MBP Retina SSD Secure Erase

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Z3R0-CooL, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. Z3R0-CooL macrumors newbie

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    Oct 10, 2011
    #1
    OK so far i have been unable to find a way to ATA secure erase the SSD. I have tried booting on practically every known Linux distribution but there is no known way to remove the frozen state of this SSD. Sleep does not work and neither does suspending the drive.

    If anyone has figured out how to secure erase the drive for performance reasons please share.
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #2
    Why would you want to secure erase a SSD - you're needlessly incurring write cycles. Unlike hard drives that contain residual magnetic traces of the files, SSDs either have information or they do not. Secure erase does nothing for SSDs (other then incurring more wear)
     
  3. Z3R0-CooL thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    wrong. An internal ATA secure erase command restores performance on an SSD (especially write performance).
     
  4. doh123 macrumors 65816

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    #4
    isn't that what trim is for? Why would you want to do this?
     
  5. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #5
    Apologies, I misread your post and thought you were talking about OSX's secure erase not the ATA version.
     
  6. Z3R0-CooL thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    From my understanding TRIM does not restore performance to or close to factory defaults where as ATA Secure erase is far more reliable. I may be wrong by all reliable SSD manufacturers recommend ATA secure Erase over TRIM alone.
     
  7. doh123 macrumors 65816

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    #7
    you might squeeze a little more performance out of it, but of course they want you to wear your drive out faster too so they can sell you a new one.
     
  8. jcpb macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Secure Erase only matters when you're installing a OS from scratch on a well-used SSD, and that's done maybe once a year. OSes don't break down and cause kernel panics as often as Chrome/Canary on MBPRs.
     
  9. Vid macrumors member

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    Jul 30, 2008
    #9
    Between TRIM and the general advancement of SSD architecture this isn't really necessary. If you were going to reinstall the OS for other reasons it isn't a horrible idea, but it won't really help much.

    Also, I wouldn't worry about wearing out the drive. By definition a secure erase is going to be <1 cycle on the drive(whatever data you had, assuming you rewrite it all).

    I'm wondering why you would feel the need to erase a brand new laptop/ssd?
     
  10. jcpb macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    Probably because most consumer Windows-based laptops come with more preinstalled snake oil and crapware than the average flea market in hell, so starting on a completely fresh slate is ideal.

    The other is selling the laptop where its storage isn't easily replaceable a la MBA and the MBPR.
     
  11. Z3R0-CooL thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 10, 2011
    #11
    Its not a matter of why.. Its a matter of when..

    When i need to perform the ATA secure erase how would I do it? More of a technical enquiry.
     
  12. cdwheel macrumors newbie

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    May 25, 2009
    #12
    if I get a retina macbook pro, which has a SSD, will it get slower over time?
     
  13. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    #13
    Couldn't you just boot from an external USB drive and run Disk Utility?

    ----------

    There's not a lot of posts from the MacBook Air folks (who have been running SSDs in some of the models since 2008, and all of the models since 2010) about them slowing down.
     
  14. doh123 macrumors 65816

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    #14
    no... Apple's SSDs do TRIM support by default, as well as wearing consistently over all the cells. It should remain fast and last many years.
     
  15. likegadgets macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Any further on this?

    I will be selling my 2011 MBP that has the Apple 512 GB SSD and want to secure erase it. Also had not found a way to do so. That Drive (as opposed to the Retina's is removable).

    Can I erase that one in a Windows Machine (connected via a USB Dock) abd then replace it on the MBP before reloading the OS?
     
  16. doh123 macrumors 65816

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    #16
    you boot up off the Lion recovery partition, and do a secure erase through disk utility and start the OS install... then when the OS install is done where its doing the first boot with the welcome in all languages video, you turn it off, so the person you sell it to gets it like a new machine.
     
  17. likegadgets macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Your response is much appreciated.

    From what I have read, this will achieve an ERASE but not a complete secure erase of all DATA. Some restore utilities may still be able to recover data unless the ATA secure command is executed on the drive. Am I misunderstanding?
     
