Available Tools to Run a Low-Level Format or Secure Erase on Intel® Optane™ Solid State Drives


Maintenance & Performance



The following are some possible problem scenarios where you should consider running a low-level format or secure erase on the Intel® Optane™ SSD:

  • If the operating system experiences slowness or freezing.
  • If errors seen during installation of an operating system.
  • If failures seen during read or write diagnostics.
  • If errors seen during a regular format/initialization or partition on the SSD.
  • If there are suspected issues with data integrity on the SSD.

Keep in mind that a low-level format or secure erase will remove all data contained on the SSD. If the SSD is the boot drive, a fresh installation of the operating system is recommended after the low-level format or secure erase.

Important Always back up your data before running a low-level format or secure erase.

Available tools

The Intel® Memory and Storage tool has the capability to perform a low-level format or secure erase. Some recommendations along with how-to instructions are available at How to Low-Level Format an Intel SSD with the Intel® Memory and Storage Tool.

Alternatively, a third-party tool could also be used to perform these operations. Here are some third-party tools that you can also use to run a low-level format:

  • A quick format done through Windows* sets up an empty file system on the disk and installs a boot sector. The full format in Windows* does the same as a quick format and scans the whole disk for defects.
  • A low-level format queries each cell to see if it has been written to. This format then writes a zero to the cell. This type of format is also known as zeroing the drive, or flushing the drive.
  • A secure erase deletes all data from the drive. This means that the system writes 1 and 0 on the drives, which causes minimum wear of the drive.
  • We provide links to third-party tools and sites for your convenience. We don't necessarily endorse the content, products, or services offered there. We don't offer support for third-party tools.