Securely erasing pinephone
#1
Hi all,

I am looking to sell my pinephone and want to securely erase it first, what is the best way of doing this?

I am thinking:
  • Boot from another distro on an SD card
  • Run shred on all partitions on the eMMC
  • Reinstall OS using jump drive image

I think this would work fine but I am wondering
  • Is there a better way of doing this?
  • Is it ok to nuke the eMMC like this or is there firmware, bootloaders etc. on the eMMC that would brick the phone if removed?

Cheers
  Reply
#2
(01-15-2022, 11:26 AM)Byte Wrote: I think this would work fine but I am wondering
  • Is there a better way of doing this?
  • Is it ok to nuke the eMMC like this or is there firmware, bootloaders etc. on the eMMC that would brick the phone if removed?

Cheers
depends how you define brick. pinephone ordinary is easier because boot order is sdcard first then emmc. therefore you can nuke totally emmc and is recoverable. pp pro is more problematic because boot order is emmc and then sdcard, even with pp pro, if there is no bootoader on emmc then it's recoverable easily. some rare cases pp pro requires mainboard connectors to disable emmc (this forum has pic for it).

(01-15-2022, 11:26 AM)Byte Wrote: Hi all,

I am looking to sell my pinephone and want to securely erase it first, what is the best way of doing this?

I am thinking:
  • Boot from another distro on an SD card
  • Run shred on all partitions on the eMMC
  • Reinstall OS using jump drive image
shred sounds little bit overkill and might be bad for emmc and similar memories which has limited amount of writes. i think just writing zeros or random data once is enough, if you do it for whole disk then it erases partitions as well.

maybe afterwards you could write OS image for convenience.

Code:
## showing disks and partitions
# lsblk
# fdisk -l

## this will write random bytes into disk and destroy bootloader and boot sector
# dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/sdx bs=1M
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#3
Thank you very much, I will use the dd method you suggested
  Reply


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