer. I can't comment on how well it follows any official specs from Intel but it executes Secure Erase with no fuss. What more can you ask for when HDDErase refuses to work? You know just as well as I do this forum is littered with probably a hundred or more threads with people trying to get HDDErase to work. Searching the Internet through google increases that to potentially thousands imo. There is no shortage of thread with people who simply can not get HDDErase working. I am truly disappointed in Intel lack of support on this matter. I do not mean my specific issue, but the major problems faced by users trying to use HDDErase in general.