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Old Dec 12, 2011, 11:36 AM   #1
Confuzzzed
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Selling computer second hand

Have just sold my 2007 Macbook Pro 15" which had 4GB memory upgraded DIY. Running Lion. I know how to wipe the computer using disc utility in partition. Is there anything else I should worry about before I send it off regarding taking all my personal artifacts (like pictures and iTunes library) to my buyer?
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Old Dec 12, 2011, 12:56 PM   #2
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Personally I would swap the hard drive. You cannot ever wipe it 100%, there will always be info on it. These days where hackers can get anything, when I throw out my old computers, I pull the hard drive and destroy it.
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Old Dec 12, 2011, 12:58 PM   #3
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Personally I would swap the hard drive. You cannot ever wipe it 100%, there will always be info on it. These days where hackers can get anything, when I throw out my old computers, I pull the hard drive and destroy it.
That's not true. You can effectively wipe a HD.

Mac 101: Preparing your old Mac for sale or recycling
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Old Dec 12, 2011, 01:12 PM   #4
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That's not true. You can effectively wipe a HD.

Mac 101: Preparing your old Mac for sale or recycling
a computer guy who know what he is doing can get any personal info, I don't trust anything like that.
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Old Dec 12, 2011, 01:16 PM   #5
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a computer guy who know what he is doing can get any personal info, I don't trust anything like that.
That's not true at all. If the drive is wiped and rewritten, no one can recover the wiped data.
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Old Dec 13, 2011, 10:51 AM   #6
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Thanks for the advice. Actually, the most pertinent was making sure that I chose the correct Security Options setting.

Here you have a couple of options, each of which is progressively more secure than the previous. I decided to go for the 7-pass erase, which took about 5 hours to do!! Apparently it met the now obsolete US Department of Defense 5220-22M standard for securely erasing magnetic media by erasing the drive index files and writing over the data seven times. This hasn't been the standard since 2007 but if it was good enough for the Pentagon, then it's good enough for me!!

Lets hope the machine (sold on amazon) goes to a nice home. As far as 2007 MBPs are concerned, it's well looked after and sparsely used!!
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Old Dec 13, 2011, 11:56 AM   #7
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The only problem with doing a multiple pass wipe of the HDD is that it strains the drive severely.

We put similar strains on the drive when doing data recoveries.

I still firmly believe that the only way to remove data 100% is to drill a hole through the drive and crush it. It's still what all big MNC's still do.

But on the other hand - what serious hacker is going to make a living from buying 2nd hand machines on Amazon?
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Old Dec 13, 2011, 01:27 PM   #8
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The only problem with doing a multiple pass wipe of the HDD is that it strains the drive severely.
No it doesn't. It's no more on a drive strain than any other write operation.
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I still firmly believe that the only way to remove data 100% is to drill a hole through the drive and crush it.
That's overkill. You can wipe a drive with software without putting a strain on the drive, and have the wiped data impossible to recover by anyone.
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Old Dec 14, 2011, 08:56 AM   #9
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Life's about risk and importantly understanding it. I have done a 7 pass wipe. If I have landed on hackzilla who specifically wants my machine for whatever reason, then what can you do?! If they wanted state secrets they wouldn't be coming to me anyway, but if that happens, I am going to have to take it on the chin. Hopefully the machine has gone to a good family home where a 13 year old kid is been given his or her first mac and they'll have a great time cutting their teeth on it.
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Old Dec 14, 2011, 09:23 AM   #10
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I have done a 7 pass wipe.
There is exactly zero chance of anyone recovering old data after a 7 pass wipe. Zero chance.
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Old Dec 14, 2011, 09:47 AM   #11
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There is exactly zero chance of anyone recovering old data after a 7 pass wipe. Zero chance.
Thank you! I find that very reassuring and to be perfectly honest, even if it was 0.5% in the right hands they could recover fragments of information, it would be a risk I would be willing to take. In all likelihood, the buyer is a normal bod rather than a criminal or nosy parker!

Thanks for your support
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Old Apr 27, 2012, 04:31 AM   #12
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I have just repeated the process with a mac mini server. For the record, the toughest step was to get CMD R to work on reboot to take you to the recovery partition where you need to get to run disc utility! In the end, I had to use a USB keyboard because the BT keyboard I normally use had a chicken and egg kind of situation, where it was put to sleep on reboot so no matter how many times you kept CMD R pressed, it wouldn't register until AFTER the machine started! It worked first time with a USB keyboard.

After that, I did secure 7 pass wipes for both HDD drives and then re-loaded the operating system using internet recovery.
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Old Apr 28, 2012, 04:47 AM   #13
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Thank you! I find that very reassuring and to be perfectly honest, even if it was 0.5% in the right hands they could recover fragments of information, it would be a risk I would be willing to take. In all likelihood, the buyer is a normal bod rather than a criminal or nosy parker!

Thanks for your support
No software can completely erase a hard drive if you have done 7 passes it is about as secure as it is going to get in the same way there is no software available to general consumers that would recover the data. It could still be recovered or at least partially recovered but would require some serious hardware and cost a lot more that you are selling your computer.
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