Deleting My Mac Before Sale?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Big Tav, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. Big Tav macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #1
    Hi guys, I am selling my mac today and need to know how to clear everything of it so none of my personal stuff is left on it.

    How do I delete my itunes? Is it called de-authorizing it?

    My contacts, iPhotos, etc.

    My saved forum logins? On my PC I know you just delete the cookies. Don't want someone posting as me if it remembers me.

    I want to leave Microsoft Office on it for the buyer. All the software is ok to leave. I need to make sure office stays as I don't have the discs to reinstall it.

    Thanks!
     
  2. sbddude macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Location:
    Nor Cal, USA
    #2
    The fast way would be to creat a new user account in system preferences and delete the old one. But to be REALLY sure I would completely format the machine and reinstall Snow Leopard using the original install disc.
     
  3. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #3
    This procedure will restore your Mac to the condition it was when you first unpacked it:

    Preparing a Mac for Resale

    I've used it for every machine I've sold with excellent results.
     
  4. ntrigue macrumors 68040

    ntrigue

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    #4
    You insert the Mac OS disc that came with the computer. Restart holding 'c' for several minutes until languages appear. Quit the setup and in the menu find 'Disk Utility'. In here you select your HD and erase (7-Pass is preferred, but the one above works too). This could take hours. When it finishes install OS X starting with language screen you saw before.
     
  5. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #5
    No - this is a really bad way of doing it!! (unless you wipe the drive first, but that's not specified in the instructions).

    This will delete your user's home directory, but it won't delete anything outside of that area. So it won't delete your /Applications directory, and if you stored anything outside of your home directory it won't delete that.

    Furthermore, it will only mark the files 'delete'. Anyone with a file recovery program can run it and get your files back.


    ntrigue has the correct answer. Reformat your drive after booting onto your system disk (7 pass erase is very secure but it might take hours, if you don't have much time, use the 'write zeros' option - this will stop everyone except the NSA from recovering your data). Then reinstall the OS. Don't type in any personal data if you're asked questions.
     
  6. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #6
    No, not specified in the directions but pretty much S.O.P.

    I always reformatted (after wiping) and then used the bit at the end of the tutorial to restore the setup assistant for the next user.

    It's a nice touch to have the machine in that fresh-out-of-the-box state.

    1) Wipe the HD with zeros.

    2) Reformat

    3) Reinstall OS X

    4) From terminal use the following commands:

    rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone
    shutdown -h now
     
  7. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #7
    Fine. But for someone asking a question - you need to spell that first step out, as it's the most important!

    Removing the install account is just a nicety at the end.
     
  8. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #8
    Unless you're doing secure stuff on it, a regular erase and install should do the trick. 7 pass zero, as other's have said, if you have the time.
     
  9. RandomKamikaze macrumors 6502a

    RandomKamikaze

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    This is the first paragraph in the Prepare Your Mac section:

    To me, that says 'reinstall OSX', but maybe that is just me....
     
  10. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #10
    Try this some time. It doesn't delete the disk first.
     
  11. jim.lynch macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    #11
    Just as an aside, 7-pass wiping is a waste of time. I've worked in data recovery for years. I have never heard of data being recovered from a single pass overwrite on a hard disk. There have been various rewards offered for anybody who can demonstrate this - nobody ever has.
     
  12. BuiltforSin macrumors regular

    BuiltforSin

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2009
    Location:
    VA

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