How to securely wipe/shred data from USB flash stick

I want to securely wipe data from my Sandisk USB flash drives

The usual File Shredder and other shred apps which work great for HDD apparently don’t work well on USB flash drives. The repeated wipes wear out the drive’s life, and additionally due to the way the USB allocates each wipe to different parts of the drive (wear levelling), the original data could stay intact in parts of the USB memory.

I know about smashing/incinerating and encrypting data at the outset (that wasn’t done). I want the drive to be useable but have all sensitive data wiped beyond recovery.

There is Secure Erase and Sanitize but they seem to be for SSD cards and I can’t find how to do something like that.


in that case what you can do with the usb flas drive is to perform a slow deep format with the drive. so you can perform a normal format and ensure that you uncheck the quick format. 

for the detailed steps you can visit this link

Thanks for the idea, but from my research if it was as simple as a deep format then that is what would have been recommended more widely. It seems that deep format doesn’t do the trick on a USB flash drive, you need to invoke the media’s secure erase function somehow.

IMO Considering the price of new flash drives, smash them with a hammer, throw them away and buy new ones.

I have got a SanDisk Cruzer Blade 16GB, i think this is a Flash Drive.

It could be that there is a virus, trojan or so on it.

That’s why I want to wipe/erase the SanDisk Drive completely and securely.

I have read that it is a bit tricky to erase Flash Drives or SSDs, in comparison to normal HDDs.

  1. For the SanDisk Flash Drive: Is the following Linux command sufficient? Which block size should I prefer?
    sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb bs=1k count=2048

How can an erase/wipe be guaranteed? I won’t buy a new one. I also want to learn how to it as a method.

Thank you!

If you bought it used there could be junk on it, do a linux sudo ls command on it an see what’s there. If nothing don’t worry about it. If SanDisk SecureAccess files and folders you can delete them and reinstall SecureAccess after rebooting or leave them.

If your reformat the drive you will loose it’s performance alignment manufacture format.

Viruses and trojans on removeable drives are less popular now days and none effect linux systems that I am aware of.