Cannot erase thumb-drive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Texas_Toast, Apr 21, 2016.

  1. Texas_Toast macrumors 6502

    Texas_Toast

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2016
    Location:
    Texas
    #1
    I have a thumb-drive with sensitive information on it, and I want to do a secure format to erase everything so it cannot be recovered.

    I am running Mountain Lion and went into Disk Utility, then selected the drive, then chose Security Options, Secure Erase Options = Zero Out Data, then Erase.

    OS-X gives me...

    "Disk Erase failed

    Disk Erase failed with the error:

    Couldn't unmount disk."


    I thought maybe my old thumb-drive was dying, so I tried the exact same steps on a brand new thumb-drive and the same issue.
     
  2. chabig macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    #2
    When you plug it in, manually drag it to the trash. Then try again.
     
  3. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502

    Texas_Toast

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2016
    Location:
    Texas
    #3
    Whaaa

    Why would I want to do that?

    Besides, when I try you can't do that.
     
  4. chabig macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    #4
    Disk Utility said it couldn't unmount the disk. So I asked you to try it manually. Why won't it let you do that? There is only one reason, and that would be that a file is in use from the drive. Try to figure out what that might be. Perhaps quit all running apps except Finder and Disk Utility.
     
  5. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502

    Texas_Toast

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2016
    Location:
    Texas
  6. rigormortis macrumors 68000

    rigormortis

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #6
    thumb drives like ssd flash drives can never be securely erased of sensitive data, you are encouraged to encrypt the disk and then throw way the key
     

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