1. Creating a Magic Parted Bootable USB
After looking around for a utility to securely wipe a SSD I seen that Magic Parted was the most highly recommended.
Magic Parted is essentially a commercial Linux Live Bootable USB. It has a series of tools such as Erase Disk, Virus Scanner, Partition Editor and Disk Cloning. Parted Magic has to be purchased in order to download. You can purchase it once for $9 or a 1 year subscription for $49.
This guide is only interested in the Erase Disk. Unless you are periodically using the anti-virus to scan your system for viruses within the Linux Live USB environment the single time purchase will suffice in most cases. The product will however be continuously developed to support more types of chipsets and types of drives so newer versions may need to be purchased in the future if you change your hardware.
The 1 Year subscription can be purchased from here for $49:
Note the links above are affiliate links. This means if you purchase Parted Magic through these then they will know you came to the utility via my recommendations (DellWindowsReinstallationGuide).
Once you purchase you will be provided a direct download link to the .iso.
You can use Rufus to create a Bootable USB:
Rufus does not need to be installed and can be run directly by double clicking on the application.
Launch the user account control prompt:
You can opt to allow Rufus to search for updates or decline depending on your preferences:
Select your USB device:
Now press this button to select your .iso:
Select your Magic Parted .iso and then press open:
Select the GPT partition scheme for UEFI BIOS if your system has a UEFI BIOS or MBR partition scheme for Legacy BIOS (if you are using an older computer).
If using the GPT partition scheme for a UEFI BIOS make sure the file system is FAT32.
Select Write in ISO Image mode and then select ok:
Select ok to begin the operation:
Rufus will now create the Bootable USB:
2. Booting from the USB
Power down your Dell and press [F12] as you power it up to access the UEFI BIOS or Legacy BIOS.
Press [↓] until you highlight the Bootable FAT32 USB Flash Drive and press [Enter] to boot from it.
In my test it worked with UEFI and Secure Boot On so there was no need to change UEFI BIOS settings. If you have a Legacy BIOS there will be no mention of UEFI or SecureBoot on this screen.
Next select Default Settings 64 (Runs from RAM) which should by default be highlighted and press [Enter]
Magic Parted will now load
3. Using Erase Disk
You’ll then be prompted for your time zone configuration. (Selecting English UK done nothing for me and it remained at the wrong time – it doesn’t matter too much).
Right click Erase Disk
Then left click open:
You will be given the option to select Internal or External Drives. Select Internal Drives and then left click “ATA Secure Erase – Wipe Entire Drive at the Hardware Level”
If the SSD says Frozen such as the M.2 Samsung SSD PM85 in my Latitude 7350 then you may need to put your system to sleep:
Press sleep this should automatically put your system to sleep and then bring it out of sleep. If its not brought out of sleep after 30 seconds you may need to bring it out of sleep by pressing the power button or moving the mouse:
Once your computer exits sleep the SSD status should display as Not Frozen:
You can now check the drive to the left and opt for a Secure Erase.
Then press continue:
Check I allow this utility to erase the listed devices(s). Then select Start Erase:
It will tell you a time estimate and begin wiping the drive.
After it’s finished you can view the log file or just press ok:
You may now close everything down using the [x].
Right click quit:
Then select open:
Left click “Turn off Computer”
Remove the Parted Magic Bootable USB Flash Drive.
When you next power up your computer you should get an error message similar to the following:
“No Bootable Devices Found.”
This is expected because the system’s boot drive is completely wiped. The Operating System will need to be reloaded on the computer. See A Clean Install of Windows 10.