Is "SECURE EMPTY TRASH" really secure?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by redAPPLE, May 23, 2004.

  1. redAPPLE macrumors 68030


    May 7, 2002
    2 Much Infinite Loops

    i will be placing my fw400 hard drive in eBay very soon. i have erased the data with the "secure empty trash" option in os x.3.

    have you guys by any chance have read, that data can still be recovered even after using "secure empty"?

    is there a better way to remove data from the hard drive?

    suggestions would be very appreciated. thanks.
  2. varmit macrumors 68000


    Aug 5, 2003
    Use disk utility

    The secure empty trash, it writes random bits over the area that your data was on like 20 times. So I would say its pretty secure. To make sure, go ahead and use Disk Utility after the secure empty and format the disk. The secure empty will delete the data to a point of really no chance of recovery, then formating the disk will then make it even tougher to get what information was on there.
  3. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    Secure Deleting files will be safe enough for eBay, yes. HOWEVER. Any files you deleted previously, without doing Secure Delete, could still be there. There's probably a ton of stuff in your "free space" still floating around. You need to zero the drive, which takes for-freaking-ever and is easiest done by formatting the disk. There are ways to zero the disk without formatting, but they involve 3rd party apps like Norton Speed Disk.

  4. jholzner macrumors 65816


    Jul 24, 2002
    Champaign, IL
    I'm pretty sure the feature meets government standards for secure deletion. I think apple basically added this feature to get into gov't contracts.
  5. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    What you need to do is use Disk Utility to erase the disk and write zero's. This wipes all data permanently (except for magnetic traces, which only people like the FBI can detect).
  6. superbovine macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003
    i agree with all the previous post, if you want to see for yourself download from recover software from and do a test. make two files. delete 1 with secure delete and 1 with by just emptying the trash. after that try and recover the files. install your recovery software first.
  7. James L macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2004
    Disc utility, the options to format the drive, write the zero's 8 times, etc.

    It took hours, and I do mean hours, to do this to an 80 GB drive... I am sure it was secure!
  8. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    If you REALLY want to be secure, check both the "Zero All Data" and "8-way Random Write Format" boxes in Disk Utility when formatting the disk. Although this method is the most secure, it will take a VERY long time to format the disk and zero out the data. (Note: I believe the 8-way random write format option only exists in the Panther version of Disk Utility.)
  9. James L macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2004

    Thanks, that's what I was trying to say but I couldn't remember the correct terms. It took hours to do it to my drive.


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