View Full Version : sold ibook on ebay, want to make sure files are deleted permanently

Sep 19, 2005, 08:23 AM
hi there, my brother just sold his ibook g3 on ebay or it'll be sold within 24hrs i believe.

He wants me to format it using the disks it came with. when i do a fresh install of OS X, will that be enough to make sure no one can recover any data from the harddrive or should i write 000000's or something like that before i do the fresh install?

the data isnt that important i believe cause my brother just used it for university and in his lab. But i just want to make sure that i wipe everything clean.


Sep 19, 2005, 08:39 AM
Yar! Though there be better ways to be doin' this, one way a gentleman o' fortune could get by is to move all yer private files to the Trash, then be selectin' Secure Empty Trash afore reformattin' the drive. Then even me hearties won't be able to plunder yer bit's.

Sep 19, 2005, 09:26 AM
I always wipe the drive on any computers I get rid of. It may not seem like much, but anyone who gets the computer after you can possibly recover any file that was ever erased and with all the identity theft, etc. nowadays, you can never be too careful. Norton Systemworks is the easiest way to do this. You boot from the Norton CD and use the wipe info utility, then reinstall the OS software. It's a pain, but its worth it.

Sep 19, 2005, 10:05 AM
With Mac OS X, you can do an 8 or even 32 way erase of the hard drive. Thats the easiest way to do it. Just boot from the OS X Installer CD and then go to Disk Utility and select erase. You'll see an options button, click that and you can select how many times you want the hard drive zero'd out.

Sep 19, 2005, 10:08 AM
... do a "zero write" format to the drive and then a clean install of OSX. The "zero overwrite" will not only completely eliminate the possibility (within reasonable frontiers –*I guess you wonīt sell it to the NSA, will you?) for anyone to recover your data. But the "zero write" option also takes care of that possible bad sectors ont he drive are mapped and therefore avoided to be written on in the future. This will kind of make sure that the buyer wonīt argue about a bad harddrive, if read/write errors might occur.

In the early days of harddrives, it was quite possibel to restore data even after several random data writes. But today every single space on the platter is in use, so there are hardly any empty spaces left where in earlier days magnetic resonance could make it easy to guess what was written in the neighboring magnetic particle. So donīt you worry, a single zero overwrite will make it impossible for anyone to reconstruct your data. One may try to do so, but he must be willing to spend a couple of $ in the ten thousands on this. And even then success is hardly believable and not quite likely.

Donīt worry, just zero it once.