Has anybody used Parted Magic?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by xWhiplash, Jul 30, 2015.

  1. xWhiplash macrumors 68000

    Oct 21, 2009
    I was going to do a ATA Secure Erase on my SSD for a clean install of Windows 10. The drive was frozen so I had Parted Magic put the computer to sleep and wake it up. The problem is, every time it comes from sleep, it freezes. Completely.

    I wen't too fast the first time and was able to START the ATA Secure Erase, but it froze in the middle of it. I waited for a bit, but the only thing I could do was turn the computer off.

    Does anybody know how I can prevent this from happening? I confirmed it is an issue by starting Parted Magic 5 more times, put the computer to sleep, and waiting a few seconds when it wakes up. It ALWAYS freezes.

    Also, I am not sure if anybody would know. Is it a big deal if I had to turn the computer off when it froze DURING the ATA Secure Erase? Should I plan on getting a replacement SSD?

    I have a 2010 Mac Pro.
  2. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Freezes are usually hardware problems. I would run a full system test and a memory check.
    If it freezes all you can do is kill it. The SSD should have enough power to finish its tasks. It should not usually be a problem but it could be a broken SSD.

    Scanning the SSD for errors before running a full write over the entire drive might not hurt.

    How much does booting anything work. Do you still have an OSX partition, does it boot?
    I also don't understand how you went too fast, so it froze?
  3. xWhiplash thread starter macrumors 68000

    Oct 21, 2009
    After it woke up from sleep, it took about 1 minute for it to freeze up. So that is why I said I went fast enough to start the secure erase. Parted Magic is the only thing that has ever done this, so I doubt it is a hardware problem.

    OS X is on a different SSD.

    I already put Windows 10 on the SSD that I was secure erasing and have not had any issues with it.
  4. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    If you have OSX just boot that and check and clear the SSD from there. Why go the difficult route with Parted? I assume you got both SSDs in the Mac Pro. Parted boot media is for when you need to resize partitions and as far as I see there is no ntfs support. If parted is at fault for the freezes, the boot medium you use has probably errors, and you should redo that. But I really don't see a reason for using it at all.

    Just because you didn't have any issues, does not mean much. Maybe you just never got to the erronous portion of the SSD while installing. If you do a full write erase cycle, you go through the whole thing and touch ground on every LBA.
  5. xWhiplash thread starter macrumors 68000

    Oct 21, 2009
    If I take out all drives and boot to Parted Magic, it still freezes after I put it to sleep and wake it up. Windows 10 and OS X do not freeze.

    And Parted Magic is used to do the ATA Secure Erase command (voltage spike and if the drive supports it, throws the encryption key). It doesn't zero out the drive or anything. I do not think OS X can issue a ATA Secure Erase command.
  6. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Try booting Parted while not having the drive attached. Then connect the drive after you have booted parted.
    It is SATA I assume and some stone age Mac.
  7. xWhiplash thread starter macrumors 68000

    Oct 21, 2009
    SATA 2. 2010 Mac Pro.

    But like I said, Parted freezes even when there are no drives.
  8. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Well then download Gparted and use that instead of Parted magic. There is some error with your Parted Magic boot volume. You could also try redownloading it and making it anew.
  9. xWhiplash thread starter macrumors 68000

    Oct 21, 2009
    GParted does not have ATA secure erase. That is the only reason I was using Parted Magic.

    My disc works fine on another PC though.
  10. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    All you need is a random linux live CD with hdparm. And I assume all the various GParted bootable iso that can be found on the internet have hdparm included. Therefore ATA Secure Erase is included assuming it is not a really ancient iso.
    Only difference to Parted Magic is you don't get the fancy gui. You just have to do it command line style.
    find the drive

    > hdparm -I /dev/sda
    then the same for sdb, sdc until you find the ssd
    If it says drive is frozen, you need to plug it in after booting.

    apperantly setting a password is needed to enable the security features.
    > hdparm --user-master u --security-set-pass PASSWORD /dev/sdX

    > time hdparm --user-master u --security-erase PASSWORD /dev/sdX
    to check if it worked
    > hdparm -I /dev/sdX

    If you aren't sure about anything just type 'man hdparm' or 'hdparm -h'
    Just usual MO for commandline tinkering. Doing it over the commandline is easier than the headaches looking for other GUI methods will get you.

    Personally I think the whole procedure is unnecessary with todays SSDs. They recover just fine on their own as long as trim is enabled and windows does so on its own. This whole secure erasing was a thing back in the early days of SSDs.

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