Disk Utility - Death Lock of "Secure Erase"

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by golfgirlgolf, Jun 17, 2016.

  1. golfgirlgolf macrumors member

    golfgirlgolf

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    Californian living on the other West Coast (FL)
    #1
    I'm doing some rearranging of backup drives and erasing those I don't need. The quickness of El Capitan's "Erase" indicated it wasn't really doing much for security other than wiping the top level directory - so I tried secure erase (no more option for what levels - 1pass, 7pass).

    Unfortunately it's taking FOREVER, and DU will not allow us to Quit or Stop or Cancel the process - and will not Quit the program either. So all we're left with is to wait hours or even days for it to finish with no way to escape*. Unless someone here might know?

    Of course *Activity Monitor could Force Quit - or maybe a restart - but the lack of any straightforward UI bail out in DU is totally bogus. :-(

    Next time we'll have to do this on an idle computer and forget it for a day or so - per each drive.
     
  2. golfgirlgolf thread starter macrumors member

    golfgirlgolf

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    Californian living on the other West Coast (FL)
    #2
    OK if no one has an answer to this - how about an alternative way to erase a drive with moderate/light security that is FASTER than 1 day/TB?
     
  3. Pndrgnsvc macrumors 6502

    Pndrgnsvc

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Location:
    Georgetown, Texas
    #3
    You may care to try Permanent Eraser ( http://www.edenwaith.com/products/permanent eraser/ ). There is a preference to erase 1, 3, 7, or 35 times. I have been using it for a few years without issue. And it's free!

    In your case: Launch Permanent Eraser, drop the BU drive on the PE icon in the dock, click OK, and voilà.

    Should you do such, please post back as I'm interested in your results and thoughts/opinions.
     
  4. Powermax macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    independent
    #4
    In the future, just encrypt your drives, then you won't have to worry about that.
     
  5. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    #5
    http://forums.macrumors.com/posts/23025009 and other posts under Drive Scrubbing Software?

    What make and model is the drive, and how is it connected?

    Side note: in the Mavericks area, Erase Free Space frozen
     
  6. golfgirlgolf thread starter macrumors member

    golfgirlgolf

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    Californian living on the other West Coast (FL)
    #6
    Thanks - I did try it, but it's a little scary in that it doesn't even show the name/ID of the item your about to erase. Of course you know what that is by dropping the drive on the icon but the lack of a confirmation of exactly what you're doing is more than enough to cause doubt. I'll probably have to stick with Disk Utility for now, and do it as a dedicated task on a MacBook or something - just to be on the safe side.

    I have several - various makes - but all USB 2.0 via an active USB 3.0 hub for ease of plugging/unplugging one at a time as they go through the cleaning process.
     
  7. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Location:
    Auckland
    #7
    To be honest if you are disposing of the drives and want no issues, ever, then just put a hammer to them and physically destroy them.
     
  8. Pndrgnsvc macrumors 6502

    Pndrgnsvc

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Location:
    Georgetown, Texas
    #8
    That makes sense to me. Just because it seems it would work, well, we have all been bitten by that bug...

    Much could depend on the type drive/volume, size, etc. All kinds of things could cause PE to choke. I just thought that since you wanted the drive wiped, there was little chance of damage. But of course, better safe than sorry and being cozy with your decisions/actions is always wise.
     
  9. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    #9
    If you do have a spare/idle computer, I highly recommend UBCD (mentioned in the earlier topic) with Parted Magic, HDAT2 and so on. Reasonably prominent after booting Parted Magic you'll find a utility that can work with a feature that's integral to some drives; I can't recall the name of the feature but basically the the intelligence to perform a secure erase is integral to the drive. Whether you'll be able to access that feature over USB, I don't know.
     
  10. Erdbeertorte macrumors demi-goddess

    Erdbeertorte

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    Location:
    Castle Grayskull, Eternia
    #10
    Would it be secure to just format them encrypted and then unencrypted again if they would be used by someone else after that?

