Can't perform a secure erase

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by CrimsonStrider, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. CrimsonStrider macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2012

    I'm trying to secure erase this HDD because I found 120+ bad blocks when I did a surface scan with TechTools. I read somewhere that a secure erase by zeroing out the data with one pass would move the blocks to a part of the HDD where they can be ignored.

    I've tried doing this with disk utility and at some point during the wipe it gives me an error saying it can't be completed because of an error. This happened 3 times.

    I'm tryin again using TechTools "Wipe Data" feature and while I haven't come across an error it for sure feels like it's gotten to a point where it won't be able to do anymore. It's been going for longer than 12 hours and for the last hour or so it hasn't moved at all.

    The drive is a 500gb WD Blue. Any ideas what to do, or if I even need to wipe it again?

    Attached Files:

    • wipe.png
      File size:
      30.1 KB
  2. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    Sounds like something is physically wrong with the drive. I'd hammer it and get a new one personally.
  3. Transeau macrumors 6502a


    Jan 18, 2005
    Alta Loma, CA
    modern hard drives have several hundred "spare" sectors that are reserved to replace ones that go bad. Once those are used, you are out of luck. You will need a Low Level format app from the manufacture to mark the ones bad now, then repartition and format.

    Most manufactures no longer support the end user doing this, it's better for them if you just toss it and buy a new one. Also, do you really want to trust a drive that has begun to fail?
  4. CrimsonStrider thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2012
    That being said, I get hung up at the end because that's where all of my bad blocks have been relocated to?

    I was hoping to use it as a temporary solution until I can get a new hard drive, and as backup storage space I can use in a pinch if I ever need to (though not rely on). However, if it's just going to corrupt all my data it's not worth using, which is why I was trying to secure erase it.
  5. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    If you are planning on dumping it anyway, use the old fashioned method...Take a hammer to it, that's as secure as it gets.
  6. CrimsonStrider thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2012
    Oh, heh. I meant my HDD was corrupting my data and I thought if I could secure erase it, the bad blocks would be moved to a quarantined section of the hard drive so that I could then continue to use it for very simple things until it died as I already have a 2.5" enclosure.
  7. wackymacky macrumors 68000


    Sep 20, 2007
    38°39′20″N 27°13′10″W
    I appreciate your endeavors to cut down on the volume of electronic waste but it is only time till it bites the dust.
  8. CrimsonStrider, Nov 20, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012

    CrimsonStrider thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2012
    You're welcome? Heh heh. I hate wasting things (money) in general.

    Guess I'll hammer it then. Such a waste =(. I don't think it was even 2 years old, but even if it's less than 3 years I don't think I got a receipt so I have no idea how I'd get it replaced....

    I've made a new thread about some a current situation regarding peripherals in case anybody can help me...

    Thanks you guys have been helpful

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