Need to restore MacBook Air to Factory - running 10.6.8

Posted:
in Genius Bar edited June 2015

Hi all - I need to restore my 2011 1.86 GHz macbook air to factory. I have no discs nor does it take discs. I have the little USB adapter thing. I have tried the command restart, command + R to locate disc utilities. I have tried every recommendation to no avail. Computer just starts up normally. I want to wipe it and restore to give it to my daughter. This forum never fails! 

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,213moderator
    The command-R only works for 10.7 or later, which created a recovery partition. The USB stick is probably your installer, which you should be able to boot from by holding alt/option at boot. Then you can open Disk Utility, erase the drive and reinstall OS X.

    Another route you can go is to open the Mac App Store and install the latest Mac system, which will be Yosemite at the moment. Your Mac will support this. Installing this would create a recovery partition.

    Most of the user data and preferences are in your home folder so creating a new admin user account in system preferences > users & groups, logging into it and deleting the old user will set it almost back to how the system was new. It would just leave some cache and log files. You can erase free space in Disk Utility to overwrite your deleted account to prevent it being recovered. You can use this method of just making a new account if you aren't too bothered about possible recovery of files or personal data. You don't have to worry about the system itself, it doesn't get cluttered over time like Windows.

    Given that you have the USB pen, using that would probably be the quickest route if you want do a full reset and make sure no personal data is recoverable:

    - boot holding alt/option with the USB drive in, boot from the drive and open Disk Utility
    - erase the internal drive and if you want to prevent any file recovery, choose to zero the drive in security options with the lowest security option
    - then you can reinstall 10.6.8 from the USB pen
    - this will be factory reset and if you want, you can upgrade to Yosemite once it's setup using the Mac App Store
  • Reply 2 of 11

    Thanks for the reply.

    1) I have no USB stick/pen. I thought I had one. Turns out it's just an adapter. And my new air I got this week doesn't have any stick either. 

    2) When I go to mac app store and try to upgrade to Yosemite, I am prompted to enter my APPLE ID and password. Then there is an error state "this device or computer could not be verified. Contact support for assistance" 

     

    Any other suggestions?

  • Reply 3 of 11
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,213moderator
    Thanks for the reply.
    1) I have no USB stick/pen. I thought I had one. Turns out it's just an adapter. And my new air I got this week doesn't have any stick either. 
    2) When I go to mac app store and try to upgrade to Yosemite, I am prompted to enter my APPLE ID and password. Then there is an error state "this device or computer could not be verified. Contact support for assistance" 

    Any other suggestions?

    That problem might be fixed by doing what's suggested here:

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3175514?start=0

    Delete the file /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/NetworkInterfaces.plist, then reboot and try logging in to the store again.
  • Reply 4 of 11

    I did what you said and....now I have no access to the internet - no networks are showing and therefore, I cannot access the store to get the upgrade. 

  • Reply 5 of 11



    I tried to create a network to no avail

  • Reply 6 of 11
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,213moderator
    I did what you said and....now I have no access to the internet - no networks are showing and therefore, I cannot access the store to get the upgrade. 

    Has that file been recreated by the OS? It should replace it on rebooting. Rebooting into safe mode by holding shift might force it to recreate the file if it hasn't and you'd reboot again.

    In system prefs > network > wifi, the Network name drop down should show available networks and allow you to manually scan for available networks. Creating a network is for something else. It's just the join network buttons that are needed to connect.
  • Reply 7 of 11

    Thank you!!! Installing Yosemite now on the mac book air and then hoping for a factory setting reset afterwards! Command R at reboot yes? 



    Again thank you so much!!

  • Reply 8 of 11
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,213moderator
    Installing Yosemite now on the mac book air and then hoping for a factory setting reset afterwards! Command R at reboot yes?

    Command-R should boot the recovery partition but you can also hold the alt/option key when booting and it will show up there.

    Booting the recovery partition is if you want to do a full wipe. This will require downloading and installing the OS again because it will wipe everything but that's what you have to do to get a completely clean OS install. You'd use recovery mode to do the OS download and install.

    If you want to zero the drive and the option in Disk Utility is blanked out, there's a workaround here to encrypt the partition and then erase it again:

    http://osxdaily.com/2013/04/22/secure-erase-mac-ssd-drive-recovery-mode/

    Another option would be to use an external drive, clone the system over, boot from the external and zero the drive from there. It depends on how much you want the data gone.

    A simple erase without using the security options will reset everything, it just allows for the possibility of someone using 3rd party recovery software and getting back deleted files.

    If you want to save a lot of hassle reinstalling again, setting up a new user account, deleting the old one and securely erasing the free space would be enough to prevent data recovery.
  • Reply 9 of 11
    Marvin! I got Yosemite downloaded and clocked install. Got all the way to "install" and then nothing happened. Nothing is installing. Arg!!!
  • Reply 10 of 11
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,213moderator
    Marvin! I got Yosemite downloaded and clocked install. Got all the way to "install" and then nothing happened. Nothing is installing. Arg!!!

    The following video shows the process:


    [VIDEO]


    At 2:55 it shows what happens on clicking install where it asks for the username and password. If it's just not responding to the click, check to see if there are any system updates for your system first in the updates tab of the Mac App Store and install those.
Sign In or Register to comment.