How do you clear out a Mac?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by mrthieme, Mar 9, 2007.

  1. mrthieme macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    #1
    I most likely have my iMac sold, so I've already moved all the important stuff to another mac. I will deauthorize itunes library, and plan to delete user accounts and just do an install of Tiger. Will this be sufficient to protect myself or will there be info left on the drive.
     
  2. nazmac21 macrumors 6502a

    nazmac21

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    Feb 25, 2007
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    Digital World
    #2
    Reboot (with OS X DVD/CD) and boot into Disc Utility (from OS X DVD/CD on) and do a 7-Pass Erase. There would be nothing left and you should only do the 35-Pass Erase if you have some secret FBI files but otherwise 7-Pass Erase is fine for what you said.
     
  3. mrthieme thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 29, 2006
    #3
    Thanks alot, that all sounds familiar now that you say it, any idea how long the 7 pass takes? The drive has about 50 gb used up.
     
  4. nazmac21 macrumors 6502a

    nazmac21

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    #4
    I think at least 2 hours but I am not so sure. Make sure you do the 7-Pass Erase on a day where you are not busy.
     
  5. iBenzin macrumors member

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    Mar 9, 2007
    #5
    A couple of hours.
     
  6. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    Jan 6, 2004
    #6
    i personally think the 7-pass is a bit much, i'd be content with doing one pass of writing zeros to the drive, or for a bit more, do that twice. 7-pass is the extreme imo. but the safest too i suppose.
     
  7. synth3tik macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

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    Oct 11, 2006
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    Minneapolis, MN
    #7
    The seven pass zero overwrite it very good for clearing out any of your data. Please keep in mind though that this takes some time. It be best to let it do it over night.
     
  8. PkennethV macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 16, 2006
    Location:
    Toronto
    #8
    Actually I think the FBI "only" uses 7 passes. But Ofcourse, it's the FBI-they may very well be using 50 passes;)
     
  9. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #9
    Unless you suspect the person who will get the computer next is going to take it to a data recovery service, one pass of zeroing things will be fine. 7-pass takes hours longer on a decent sized drive and provides only a marginal benefit in the most extreme of cases. Reinstalling the OS is going to further mess up the underlying drives, so I'd feel comfortable with just one pass and a reinstall.
     
  10. Fearless Leader macrumors 68020

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    Hoosiertown
    #10
    no the fbi just sends it through a giant magnet a few thousand times then lets bomb squad have some fun.
     
  11. ksgant macrumors 6502a

    ksgant

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    Jan 12, 2006
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    Chicago
    #11
    I think standard FBI practice now is to remove the HD in question, then run it through a Blendtec blender featured on "Will It Blend"


    Mmmm...hard drive smoothies....
     
  12. synth3tik macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

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    #12

    Oh I though the standard practice of the FBI was to remove the HD, recycle the computer and leave the HDs in busy bus/train terminals.:D
     
  13. Fearless Leader macrumors 68020

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    Hoosiertown
    #13
    I dont know what scares me more, the blender or the guy blending the stuff.
     
  14. iJawn108 macrumors 65816

    iJawn108

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    Apr 15, 2006
  15. Nick9597 macrumors member

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    Mar 5, 2007
    #15
    Instead of posting a new thread I figured I'd just add to this one....

    I'd like to use the above method however, my computers HD is damaged and sometimes it boots, however, sometimes it does not boot or it hangs while booting. I need to remove everything from my HD and I dont know how to other than the above method. Is there another way? I've heard of magnets? Anything like that?

    A hotel damaged my computer and they are buying me a new one....however, they want my damaged one so there is no way I'm giving them my confidential info..no way! :mad:

    Thanks everyone. :) :apple:
     
  16. nazmac21 macrumors 6502a

    nazmac21

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    Digital World
    #16
    Do you still have AppleCare? Get that problem checked by Apple.
     
  17. Nick9597 macrumors member

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    Mar 5, 2007
    #17
    nope no apple care.
     
  18. rdowns Suspended

    rdowns

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    Jul 11, 2003
    #18
    Give them the computer with no drive.
     
  19. Nick9597 macrumors member

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    Mar 5, 2007
    #19
    Hmmm...that's a thought, however I'm assuming they might want it whole. Any other ideas?
     
  20. Mohinder macrumors newbie

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    Jan 28, 2007
    #20
    I'd tell 'em to poke it - they broke it, they give you a new one and you keep the old one... if they don't like it threaten to kick up a giant stink and they'll buckle. Otherwise do what was said above and give it to them with no drive, or a 2gb drive from a charity shop :D
     
  21. Nick9597 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    #21
    Thanks for that info.

    On one last ditch effort, I booted off the install CD and discovered that the HD is "failing or has failed". Does this mean that the data is unrecoverable now? I cannot boot off of the HD now.

    One good thing is that I'm learning a lot by doing all of this!:) :apple:
     
  22. Stesus macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Location:
    Utrecht, The Netherlands
    #22
    No, it doesn't mean that the data is unrecoverable. Your HDD is probably damaged badly, but the data on the undamaged part is still there. If you take out the disk and hook it up with a USB external HDD case to another computer, you might still get to some (most) of the data on the HDD.

    Best thing to do is take it out, replace it with another disk and 'kill' the damaged disk by taking it a part. You could also hook it up to another computer (with a USB external HDD case), and copy the data you still need and than format like already explained in the thread.

    Mind, if the HDD is damaged and you're gonna use it in a external HDD case, the disk will in the end get more and more damaged. So, it's not a good backup device... I use one as I would use a USB-stick, to quickly copy data to another computer witch is not on my network... It's not realy good because it's pretty slow because it's damaged, but it's a low butget way if you're not in a hurry...
     
  23. theBB macrumors 68020

    theBB

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    #23
    If you keep confidential files in encrypted disk images, you won't have to worry even if you cannot access the drive to erase them. I mean, it is too late for this one, but just an idea for your next setup.

    BTW, if you are planning to try to take out the drive, you can try SATA to USB adaptors instead of a full fledged enclosure. I don't remember who makes them now, but I remember MacWorld having a review about them recently.
     

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