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Old 03-08-2018, 06:34 PM
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Default "Securely" Erase Mac SSD using Filevault

Hi...a friend would like to sell their MacBook Pro, and they want to make sure all their financial data is erased as best as can be. It has an SSD, and they would like to do a little more than simply using Erase in Disk Utility. They believe they can do the following:

1) Enable Filevault, and let the drive encrypt
2) Boot into Recovery Mode
3) Go to File, select the disk and click Unlock
4) Click Erase in Disk Utility

My questions: is step 3 still required? Once you have erased the drive and reinstalled the OS, will it still prompt you for a Filevault password?
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Last edited by RedOctober; 03-09-2018 at 06:33 AM. Reason: Fixed the best typo ever
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:16 PM
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Yes, step 3 is required, at least it has been when I've needed to erase a file vault volume in disk utility. Basically the file vault key gets deleted, makes the data useless.

after you reinstall the OS, file vault will be turned off, unless you turn it on again. The system will not prompt you for a password.
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:32 PM
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Best. Typo. Ever.
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:57 PM
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If the disk is encrypted with Filevault, just reinstall the OS as a fresh install. There is no way for a new owner to recover the data. But if it's not already encrypted, it can take a long time, depending on processor speed and size of drive, to encrypt the disk. Spinning multi-TB disk can take a couple of days but smaller solid state should take much less.
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr K View Post
If the disk is encrypted with Filevault, just reinstall the OS as a fresh install. There is no way for a new owner to recover the data. But if it's not already encrypted, it can take a long time, depending on processor speed and size of drive, to encrypt the disk. Spinning multi-TB disk can take a couple of days but smaller solid state should take much less.
If it's a spinning disk, you don't need to worry about turning on file vault, just do a secure erase/format. That will zero out the disk. The issue with SSD's is that the secure erase is not an option.
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Old 03-09-2018, 06:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbernard View Post
Yes, step 3 is required, at least it has been when I've needed to erase a file vault volume in disk utility. Basically the file vault key gets deleted, makes the data useless.

after you reinstall the OS, file vault will be turned off, unless you turn it on again. The system will not prompt you for a password.
Thank you!
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