Selling my computer...remaining safe

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Hey everyone,

I am planning on selling my old Apple Powerbook G4 with Mac OS X. I want to completely delete all the files on the computer so no one can get to my private information, such as credit card numbers and passwords. It's scary to sell off my Powerbook because I know computer savvy people might be able to get to old data. Anyone know of how I can wipe out the hard drive and memory to remain safe?



Thanks

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    Yup, it's pretty simple. If you still have the CD/DVD that came with your powerbook, simply stick it in, power off your laptop, then when you power on the laptop right after the "Bong" sound hold down the 'C' key so that you laptop boots from the cd and enters the mac osx installation program. When you get to the main screen that asks you what you want to do, go to the upper left next to the apple logo and select the installer and go to "Disk Utility." Once your in disk utility, select your hard drive and go to the "erase" tab, choose secure delete with at least 7x pass and shred your data.



    Hope that helps.
  • Reply 2 of 7
    slugheadslughead Posts: 1,169member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ichiban_jay


    Yup, it's pretty simple. If you still have the CD/DVD that came with your powerbook, simply stick it in, power off your laptop, then when you power on the laptop right after the "Bong" sound hold down the 'C' key so that you laptop boots from the cd and enters the mac osx installation program. When you get to the main screen that asks you what you want to do, go to the upper left next to the apple logo and select the installer and go to "Disk Utility." Once your in disk utility, select your hard drive and go to the "erase" tab, choose secure delete with at least 7x pass and shred your data.



    Hope that helps.



    I'd like to add that this will take a LOOOONG time (maybe even 24 hours), but yes, it's the best way
  • Reply 3 of 7
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    It's the best way while preserving the hard drive. Just be aware that some information can still be recovered from the sectors marked bad by the drive itself. I am not a security guru bt one did tell us the "best way" was with a sledgehammer and a fire for this reason.



    Multiple overwrites is good enough for most folks against most threats.



    Vinea
  • Reply 4 of 7
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Oh for your next laptop you should encrypt all that sensitive stuff anyway.



    Vinea
  • Reply 5 of 7
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vinea


    Oh for your next laptop you should encrypt all that sensitive stuff anyway.



    Vinea



    Try using an encrypted disk image.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,229moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ichiban_jay


    choose secure delete with at least 7x pass and shred your data.



    There's no way you'd need that much. Even a one pass overwrite would be difficult to get back from:



    "We should add that almost all bit information on the disk will get scrambled after even a single pass. Just a few bits may still be intact. With a second and third pass chances get very low that a complete character can be recovered, much less a whole word or sentence.



    With "recoverable" we are talking about a highly expensive lab examination. This requires a million dollar magnetic microscope. Would the person you try to hide something from be willing to spend that much money, let's say a four figure amount? If the answer is yes you might consider destroying the disk itself physically and buying a new disk for $50.



    There is no way to recover the information even after one pass short of a lab examination."



    http://12ghosts.com/ghosts/shredder.htm



    Don't waste your time doing so many overwrites unless you are certain that the NSA will want what you have and will be willing to spend weeks and a great deal of money and time to get it.



    You are reinstalling the OS too, which helps overwrite stuff.
  • Reply 7 of 7
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vinea


    It's the best way while preserving the hard drive. Just be aware that some information can still be recovered from the sectors marked bad by the drive itself. I am not a security guru bt one did tell us the "best way" was with a sledgehammer and a fire for this reason.



    Multiple overwrites is good enough for most folks against most threats.



    Vinea



    Yes...try to convince corporate VPs of that is a different matter...grrrrr...anywho, Drakes Boot and Nuke (iirc) can force the hdd to at least try to over write all sectors including bad ones...



    For something like this, I would look for an OSS tool that is not made by any OS vendor. My paranoya has been called "overboard" before so take my advice at your own risk



    and just to get something off my chest...when you are preparing to send away a retiring corprate file server, do a little more than shuffle the drives randomly and build a new RAID of a differant level than the original config...sheeesh
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