Any Success doing an ATA Secure Erase on a rMBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Strafe, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. Strafe macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #1
    Has anyone had any success doing an ATA secure erase on a Retina MacBook Pro? Since the release of Mavericks and Windows 8.1, I thought it would be a good time to rebuild from zero. I have a 2012 15" rMBP and I'm about to give up. There just doesn't seem to be a way to unfreeze the SSD. There are some threads from about a year ago where people have had success, but none specifically with a rMBP.

    To be clear, I'm not talking about wiping the data from the SSD. I'm talking about resetting it to original performance.

    I have tried booting into a live Ubuntu distribution and performing the following using hdparm:

    http://mackonsti.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/ssd-secure-erase-ata-command/

    You're supposed to be able to unfreeze the drive by closing the lid, thus putting it to sleep, then waking. Unfortunately, when I wake the laptop, I lose the ability to use the keyboard, and eventually the mouse.

    After multiple attempts, and searches on the web, I saw that some people had success by using Parted Magic. So I dropped 4.99 for it (it's no longer free) and... failed. I booted and loaded PM into RAM and ran the erase program, internal option. Clicked the sleep button but there seemed to be no way to wake the laptop. I had to hard reset. I tried with and without the USB drive in the port.

    So, as I said, I'm about to give up and just install Mavericks unless there's anyone out there who's discovered a procedure that works.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Dragonforce macrumors 6502a

    Dragonforce

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    Location:
    London (Ealing) UK
    #2
    I am wondering about the same thing.
    I can't seem to un-freeze the Apple SSD in my rMBP, as the machine doesn't wake correctly from sleep. I've tried Parted Magic, Knoppix and Ubuntu...
     
  3. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

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    Mar 4, 2013
    #3
    While I don't have an rMBP, the only way I could get secure erase to work on Mac for a non-OCZ SSD (OCZ has a bootable toolkit that can perform the procedure) is to run GParted with the SSD connected to the Mac via USB. If you're willing to pony up for the rMBP compatible enclosure, the process should work for you as well.
     
  4. Dragonforce macrumors 6502a

    Dragonforce

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    Apr 9, 2008
    Location:
    London (Ealing) UK
    #4
    Well, we're talking about the internal Apple SSD here.
    Also, the main problem is that the system does not wake from sleep properly.
     
  5. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

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    Mar 4, 2013
    #5
    Using the external enclosure doesn't involve putting the system to sleep, as when it is connected via USB, the system is not able to put the drive into a locked state.
     
  6. Dragonforce macrumors 6502a

    Dragonforce

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    Apr 9, 2008
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    London (Ealing) UK
  7. Strafe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #7
    So, it's about a year later and Yosemite is around the corner, so I thought it would be a good time to bring this up again in the hopes that someone has discovered a way to do this.
     
  8. laurihoefs, Aug 20, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2014

    laurihoefs macrumors 6502a

    laurihoefs

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2013
    #8
    You could try PartedMagic again, maybe a newer version will work. Instructions for secure erase are available on their site.

    Or as a workaround, you could turn FileVault on, let it encrypt the whole logical volume, and then erase the disk. Recovering anything would require being able to both read the erased disk and decrypt the contents. (edit: realized this is not what you were looking for...)

    But to restore original performance none of this is necessary. All you need to do is enable TRIM (if not enabled already), boot to single user mode (hold ⌘+S during startup) and issue the command:
    fsck -fy
     
  9. Strafe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #9
    I'm not sure this is completely true. Trim is certainly helpful, but in not sure it is completely effective. I've seen varying responses elsewhere. I'd be happy to review any sources you have. Regardless, my initial question stands.

    I did find the following on the Parted Magic forums. I'd looks needlessly complicated but I guess it's worth a shot: http://forums.partedmagic.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=385
     
  10. laurihoefs macrumors 6502a

    laurihoefs

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2013
    #10
    If you want sources, I suggest reading some SSD reviews. Most of the comprehensive ones I've come across in the last four or so years also test TRIM and background garbage collection.

    Like this one: Anandtech Crucial M550 review. Skip to the bottom of the linked page to see the TRIM tests, and be sure to check other Anandtech reviews for results with different SSDs.

    Add to this the (anecdotal) evidence on this forum, that suggests there's no measurable performance degradation even after long periods of heavy use on rMBP SSDs. For example, I have a 2012 rMBP that has seen heavy writes, has been 95% full dozens of times, has FileVault enabled, and still performs as well as on day one.

    TRIM works.
     

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