Best way to wipe out my G4 HD (will be selling)

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Mylstar, Nov 4, 2003.

  1. Mylstar macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2002
    Hi All,

    I just got my G5 and now it's time to sell the G4 but I need to get rid of all my personal info on the HD. What is the best way to to this? I'm still new to Mac's so please forgive me if this is a dumb question.
  2. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands
    The best thing to do is do a complete system restore, so that the buyer gets the original system on it. Thus running straight away. Locate the "restore CD", boot from it, and follow the instructions (make sure you select erase disk!).

    The easiest thing to do is to boot from a CD, then to erase the HD using "Erase Disk" command from the "Special" pull down menu, or use Drive Setup (OS 9), or Disk Utility (OS X).

    Depends on which system, and what you want to do with the G4 later.
  3. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    a clean install is ok if the new owner is not going to go looking for any of your info... but if you want to be sure, what you should do is write 0s to your hard drive before you do the clean install. This is because a clean install allows for all of the data to be written over, but doesn't actually write over it. Writing zeros to the HD actually overwrites whatever was there.

    The best way to do this will depend on what system you are running. Panther? Jaguar? OS 9? Let us know and we can advise further.
  4. Mylstar thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2002
    oops! Sorry about that. The G4 is a Dual 1Ghz with the latest update of Jag.
    I want the G4 to be totally free of any of my files/passwords/iTunes/folders, etc.
  5. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    If you're not wildly paranoid or impatient, the easiest way would be to do what QCassidy352 said and write zeros to the drive. Preferably then also reinstall the OS that came with it from the original CDs.

    If you're really paranoid, you could do this:

    1) Reformat the drive, then write a big heap of uninteresting data to fill it up (dozens of copies of some large, boring video file, for example). Then delete those, and repeat the process a couple more times. If you're a spy and the FBI wants your password they might still be able to find it, but no normal user is getting anything back at that point.

    2) Alternately, you could get access to the drive from Panther (either running on a 2nd drive on the G4, or mount the drive in a Firewire case on your G5 running Panther), then throw all of its contents into the trash and do a "secure empty trash". Should take quite a while, but it'll have the same effect.

    Then reformat, reinstall the OS that came with it, and you're clear.
  6. baby duck monge macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

    Feb 16, 2003
    Memphis, TN
    someone else got to it while i was posting.
  7. yadmonkey macrumors 65816


    Aug 13, 2002
    Western Spiral
    Certain utilities, like Tech Tool Pro, will let you wipe the free space on your drive.

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