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Thread: hdparm always shows drives frozen

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Beans
    70

    hdparm always shows drives frozen

    Dear all,
    I am trying to perform a 'secure-erase' on a drive as shown in the tutorial here:
    http://tinyapps.org/docs/wipe_drives_hdparm.html
    unfortunately I cannot get any of the drives (even the one that the OS is running which must be a bug) to not appear as 'frozen'.

    example output:

    I have tried putting the computer to sleep and waking it up, but it wont wake up. I have also tried rebooting the machine, but the drives will still show up as frozen directly after booting up.

    I have also tried using the hdparm -y command to set into standby rather than sleep mode, which returns success but still shows frozen.

    Whilst frozen, I cannot set the security password or perform a secure-erase as this will return
    "... Input/output error"

    Any and all help appreciated.

    Regards
    Stu
    Last edited by sdpagent; May 19th, 2012 at 12:15 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Beans
    6,993
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: hdparm always shows drives frozen

    Hi sdpagent.

    I haven't found a way to unfrozen a SSD without sending the machine to sleep first.

    This is how I've done it: How to securely erase an SSD drive using Parted Magic.

    I hope that helps,
    Regards.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Beans
    70

    Re: hdparm always shows drives frozen

    Quote Originally Posted by papibe View Post
    Hi sdpagent.

    I haven't found a way to unfrozen a SSD without sending the machine to sleep first.

    This is how I've done it: How to securely erase an SSD drive using Parted Magic.

    I hope that helps,
    Regards.
    Unfortunately these aren't SSDs, and my computer wont boot back up from sleep...
    They are two WDs and a Hitachi sata hdds.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Beans
    70

    Re: hdparm always shows drives frozen

    An update which may or may not help. It appears that if I boot the computer without the drives in, and then plug them in after the machine has started, they are not recognised and do not appear when I run the command:
    fdisk -l

    I read online that hot swapping should be supported. Is there any reason to believe otherwise?

    Stu

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Beans
    70

    Re: hdparm always shows drives frozen

    I discovered that the issue was that I did not have AHCI enabled in the bios. After turning that on, I was able to unplug and re-plug the drives in and they show up as not frozen

    Stu

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Beans
    1

    Re: hdparm always shows drives frozen

    Quote Originally Posted by sdpagent View Post
    An update which may or may not help. It appears that if I boot the computer without the drives in, and then plug them in after the machine has started, they are not recognised and do not appear when I run the command:
    fdisk -l

    I read online that hot swapping should be supported. Is there any reason to believe otherwise?

    Stu
    Back to the original issue:

    BIOS's sometimes set the freeze state of a drive. Once that is set, you are stuck and cannot erase the drive. In order to "un-freeze" the drive you must 'reset' the drive WITHOUT letting the BIOS get involved. Easiest way to do this is to power cycle the drive.

    Of course, hot swap must work or the drive won't be detected by the OS, which is why you had to turn on AHCI.

    In summary:

    If BIOS 'freeze's a drive, your options are:
    1 - 'thaw' (un-freeze?) the drive by power cycling JUST THE DRIVE and not the computer.
    2 - get a BIOS that doesn't freeze drives.
    3 - do not let the BIOS see the drive during bootup.

    Rusty

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