Best software to wipe/erase SSD?

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USAFRet

Splendid
Moderator


You can tell if that Factory Reset partition still exists. Look in Disk Management to see what partitions are there.
But it looks like you did, and it does not exist.
If there was a previous OS on it and then Upgraded to Win 10, likely that partition is long gone.
But looking at Disk Management would tell for sure.

Secure Erase? Yes, done it on a couple of Samsung drives.
After its done, the drive needs to be Initialized, Then its ready for the OS to be installed.
 

donline

Commendable
Apr 20, 2016
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Thanks USAFRet

Yes, it looks like the Factory reset partition is gone... not sure how, as it's a fairly new laptop which came with Windows 10 installed and all I've done is Reset it once (using the 'Reset this PC' function in the Control Panel, and also once 'Gone back to an earlier build'). I presume there is nothing (e.g. a setting) that would hide the Factory Reset partition from my view in the Disk Management?

How do you initialize an SSD?
By the way, I was looking deeper and managed to find some software from the SSD manufacturer (ADATA). However, it says the following on the 'Security Erase' screen: "The SSD must be unplugged and plugged in again in order to execute power cycle while Security Freeze is detected. The function cannot run on boot drives or drives with partitions."

Now, I have no idea how to unplug and plug in again my SSD from my laptop (and really don't want to open it up and take it apart!). Nor did I like the sound of the Security Erase not running on drives with partitions. Perhaps something like Parted Magic does not have these limitations (if they indeed are, as I understand them with my limited knowledge)? Any thoughts?
 

USAFRet

Splendid
Moderator
Yes, the Secure Erase will often require that unplugging situation for a "freeze"

Partion Magic doesn't really do any more than you can do in Disk Management. Or diskpart at the cmd comandline.

But again...if you're going to continue to use this drive...then don't even worry about it.
Just delete all the partitions during the OS install and proceed on.
 

donline

Commendable
Apr 20, 2016
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Thanks USAFRet

I've decided to install Linux as a clean installation (and delete/erase the disk [C:] during this process).

I was wondering what the situation would be if I decide to go back to Windows 10 again later (if I don't like Linux)?

Do I need to extract/backup my Windows 10 license key/number somehow before I install Linux? I bought my Asus laptop from a store and it had Windows 10 Home already installed. From what I've heard, the license key is stored on the motherboard/BIOS, is that correct? And if so, does that mean I could just re-install Win10 in the future and it would automatically re-activate? Also... when I went into Control Panel > System just now, at the bottom there is a section called 'Windows Activation' and this displays a 'Product ID', so I was wondering if this is in fact the license key?

Any guidance much appreciated! I'm a little bit nervous about moving over to Linux for the first time!

Thanks and enjoy your weekend, D

 

USAFRet

Splendid
Moderator


That Product ID is NOT the license key. That is basically the 'version' of Windows.

I'm not sure if this will work with a preinstalled Win 10 laptop, but try this:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530/windows-10-reactivating-after-hardware-change
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-3164428/windows-build-1607-activation.html

This links your OS license to your MS account.

However, even if that does NOT work, a future reinstall of Win 10 (of the same version) should probably activate by itself.
 

donline

Commendable
Apr 20, 2016
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Thanks USAFRet

I appreciate you clarifying about the Product ID.

I remember from a previous post (here http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/answers/id-3627861/security-privacy.html) you shared your neat setup (LinuxMint, Win7, Win 10 Pro, Server2012 etc)...

I'd like to do something similar and wondered how to go about this?

I was considering either:
- Win10 as the base/main OS and Linux as a guest/VM, or
- Running two Linux distros to hop between, or
- Running Linux as the base/main OS and Win10 as a guest/VM.

Do you have any recommendations for this (which option might be best)? Is this easy to do?

