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The April 2014 update of the 11" MacBook Air packs refreshed dual-core i5 and i7 Haswell processors and slightly increased battery performance.

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Can't securely erase SSD with parted magic, alternatives?

I work for a university surplus store, where data security is our number one priority, selling the products we fix is our second. With that being said, everything that we sell need to have the HDD either sanitized or destroyed, and our SSD's are wiped with Parted Magic ATA Secure erase. As you may know, wiping SSD's in a laptop can be tricky, as booting from a usb, the SSD does not wake, which means the ATA erase cannot be performed. There is nothing that I can do, other than remove the SSD and put it in a desktop, wipe it, and then reinstall it into the laptop (if the SSD is a 2.5 inch SATA). As you know the airs use mSATA. How can I securely erase these things? I get lucky and sometimes the computer wakes up after I force sleep/wake the machine to try and "wake" the SSD, and sometimes, no matter what I try I cannot get it to wake up to finish to erase the SSD. I'm stuck at the later for this particular machine, and have had no luck at all in wiping this machine. Meaning that I cannot sell it. Any other SECURE suggestions?

Thanks.

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I opted for double encryption, but I encrypted the disk and now the computer is doing nothing. I booted it up, and get a semi lit black screen. I can't boot, it gives me no option to enter my encryption key, won't let me boot into recovery, nor can I Boot to from usb, I CANT WIN.

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How did you encrypt the drive? It sounds like you did the base level not the partition.

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I used file vault, and encrypted the entire drive .

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I think you did this when the drive was external in the OWC Envoy case. Then the key is on the system you used to encrypt the drive on.

Basically, the program did what it was supposed to do. The rub here it wiped out access to the recovery partition to gain access to the boot files to then ask you to supply the key as it it's also encrypted! Basically you have a Catch22 problem!

Time for Windows or Linux to reformat the drive wiping the encryption off formatting it in FAT32 or exFAT. Then you'll need to put it back in the system to format and install a fresh copy of MacOS.

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2 Answers

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You do realize Apple offers a secure erase within its Disk Utility. Here's more: BacBlaze - How to Securely Erase a Mac SSD

Basically using any program which is writing patterns over-wears the SSD drive very quickly! You don't need to do it! HDD's are very different type of drive, they need the secure erase!

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You should not use Apple's secure erase within Disk Utility on a whole SSD drive. This is bad for SSD memory cells, and may not necessarily erase the data,

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Agreed! I don't recommend it if you plan to save the drive. Because of government requirements we needed to destroy the drives for one of my clients. My other clients allow me to just encrypt the drive then reformat it.

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Use the UNIX/Linux Command "shred". This securely overwrites data 3 times so it cannot be recovered.

https://www.computerhope.com/unix/shred....

https://superuser.com/questions/617515/u...

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Only needed on hard drives not needed on SSD's due to their design.

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@danj, shred can target individual files vs a whole drive, allowing for a quicker return. shred + TRIM command set is a very quick and dirty way to clean a drive.

Obviously, the most secure way is either the ATA secure erase command set or simply to set an encryption key, then remove the encryption key, but OS X / Mac design isn't very friendly toward this style of wipe. You would need a direct SATA connect, and since Macs don't have eSATA, that is an issue. You would have to boot via thumb drive, install a hard drive that you want to wipe via SATA and run the command, then physically uninstall it, and repeat for every drive you want to wipe.

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We take the drive out and mount it into a OWC Envoy SSD case to erase and then reformat its just easier.

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