Which is more secure? Erase partition or reformat drive.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Vernotheinferno, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. Vernotheinferno macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    #1
    Hey everyone. I'm getting ready to sell an iMac and want to get rid of all my info and reinstall osx. I'm not very tech savvy, so I'll try to explain what I'm trying to do so that you know what I'm talking about. So, is it better to do a seven pass erase on the partition (The one that says Macintosh hd) or on the disk itself (the one that has the serial number in it's name)? I'm pretty paranoid about my personal info, so I'd like to do this correctly. Thanks.
     
  2. DagazaGZ macrumors regular

    DagazaGZ

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    #3
    It's exactly the same?
     
  3. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #4
    Yes, except as one deletes the existing partition table and creates a new one (no data of yours is deleted that way) and the other leaves the partition table alone (in a way, it doesn't delete the partition table) as it just deletes the partition.
    In the grand scheme of things, neither procedure will delete your data any more secure.
     
  4. Vernotheinferno thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    #5
    Thanks for the reply and the links to those articles. One of those articles mentioned using DBAN (boot and nuke). Is DBAN more secure than the disk utility method? Being that both are free, I might as well use the better method. Also, is it possible to reinstall osx after using DBAN, since I am going to sell this thing it needs to still be functional.
     
  5. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #6
    I never used that tool, but if you use it, you can still use the HDD later to install Mac OS X onto.
     
  6. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #7
    No need to bother with DBAN. Disk Utility offers similar features. There is a "Security Options" button in the erase menu of disk utility. For the most security, I'd use the 7-pass wipe (30 is needless). If you're just wanting a good cleaning, use the Write Zeros method.
     
  7. cinek macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2011
  8. YanniDepp macrumors 6502

    YanniDepp

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    #9
    That is exactly what I was going to say.

    Even if you zero the drive once, it's possible to see what was there before based on how 'strong' the 1 or 0 is on the magnetic platter (i.e. it's possible to see if the data was a 0 that was recently changed to 1, or has been a 1 for a long time). Seven drives pretty much wipes out that possibility. 30 passes will take the best part of a week to run.
     

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