Recover erased harddisk?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MBX, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. MBX macrumors 68000

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    Sep 14, 2006
    #1
    Hi there

    I'm a bit paranoid as I'm about to sell my previous/ old MBP and I erased the disk in CMD-R mode.

    However is it possible for somebody to recover all my files with some recovery tools if they wanted to?
     
  2. Abhijaat_Sinha macrumors newbie

    Abhijaat_Sinha

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    #2
    Don't worry. It will be permanently gone. No one can recover the files.
     
  3. iMacDragon macrumors 65816

    iMacDragon

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    #3
    That depends what erase options were selected, if it only took seconds, unless it's a 2018 model, it would not have been a true erase. Need to set the 'security options' on disk utility erase disk to the second notch and overwrite with 0's to ensure nothing can be recovered.
     
  4. MBX thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #4
    It's a late 2016 model. There were not many options to select from. APFS and APFS (encrypted) and some other two. I remember there used to be an option to select what kind of erase security level to choose from but seems gone.
     
  5. Audit13 macrumors 68030

    Audit13

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    #5
    Not sure but encrypting, erase, and reinstall the os may be more secure than just an erase?
     
  6. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #6
    I wouldn't worry about recovery. Even back when using spinning hard drives and the risk of recovering the data was a lot higher. The cost of doing so after a erasure and reinstall made it unlikely that the common thief would undertake such an operation. With SSDs the information is effectively gone, I wouldn't worry.
     
  7. MBX thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #7
    My concern is that if I sell my MBP to a Apple certified (third party) store that they may dissect everything and try a data recovery. Not sure if they really would do it but I know they offer data recovery services and I'm a bit paranoid that they may try to do it on people's disks.

    Are you sure about SSD's data "effectively gone" when you do a simple disk erase via CMD-R installation?
     
  8. maflynn, Aug 10, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018

    maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #8
    Do you think it will be profitable for them to spend thousands upon thousands to pay for data recovery and what will they get in return? If we're talking about the Tim Cooks, Bill Gates of the world, or something then maybe but for simple consumers, there's really no incentive to spend all of that money for what will be nothing much in return.

    Also will an apple certified company risk dealing with police and losing accreditation, along with spend a boat load of cash to pay for the data recovery?
     
  9. MBX thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #9
    I'm not talking about costly data recovery of damaged disks.

    Aren't there apps for like under $100 bucks that can recover files from non-damaged disks (that are just erased manually) very well?

    Maybe I'm too paranoid.
     
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #10
    Can those recover SSD data that was erased (And/or encrypted)?
     
  11. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    #11
    What on Earth are you into that would make that effort/expense worthwhile?
     
  12. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #12
    "My concern is that if I sell my MBP to a Apple certified (third party) store that they may dissect everything and try a data recovery..."

    I wouldn't spend too much time worryin' about it... ;)

    Song lyrics for ya:
    https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/crosbystillsnash/forwhatitsworth.html

    Paranoia strikes deep
    Into your life it will creep
    It starts when you're always afraid
    Step outta line the men come and shoot you down
     
  13. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    #13
    There are apps which can read data directly from HDD sectors after someone did a simple "delete" which merely marks the sectors as available for overwriting when new data needs to be stored.

    Which is why you do an overwrite style erase on HDDs. Then you're talking disassembly and specialized equipment to try to find the underlying residual magnetization to reconstruct the data.

    SSDs are a bit trickier for various reasons. Personally though, if the SSD is encrypted with a strong key and then reformatted it's going to be extremely difficult/costly/time-consuming to recreate anything.

    Folks *are* encrypting their systems, right? We all know that's the smart thing to be doing anyway, right?
     
  14. MBX thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #14
    If by encrypting you mean FileVault, no thanks.

    I've had huge issues with it in the past all the times. It slowed down the system and even corrupted files and disks. Maybe not anymore the case but I'm too hesitant to trust it.
     
