How do I stop 'secure erase' 35 pass without trashing drive? (26hours remain)

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
Disk utility is beachballing while it runs a secure erase 35 pass on a hard drive. I had no idea it would have a 26 hour erase cycle, and it appears the genius' at Apple who wrote this utility haven't given me a way to 'stop this' process without pulling the plug on the machine.

Any tips? All I have is a beachball and Estimated Time of 26 Hours, which...there is no way in hades I'll leave this thing running that long.

I need to stop it without killing the 100gb 7200rpm drive...




  • Reply 1 of 5
    slugheadslughead Posts: 1,169member
    Would it really kill the drive?

    I don't think it would
  • Reply 2 of 5
    sandausandau Posts: 1,230member
    well, its not good to mess with a drive while its being formatted.

    its been several hours, still says pass 1 of 35, estimated 35 hours. I think its stuck. but with a beachball, who knows.

    I guess I'll reboot and see if I just dumped $200 out the window.
  • Reply 3 of 5
    1. Why do you need to do a 35-pass erase?

    2. it shouldn't kill the drive. Disk utility beach balled on me once before (or did I accidentally unplug the drive?) and when I tryed to mount the disk it sayed "This disk is unreadable by this computer" But going back into disk utility, it reconized the volume not the disk. I was able to reformat it later.

    Just my 2 cents....
  • Reply 4 of 5
    sandausandau Posts: 1,230member
    i thought i'd erase it before i sold it. didn't know it would be a 35 hour process! lol.

    anyway, i rebooted, had to 'force quit' the app since it wouldn't reboot without the force quit. (bad design in the disc utility, imho)

    it took a reboot and a few minutes for it to see the volume, i'm doing a 'lesser' reformat right now.
  • Reply 5 of 5
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    The 35 pass erase is unnecessary.

    Once upon a time when drive density was much lower and head positioning was a couple orders of magnitude less precise some bonehead wrote a paper that he extracted inter-track data. Only he left it buried inconspicuously in the paper that he knew ahead of time what the data was. Modern drives are so much more precise that most of that inter-track "slop" is not useful for data extraction anymore. Extracting unknown data from a drive that has been zeroed once (not just "erased, that only deletes the directory-not the data) is too hard and computationally expensive unless the data is the kind of stuff NSA and CIA would worry about. Even then there is no guarantee of finding much recognizable.
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