Friend returning macbook.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Fthree, Jun 1, 2015.

  1. Fthree macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2014
    #1
    So a friend of mine (of course we've all heard that before) bought a macbook and wants to do a BTO option instead of what he chose. He is concerned about his information that he has on the macbook. Some business files, pictures etc. What does he need to do to make it so all his information is cleared off and he can return it with peace of mind? Bought at the apple store so I'm sure they will wipe it also but wants to be safe. Thanks.
     
  2. Kal-037 macrumors 6502a

    Kal-037

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2015
    Location:
    Depends on the day, but usually I live all over.
    #2
    From Apple.com

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201376
    1. Before you begin, you need to be connected to the Internet.
    2. Choose Apple menu > Restart, and then hold down the Command (⌘) and R keys while the computer restarts.
    3. Select “Disk Utility,” and then click Continue.
    4. Select your startup disk from the list on the left, and then click the Erase tab.
    5. From the Format pop-up menu, select Mac OS Extended (Journaled), type a name for your disk, and then click Erase.
    6. After the disk has been erased, choose Disk Utility > Quit Disk Utility.
    7. If you’re not connected to the Internet, choose a network from the Wi-Fi menu in the right corner of the menu bar (in the top-right corner of the screen).
    8. Select Reinstall Mac OS X, click Continue, and then follow the instructions.

    It's really easy to do, but if your friend is still unsure of doing this himself/herself... I would just go to the Apple store and ask for help and watch them erase the info there. Apple doesn't keep the info on returned Macs (ever)... even if you dropped off the computer as it is they wipe it completely, inspect it, then re-sell it on the refurbished store completely erased with a new install of Yosemite.


    Kal.
     
  3. Fthree thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 14, 2014
    #3
    Thanks! He saw my 15" and said oh yeah that's what I'd rather have.
     
  4. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #4
    This doesn't actually erase the data, but merely marks the space as free. To actually erase the data (write over it with 0s), click on "Security Options", drag the slider over one to the right, click "OK", and then click "Erase".

    @Fthree, if your friend is concerned about data theft, he should really turn on FileVault disk encryption.
     
  5. krishmk macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    #5
    quick question on returns: Does apple charge any restocking fee if the Mac is returned within 14 days?
     
  6. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #6
    No.
     
  7. duervo macrumors 68000

    duervo

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    #7
    Sadly, you're both incorrect, aside from the FileVault comment. That would be my recommendation as well, for lack of a better one at the moment anyway.

    http://arstechnica.com/security/2011/03/ask-ars-how-can-i-safely-erase-the-data-from-my-ssd-drive/
     
  8. Kal-037 macrumors 6502a

    Kal-037

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2015
    Location:
    Depends on the day, but usually I live all over.
    #8
    I have erased and reinstalled OS X several times on machines and you're saying that the info from before the fresh install is still accessible? That's weird, I've heard of accessing deleted files on a blank drive, but not on a reformatted one.
    *the more you know. ;) :)


    K
     
  9. duervo macrumors 68000

    duervo

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    #9
    SSD's are a different beast. There are locations on it that are not accessible by user level tools like Disk Utility. If the SSD controller has detected a location goin bad, it will mark it bad after relocating its data to good location. That bad location will still have the data on it, but is no longer accessible by tools like Disk Utility. So, using Disk Utility to erase the drive, or "overwrite with zeros" will only affect the portion of the SSD that is accessible by the utility.

    I prefer to use something like PartEd Magic (I use the ISO I got before they started charging for it,) boot the system from it, and use its secure erase utility to do the job, as it sends an erase command to the controller on the SSD, and the controller is then "supposed" to erase all data on the drive, including data located in those areas that are inaccessible by user level tools like Disk Utility.

    However, there are reports that not all SSD controllers do a good job of that secure erase. This is why, in the end, my main recommendation is to turn on FileVault if security is that important to you.

    There is also the fact that when you write zeros across the user level areas of your SSD, you are technically filling it up with data, even though it's all zeros. So, your SSD will take a performance hit compared to if it were secure erased. This is not an issue in this scenario, as the OP's friend is going to return the system and get a new one, and Apple will (hopefully) do a proper erase on the SSD anyway prior to selling it as a refurbished unit.

    The general moral of all this is that SSD's are not like HDD's. They require a different method of handling to get the same types of erasure jobs done.
     
  10. newellj macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    Boston, MA, US
    #10
    To (hopefully) make Duervo's point clearer, because there is a risk that you are not going to be able to truly wipe an SSD you should turn on FileVault2 and encrypt the data before you erase the disk, even if you didn't run FV2 while you were using the machine. Reason: any bits and bytes that are left will be quite securely encrypted.
     

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