Erasing HDD taking forever!!!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by rumorsdan, May 8, 2009.

  1. rumorsdan macrumors regular

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    Mar 1, 2009
    #1
    Trying to erase a hdd before I sell it off with my old mac. So I want to securely wipe the drive. Currently doing the zero out data option and it's taking 3 hours. Is that normal? It sounds ridiculously long :confused:

    Is there any other 3rd party apps I can use to make the job faster?
     
  2. rgarjr macrumors 603

    rgarjr

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  3. sammich macrumors 601

    sammich

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    #3
    The zero-out option for erasing means that it is literally going from the beginning of your drive, to the end, and writing 0's.

    How big is the drive in question? And is it laptop or desktop?
     
  4. Guiyon macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Assuming a 250GB HD and an average transfer speed of 20MB/s, you get about 3.3 hours for a zero all data wipe so your number should be in the ballpark (again, assuming your drive is around 250GB).
     
  5. rumorsdan thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    Yep...it's 250 GB disk. Connected via a usb external drive.

    Is there another/quicker way to wipe the drive?
     
  6. sammich macrumors 601

    sammich

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    #6
    That is around ballpark for that size of USB drive.

    That is the fastest secure method of erasing a drive. If you do it the quick way, which takes like 20 seconds, anyone with the intent of looking for files on that 'erased' drive will be able to get every bit of info off that drive as if you didn't erase it (almost).

    Just be patient.
     
  7. rumorsdan thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    what if i trashed the entire disk files then filled the disk with video. would that erase the original contents by over writing it?
     
  8. Guiyon macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    That would be doing exactly what the zero all data is doing, except you're using actual data instead of zeroes so, no, it wouldn't be any faster. It may actually be slower depending on your data source.
     
  9. sammich macrumors 601

    sammich

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    #9
    Be patient.

    That method will write to the drive at the maximum speed possible. What you're suggesting would be to literally, start all over again, and use a method which is almost guaranteed to be slower than the current method.
     
  10. MikhailT macrumors 601

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    Nov 12, 2007
    #10
    It's not a secure method of doing so and nor does it really make it impossible to recover data and this will be much slower than zero since it has to read your video files first before writing it to your drive instead of the OS just directly writing zeros to every sector of the drive without reading anything.

    Just be patient. I had to secure erase 5 disks with 7 pass and that took me all weekend.
     
  11. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #11
    Yes, and no. For the uninitiated yes that would zero out most of the HD. However, if someone really wanted to explore your hard drive they could still do it.

    Disk Utilities does a good job. When selling a hard drive, suggest that you do a 7 pass erase. Be patient as it would take 7 times as long as a one pass erase.

    Another option that is available on the PC side is KillDisk. Works great. Just need to connect your HD to a PC to use KillDisk.

    Sometimes the best way when selling a computer is just purchased another new HD to put in it, then destroy the old one.
     
  12. rumorsdan thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 1, 2009
    #12
    omg....i'll pass! :eek:

    Don't have a pc.

    Seems like a such a waste.
     
  13. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #13
    It's not that long.

    Patience.

    Depends on the type of data you keep on the hard drive.

    New hard drives are cheap.
     
  14. bmacir macrumors 6502

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    Apr 2, 2009
    #14
    You could simply do it overnight. Or do something else meanwhile, you don't necessarily need to stare at the progress bar the whole time ;).
     
  15. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #15
    So true.

    In my case, if I want to zero a hard driver I use my PC and KillDisk. I just let it run until it's done. It doesn't matter how long it takes. :)
     

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