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My Retina MacBook Pro has died spectacularly after just over 30 days with what appears to be an SSD fault. No boot, no recovery, and after internet recovery, Disk Utility can't see the SDD at all.

I've persuaded Amazon to extend the returns period, so a replacement machine is on the way - but is there any way I can wipe the SSD before the returning the dead machine to remove personal data?

I'm 99.99% certain the answer is 'no', in which case what precautions can I take in future to make sure personal data stays 'personal' in the event of SSD failure ?

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Fire. Unfortunately that would seem to be at odds with Amazon's return policy.

If Disk Utility can't see the drive, it's unlikely you'll be able to access it to overwrite anything (and overwriting on SSDs can be tricky in any event). Additionally, because the drive in the rMBP is a proprietary form factor, it's difficult to take it out and try to access it from another computer (which might not help any way). There may be adapters made in the future, but I'm not aware of any for sale at the moment.

The best preventative measure for this would be to employ some form of whole drive encryption, like Apple's FileVault. That way even if someone is able to read the data off the drive, it won't be useable unless they have your encryption password.

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Thanks. I'd initially discounted Filevault as I thought it would be slow, but it looks like it's a fairly minor effect. osxdaily.com/2011/08/10/… –  Roddy Oct 4 '12 at 15:53
    
Yes, with a recent processor and an SSD it does just fine. On a Retina MBP you'll be golden. –  robmathers Oct 4 '12 at 16:10
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