Thanks and enjoy the rest of your weekend, D
 

USAFRet

Splendid
Moderator


If you want to run any games in this, Win 10 as the host, others as guest VM's.
 

donline

Commendable
Apr 20, 2016
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Thanks USAFRet

I noticed that Linux has some nice free games in its repositories as well (I was surprised!).

What's the difference between dual-boot and running VM's? Is one option better?

Also, how/where can I read about getting started with either of the above options?

Cheers! D
 

USAFRet

Splendid
Moderator


Dual boot is one OS at a time.
This one OR that one. You just choose when you power the system up.
Whatever OS is running gets the resources of the whole system.


VM's are basically an entire PC, encapsulated in software. Given reasonable hardware, you can run several at the same time.
But for things like games, the performance is severely lacking.
It is good for software dev.
I can start up a Server VM, and then 2 or 3 Win 7/8/10 systems to interact with it, without having to buy 3 or 4 actual PC's.
Or a Linux VM, to check out a dodgy URL that someone posted in here.
 

donline

Commendable
Apr 20, 2016
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Thanks USAFRet

I like the sound of dual boot...

Do you have any tips on where I can start learning about how to do this?

Also, on a side note, do you know how to change root password in Linux? Also, is it a good idea to have the root password as being different from the admin password?

Cheers! D
 

USAFRet

Splendid
Moderator
There's a zillion giudes on how to create a dualboot situation.

But basically, just treat each OS as if it were the only one.
Install Windows on one drive.
Disconnect that drive, install a different drive, install Linux.
Reconnect both drives, and choose which one to boot into at boot time.

Or, 2 partitions on the same drive. A little trickier, but that works as well.
 

donline

Commendable
Apr 20, 2016
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Thanks USAFRet

I like the sound of that... two SSD drives with two different OS (Win & Linux).

In terms of choosing which one to boot into each time (at start up), would this be automatic and easy, or would I have to change the BIOS each time?

Also, I have an internal SSD drive (on an ASUS laptop) and was wondering how best to connect a second SSD drive (for running Linux)? Could I just connect it via USB (3.0) or would it be best to install one internally (and is that easy to do)?

Any guidance much appreciated!
 

USAFRet

Splendid
Moderator


Install Windows on one drive, with only that drive connected.
Disconnect, install Linux on the other drive, with only that one connected.
Reconnect the Windows drive.

2 individual drives, each with their own OS.
At Power up, interrupt the boot process, and choose which one to load up.
Or, let it just go, and load up whichever one is the default.

Personally, I prefer virtual machines. But this dualboot works as well.

Internal drives are much faster. But Linux will happily run from a USB connected drive.
 

donline

Commendable
Apr 20, 2016
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Thanks USAFRet

Sounds good to me. I guess resources run better when you have dualboot instead of virtual machines, right?

When you mentioned about interrupting the boot process, that would mean pressing F2 (or whatever F key) and changing the boot order in the BIOS, correct?

I'd like to go with the internal drive option... how easy is it to do this? Is there much risk of damaging my laptop during this process and should I use anti-static gear during this?
 

USAFRet

Splendid
Moderator


Resources are "better", because whatever OS you're running gets the whole PC.

Ease of doing this in a laptop depends 100% on the laptop.
I have an old Dell, where the drive(s) are simple to take out. 1 screw and it pops right out.
I have an old Sony, where you have to take the thing almost completely apart to get to the drive.
 

donline

Commendable
Apr 20, 2016
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Thanks USAFRet

All makes sense... do I need any special equipment to open up the laptop? Should I buy a special screwdriver set or something? Anti-static?
 

USAFRet

Splendid
Moderator


Just have to look and see what is required for your laptop.
 

donline

Commendable
Apr 20, 2016
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Thanks USAFRet

Just going to back to this... is there any other way to make the process of switching/choosing between which drive (and OS) to use each time at bootup? Can you only do this by having to tap F2 (or whatever) at bootup every time and going into the boot options? Is there perhaps something a bit easier/user-friendly?
 
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