How to use Parted Magic's Secure Erase for SSDs, updated for PCIe and M.2 NVMe

Posted by Paul Braren on Oct 22 2016 (updated on Oct 23 2016) in
  • Benchmark
  • Virtualization
  • ESXi
  • HomeLab
  • Storage
  • Why might you need a fast and easy way to quickly wipe all the data off any brand of SSD including PCIe NVMe and/or M.2 NVMe drives? I covered the SATA version of this back here:

    This article is just an NVMe update, for those of you who wish to:

    • dispose of sensitive data on any brand of SSD(s) quickly and easily, without having to use various Samsung/Micron/Crucial/Intel tools
    • getting ready to do some of your own informal benchmarks
    • happen to have a recent Supermicro SuperServer, with iKVM for remote ISO mounting
    • want to clean up the partitioning mess that vSAN might have left behind
    • have a UEFI BIOS
    • want a fresh start between lab re-builds, such as getting ready for vSphere 6.5

    Parted Magic NVMe support announced

    First, read Parted Magic's announcement


    Next, you'll need to license and download your $9 copy of Parted Magic:

    Finally, follow along with the instructions and/or video below.

    In the detailed walk-through video, you'll see that no Linux skills are required to do this. Yeah, you'll lose all your data on that SSD when you do the Secure Erase I'm about to show you, so to prepare, you'll first want to do a backup (or with VMware, a Storage vMotion of all VMs on that drive) to other storage/datastores. You've been warned. Proceed at your own risk!


    1. This instructions and video below feature Supermicro SuperServer Bundle 2 equipped with 2 M.2 drives, a Samsung 950 PRO and a Samsung SM951. While the focus is on that particular system, including exactly how to boot from an ISO over iKVM/IPMI, the general techniques shown should help get this working on other PCs and laptops too. You may need to create a bootable USB drive from your ISO file using something like Rufus, and the best place to post your Parted Magic tech support questions is in their forum. I have no affiliation with Parted Magic.
    2. If you're after the ability to erase your NVMe drives, you'll need a recent version of Parted Magic that supports NVMe drives
    3. Recent Parted Magic versions include full UEFI boot support, which you'll see in the video below, can be rather convenient


    Back up the data on the SSD you're about to nuke first, then:

    1. use your browser UI to get to the IPMI html UI of your SuperServer's IPMI address (IP address found when first powering up at bottom-right)
    2. open up a Remote Control, Console Redirection, and launch the Java based interface, aka iKVM
    3. choose Virtual Media, Virtual Storage, Logical Drive Type, and change the drop-down menu to ISO File
    4. navigate to your Parted Magic ISO file and select your ISO file (in the video, the filename is pmagic_2016_04_26.iso)
    5. click Plug in
    6. power up your server if it's not up already, or reboot it
    7. press F11 when prompted to choose alternate boot device for this boot only
    8. choose the ATEN Virtual CDROM device
    9. wait for the Parted Magic Linux distro to boot
    10. click Secure Erase, and choose your drive carefully
    11. if it shows a Frozen status next to the SSD you wish to erase, you are guided to click Sleep, but that won't work on this system, instead, eject the SATA drive briefly or remote the SATA power cable briefly
    12. confirm before you proceed with the very quick secure erase
    13. power down
    14. head back to the Remote Console, choose Virtual Media, Virtual Storage, Plug out

    You're done! Ready to reformat, or repurpose that factory-fresh-like performance, 100% empty SSD.


    How to use Parted Magic's Secure Erase to wipe data from any SSD brand, including PCIe and M.2 NVMe

    See also at TinkerTry

    See also