Easiest way to clear your data off a Mac when selling?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by adr1974, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. adr1974 macrumors regular

    Nov 15, 2007
    Besides wiping the drive and doing a clean install, is there a recommended way of clearing one's data off of a drive when selling? (sorry in advance if this is a really basic question!)

    I've never really messed around with multiple accounts, but what about setting up an additional admin account and then deleting my own account (which is also an admin account)?

    Would there be any reason why the buyer prefer/not prefer this method?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    The easiest way is to wipe the drive and do a clean install. Seriously, every other way risks leaving things lying around.
  3. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    Boot from install DVD.

    Select Disc Utilities.

    Erase your HD with 1, 7 or 35 passes depending on the sensitivity of your data.

    Then do a clean install.
  4. McGiord, Feb 13, 2008
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011

    McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
    If you haven't used the "Secure Empty Trash" when deleting your stuff, those files are still in the HDD, and they could be recovered via 3rd party software.

    So the better way to wipe everything is to do as Cromulent suggested above.

    What I can add is suggesting you to Use Disk Utility and select the Erase tab and then click on the Security Options button at the bottom of the window.
    Then selec Zero Out Data if you want a quick secure way to wipe the drive.
    Or any of the following ones, they show some brief explanations.

    When you format a drive it only changes the "index" of your HDD, partition,volume.
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  5. adr1974 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 15, 2007
    Thanks all -- appreciate the quick and helpful responses.
  6. supercooled macrumors 6502a

    Sep 6, 2007
    Be forewarned; the 35 pass on 1TB of space will take 4 days. I kid you not.
  7. scottydawg macrumors 6502


    Jan 22, 2008
    Sacramento, CA
    I'm sure a really big magnet would do the trick :D
  8. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Jan 1, 2007
    I always use the 7 pass, although obviously the 35 pass is more secure but it sure does take forever .. :(
  9. fluidedge macrumors 65816


    Nov 1, 2007
    1 pass took me long enough!

    I couldn't imagine who would *need* 35 passes - you;d have to have nuclear warhead blueprints on your HD to warrant that - in which case you'd shred, burn and bury the HDD if you didn't need it any more! Or just melt down the whole drive!

    7 pass is said to be the US dept of defense standard - if it's good enough for them i'm sure it's good enough for me and my oh so important keynote presentations and holiday photos
  10. Eric Piercey macrumors 6502

    Eric Piercey

    Nov 29, 2006
    Perpetual Bondage
    I use 8023 pass. Anyone wanna buy a freshly wiped G4 Titanium? It should be ready early 2011.
  11. Kosh66 macrumors 6502

    Jul 15, 2004

    Don't tell me you actually did 35 passes on a 1TB drive!

    You must have been paranoid. I think 1 or 2 passes would suffice, unless of course your the FBI or CIA...
  12. deathshrub macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2007
    Christmas Island
    I would not even sell the person the hard drive, I would buy a new one and do a fresh install of the OS on it. Overkill? Probably, but you would not have to worry about that person having a trace of any of your files.

    Otherwise, I'd use DBAN.

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