How do I "Clean" a Mac before selling it?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by *old-guy*, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. *old-guy* macrumors regular

    Nov 22, 2007
    Blackburn in North West England
    Hi Guys,
    I have sold my trusty old Pismo on eBay and I wondered if there was a way to remove all my personal stuff before passing it on to the buyer.
    I realise that the obvious thing is to format the drive a few times and then re-install the OS but I was hoping for something a bit less drastic.
    Any advice appreciated.
  2. kolax macrumors G3


    Mar 20, 2007
    Formatting and reinstalling isn't really that big a deal - won't take very long. You could create a new admin account and delete the other account, but your data is still on the disk (as is everything that gets deleted) until that space is overwritten with new data.

    That is why formatting a few times (or making everything 0) can make it less likely for people to be able to pick erased data from the hard drive.

    If you've nothing worthy stealing, then you could just delete your account.
  3. michael.lauden macrumors 68020


    Dec 25, 2008
    i would honestly just format... or change all your passwords saved on your keychain. i doubt an information hacker would by a computer on eBay to steal info.

    if they are good enough to re compile information on a (what could be a ) multi formatted hard drive, then i wouldn't think they aren't going to pay $$ for information that couldn't return the investment.
  4. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

    Aug 9, 2007
    Do a secure erase with the "zero out data" option from Disk Utility (start up from the installer disc), then reinstall the OS.
  5. *old-guy* thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 22, 2007
    Blackburn in North West England
    GGJstudios ... Was that meant to be an informed reply or was it a kind of smirk at my asking rather than searching?
    Well, boo hoo to you.
    I DID search for the answer but as you obviously had difficulty reading, I'll make it a bit clearer for you. Maybe in big red letters to match the crayons that you normally use.....

    a way to remove all my personal stuff

    Do you see the difference there between what I asked for help with and the search your link provided on how to clean a drive by formatting?
    So, rather than leap in with your thumb tickling ypour prostate gland, try really reading the question first.

    Many thanks to the other folk who gave sensible replies. I think the idea of deleting my account and removing all passwords will be enough.
  6. eyefoniac macrumors 6502


    Nov 21, 2008
    Everywhere and nowhere
    Depends on how "clean" you want it to be. If you don't know the person it is going to you can do as high as a 35x pass wipe on it(that is, it zeros out every byte, 35 times). It will then be squeeky clean, but will take you forever to complete.
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I thoroughly read your post, although you obviously didn't do the same with mine. If you take the time to click and read, there are detailed recommendations for removing all your personal stuff in the links I provided, not just formatting the hard drive. If you don't want to take the time to read, that's your problem, not mine.
  8. kastenbrust macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2008
    North Korea
    If your asking us how you need to clean all your pr0n properly, then you need to zero your hard drive 30 times. This takes about 3 days, enjoy.
  9. *old-guy* thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 22, 2007
    Blackburn in North West England
    OK, you win. But in future, may I suggest that any search result link you post should have a relevant link inside the first 7 pages (Tidy up rather than format) . Yours doesn't. Now, call me Mr Picky but to me that sounds like a useless search link.
    What say you??
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Perhaps some basic instruction on searching with Google would be helpful to you. You can filter search results with keywords, time frames, excluded words, etc. to get more targeted results. I simply pointed you in the right direction with a link to search results, based on your thread title, since this topic has been discussed repeatedly in the forum. I added no chastisement or comment about you searching first, so your antagonistic reply is unwarranted. If you want more detailed or targeted results, you can do that for yourself. I'm not here to spoon-feed answers to those who aren't willing to do some reading. If you don't like the link, all you had to do was ignore it.
  11. Fishtalk macrumors regular

    Oct 21, 2008

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