  18. doh123 macrumors 65816

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    #18
    true that on a SSD it won't let you write over all data, and people can recover things.

    There are Linux boot utilities and such you can find to do this.

    There is another method some people are using on Macs though with 10.7.
    Set up full disk encryption with Filevault in the OS, and iCloud. Go to iCloud.com from another computer and send a remote wipe command to the machine... it should erase the encryption key, so while data will still be on the drive when you reformat, it will be useless junk unless someone wants to spend years trying to decrypt data.
     
  19. likegadgets macrumors 6502

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    #19
    The File Filevault + iCloud system sounds like a good way to go. But wouldn't the filevault protect new data going forward (for possible recovery) but not the data that has already been written to the SSD?

    I am wondering if I remove the dirve from the MBP, place it on a USB dock on a Windows Machine (or inside a Windows Laptop) and just use the Windows boot utility to erase the drive if that would work. If I cannot secure erase, I cannot sell the machine with the SSD - would have to get a new drive for it.

    Thanks for your input
     
  20. doh123 macrumors 65816

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    #20
    what I mean is... to do the file vault then remote wipe, then boot up to do the OS install and do a drive reformat, not setting up File Vault again. Old data will still be on the drive in a recoverable way like your worried about, but it'll be totally unusable since it was previously encrypted data, so while people could read old data, its just useless gibberish.
     
  21. toniokroger21 macrumors newbie

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    Jul 4, 2012
    #21
    MBP Retina Secure Erase

    Hi, I have tried every possible Linux distro to initiate Secure Erase ATA on my new Macbook Pro Retina, but to no avail. Closing the lid to put the computer to sleep doesn't work I just get a black screen... and nothing happens. I am unable to unfreeze the drive and pass the proper Hdparm command - closing the lid used to work just fine on my older MBP. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated (please don't suggest methods other than ATA Secure Erase - they do not work). Thanks!
     
  22. jcpb macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    How about just HDDErase? If all you want to do is Secure Erase, you don't need a full-blown *nix distro to do what you want.
     
  23. toniokroger21 macrumors newbie

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    Jul 4, 2012
    #23
    That would be nice, if only I could find a way to get it working on the MBPr. I am not sure how to go about it : )
     
  24. doh123 macrumors 65816

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    #24
    I'm a bit lost... why do you need to secure erase, and what does closing the lid and a black screen have to do with anything?
     
  25. likegadgets macrumors 6502

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    Jul 22, 2008
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    US
    #25
    I was able to secure erase my SSD in my MBP 2011 (apple branded SSD)

    The instructions on the link below worked on my 2011 MBP (Option 2 - Parted Magic)
    http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-20115106-285/how-to-securely-erase-an-ssd-drive/

    I downloaded the Parted Magic ISO (June 2012 version) from here: http://partedmagic.com/doku.php

    Create a CD from the ISO image.

    Follow the instructions. The 2011 MBP booted find into the Linux OS with the PARTED MAGIC utility. (Takes a couple of minutes to boot - Hold option when turning on so you get to select the CD as the boot drive).

    As expected - the state of the SSD upon issuing the secure erase command was frozen, but the utility took care of setting the "sleep". Upon pressing the power and awakening the MBP you can run the erase command again and it worked. Took 4 minutes for the 512 GB Apple SSD (A toshiba, I believe) to be erased.

    BE READY with either your original installation disk or create one before erasing. Also back up (Just in case I had a "super duper" exact image). While some MBP that came with Lion can do an Internet recovery, this is a lengthy process.

    A great utility to create a Lion Installation disk (without the need for the MAC to connect to the internet for an internet recovery) is here:

    http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/39701/lion-diskmaker/

    I do not know if the new retina MBP will boot from the Parted Magic (I have it on CD, but you can make a USB).

    Read all the disclaimers in all the utilities - Backup data, etc.

    It worked perfectly here. I hope that on new OSX version Apple incorporated the ability to secure erase the SSD.

    Good luck - I now have listed my MBP in the marketplace
     

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