I've been using Lubuntu testbench to format many HDD prior to sale. I have been using the Gnome Disks utility to make sure the disks leave my company clean and all of my data is erased.

I chose to use the SATA SECURE ERASE method of cleaning the drives, as it clears the whole disk surface, not only the blocks the OS is able to see, and is considered as the most secure one.

My system supports SATA HOT PLUG, and during quite a few of disks swaps the power connectors to some drives have moved and the erase was interrupted. I know the secure erase command needs to lock the drive with an ATA password prior to erasing.

I've tried using MHDD to unlock my drives which are now inaccessible, but my SUDO password doesn't seem to unlock them. I've been looking around for a detailed manual for the DISKS utility, but I cannot find anything more than a brief page that states what does the utility do. I am not a programmer and cannot read source code of the tool to find info about where the password comes from by myself.

Does anybody know if this tool randomises the password for every drive it erases, and I'm stuck with like 10 ATA PASSWORD locked drives that are basically junk, or does it use some standard password for each erase?

Could please anybody provide me some info, or some contact to the DEVS of the tool so I could analyse the tool to the point of knowing if it's worth my time even trying to guess a password.

If the password is randomised it should totally warn the user about of the possibility of making the drive locked in case of a power surge or an interrupt of any kind.

Kind regards, Ł. Wolny

  • 1
    Which version of Lubuntu?
    – user68186
    Feb 24 '19 at 23:05
  • I belive it was 18.10. Feb 24 '19 at 23:09

Finally after some more searching found the answer for my question on the disks gitlab page, provided by user advantes.

"Found it! I didn't pay attention before to the fact the Gnome Disk Utility is a graphical front-end for udisks. Searching the udisks source code I found the password at storaged-project/udisks:src/udiskslinuxdriveata.c#L1895. After some months with the HDD locked, everything good now.
Password used in ATA Enhanced Security Erase: xxxx"

Need to double check that info, will update this post after checking if it still works.

Kind regards, Ł. Wolny

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