Hard drive crashed and don't want to give Apple old hard drive

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by alli cello, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. alli cello macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    #1
    Yesterday I called Mac Support and talked to a Mac Genius. They both told me that my MacBook didn't recognize my hard drive and that it would have to be replaced. My question is...does that mean that they checked everything else that could possibly be wrong? Could it just be a connection to the hard drive or something else?

    Also, when Apple replaces your hard drive, you have to give them the old broken one. The Mac Genius told me that they destroy them, but they send them out from the store first. This makes me nervous because all my sensitive data is on there. Will they destroy it right in front of me if I ask? Is there a way around this or is it an Apple Care rule?

    Have you had this problem and how have you dealt with it?
     
  2. bijou macrumors regular

    bijou

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    #2
    It is assumed that they will keep your old hard drive and dispose of it in a secure fashion. Will they? Who knows, but I can tell you that people there aren't interested in your porn or whatever else is on there.

    IF you want Apple to replace the HD, then you have to let them have it. If you don't want them to keep the HD, then you have to replace it yourself. Simple as that.
     
  3. digitalpencil macrumors 6502

    digitalpencil

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #3
    Man, WTF are you people doing with your computers?!? I keep seeing threads saying, 'i'm taking my mac into applecare, they want my passwords, how can i safely encrypt data, will they search my hdd?' They're not going to rob your credit info, search through your photos or anything else.. they just don't care.
     
  4. fsckminix6 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago (847)
    #4
    I agree with pencil. IT guys dont care they want it done just as fast as you do.
     
  5. mrwizardno2 macrumors 6502a

    mrwizardno2

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    #5
    My problem is that security has been ingrained into my every action with the computer. I'm sorry, no matter who it is, my password goes to no one. I'd rather buy a new hard drive and replace it on my own than let some apple twit touch my computer.
     
  6. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #6
    Well, I can understand the concern... you can't be 100% certain that nothing bad happens.

    Some years ago I kept a spreadsheet on my computer at work, with passwords, logins, etc. for more or less everything (Amazon, eBay, banking, domain registrations and web hosting, ...). What can I say, it was getting to be a real pain to keep track of everything. Then I was laid off and unceremoniously escorted to the door. I had previously encountered remnants of other people's personal data on PCs in the labs, so I knew there was a high probability my PC would simply be reassigned to a lab or someone else's desk.

    I did have a "back door" -- I had VNC installed on that PC for remote logins, and so I sent an email to a coworker asking him to please log in and delete everything in my personal folder. I told him to feel free to check through it all and satisfy himself that he wasn't destroying anything incriminating or sabotaging.

    Now, did he in fact do so? ... I may never know... :)
     
  7. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #7
    Then you're using Filevault with a strong password, right? So what's the issue? I think that it would be into the paranoid range to believe you're really compromising yourself by giving Apple your encrypted hard drive....
     
  8. pianoplayer1 macrumors 6502

    pianoplayer1

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Location:
    New York
    #8
    The same thing happened to me, and when I brought it into the bar, the guy didn't even turn on the mac to do any tests :eek:

    Is it possible that even after I get the flashing mark I can somehow recover my data on my drive. Thats why I don't want to give it up.
     
  9. mrwizardno2 macrumors 6502a

    mrwizardno2

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    #9
    Good point. The encrypted part wasn't what really scared me. It was the mention of giving someone at the apple store your password.
     
  10. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #10
    Yeah, I wouldn't be happy about giving them my passwords either... they should be able to do what they need to do without them.

    It really depends. If your SATA controller failed, then there might be nothing wrong with the drive at all... in which case, you can pull it out and put it in an external enclosure or another Macbook and read it. If your drive failed, you can probably get data off it, but be prepared to pay someone $200/hour for a large number of hours....
     
  11. digitalpencil macrumors 6502

    digitalpencil

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #11
    I'm not saying that caution isn't advisable. I encrypt my credit info in sparse, use various passwords, some handed out, others not, but this to ensure that anyone who steals my laptop doesn't have access to my info. I'm far from worried that an apple employee is going to go on a spending spree with my visa.
     
  12. andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2004
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #12
    it's easy to remove the harddrive from a macbook.
    just take it out (ifixit.com has manuals i guess).
    go to a home depot or a lowe's.
    ask them to show you the strongest magnet they have.
    slide your hd a few times over it.
    data are savely destroyed without any sign on the drive.
    put it back in and give the macbook to apple.

    that's what i would do.


    there was just recently a thread here where somebody found that apple techs used his computer with his login to surf their private myspace/facebook websites during repair. so they use your computer for private purposes during repair. delete all data if possible.
     
  13. hockeysc23 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    #13
    I would just request for your security that you be given the hard drive so you can safely destroy the data in a way that you deem appropiate. I wouldn't worry about it I am sure if you are kind and respectful in your request it should work out for you.
     
  14. jane doe macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    #14
    They guys at the store or the repair depot they send them to don't care about your data (as others have said). They take the drive, send them back to the manufacturer where they are stripped and used to make other drives or refurbd

    When you send in your computer and don't provide the password pretty much promises that if they need to test the computer with the software they will erase your drive.

    Doesn't matter to them, they are there to fix the hardware and don't have time to worry about your data or how much time its going to take you to reinstall everything.
     
  15. dvd macrumors regular

    dvd

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #15
    This is a valid concern, but the abuses I've heard about are mostly in the PC domain, with Best Buy being the poster child for support folks combing thru customer data.

    If you're paranoid about it, a couple of suggestions:
    1) ask them to attempt to access the hard drive via target disk mode from another laptop or their diagnostic tools in front of you.
    2) ask them to put your hard disk into another laptop and demonstrate that it's not accessible

    They should do #1 anyway. #2 might be pushing it but if you are polite and express a valid concern for your privacy they should honor it. Another angle is to ask them to do these things "in the hopes that you can recover your data."

    If they can't access the data using either of those 2 methods, I think it's safe to say your data is secure. Nobody in the store or "upstream" is going to do a cleanroom recovery on it just on the off-chance that it may contain something interesting to them.
     

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