Hard drive wiping...

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by DaveBarak, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. DaveBarak macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2014

    I'm new here, and this seems like the best area for my question. Please let me know if I should move it (or delete it).

    I have a Seagate NAS drive, less than two months old, that's acting up. Specifically, if I try to access through my home network, I can only view the public portion of the drive (no data there). If I connect directly using USB to my MacBook Air, the drive doesn't mount at all. In fact, I get a red blinking light on the drive, the sure sign of a problem. The drive hasn't been dropped, as it's been sitting flat the entire time I've had it. However, I was able to run Time Capsule backups in the past and I could access the drive normally to move files to it.

    My concern is that I still have private information on the drive. Because I either can't mount it via USB, or I can't see the whole drive over the network, I don't have an easy way to wipe the data. I don't want to physically damage the drive (well, absolute last resort) for two reasons - I don't want them to think I dropped the drive and screwed it up myself, and I don't want to make the drive impossible to refurbish and resell (although I don't really want anyone buying it and going through this headache).

    So, any ideas how I can wipe the drive without being able to mount it? Maybe mounting it - or trying to - to a Linux machine?

    Thanks for any help, and again, if this is in the wrong place or shouldn't be here at all, please let me know. Thanks!

  2. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    You should be able to remove the drive. Then put them in an external hard drive enclosure. Preferably USB 3.0 if your computer supports it for speed.

    Once the drive is ready. You can use Disk Utility to partition each drive with the Mac OS extended format. After it is partitioned you can use the erase command and select a secure erase option. The seven pass erase is more than adequate. I don't recall if the new versions of OS X support three pass. But three pass should be more than plenty.

    Alternatively you could use create a bootable USB flash drive and use Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN). DBAN supports a wider array of wiping options but is more difficult to use.

    Note: The secure erase will take a long time to run many hours or possibly over a day depending on the size and speed of the drive. Go to System Preference and Energy. Change the energy saver options to never sleep the computer so that there won't be any interruptions lengthening the erase process.
  3. DaveBarak thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2014

    Thanks velocityg4, much appreciated.


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