CLC Secure Erase Mac HD and Reset Firmware Security

This documentation is intended for Penn State use only, but available for public viewing.

Updated 03/05/2010.

These instructions below detail how to erase the firmware security and securely erase a CLC Managed Mac's hard disk. Before a Mac that is managed by CLC is retired from the labs all data on the boot disk must be securely erased, along with erasing and resetting the firmware security.

1. Obtain a portable firewire CLC Mac Build Drive from Kent Becker in CLC.

2. Power down the Mac that you want to rebuild.

3. Attach the firewire disk to the Mac's firewire 800 port. If the Mac doesn't have a FireWire 800 port then you'll need to find and use a cable that converts to a FireWire 400 port and connect that end to the Mac.

4. Press the Mac's power button to boot it up and immediately press the OPTION key on the keyboard until you either see a picture of a Padlock or an orange firewire disk icon. If you see the padlock screen, enter in the firmware password and press return or click the right arrow icon.

5. After entering in the password at the padlock the boot picker will be displayed.

Click the orange disk icon named PSU CLC Mac Build to boot the Mac from the external firewire CLC Mac Build disk.

6. Once the login window appears enter in the password for the CLC Mac Build user name.
7. After PSU Blast Image Config launches enter in the password again for the CLC Mac Build user name.
8. Select Erase Firmware Password and Mac HD from the Select the configuration to use pop-up menu.

9. The firmware boot security will be erased and reset during the pre-restore script execution, which will appear and run automatically.

10. Next the secure disk erase process will start. Depending on the speed of the Mac and the size of the disk, this process could take a while to run. For example - a 300 GB hard disk in a 2.0 Ghz iMac took 1 hour and 25 minutes to complete.


Of the available secure erase methods, this is the fastest method. This method writes zeroes to the entire disk making data recovery with conventional data recovery software tools almost impossible.


11. After the disk has been securely erased the Mac will automatically power down.

At this point unplug the firewire disk. The Mac is now ready to be retired from the CLC labs.

Go back to the CLC Staff Docs

Last Updated October 2, 2010