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View Full Version : Wiping hard drive on older model powerbook (mac noob)




krzychnip
Sep 2, 2009, 06:01 PM
Hello everyone, this is my first post as im relatively new to using macs as a whole. Ive been a PC user my whole life but am currently raising funds so that i may buy a new MBP for myself. In doing so i have obtained an older Mac laptop from a family member which im going to try and sell for whatever money i can get. Ive researched the model as much as possible and have this info:
Powerbook G4 (12 in. DVI), 1.33 GHz, 256MB memory, Mac OS X 10.3.9

I want to wipe the Hard drive before i sell it however ive only found information on how to do so with an install disc which i do not have. Because it is relatively old, my family member doesnt know where it is either so using that disc is not really an option at this point. I wanted to find out what my next best option is or if i can use an install disc from any other mac laptop that might be more easily obtainable. Thank you so much for your help!:)



devburke
Sep 2, 2009, 06:14 PM
Hello everyone, this is my first post as im relatively new to using macs as a whole. Ive been a PC user my whole life but am currently raising funds so that i may buy a new MBP for myself. In doing so i have obtained an older Mac laptop from a family member which im going to try and sell for whatever money i can get. Ive researched the model as much as possible and have this info:
Powerbook G4 (12 in. DVI), 1.33 GHz, 256MB memory, Mac OS X 10.3.9

I want to wipe the Hard drive before i sell it however ive only found information on how to do so with an install disc which i do not have. Because it is relatively old, my family member doesnt know where it is either so using that disc is not really an option at this point. I wanted to find out what my next best option is or if i can use an install disc from any other mac laptop that might be more easily obtainable. Thank you so much for your help!:)

You need to use an install disc, because you can’t erase a volume while you’re booted into it. You should be able to use any other install disc to do it, but if you’re gonna be selling your Powerbook to someone, they’re gonna need an OS anyway, not just a computer with a blank hard drive. If you wipe the drive, there will be no OS on it, and it sounds like you don’t have an OS to give them, so one of you is going to have to buy a copy of Mac OS (assuming you’re not looking to use Windows or Linux or something instead). So I’d just go ahead and buy Leopard (Snow Leopard won’t work on a Powerbook) and use that install disc to install Leopard fresh and erase the drive.

krzychnip
Sep 2, 2009, 06:24 PM
ah, well thank you. I think i understood that all but a couple questions...

#1 - i didnt realize the problem of not having an OS after wiping the HD...so basically the steps will require that i first wipe the drive and then install the os correct?

#2 - How can i find out which OS will be compatible with my computer? I ask this because i want to not have to spend too much money purchasing an OS because it will cut into my profit margin on the sale or even possibly costing me more money than i will earn lol.

California
Sep 2, 2009, 06:25 PM
If you know the password, I believe you could create a new user and delete the former user that your relative has all his stuff on.

That would be the simplest way to do this in my opinion, though I could be wrong. I'd try this unless someone else has a better idea.

krzychnip
Sep 2, 2009, 06:28 PM
If you know the password, I believe you could create a new user and delete the former user that your relative has all his stuff on.

That would be the simplest way to do this in my opinion, though I could be wrong. I'd try this unless someone else has a better idea.

I know this sounds easy but i have no clue what this means on a mac being as though i dont actually have to login to any user name? It boots straight through and there isnt a user login section like i have on my PC.

Also, just as a follow up, would i be able to use a install disc just from a friend who bought a Macbook or Macbook Pro say...a year or so ago?

devburke
Sep 2, 2009, 06:35 PM
ah, well thank you. I think i understood that all but a couple questions...

#1 - i didnt realize the problem of not having an OS after wiping the HD...so basically the steps will require that i first wipe the drive and then install the os correct?

Well when you’re installing the OS, there should be an option to do an “Erase & Install”, so it’s only one step for you.

#2 - How can i find out which OS will be compatible with my computer?

Judging by the specs you posted above, OS X 10.4 Tiger would be the latest version of OS X your system can run (I found this out just by checking the System requirements sections of the various versions’ Wikipedia pages). You could run Leopard if you upgraded the RAM to at least 512 MB, but otherwise you’re stuck with Tiger.

I ask this because i want to not have to spend too much money purchasing an OS because it will cut into my profit margin on the sale or even possibly costing me more money than i will earn loll.

Right, that makes sense. Tiger is available on Amazon for about $80 from what I see. I guess the lesson here is to hold on to your original install discs so you won’t have this problem in the future. But maybe you can get the buyer to throw in a little more money since you have to buy a new OS. It might be worth it to upgrade the RAM and install Leopard, but you can leave the up to the buyer if you want.

If you know the password, I believe you could create a new user and delete the former user that your relative has all his stuff on.

That would be the simplest way to do this in my opinion, though I could be wrong. I'd try this unless someone else has a better idea.

That would only erase things in your home folder though. The buyer wouldn’t get a fresh OS, and would have all your applications still and everything. But it’s definitely doable if neither you nor the buyer minds.

krzychnip
Sep 2, 2009, 06:40 PM
thank you so very much for the helpful information. I greatly appreciate it.

In response to the last option mentioned about making a new user account. What exactly will be erased? To be honest i dont think there is anything of value or im in dire need to erase (it was just preferred). Will this process delete all files ive created and just leave the OS and the applications? How could i go about doing this.

ChrisA
Sep 2, 2009, 06:56 PM
I know this sounds easy but i have no clue what this means on a mac being as though i dont actually have to login to any user name? It boots straight through and there isnt a user login section like i have on my PC.

Also, just as a follow up, would i be able to use a install disc just from a friend who bought a Macbook or Macbook Pro say...a year or so ago?

No you can't use an install disk that came with another computer. the disks are specific to just one model of Mac. You would have to use a retail install disk.

But you likely do NOT need to wipe the disk clean. Simply removing the user data is good enough unless you had some very sensitive data on the computer.

Macs work exactly like PCs as far as logins go. On both you can disable the process and have it boot right up to the desktop. On both Macs and PCs this is never a good idea and you should always make a NON-admin account for each user and use passwords.

So, all you really need to do is create a new account on the mac for an admn, one for a normal user and then delete the current user's data.

You can actually wipe the disk but then you would need a retail copy of Mac OS X so you could re-install the OS. But even then there is no point in doing the "wipe" because there is a "wipe first" option when you do the install.

If you just want to wipe the disk clean, don't have an install disk, don't want to get one and you just want the new owner to worry about getting an OS then you can wipe the disk from the terminal command line using the "dd" command. It will write zeroes over the physical disk and will not bother to look at the partition table, file systems and so on. it will zero out physical disk sectors. "dd" is the last command the computer will run. A kind of "computer suicide". You can type "man dd" at the terminal prompt to read more about the dd command. Read that before asking questions about it.

krzychnip
Sep 5, 2009, 06:27 PM
thank you all for the very helpful information