12 Replies Latest reply on Nov 24, 2009 4:34 PM by InvisiBill

    HDDerase equivalent for Mac?


      I have an Intel x25-m G2 drive in a 13" MacBook Pro with the latest firmware (the one causing all the issues on Windows 7). It has been fine, but I'm curious if there's a way to send the secure erase ATA command to the drive like HDDerase does.


      I've made FreeDOS boot discs with HDDerase on it, but it doesn't see the drive (I believe this is because the Mac always has the drive in enhanced SATA mode and I believe HDDerase requires IDE mode -- something I cannot change, nor would I want to in light of the latest firmware issues possibly springing from switching ide/ahci modes for the drive).


      I'm sure other Mac users are wondering the same thing.

        • 1. Re: HDDerase equivalent for Mac?

          Boot with a Linux live CD (like Kubuntu) and try using hdparm.


          More details here:



          You might have to disconnect and then reconnect your disk for the 1st step to work. HDDErase never worked for me.

          • 2. Re: HDDerase equivalent for Mac?

            Thanks, I booted to the CD but at the hdparm info screen it tells me the drive is, indeed, frozen.


            The wiki you linked to was great, and it said if this happens you should use an eSata enclosure or try hot-plugging the drive.


            I'm reluctant to hot-plug the drive because I don't want to damage it (plus I'll have to take my laptop apart for that). Is hot-plugging safe?

            • 3. Re: HDDerase equivalent for Mac?

              Yep! Count me in the same boat. My drive is working perfectly. It would be nice if Intel would also have a MAC utility that does something similar to the Windows utility.  Even if it is a "crude" command-line tool. I don't need a GUI.


              So Intel guru's, I hope you see this. The MAC users would greatly appreciate it.

              • 4. Re: HDDerase equivalent for Mac?

                I agree. I'm pretty concerned that their SSD Toolbox is Windows-only.  I hope that isn't a sign of things to come. They sell the drive to all kinds of users. Such tools should be universal (which really isn't hard if you're willing to use the command line.)


                And Intel definitely has the resources (in comparison with their smaller competitors) to create these tools.

                • 5. Re: HDDerase equivalent for Mac?

                  I don't have a Mac but hot-plugging SATA disks is fine. I followed the wiki article, booted with a Linux live CD and the bottom laptop panel open. Once at the desktop, I just gently disconnectd the disk from the laptop connector by sliding it out slightly and then plugging it back after about 5 seconds. The disk then gets detected as /dev/sda and it is in the "unfrozen" state, which will allow you to follow the rest of the article.


                  I too hope that Intel gives us a manual TRIM tool that works under different OSes but it could just be wishful thinking.

                  • 6. Re: HDDerase equivalent for Mac?



                    Can you elaborate on why hot plugging SATA drives is fine? I always thought this was a bad idea but I'll be glad to be wrong about it.

                    • 7. Re: HDDerase equivalent for Mac?

                      I too would like to know when Intel will provide a method for us Mac users to restore our drives to like new performance...

                      • 8. Re: HDDerase equivalent for Mac?

                        I hot plugged the drive while booted to a linux livecd, and it unfroze the drive. i was able to use hdparm to send the secure erase ata command and it worked great. Only took about a minute to wipe my 160gb drive.


                        I appreciate the help.

                        • 9. Re: HDDerase equivalent for Mac?

                          What happens if you run Intel SSD Optimizer under Boot Camp Windows 7 setup. I own 13 MacBook Pro 2.53Ghz Model (late 2009)

                          I have installed Windows 7 x86 Ultimate and allocated 30Gb to it. My firmware is still not updated as I am waiting for the final release, but the question is would I be able to TRIM my MAC Partition at all? Any advices would be greatly appreciated.



                          • 10. Re: HDDerase equivalent for Mac?

                            No, it will not work. I haven't tried it, but TRIM does not work as of yet on a MAC filesystem.  If you do try it make sure you have good backups just in case it doesn't work.

                            • 11. Re: HDDerase equivalent for Mac?

                              It's fine to hotplug SATA drives because they were designed for it.  If you look at the connector, certain pins are actually longer than others to ensure that those pins make contact first when being inserted.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_ATA#Hotplug has a little info on it.

                              • 12. Re: HDDerase equivalent for Mac?

                                Along the same lines as the Linux CD and hdparm, Parted Magic's gparted includes a Secure Erase option as well.


                                Note that the Frozen status is due to your BIOS blocking commands like Secure Erase for safety (to ensure that a virus or something won't run a Secure Erase command).  The easiest way around it is to hotplug your SATA drive after the BIOS has gone through that part of its routine, though that may not always be practical and/or work right.