2009 iMac safe to erase data before selling?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by STC1709, Sep 20, 2017.

  1. STC1709 macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2009
    Hey guys im planning to sell my 2009 iMac. Ive reformatted the drive numerous times in the past to clean it up and make it faster and plan to do it again before I sell it. And bc its so sold im using mavericks.

    My question to you guys is how safe is it to wipe the drive before selling? How easily can someone recover the files that were previously on there. I dont have any files that have passwords saved or any private information. I have logged into websites though that does have private info.

    Should i reformat it 2x over? Does that do anything. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance
  2. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    Secure erase the drive from recovery mode. Do a seven pass secure erase.

    Maybe the NSA has labs that could recover some scraps. No run of the mill recovery program stands a chance.

    After a secure erase your data is effectively dead. It will take a while. You will also know your HDD is in great condition.

    If on an SSD. Turn on FileVault. Let it encrypt the drive. Fill it up with random data, then repartition with a clean install. The encryption will have scrambled any files beyond recovery.
  3. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    7-pass secure erase takes just about forever.

    1-pass should be sufficient with current HDs. Personally, I just never bothered. I would just do a clean install.
  4. NoBoMac macrumors 68020


    Jul 1, 2014
    As mentioned, the seven pass erase will take a long time.

    But also mentioned: even with spinning disk, can turn on Filevault and do a simple erase and or reinstall. Will still take some time for the encryption, but a lot less than a seven pass erase.
  5. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000


    Oct 19, 2007
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    Seven pass is ideal - if you have been a KGB assassin. Just normal erase and format will be fine.
  6. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    You don't need to "wipe" the drive seven times.
    Once will be "quite enough".
    Unless you sell it to someone who works for the NSA or FBI.
  7. STC1709 thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2009
    Thank you for this information!
    --- Post Merged, Sep 21, 2017 ---
    About how long does the seven pass take? Time is not an issue as I do have a mbp so this imac can just sit and do its thing
  8. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    Depends on the drive size and drive speed, but a 7-pass would be many hours to possibly even days.

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7 September 20, 2017