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Old May 2, 2012, 05:24 PM   #1
jlykins
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DOD quality Wipe of Macbook Air

Does anyone know if there a way to do a DOD level wipe of the Macbook Air hard drive?
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Old May 2, 2012, 05:25 PM   #2
Intell
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Secure erase in Disk Utility. Pick your wipe about, 1, 7, or 30 times.
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Old May 2, 2012, 05:42 PM   #3
AnionicStrength
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Obviously you can't erase a disk that you're booted to, so if you have a computer with a recovery partition, hold Command+R while starting the computer and use Disk Utility from there.

If you have a computer without a recovery partition, boot to an OSX DVD and use Disk Utility from the DVD.
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Old May 2, 2012, 10:35 PM   #4
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It it's an SSD, 1 pass should be enough.

In truth, 1 pass is enough for any hard disk as well. Anybody who has the funds and lab to recover data from a hard drive that has been written over has funds to get whatever they want.
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Old May 3, 2012, 03:05 AM   #5
Newtype
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Actually, it's not that simple. There hasn't been any established method to perfectly wipeout the SSD other than to physically destroy them. It would be best to secure erase your HD and encrypt your drive. Take a look at this article:

http://www.informationweek.com/news/229219009

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Old May 3, 2012, 06:29 AM   #6
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I would not use the 30 pass wipe on an SSD, needlessly wearing it when it doesn't need to be. We're not talking about a hard drive but a SSD.
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Old May 3, 2012, 07:42 AM   #7
jlykins
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Thanks for the info!
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Old May 3, 2012, 09:18 AM   #8
dawiyo
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Destroy the drive.
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Old May 3, 2012, 11:40 AM   #9
gentlefury
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The nice thing about SSD is that you don't have to write 0's to fully wipe it...an HDD is a magnetic disk and always leaves trace data. SSD are just electrons caught in transistors. Free them and they are gone forever.
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Old May 3, 2012, 12:56 PM   #10
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I just returned an Air -- holding out to see next upgrade. The best idea I ran across was to encrypt everything with the strongest encryption you can get your hands on, use an insanely strong password, and then erase.

Kinda wish I had actually taken the time to do that...
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Old May 3, 2012, 02:57 PM   #11
Risasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlefury View Post
The nice thing about SSD is that you don't have to write 0's to fully wipe it...an HDD is a magnetic disk and always leaves trace data. SSD are just electrons caught in transistors. Free them and they are gone forever.
But how do you free them? Pull the drive and wait a year or more minimum?
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Old May 3, 2012, 03:01 PM   #12
DraziGuy
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What kind of porn are you destroying? Hah hah just kidding, of course...
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Old May 3, 2012, 03:47 PM   #13
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The "DOD wipe" is theoretically useful for magnetic media. There can be residual magnitism at the margins that might theoretically be readable using microscopic techniques. It would have to be a pretty important situation for anybody to go to the expense of trying to read an erased disk. In most cases, a single pass will be sufficient.

Both the multi-pass erase process as well as the potential leaving of residual data is helped-along by normal variations in alignment between the head and media.

The Macbook AIR uses flash memory, which is an entirely different beast. When it's erased - IF it's erased - it's erased. Period.

The article alludes to some small amout of data being left unerased. I imagine this has to do with maintainence of spare space (to work around failed cells) while still leveling, making it impossible to erase everything - unless the internal secure erase actually works as intended.

The article also mentions that the internal secure erase isn't always correctly implemented.

I don't think there's really anything you can do with external software to insure that it's truly erased. Best plan is to read reviews, and see if security specialists have reviewed specific products and given them a gold star.
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Old May 4, 2012, 10:55 PM   #14
MysteriousSkin
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Originally Posted by jlykins View Post
Does anyone know if there a way to do a DOD level wipe of the Macbook Air hard drive?

What we need is a powerful, easy to use forensics software program to check our drives. A program that doesn't cost a thousand dollars. Ideally one that is open source.

This is long overdue.
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