If you use FileVault, any data "left behind" on your erased hard drive will be totally unreadable by your Mac's next owner. Enter the password for any FileVault-enabled user account, and the disk is unlocked and can be erased. Without the key, which is uncrackable in any realistic period of time by any current technology, the erased data is as good as gone as if it had been written over millions of times.
You can then install OS X on that partition, either from the recovery system or via an external drive.
How long to securely erase (7 pass) 500GB HDD?
Reader Peter wondered how FileVault figures in to cloning a disk. Andrew Robertson writes that when he upgraded to Yosemite, his recovery drive remained out of date with You can reinstall This should upgrade the recovery partition. To recover a key , first start up OS X normally, and enter the wrong password three times. This is also how to use iCloud password recovery on non-FileVault systems. Technology such as wear leveling , which tries to ensure each memory block on an SSD is used the same amount of times, can really mess with a secure erase.
If we can't be confident an SSD was properly erased, then there is only one route to take that will ensure all data is beyond the reach of anyone: Using encryption. By using FileVault to encrypt the drive startup drive and Disk Utility to encrypt external drives, all the data on the drive will be garbled, unless someone has the encryption key your password.
Now, when it comes time to part with your drive, all you have to do is a basic erase in Disk Utility. This will delete your encryption key, leaving nothing but garbled data on the drive. Without a way to decrypt the garble, even if all of it is recovered, it will be useless. Of course, you can apply this to hard drives as well, but as those have actual secure erase options available, it's better to use those.
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If you are unable to mount the drive, whether it's a hard drive or solid state drive, tools like Disk Utility won't help you. You might think that if you can't access it, neither will someone else. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
While a dumpster diver won't go through the trouble of repairing the drive, someone with more time, deeper pockets and more motivation certainly can. Hard drive platters can be extracted from the drive enclosure and read out using specialized equipment. For drives that are not accessible, there is only one option to ensure the data is unrecoverable: Smash it to bits. Professional data recovery companies can extract data from drives that were under water for long periods of time—or even in a serious fire. Smashing a hard drive with a sledgehammer or baseball bat is strangely satisfying too, but unless you open the enclosure to make sure the platters or chips are pulverized, even a few well-placed hits may not be enough to destroy your data.
- Mac 911: How to erase your Mac's hard drive the right way.
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Of course, there is also a health hazard with debris flying around. After an erase like that, or any erasure there are some fragments of data left at the edges of the magnetic tracks, but unless you have some ultra specialist magnetic reading hardware and the scientists to operate it then forget it.
How to Securely Erase Data from Your Mac and External Drives | The Mac Security Blog
That sort of tech is very expensive and only typically used by governments to recover data owned by crimelords and terrorists. Unless you are at that level of bad then don't worry.
Originally Posted by louishen. It be as only Free Space was erased. To remove everything use Erase in Disk Utility with the seven pass zeroing. Erase Free Space is a different procedure to erasing the drive for a clean install.
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Using OS X. Originally Posted by Daragon.
Even better with SSD and FileVault 2
How could this be? Things like photos and mp3's had random characters all over them, with no preview, does that mean they're corrupted? I'm just confused on how this could be secure. Beachballs - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space - Apple Battery Info. Originally Posted by pigoo3. I don't believe that you read "chscag's" post above very carefully.
When you do a "Secure Erase" you have two options: