How do I clean out my computer?

molocono

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 13, 2004
68
4
Hi all! I'm selling my G4 tower and I want to clean out all of my crap (files) before giving it to the buyer. Is there a way to delete my files without wiping out the OS or any applications? I know I can just delete my crap. It's just that I have some passwords and other personal files that I want to make sure are deleted completely. You how some stuff doesn't get entirely deleted. I would appreciate any help.

P.S. I have Mac OS 10.4
 

WildCowboy

Administrator/Editor
Staff member
Jan 20, 2005
17,211
1,108
Just do an Erase and Install to give them a fresh operating system.
 

molocono

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 13, 2004
68
4
Would I need to reinstall my OS? Thing is I don't have the disc. So that's why I am wondering if there is a way to clean out the comp without having to reinstall the OS.
 

WildCowboy

Administrator/Editor
Staff member
Jan 20, 2005
17,211
1,108
Well if you don't have the discs to give to the buyer, you can't provide them with any operating system. You'd have to buy some Tiger discs to reinstall the system and give them to the buyer.
 

dpaanlka

macrumors 601
Nov 16, 2004
4,867
6
Illinois
You can create a new user account, which will have no files or settings to it, so it will be like brand new, then make that an administrator, then log into the new account, and delete your old account.
 

840quadra

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 1, 2005
8,150
3,406
Twin Cities Minnesota
Just buy some Panther CD's from someone on Ebay, and or Macrumors to get an OS onto the system..

Otherwise, if you cannot reload the Os,

Do the following..
  • Create a new user (as dpaanlka stated) but in this case give it administrative privilages.
  • Log in as that user, and while logged in, delete your home folder for your previous login, or any others that you had used on that system.
  • Search for other files you may have saved outside of your home folder, and delete those too.
  • After the folders have been deleted open disk utility and select the erase option
  • Select "erase free space" and select 7 pass, or 35 pass (a single zero out data is not that secure).

If you were able to locate all files you needed deleted, and deleted them prior to using disk utility, you should be mostly safe from anyone getting data off of your system.

Be sure to also "Reset safari" or any other browser cache delete tools as well.