    I had some old hard drives that were just too small to sell or give them away. I just formatted them to a different file system and after that to HFS+ encrypted with a very long password and just threw them away. But there wasn't any sensitive data on them.

    For drives that have all my data on them and got damaged in some way I always open them with a screwdriver and destroy the disks physically by scratching them very deep or even breaking them into pieces. ;) Also if they are encrypted.
     
  11. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    #11
    If a Core Storage logical volume is encrypted at the time of creation: that alone does not encrypt all bits of the volume. The creation takes no more than a few moments.

    If a non-encrypted volume is converted to use encryptionand if that conversion is allowed time to complete – then all bits are 'taken care of'.
     
  12. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    www.emiliana.cl/en
    #12
    In a terminal window type:
    Code:
    diskutil list
    which gives you a list of mounted volumes and a list of device paths.

    Code:
    /dev/disk0 (internal, physical):
    
      #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
    
      0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *256.1 GB   disk0
    
      1:                        EFI EFI                     209.7 MB   disk0s1
    
      2:                  Apple_HFS Apple SSD               255.2 GB   disk0s2
    
      3:                 Apple_Boot Recovery HD             650.0 MB   disk0s3
    
    /dev/disk1 (external, physical):
    
      #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
    
      0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *2.0 TB     disk1
    
      1:                        EFI EFI                     209.7 MB   disk1s1
    
      2:                  Apple_HFS Backup                     2.0 TB     disk1s2
    This command overwrites the device "theDevicePath" (including any and all partitions ) with zeroes:
    Code:
    sudo diskutil secureErase 0 theDevicePath
    (replace "theDevicePath" with the actual device path-see below)

    The full command line to overwrite the device which contains the "Backup" partition (see above) is:
    Code:
    sudo diskutil secureErase 0 /dev/disk1
    See also:
    https://developer.apple.com/legacy/...arwin/Reference/ManPages/man8/diskutil.8.html
     
  13. golfgirlgolf thread starter macrumors member

    golfgirlgolf

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    Californian living on the other West Coast (FL)
    #13
    Thanks all for some very good answers - the drives (1TB, 1.5, 2TB) are to be sold/given out - so they need to be cleaned - not destroyed. They are like new (only used for long term storage/backups and hardly spun up, ever). 5TB drives didn't exist or weren't affordable at the time - now we are culling and consolidating to larger volumes.

    A good way around but I have to wonder how is this any different than going through the UI in DiskUtility, speed wise?
     
  14. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    www.emiliana.cl/en
    #14
    It is the fastest possible way to erase information on your (old) disks.
     
  15. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #15
    I do not think that it matters. Disk Utility and diskutil are exposed to the same system frameworks. I doubt that there are quicker solutions. Encrypting the drive now will not be quicker either, given that the encrypted data has to be written too. I have a Raspberry Pi for this kind of long tasks.
     
  16. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    www.emiliana.cl/en
    #16
    The Raspberry Pi supports large disks?
     
  17. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Location:
    Auckland
    #17
    Overwriting is overrated - in the 1980's the police in the UK decided physical destruction was the only way after IBM informed them in testing they could read back through 9(!) overwrites...
     
  18. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    #18
    As there are light and heavy approaches to physical destruction, so (now) there are light and heavy approaches to soft destruction. .

    In the 1980s the soft approach would have been relatively light.

    I don't have one but I assume that the size is relatively unimportant when the computer deals with only small parts of a disk.
     
  19. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Location:
    Auckland
    #19
    If you had the slightest idea how the innards of an HDA work, and the physics of reading and writing data to magnetic media, you would realise how crass that statement is.
     
  20. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    #20

    Hey! Nice dash to call crass without sharing ideas.
     
  21. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Location:
    Auckland
    #21
    You know it all it seems...I've given my advice and the reasoning for it.
     

Share This Page