What do I do to prepare my iMac for sale?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Shivetya, Sep 23, 2009.

  1. macrumors 65816

    Jan 16, 2008
    I have a legal copy of Leopard. Do I just load the disc and tell it to initialize the system? I want to make sure all personal information is gone.
  2. macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2002
    use the Security Options under Erase (in Disk Utility from the Install disc) to ensure the disk is completely wiped. You don't have to do this, just initialize and install, but you could use recovery software to get data.
  3. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 16, 2008
    One last question, after the install do I just turn it off or should I patch it?
  4. macrumors 68000


    Apr 13, 2008
    You would have to create a user account to install the updates, so i would just leave it after the install so the buyer can set up his/her account on a 100% fresh installation.
  5. macrumors 68020


    Oct 6, 2007
    Australia (WA)
    In all honesty data can be retrieved if the Hard disk is erased. You want to look at either going a 0 pass erase or to be even safer, put another hard disk in there (equal size to what is in there) then reinstall leopard and patch it

    That way none of your data can be recovered of a brand new hard disk.
  6. macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    San Jose (CA)
    After it's done installing I'd hold down the Option key and then it will show which drive to boot. At that screen, eject your install DVD. Then just press the power on your computer to turn it off.
  7. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 27, 2009
    Formatting the drive does not actually delete your data... to permanently delete data you need to actually have 0's stamped over all the 0's and 1's imprinted inside your hard drive. Boot up from your OS install disk and choose Disk Utility... stamp at least one coat of 0's over your hard drive. It will take an hour or more, then you can install a fresh OS for the new buyer. Apparently it takes 7 passes of 0's stamped for your data to be unrecoverable according to the Department of Justice..
  8. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    Department of Defense, actually. :D But, yeah, 7-pass is normally what I recommend for someone who doesn't have the time for the longer option to finish. That won't render it unrecoverable for someone really, really, really determined with enough time, computers, and money -- but it will make it next to useless for 99.9999% of people with access to the hard drive.

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