This guide is about the How to Secure Erase a Mac SSD / Hard Disk from Recovery Mode. I will try my best so that you understand this guide very well. I hope you all like this guide How to Secure Erase a Mac SSD / Hard Disk from Recovery Mode.
Newer Macs have a recovery partition instead of a separate external recovery disc, and if you’ve ever booted a newer Mac, iMac, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro from an SSD partition in the Recovery partition to format the drive, you may have noticed that the “Security Settings” button is grayed out settings, which ostensibly precludes the usual “secure” removal operation. The exact reason for this isn’t entirely clear, although some speculate, because writing 1 and 0 to an SSD can lead to poor performance and shorter drive life, and that it continues even in the latest versions of OS X, it’s not just a bug. Nevertheless, many users want the option of securely erasing data from the SSD. The most obvious solution to this problem is to boot your Mac from an external boot drive (this is how you can do one for Mountain Lion), but it’s not always an option for everyone, but luckily there is a workaround that allows you to perform a secure removal directly from the recovery partition itself.
This is a good workaround because you technically wipe the drive twice during the process. The first time is not a safe removal, it is the second time a design that allows you to achieve the desired result. For users using an SSD, it is important to note that the use of secure formatting options, such as 7 and 35 pass-through, can lead to shortened drive life or degraded performance, although TRIM is believed to reduce this risk. Make sure you understand it and are happy with this potential before proceeding.
Protect the protected format of the SSD (or OS X boot disk) in recovery mode
While this may be obvious, it is important to note and remember that this process removes all data from the drive, which then cannot be restored due to highly secure formatting options. Always back up important data before formatting the drive, otherwise it will be lost forever.
- Restart your MacBook and hold down the OPTION key, then select the Recovery Partition
- In the OS X Utilities menu, select “Disk Utility”
- Select the primary partition of your hard drives (commonly referred to as Macintosh HD) on the left, and then click the “Delete” tab
- Under “Format,” select “Mac OS Extended (updated, encrypted) —The“ Encrypted ”section is critical
- Select “Delete” and set a password for the encrypted partition. Now choose a simple password that is easy to remember, and then click “Delete”.
- Allow the drive to be erased and become encrypted, this process may take some time depending on the type, size and speed of the drive
- Now re-select the partition in Disk Utility and select “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” from the “Remove” tab
- Note that the “Delete Free Space” and “Security Settings” buttons can now be clicked as expected, select “Security Settings” and select the level of secure deletion. “35-pass deletion” is by far the safest, but it takes 35 times longer to literally write existing data to drives 35 times
- Click “OK” and let Secure Delete continue when you’re done, you have an empty primary partition that has been formatted securely
Your Mac hard drive is now safely removed completely from the built-in recovery partition without a separate boot drive or disk. At this point, you may want to repair the disk because you’ve already started recovery, or you can exit Disk Utility and reinstall a clean version of OS X on your Mac, or do anything else until you’re empty of hard disk space.
Note that this does not delete the recovery partition. You can do this separately if you want, but it is not recommended because you cannot restore OS X or boot to recovery mode after it is removed, and therefore requires the use of an external boot disk to reinstall Mac OS X.
Decide for David, who has walked the bottom of this trick from the MacRumors forums. We’ve confirmed that this works on a MacBook Air with an SSD, but if anyone knows a better way to safely format Macs’ SSDs or boot disks in recovery mode, let us know in the comments!
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