What is the best way to erase the data on rMBP 15"?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by hajime, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. hajime macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #1
    Hello, in case I return the old rMBP 15" 2012 to my work place, what is the best way to erase all the data in that computer? It has a SSD drive. Should I zero-in several times? Can IT still retrieve the data after me doing that? I don't recall there is a system disk which came with the computer. I think I heard that the system installation program is in some kind of secret partition. If I zero in the drive, will that partition be erased?
     
  2. Nr123*123 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2014
    #2
    Shut down > Power on > press and hold CMD + R > Select 'Disk Utility' > Select your drive > select Erase

    There are a few erase options under 'security options', from instant to extreme wipe. The latter has numerous passes to erase the data, but be warned it takes hours. Whereas instant is, well, instant. Realistically I would go for instant as the chances of someone recovering your data would require serious determination, but it can be done recovered.
     
  3. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #3
    You will find that the secure erase button is greyed out with SSD Macs since this degrades the flash storage NAND cells.

    Your best option is to go into System Pref in the Security pane and turn on Filevault encryption. Once the encryption is done, do a command-option-r boot to Internet recovery. From there start Disk Util and select the drive itself at the very top of the left column (above Macintosh HD) then go to the erase tab and format the whole disk to Mac OS Extended.

    What this does is erase the encrypted volume so even is someone manages to restore the erased data, it would still be encrypted.

    Now quit Disk Util and click reinstall OS X. That will DL and install the ~5GB OS over the Internet.
     
  4. eneisch macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #4
    This is great advice! I wouldn't have thought to enable file vault prior to reformatting but it makes so much sense. I'm going to file this away in the back of my mind for future use next time I am selling or giving away a computer (with SSD or HDD). Thanks!
     
  5. venom600 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #5
    Unfortunately, the method he described won't work if you need total data security. The problem is that SSDs dynamically allocate storage based on wear patterns... you could literally overwrite the entire drive multiple times and there would still be remnants of data left over.

    You can't totally erase an SSD using tools designed for HDs. You need a tool that can access the built in erase utility in the drives firmware. As far as I can tell there aren't any native OS X utilities that can do it. This article describes what I'm saying in depth and provides a link to a nice DOS tool that can securely erase your drive. Remember DOS? Prepare to step boldly into 1989. :D

    http://www.kingston.com/us/community/articledetail/articleid/10?Article-Title=SSD-Data-Wiping-Sanitize-or-Secure-Erase-SSDs
     
  6. Raffi macrumors 6502a

    Raffi

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2013
    #6
    There is a pretty cool trick to lock data before it is erased. Open a new user with administrater privileges, then delete your old account. That will delete the data in your old account. Then with the new account format the ssd.
     
  7. hajime thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #7
    Thanks. What is DL?
     
  8. someoneoutthere macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2014
    Location:
    Land of... 12,000 Lakes.
    #8
    Download.
     
  9. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #9
    Yes, thank you.

    Sorry for not being more clear hajime. :)
     

Share This Page