Erase Macbook Memory (OSX Mountain Lion)

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by erase.memory, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. erase.memory macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2013
    1. My Situation
    - I am using a second-hand Macbook running OSX version 10.8.3.
    - The OS was downloaded and so I do not have the CD the comes with it.
    - Most of the data on the laptop is junk (i.e stuff I don't need/want).
    - This includes (unneeded) applications, terminal commands, RAM data, files, etc., but mostly stuff in the 'Developer', 'bin' (and related), and 'Library' folders.

    2. What I want
    - I want to erase everything but what I have grouped into one, specific folder, and the Operating System (of course). The general idea is that I will save/copy that folder to a USB drive and erase all the rest of the data - if possible, completely.

    3. Considered Solutions
    - Manually deleting everything would be slow and impossible to complete.
    - Disk Utility's 'Zero Out Data' would be cool, but it doesn't work on Mountain Lion.
    - DBAN would be cool, but it would also delete the Operating System.

    4. Questions
    a) Do you know any general working solutions for this?
    b) If I go in my terminal and double-hit 'tab', it prints: "Display all 1989 possibilities? (y or n)" meaning there are 1989 possible commands. Is there an efficient way to erase *generally all* the commands?
    c) Or to reset the root folder?

    Thank you in advance.
  2. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    OS X is always downloaded: you cannot buy a CD of it.
    Your computer should have a "Recovery Partition". This is a means of booting the drive to a special bit of the disk (or of the hardware if the disk is completely blank). You can then erase the disk and download and install the latest version of OS X.

    You do not want to delete the Terminal commands, any thing in /Library, /bin, /usr, /etc. They are an essential part of the OS.
    Generally, if you don't know what it does, you should KEEP it, not delete it.

    "Reset the root folder". What do you mean by this, exactly? It's not really a recognised term.
    If you want to delete anything in the user account, then that should be fine.
  3. erase.memory thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2013
    :( No.

    eg. nmap, git, rvm, ruby, python, javac

    Most of the terminal extension commands are downloaded. However, I only want those that come with the OS. (I want the OS without extra data, in its naked form.)

    That's the point. Are you sure the recovery partition doesn't get erased if I use DBAN?
  4. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    Of those, nmap, ruby and python come with the OS. Java is an optional download from Apple/Oracle.
    Anything that is third-party add-on is NOT going to be in /bin.

    Why use DBAN? (Which looks like a third-party Windows tool. Can it boot a Mac and format HFS+ ?)

    Why not just erase with Disk Utility, from the Recovery Partition?
  5. erase.memory thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2013

    That was the solution I didn't know about, that I was looking for. Thank you infinitely.

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