Selling iMac, how do I clean it off?

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Hey all,



I have decided to sell my iMac. I usually use my wifes computer anyways, and we could use the money. I want to know how to clean off the harddrive. Do I just do an Erase and Install from the installation disks, and that be sufficient? I want to maintain my privacy.



Thanks,

Brett

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Brett257


    Hey all,



    I have decided to sell my iMac. I usually use my wifes computer anyways, and we could use the money. I want to know how to clean off the harddrive. Do I just do an Erase and Install from the installation disks, and that be sufficient? I want to maintain my privacy.



    Thanks,

    Brett



    The best thing to do would be to buy a program that deletes everything, and then overwrites it using random gibberish. Even though it is "deleted" it is still on the harddrive until something else overwrites it so this is really the only way to maintain privacy. Unfortunatly I do not know any programs by name that do this, though you could probably find out by googling something like "disk sweeper" or other relevant phrases.
  • Reply 2 of 5
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,797member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Shadow Slayer 26


    The best thing to do would be to buy a program that deletes everything, and then overwrites it using random gibberish.



    No need to do that. Apple's Disk Utility has the functionality built-in.



    Here's what you need to do (you don't actually say which iMac you've got or which system you are running, so things may not be in exactly the place I say they are):



    1.) Make sure you've got all the data you need off the computer.



    2.) Put the OS X install disk in the machine and restart.



    3.) Once booted from the disc, go to the "utilities" menu and choose "disk utility".



    4.) In the list to the left, highlight your hard-drive.



    5.) From the tabs on the right, choose "erase".



    6.) Click the button that says "security options?".



    7.) For good peace-of-mind, choose the "7 pass erase option" (the process won't start yet, but when you do start it, it will take a long time. You may want to run it overnight or whilst out at work) and press O.K.



    8.) Make sure "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" (or just Mac OS Extended if there's no Journaled option) is selected in the drop-down menu, then click erase.



    After a long time (how long exactly depends on speed and size of hard drive), the process will finish and you are ready to install the OS afresh.



    Good luck.
  • Reply 3 of 5
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Brett257


    Hey all,



    I have decided to sell my iMac. I usually use my wifes computer anyways, and we could use the money. I want to know how to clean off the harddrive. Do I just do an Erase and Install from the installation disks, and that be sufficient? I want to maintain my privacy.



    Thanks,

    Brett



    put in your mac os install cd 1 and then restart your computer and hold down the c key

    keep hold down the c key until it says choose english language

    then let go of the c key and click on the arrow

    if your startup disk is a version 10.4 or later then wait a second until you see the word utilities appear at the very top of the screen and then click on it and choose disk utility

    if your startup disk is a version earlier than 10.4 than once you click on the arrow to choose the english language you are going to go up to the word installer beside the blue apple and click on it>> you will see the words disk utility and then you can click on it



    either way you should be at the same spot now



    the window will open and you will see a list of harddrives

    click on the harddrive at the top of the list>>don't worry about what the name of it is

    then you will see a blue tab light up that will say first aid

    now you should be able to look across from this tab and see the word erase

    click on erase

    next you will make sure that the format selected is "mac os extended journalling"

    at the bottom if you are in 10.4 you will see an option to click on security

    this is now where you can choose which option you want to erase your drive of it's data on a more secure platform>> if you click zero out it will zero out all the data on your harddrive with 1's and 0's and all your data will be gone forever and be unretrieveable

    -you will see at this time that there are other options>>each getting more secure>>a note here >>if you choose the 35 pass erase it will take a week to wipe your harddrive because it has to pass thru your harddrive various ways 35X!!! so I do not recommend this option unless you were working for the FBI with computer and your giving now to the mob.

    -once you pick your security option you can hit the erase button



    -once you have finished the erase>>you just quit the disk utility



    now you will be back where you were when you hit the arrow to choose the english language>>just follow the on screen prompts to reinstall your operating system



    your computer is now as if it were a brand new computer ready to give away



    hope this helps you>>good luck



    Techygirl
  • Reply 4 of 5
    trobertstroberts Posts: 702member
    The following steps should work:



    1 - Start the computer from your installation disk as if you are going to install OS X

    2 - Open Disk Utiltiy and select your disk. It will start with a number and have the name of the manufacture on it.

    3 - Click on the 'Partition' tab. If you drive has multiple partitions then select '1 Partition' from the Volume Scheme drop down list box.

    4 - Click the Partition button at the bottom to partition your drive.

    5 - After the partition is complete select the Erase tab

    6 - Now select the drive partition which is under the drive. Since you partitioned the drive it will most likely have the name "Macintosh HD"

    7 - Click the "Erase Free Space" button and you will be presented with some options. Zeros are written all over the data. 7-pass does it seven times and 35-pass does it 35 times. Since you are selling your computer to strangers I would go with 7-Pass at the least.
  • Reply 5 of 5
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,797member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by troberts


    The following steps should work:



    1 - Start the computer from your installation disk as if you are going to install OS X

    2 - Open Disk Utiltiy and select your disk. It will start with a number and have the name of the manufacture on it.

    3 - Click on the 'Partition' tab. If you drive has multiple partitions then select '1 Partition' from the Volume Scheme drop down list box.

    4 - Click the Partition button at the bottom to partition your drive.

    5 - After the partition is complete select the Erase tab

    6 - Now select the drive partition which is under the drive. Since you partitioned the drive it will most likely have the name "Macintosh HD"

    7 - Click the "Erase Free Space" button and you will be presented with some options. Zeros are written all over the data. 7-pass does it seven times and 35-pass does it 35 times. Since you are selling your computer to strangers I would go with 7-Pass at the least.



    I'm not entirely sure why people are coming in here and repeating almost exactly what I've already said?



    No need to do the partition step (unless the disk currently has more than one partition), and why not roll the re-formatting and erasure into one step as suggested by myself and techygirl?



    If you'd like to know more about secure erasure, you can start here. If you choose the "zero all data" option (the fastest), standard recovery software will not be able to recover any of the data. However, with the use of extremely expensive equipment and process (namely a clean room and removing the hard-disk platters from the original drive and analysing them with an electron microscope), data could still be recovered, but this is debatable, and even if it did work, it would take years to reconstruct a single file. A 7-pass erase means that that process is even less likely to succeed. A 35-pass erase reduces the probability of original data recovery even further and is certainly overkill.
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