Secure Erase with Apple's Disk Utility

Discussion in 'macOS' started by i3eta, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. i3eta macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2008
    I have reformatted my hard drive a few times (and/or re-installed OS X. I dont know much about computers so I dont really know what I did) and I just got done securely erasing the data on my HD and reinstalling OS X. I followed these steps that I found online:

    Insert the install CD and reboot the system.
    Hold down the C key directly after you hear the startup sound.
    Once the installer appears, select "Open Disk Utilities" from the Installer menu.
    In the left device menu select the drive you wish to securely erase.
    Click the "Erase" tab in the window that loads on the right.
    Choose the HFS+ format from the volume format drop menu options.
    Click the "Options" button and select the "Zero All Data" checkbox.
    Click OK and then Erase.

    All was well until I got down to "choose the HFS+ format from the volume format drop menu options." There was no HFS+ that i was aware of. However, there were several other volume options. I do not recall all of them( I should of wrote them down.) but they were like...Macintosh HD extended, Macintosh HD extended (journaled) There were about 3 of them...Im worried that each time I tried to erase my HD and reinstall OS X I created a "volume" or something I should not of. I hope this makes sense. I guess the point of all this is that im worried that these "volumes" or whatever still have data from before I deleted all files from my HD. Can someone make sense to all this and relieve me from the worry that I dont have several copies of all my previous data stored? I just have that feeling when I sell this macbook someone can go to one of those volumes and retrieve my info. And what is a volume anyway? you can tell I dont know what im talking about. Thanks for the help.
  2. Neil321 macrumors 68040


    Nov 6, 2007
    Britain, Avatar Created By Bartelby
    No you whouldnt have created a new volume as all your trying to do is to
    format the drive,the one you want is Mac extended journaled then go threw
    the erase bit(zero out data etc)then install the OS
  3. i3eta thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2008
  4. Sherman Homan macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2006
    The option to zero out your data is a pretty safe way to vaporize your files so that no one can recover it. Obviously, the higher the number of write/rewrites passes makes it even more secure. But a 35 pass zeroing on a 500 gig drive can take hours! Once the drive is zeroed and the operating system reinstalled, there isn't going to be much left except strings of files that would be extremely difficult to make sense of.
    A hard drive is the actual hardware, a volume is any partition on the hard drive. Typically you only have one volume which is the entire formatted space on the hard drive. People do partition a drive into multiple volumes, but there are only a few good reasons to do so. Multiple Operating Systems is the most common.
    The format choices are essentially HFS+ and FAT32. The HFS+ flavors included journaling and case sensitive file names. The most common is Mac OS Extended (Journaled) for hard drives, don't choose journaling for temporary storage devices like thumb drives. FAT32 is a Windows relic but both Macs and PCs can read and write FAT32, so it is still quite useful.

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