Dead GPU, need to erase the HD

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mbpro08, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. mbpro08 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2012
    #1
    I have a macbook pro with a dead graphics card (according to an apple genius). The computer boots up but I can't see anything on the screen.

    How can I clean my documents off the hard drive?
     
  2. broad macrumors member

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    Sep 29, 2009
    #2
    boot to target disk mode (hold t) and connect to another mac with firewire....use disk utility on the other mac to erase the drive
     
  3. mbpro08 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 21, 2012
    #3
    Ok, so does this completely erase the drive or does it leave the OS? I'd like to just get rid of my docs if possible so that the computer can be used again.

    So I need to buy a firewire 800 cable to connect to the new computer? There's no way to do it with a CAT 5 cable or something else?
     
  4. Dangerous Theory, Apr 21, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2012

    Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

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    #4
    Pretty sure CAT5 is fine.

    EDIT: Corrected by poster below - ethernet doesn't work.
     
  5. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

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    #5
    You'd be wrong. Target Disk Mode only works via FireWire or Thunderbolt.

    jW
     
  6. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

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    #6
    My bad. Must have confused it with a different data-transfer utility.
     
  7. charlieegan3 macrumors 68020

    charlieegan3

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    U.K
    #7
    is this just for bandwidth issues requirements? or is it to do with only using 'apple' interfaces?
     
  8. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

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    #8
    It's because the computer will not actually be booted into a system at the time, and USB is not even powered on at that point in the system's boot operations. Additionally, USB and Ethernet require CPU processing power, where the ability for FireWire or Thunderbolt to present the internal hard drive to another computer can be handled with only the firmware and the chipsets for each of those technologies. It's quite brilliant, actually, it simply works as if it was a case for an external hard drive, with very few of the chips needing to be powered and working.

    jW
     
  9. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030

    yusukeaoki

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    #9
    Cant you just replace HD or do you want to just transfer?
     
  10. mbpro08 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 21, 2012
    #10
    I want to clean my data so I can give away the comp.
     
  11. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

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    #11
    Which is the proper way to do it. If you need a FireWire cable, btw, Monoprice.com has good cables at very cheap prices. Here's one for about $7 (the shorter ones are currently out of stock or I'd have linked to them).

    jW
     
  12. Bear macrumors G3

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    Jul 23, 2002
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    Sol III - Terra
    #12
    The computer has a dead GPU and you care whether or not you leave the hard disk bootable?

    I would recommend doing an erase from disk utility that actually writes over the data on the disk. If you don't do that, data will be easily recoverable by almost anyone. If you do write over the disk even with a single pass, it requires more than the average person can recover data from.
     
  13. mbpro08 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 21, 2012
    #13
    OK so if I do this erase from disk utility will it leave the OS? What's the best way to securely wipe all my data but leave the OS there. AKA bring it back to how it came from the factory.

    And thanks Mal for the link to the cable!
     
  14. shardey macrumors 6502a

    shardey

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    Jan 28, 2010
    #14
    Can you ask them to send it without the HD in it? If you have another one put it in there.
     
  15. mbpro08 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 21, 2012
    #15
    No it needs the HD and OS.

    Is the best way to manually move important files to the trash and do "permanent delete"?
     
  16. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    #16
    If you know all the stuff that needs to be deleted just throw it all into the trash. Hit delete.
    Open Disk Utility > click the main parition > Erase Tab > hit "Erase Free Space"
    Just use Zero Out Data all the other options 7pass or more are just nonsense and provide no reasonable benefit. They exist for the deranged paranoids only.

    An easy way to not forget any user files is to create a new user and delete the old one with all its data. That way all caches, mail data, ical data, docs, movies, music is gone in one swoop.

    Now it is clean of user files (unless you did some uncommon stuff outside the user folder but you'd have to know about that).
    It is not a factory reset as apps and stuff is all still there. A true factory reset needs a full delete and reinstall. If the GPU is so dead that you cannot start the machine and you have no other Mac to do such an OSX install, you can just wipe the hdd and send it to that buyer.
    He will need to repair it anyway to get it to work and should install osx himself. Just send the OSX discs along.

    You can wipe the HDD (or do all the steps above of deleting user files) by just getting some external hdd drive from somebody. Putting the HDD in there. Plug it into any computer that you can find from family, friends, school, work ... and wipe it.
     
  17. mbpro08 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 21, 2012
    #17
    I've run into a slight problem.

    I boot up in target mode and I see the drive listed on the host's disk utility. But the drive doesn't come up in the finder and I can't get access to the individual files. :confused:
     
  18. Bear macrumors G3

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    Jul 23, 2002
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    Sol III - Terra
    #18
    Just use disk utility to erase the disk and let the person you're giving the system to reinstall it. Without knowing what applications you were running, you never know where some personal data might be squirreled away.

    For example, some of your personal information will be in system preferences.

    There's no real way to know you got all your data off the computer without wiping it.
     

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