Advice please: preferred way to get a Mac's HD ready for a sale?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by michaelsaxon, Dec 31, 2006.

  1. michaelsaxon macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    #1
    Hello. Indulge me this rather noobish question as I've done this dozens of times in PC land but this will be my first with a Mac.

    I'm trading my Macbook for a Macbook Pro and I'd like to get my personal data off of this and then also to package it up in a "like new" condition. Is there a way to both remove all of my data and also to have it start up with OS X installed and at the "let's personalize your Mac" screens? Is it better to just wipe it and let the person at the other end install?

    Please also let me know what procedures I should use. I suspect I'll just insert the disks that came with it and do what seems reasonable, but any detail would be useful. Thanks.
     
  2. tjcampbell macrumors 6502a

    tjcampbell

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #2
    Disc Utility

    Hope this helps. I used the 35-Pass Erase as it's the most secure. It took overnight but it's worth it.

    How to Use Disk Utility to Erase a Macintosh Hard Drive (OS X 10.3.x or 10.4.x)

    You must reboot your computer using the OS X system CD that came with your Macintosh. To do so, follow these steps:
    Insert the CD into the CD drive.
    Hold down the C key during the startup process.
    Select your preferred language. You will then see the Welcome to the Mac OS X Installer window.
    From the Installer Menu Bar, click Open Disk Utility. You will then see the Disk Utility window.
    In the left pane of the Disk Utility window, click the drive you want to erase.
    In the right pane of the Disk Utility window, click the Erase tab.
    From the Volume Format drop-down menu, select Mac OS Extended (Journaled).
    In the Name field, highlight the existing text and type the name the hard drive is to be called after it's formatted.
    The following are the available security options:
    Don't Erase Data—This option only rewrites the headers on the disk. Files can be recovered by forensics, disk utilities, and other advanced recovery software.
    Zero Out Data—There are forensics utilities that, albeit expensive and time consuming, can retrieve zeroed-out data.
    7-Pass Erase—This is considered sufficient by government standards to erase data from a disk. It writes random data over the disk seven times. It may take several hours or more to complete this process.
    35-Pass Erase—This makes it absolutely impossible to regain any data off the drive. This option takes an extremely long time, possibly more than one day.
    Click the radio button in front of 7-Pass Erase (recommended by UD).
    Click OK.
    Click Erase.
    Confirm you want to erase. The program will unmount the volume, partition the drive, and rename the volume to the name you typed in step #7 above.

    Happy New Year, Tommy
     
  3. michaelsaxon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    #3
    Tommy: Thanks.

    Does it make sense to most people to just leave it in an erased state or should I reinstall the OS? Is there any way to get it to install to the point that it comes out of the box like it does new, ready to do the personalization?
     
  4. emptyCup macrumors 65816

    emptyCup

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    #4
    Reinstall the OS. If you are going to do a 35 Pass Erase, what is a few extra minutes to have it work out of the box? Setting the computer back to its original state may reset the Welcome program. I do not know since I have never done this. It is possible to manually set this program to run on startup. I have seen the directions for doing so here someplace. Unfortunately, I can not remember where.
     
  5. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    It does reset it, I would probably do a 7 pass erase, the 35 pass one is a bit excessive and both are verified data removal options, definitely reinstall the OS, it doesn't take much time (and they won't be able to use the computer without doing it)
     
  6. tjcampbell macrumors 6502a

    tjcampbell

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #6
    Certainly reinstall the OS and if you have sensitive data then definitely go for the more secure erase as it will be totally unretreivable. I got this advice from a genius at the apple store when I was moving my 12" PB. He said that someone skilled could retreive data from the seven pass so I chose for the 35. Best to ya, Cheers. Tommy
     
  7. michaelsaxon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
  8. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Location:
    Ireland
    #8
    yeah, the 35 pass erase will certainly do the trick but it takes quite a while to finish. Be patient.

    FJ :)
     
  9. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #9
    Quite a while is a bit of an understatement, unless you have a 10GB hard drive! :(
     
  10. StealthRider macrumors 65816

    StealthRider

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    Yokosuka, Japan
    #10
    My vote's for the 35-pass erase and reinstall. You'll have an impossible time if you accidentally delete something, though, so backup thoroughly.
     
  11. tjcampbell macrumors 6502a

    tjcampbell

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #11
    If you are erasing a drive there's not really a rush. It's like draining a swimming pool, why do that fast? Nobody's going to swim in it when it's empty.

    35 pass is the only option for me. Then again my data is likely more sensitive than the average user.
     
  12. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #12
    It's curious that 7-pass is approved by the US DoD, but not good enough for you. Then again, I'm sure your data is more sensitive than theirs. ;)

    Seriously, though, any actual hard evidence of recoverability of seven pass erases? I googled and didn't find too much. Maybe if I'm that curious I'll go do a search in scientific journals. But I'm skeptical that this isn't just a myth (that 7-pass overwrites are highly susceptible to recovery).
     
  13. fivetoadsloth macrumors 65816

    fivetoadsloth

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    #13
    Well, I agree. I think that the 7 pass will suit you just fine however if you have LOADs of time to kil lthe 35 wont hurt, or if you love watching a progress barfail to move. Go with the 7
     
  14. michaelsaxon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    #14
    I'll go with the seven-pass. If DoD thinks that is good enough, then I think it is fine for my rather substantially less sensitive data! Thanks.
     

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