Originally Posted by Sammy2
What does Parted Magic do for me?
The Parted Magic Live CD is a boot disk which loads on your machine at startup (if the CD/DVD drive is set to highest boot priority).
When it loads, it presents a "desktop" to the user, and from there you have access to all kinds of functions, including internet access.
But one of its most popular features is the ability to do an in-place secure-erase of SSDs. This is where an ATA command is sent to the SSD that flashes it back to a factory-fresh state (removes all data, partitions and formatting, and all the space on the SSD returns to being "unallocated", just as it was when you first obtained it).
This ability is particularly useful if your system OS and/or onboard SATA controller (built into the SSD hardware) does not support either TRIM or garbage collection. If this is true for you, then over time, your SSD performance will degrade over time.
But if you backup your system data, then you can secure-erase the SSD, then restore your system from the backup, and you will regain "fresh-from-factory" performance from your SSD. Back when SSDs were not so advanced (many early ones did not support TRIM or garbage collection), many a saavy SSD user would do a periodic "secure-erase-then-restore" process to get their SSDs back to good performance after degraded performance had set in.
But today, since most SSD users have TRIM and/or garbage collection, the above process is unnecessary for them.
But I like to have the ability to secure-erase my SSDs anyway, because it is the best way to restore your system should you ever need to do so (i.e. because you picked up a virus/malware, or you accidentally messed up your system while making some changes).