If you’re like me, sometimes you get info that prying eyes might just want to see. Thankfully, there’s Secure Erase Trash in Leopard, which will cover the drive with zeros such that the data would be extraordinarily difficult, if not impossible to recover.
However, it’s simply not working in Leopard. Every time I run it with five or more files, it hangs… and forcing a relaunch of Finder is the only way out of the loop. Others are confirming the problem many times over.
Determining the trigger of this problem is difficult, but I suspect it has to do with available disk space. This problem hits portable systems more than desktops, (just from browsing the number of users reporting). I suspect that Secure Erase Trash is locking up when there’s a small amount of disk space available (not 100 MB, I’m talking 20% free or so). That’s the only situation that I can get the problem to surface.
Until then, the only workaround is to delete the file using Empty Trash, and then use Disk Utility to Erase Free Space on the drive…