  15. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    #15
    That's the cool thing with technology. Stuff improves and advances, such as with putting the encryption engine in hardware in the T2 chip so there's no performance impact. Though to be honest I've never had any issue or perceived performance impact on either my 2012 mac mini or 2015 RMB12. Don't remember any issues or impacts with my old 2010 MBP13 either, but that's just my experience. Our corporate policy forces encryption on all our ~300-ish macs and has for years, haven't heard any issue there either. Not saying you didn't have some issue in the past, but it's pretty solid in everything I've seen.

    But if you wish to walk around with all your stuff unprotected in the event of your laptop being stolen, that's certainly your call.
     
  16. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #16
    What an odd comment.

    I mean you seem very conscience of risking your data, but are unwilling to encrypt your data? That doesn't make sense at all. If you're worried about people stealing your data, then don't sell your Mac.

    Just to point out the summary of the thread:
    1. The risk is low regarding Apple certified dealers.
    2. You can mitigate the risk incredibly by protecting your data, i.e., encrypting it.

    If you don't feel comfortable with both, then you probably shouldn't sell your laptop

    Btw, I've been running FileVault on my 2012 rMBP for many many years problem free.
     
  17. NoBoMac macrumors 68000

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    Jul 1, 2014
    #17
    Just do what Audit13 and others are suggesting. Since getting rid of the Mac, turn on encryption, erase, re-install. Or erase, install with encryption on, erase, re-install. Either way, since the machine will no longer be yours, no need to worry about "issues" with encryption. And whatever data was written to the drive will no longer be readable since the original encryption randomly generated key(s) will be erased.

    And yes, odd that concerned about file security, but not willing to turn on encryption for the drive.
     
  18. PhilMacbook macrumors member

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    #18
    He might simply be worried about having bank account information on there or anything that could be used for ID fraud. I think he has a reasonable concern and most people take their data security too lightly these days, which is why ID fraud happens so often.

    I don't know how he can erase the drive so data can't be recovered but I think he is right to want to.
     
  19. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

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    #19
    Maybe . . . . . How about "BleachBit". ala hillary
     
  20. deeddawg, Aug 10, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018

    deeddawg macrumors 604

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    #20
    I agree folks should take reasonable precautions. Such as storing their sensitive info in an encrypted manner such as using 1Password to store info rather than typing it into plain text files.

    He referenced "dissecting everything" suggesting a concerted effect to dig through unlinked data blocks attempting to recreate something. That's a lot of time an effort for low reward, and thus rather improbable other than instances where the person at the store might have reason to think there'd be a big jackpot.

    Google is a pretty cool tool. One of the top links to a search on "how to secure erase macbook pro ssd" is this: https://www.backblaze.com/blog/how-to-wipe-a-mac-hard-drive/

    The question is moot if the person is using an encrypted drive to begin with; all data would be encrypted already so there'd be nothing to snoop through.

    FAR higher probability of someone stealing the laptop and looking through for usable information than a reputable used-computer wholesaler risking their entire business.

    Years ago whole-disk-encryption did impose enough of a penalty that folks needed to think through whether it was worth the performance impact to gain that security. These days though the performance impact is relatively small -- and with the new T2 chips it's effectively non-existent.
     
  21. MBX thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #21
  22. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    #22
    Correct.... I'm puzzled at your response though. :confused: o_O

    The linked article specifically mentions that, discusses the matter, and then provides a couple options. Including a way to securely erase freespace on your internal SSD despite Disk Utility.

    That's why I linked the article.
     
  23. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #23
    Perhaps it's worth noting that even though Disk Utility may no longer offer a "secure erase" option for SSDs, apps like Drive Genius and TechTool Pro still do...
     
  24. Expobill macrumors 6502a

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    May 30, 2018
    #24
    you could swap the old hd with a new one, then sell
     
  25. Sackofnickels Suspended

    Sackofnickels

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    Jul 13, 2018
    #25
    A secure erase writes over the old data multiple times. Just erasing, or reformatting does not do it. On the other hand I wonder if that idea still applies to SSD's?
     

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