How can I wipe my fried SSD?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by LeroOfTheKodiak, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. LeroOfTheKodiak, Sep 29, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012

    LeroOfTheKodiak macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2012
    #1
    So I stupidly spilled some rum on air about two months ago while I was asleep. Don't ask me how, but it was a moment of sheer stupidity. I didn't know it had been saturated in the morning and attempted to start my computer, and nothing happened. Now I'm thinking I fried it, and have been reluctant to take it in to Best Buy even though repairs such as this are covered under my warranty due to some questionable material on my desktop. I'd rather not have to explain the images, but they are of myself and an ex-girlfriend from several years back, when we were both 17. I shouldn't have kept them, and have regretted it since. I was curious if there was a good way to wipe my hard drive clean, at the cost of a ton of other media, just to keep myself out of trouble? The air just shows a black screen, and is pretty much dead, I just don't want my info being seen upon being repaired.

    [Edit] I should add that my ex and I are both 21 now, but it is clear in these photos that we were underage at the time.
     
  2. tiwizard, Sep 29, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012

    tiwizard macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    #2
    You'll have to remove the SSD from the laptop, assuming it's still functioning. After that, you can wipe it by putting it in another Air or an enclosure and connecting it to another computer. You can use something like the OWC Envoy (http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/SSD/OWC/Aura_Pro_Air_2011). Make sure you get the correct enclosure for your model of Air since the SSD connectors are different for 2011 and 2012.

    You would also be able to copy the photos off and onto another computer, if you really did want to keep them.

    Of course, if the SSD is fried as well, then you can always physically destroy it and buy a replacement (ie. smash with a hammer). Best Buy would not be able to repair a liquid damaged SSD-- they would probably end up replacing it entirely and throwing out the old one. In which case, you don't necessarily need to wipe it unless you'd like to be really thorough.

    Also, for the future, you may want to consider FileVault and password protecting your Mac user account.
     
  3. LeroOfTheKodiak thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2012
    #3
    Thank you! I'm not certain if removing the SSD will void the warranty or not, but I happen to have a good friend with the exact same model and is pretty good with computers (I am, unfortunately, not as savvy). I'm sure he'd be willing to help me remove it and connect it to his air, so I can delete the photos. If it does void the warranty I think I'd be willing to shell out the money just to have my computer back.
    Also, I did have my account password protected, but alas Geek Squad requires your password when you take it in, and I've heard horror stories of people having their personal information snooped through.
     
  4. Philalbe macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    Location:
    Greater Boston Area
    #4
    Good cautionary tale. My main computer is my air and my favorite drink is Rum and Coke which I indulge in at least once or twice a week while working at my computer. Not sure if you don't want them finding the pics out of a sense of modesty or because you're afraid they might be illegal? I wonder what the law is? Two 17 year olds probably meet the age of consent, but recording the act and possessing the images may be a different matter. Reminds me of the news stories about kids sexting and then getting charged for creating or possessing underage porn.

    As someone else stated you could replace the SSD, but I believe they cost a pretty penny. Good luck. I sincerely hope you get your computer fixed without encountering any type of hassle or legal trouble :)
     
  5. tiwizard macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    #5
    As long as you put it back in, Apple shouldn't be able to tell. I'm not 100% sure, but I don't *think* there's a sticker that you have to break to get the SSD out... Someone else will have to verify this, or you can see for yourself.

    I'd create a second account (or activate/create the Guest account) for GeekSquad-- that way you don't have to worry about them going through your stuff, whether it be personal photos or sensitive financial information. File Vault would also ensure that everything was encrypted and unreadable as well, but a GeekSquad Tech would have to be pretty dedicated to get your stuff even if you didn't have File Vault activated, as long as you had a separate account for them to login to.
     
  6. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #6
    Not really. Its very easy to access password protected account files on an unencrypted drive. The drive can simply be connected to another system to gain full access. Or boot the machine from an external drive or bootable install media. There are other ways as well.

    Only encryption assures your files can't be read without logging in.
     
  7. tiwizard macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    #7
    Well, yeah. But they'd really have to want to see your stuff to go take your SSD and put it in an enclosure and actively take files off of it. That's not the same as casually browsing through a hard drive on a machine they just repaired.
     
  8. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #8
    Yes, and if you are aware of the many news reports over the years, many DO want to see your stuff and will take the very easy steps to do so. In fact, the majority of breaches by service techs is for the sole reason of pullng compromising photos from a customers computer.
     

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