Faster way to securely erase external hard drives (not SSD)?

Disk Utility has 4 options for this. I tried Option 2, which states that it is two-pass. It looks like it is going to take around 4-5 hours for one drive (2 TB). I have six more drives to erase, total of 4 more TB.

Is there a faster option for this? I’ve done about 50 different Google searches and several searches here as well. So far I can’t find a faster option…

Are you trying to destroy the disk? If so, drive shredding works. Or finding someone with a high powered degausser.

A drill press w/ a 1/2 inch bit works well too, and probably easier to find than a big degausser or shredder.

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No, not trying to destroy, just securely wipe.

AFAIK there’s no way to speed up a secure wipe, other than making fewer passes. The speed is determined by the computer’s bus and the drive’s write speed.

You can do a single pass wipes using the diskutil command.

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Ok this is what I need to do:

“ The modern solution for quickly and securely erasing your data is encryption. Strongly-encrypted data can be instantly “erased” by destroying (or losing) the key (password), because this renders your data irretrievable in practical terms. Consider using APFS encryption (FileVault).”

But When I encrypted then did an erase, the Disk Drill app still found files to recover. So couldn’t someone else do the same?

This article indicates that deleting the container that holds an encrypted volume should render it unrecoverable. I need to test this again I guess:

When you say that Disk Drill found files to recover, could you actually recover them in a readable state?

They may have been deleted files from before the encryption.

If you want drives securely erased, this is how long it takes unfortunately. the secure erase process is writing data onto every part of the drive (over the top of your previous data) and then erasing it.

Think of a HDD like a book with an index all written in pencil. Anything “Quick” is merely erasing the index which still leaves the data on each page, even if it’s not referenced from the index.

(this is where the analogy gets strained)

A Secure erase is effectively writing other random information on top of your information then rubbing it all out so you can’t read what was there from the indents on the page.

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I could see photo previews inside Disk Drill…

I’m aware of the secure erase process, just haven’t done any in a long time, and definitely never on larger drives. 2TB took about 8 hours. Geeze, life is too short for this LOL

This is also possible. I will test this as well, thanks.

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I would guess that as Block sizes have got smaller and capacities larger, it’s become a more painstaking process.

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