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I have an external NTFS drive, and I want to securely remove some files from it. SRM is no longer available in Sierra. I tried to install SRM with Homebrew, and did install it successfully, but when I apply the command to an external drive I get an error: "Segmentation fault: 11" What can I do?

I do not use software like Paragon NTFS to enable write on the drive. Instead I do this in Terminal:

sudo nano /etc/fstab

Add the following line to nano, replacing “NAME” with the label of your NTFS drive:

LABEL=NAME none ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse

Ctrl+O then the Enter key, then Ctrl+X to close nano.

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Use gshred. Install homebrew if not installed from www.brew.sh. Then do

brew install coreutils

to remove files, do

gshred -u <file1> <file2>
  • Is this secure removal? How many passes is it? – InterestedLearner Mar 10 '17 at 15:13
  • 3 by default. Check the parameters "man gshred". "-n N overwrite N times instead of the default (3)" – user2707001 Mar 10 '17 at 17:53
  • Well it is as secure removal as srm - good enough in most cases if the file system overwrites data in place. – user2707001 Mar 10 '17 at 17:57
  • If you need to remove "really" secure, overwrite the whole hard disk with random data. Never use tools on mounted filesystems. There are too many ways this can go wrong. – user2707001 Mar 10 '17 at 17:58
  • On current hard drives, a few passes are sufficient for high security wipes due to the high data density. Keep in mind that the drives have a lot of electronic inside that remaps data, so if you have really really important data on the drive, you should really physically destroy it if you want to securely remove the content. – user2707001 Mar 10 '17 at 18:03
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You can use rm with the -P option which will overwrite the file prior to deleting it.

From the man page:

Overwrite regular files before deleting them. Files are overwritten three times, first with the byte pattern 0xff, then 0x00, and then 0xff again, before they are deleted

It's not a DoD 7 pass wipe, but fairly secure nonetheless. So, your command would be:

rm -P /path/to/foo.bar

And it will do a triple overwrite before removal.

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