Pioneer Blu-Ray drives & Energy Savings

I added a Pioneer Blu-Ray burner to my MacPro and after an hour or so, it to disappeared from Finder & SATA Bus scans began failing from Profiler.

Energy Saver’s “Put the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible” – directly impacts optical drives too.

Uncheck that option (like above) & your Pioneer drive will function normally & you won’t have any SATA bus issues.

There don’t appear to be any firmware updates to this drive, so I guess I’ll have to keep it that way.

Blu-Ray Ripping for AppleTV2

I purchased an internal Pioneer Blu-Ray burner for my Mac Pro, downloaded a copy of MakeMKV and the latest Handbrake.  I could have settled for just a Blu-Ray reader, but c’mon now.

I was ripping to a WD Green drive, but MakeMKV yelled at me for having too slow of a disk, so I decided to have it write to a WD Black drive — no more complaints.

Each movie from my collection took around 90 minutes to rip to MKV.  I pointed Handbrake to the first MKV file and waited another 50 minutes & it was an M4v.  Open it in iTunes, set the genre & it was ready for playing via the AppleTV2.

Cars and Wall-E were my first ones & they came out great.  My little girl loves them.

Schedule A Whitespace Secure-Erase


Caution – if you screw this up, you’ll lose everything.

OK, now that that’s out of the way — let’s say that I’ve determined that I’d like to run zeroes across the whitespace on my HDD weekly.

On my MacPro4,1, I’m running OS X 10.6.7 & found an easy way to do it.  My account has Admin privileges, so there’s no ‘sudo’, or password required.

I didn’t want to dive into Apple Script, so I fired up SecureCRT and used the bash shell to whip up a simple command-line execution of the ‘diskutil’ app. So, without further ado, here’s the simple script (made u+x) in my home directory /Users/otech, called


diskutil secureErase freespace 0 /Volumes/Test_HDD

Yeah. Simple. Oh Yeah – note the word ‘freespace’ above – über important.

Then, I added it into CRON (crontab -e), to be run on Friday nights (or early AM) at 0300.

0 3 * * 5 /Users/otech/

So, here’s the breakdown of the diskutil commands that I’ve selected:

diskutil <verb> <options>

‘secureErase’ – (verb) with (option) ‘freespace’ and (option) ‘0’ to the path of the Volume: /Volumes/Test_HDD (yours is different):

secureErase: Securely erase a disk or freespace on a volume
freespace: Tells it to just erase the freespace on a volume, NOT the disk
Level: 0 – Single-pass zeros
1 – Single-pass random numbers
2 – US DoD 7-pass secure erase
3 – Gutmann algorithm 35-pass secure erase
4 – US DoE 3-pass secure erase.

Now, yes – 0 is pretty weak and I could have selected one of the other options, but I didn’t.  For a 750GB WD Black drive, it took somewhere around 3.5 hours.  I wonder how long Level 2 will take.

Where I write things down, so I don't have to Google it later