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.
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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. Of course, there is also a health hazard with debris flying around. So take precaution with this fun, albeit super destructive, method to securely erase data.
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A professional service that uses hard drive shredders is a safer and probably more effective option. That said, if you think you can do better than this , or if a professional service is not in your budget, or if you simply believe smashing it with a hammer is more satisfying, have at it! Just make sure you take the necessary safety precautions.
Click the Format pop-up menu, then choose a volume format. Use for Windows volumes that are 32 GB or less. Use for Windows volumes that are over 32 GB. Enter a name for the disk or volume.
Securely erase a Mac hard drive
Click Erase, then click Done. Format a disk for Windows computers. Encrypt and protect a disk with a password.
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Yes No. Character limit: If you need to erase your disk before installing High Sierra or later for the first time on that disk, choose Mac OS Extended Journaled. Are you preparing a Time Machine backup disk or bootable installer? Will you be using the disk with another Mac? Disk Utility tries to detect the type of storage and show the appropriate format in the Format menu. How to erase a disk for Mac Use Disk Utility to erase format a hard disk, flash drive, or other storage device for Mac.
How to erase a disk Disk Utility can erase disks, add volumes, check disks for errors, and more. You can also find it in the Utilities folder of your Applications folder.
Securely erase a Mac hard drive
From the sidebar in Disk Utility, select the disk or volume to erase. Click the Erase button or tab, then complete these fields: Enter a name for the disk or volume, such as "Macintosh HD". Disk Utility shows a compatible format by default. Click Erase to begin erasing.
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