*UrGENT* need help erasing failing hard drive

Discussion in 'macOS' started by ibook4a, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. ibook4a macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    hi,

    my hard drive is reporting that its S.M.A.R.T status is failing. so i am sending it in tomorrow to get it repaired, however i dont feel comfortable sending it in without securely erasing the disk first.

    Disk utility wont let me do anything with the hard drive. All it says is 'this drive has reported a fatal error to Disk utility'

    Would REALLY appreciate the help. perhaps a command through terminal - i dont know

    Cheers

    A
     
  2. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    Nothing really, you need to run disk utility from the CD to re-zero the drive 7 times to completely remove the risk.

    If you can login to the drive make sure you have a backup, also add a new admin account with no password, so they don't have to login to your user account.
     
  3. ibook4a thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Its not my startup drive, its just another internal one in my mac pro. I did try booting from the cd, but there was no difference in doing that or doing it from mac os x. Any ideas?
     
  4. Peace macrumors P6

    Peace

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Location:
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    #4
    Weird.I had the exact same problem.I couldn't do anything with the hard drive so I sent it in to Apple under warrenty.It wasn't readable at all.AND.

    It had a lot of Apple NDA info on it.

    Not my fault..

    Oh well.
     
  5. ibook4a thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    ahh thats not comforting. Do you reckon i'd be able to do it in terminal somehow?
     
  6. TheStu macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Location:
    Carlisle, PA
    #6
    Well, if you have another system available, you should be able to pull the drive, hook it up to maybe even a windows system, format it FAT32, then hook it back up to your system, and then run the 7 pass.

    Or, if you can find a secure erasing program for windows.... just do it there.
     
  7. antibact1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    #7
    Odds are they are going to simply replace the drive. With that in mind, I would contact them in advance and see if they would mind you dismantling the drive, keeping the platters (destroying them some other way), and sending the casing. In most instances, some piece of hardware is required for accounting purposes. Make it clear that there is "confidential" information on there and you are not comfortable returning it to them with it on there. If you are under some legal obligation not to share any of the data, that could prove more useful for your case. The sending back of disposable components such as hard drives is done just to prevent people from requesting multiple replacements - they shouldn't have a problem with you if this is your first time.

    Update: Something like this may not even be required. Dell has a "Keep Your Hard Drive" program, other manufacturers may have something similar

    http://www1.ca.dell.com/content/top...ort/keep_harddrive?c=ca&cs=cabsdt1&l=en&s=bsd
     
  8. ibook4a thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    Thanks for the input, did try that but couldnt really figure out how to do it...it was made complicated by the drive being formatted in hfs+ which of course windows can't read.

    Dismantle it!?:eek: I did send them an email along those lines, i doubt they'll agree though/ we'll see.


    I'm still open to ideas on how to erase this thing securely(!

    a
     
  9. antibact1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    #9
    The reason I suggested dismantling was I work for a company that holds secure data, and we did this with some of our drives. The company needed to have some physical material back, but we couldn't give up the platters. We thought about buying new drives but they were expensive SCSI ones and figured we would go the warranty route if possible. Keeping the platters was our compromise.
     
  10. bplein macrumors 6502

    bplein

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX USA
    #10
    It is not uncommon for companies that have sensitive data to simply forgo the warranty benefits on a hard drive.

    Apple needs the hardware in order to get THEIR warranty benefit from Hitachi, Fujitsu or Seagate. At least on paper.

    If this is very important to you, just replace the hard drive yourself at your cost and destroy the drive yourself. Drives are cheap, is your security worth less than the cost of the drive?
     
  11. ibook4a thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    Right, after quite alot of thinking i came up with a solution, i'll post it now for anyone thats interested:

    1 - opened bootcamp utility and told it to format the failing drive to fat 32.

    2 - restarted into windows and download application called 'eraser'.

    3 - now that the failing drive was appearing in my computer i right clicked it and told it to overwrite the drive with meaningless data

    - Sorted!

    Looks like i wont have to dismantle it:rolleyes:

    thank you to everyone for all your help
     

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