How to: Prepare MBA for Resale

ZipZap

macrumors 603
Original poster
Dec 14, 2007
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What are some of the ways (or best way) to prepare an MBA for resale?
 

maflynn

Moderator
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May 3, 2009
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Boston
Reformat and reinstall OSX (after backing it up of course), clean the exterior so it looks nice.
 

PBG4 Dude

macrumors 68030
Jul 6, 2007
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What are some of the ways (or best way) to prepare an MBA for resale?
Secure erase SSD, reinstall stock OS that came with MBA. That's what I'd do. Restore it to out of box condition.

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Reformat and reinstall OSX (after backing it up of course), clean the exterior so it looks nice.
If you have some new computer smell, that would help too. (I love new computer smell. Sure, it's probably giving me cancer but at least it is bromide free! :D )
 

glen e

macrumors 68030
Jun 19, 2010
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Ft Lauderdale
Anyone got a link on reformatting and installing stock OS, I am on the road an have nothing with me; outboard hard drive, osx disc, etc

I am on the road for 2 months and sold my 2011 air to a guy traveling with me, Does anyone have a ms doc or equiv with step by step instructions to migrate all my stuff the new unit and prepare it blank for him?

Thanks
 

kodeman53

macrumors 65816
May 4, 2012
1,091
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I have not done this yet because I have not received my new MBA, but here's what I plan on doing.

1. Time Machine backup of my MBA2010 to an external, USB hard drive.
2. When I start up the new MBA, part of the set up will ask if I want to transfer data from an existing device. I'll follow the instructions to load the data, apps, etc. from my MBA2010.

To prepare my MBA2010 for sale, I will simply drag all my purchased apps and data to the Trash bin then empty the Trash bin. Then reboot, and make sure none of my stuff remains. This should take care of everything except changing the administrator password and picture.

The alternative would be to reinstall OSX from a DVD, but unless you have a DVD drive, you won't be able to do that on the road.
 

AlanShutko

macrumors 6502a
Jun 2, 2008
707
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The alternative would be to reinstall OSX from a DVD, but unless you have a DVD drive, you won't be able to do that on the road.
Well, you might be able to.

If you're on Lion, you can probably do a reinstall through the recovery partition (it will download the media off the net).

If you want to reinstall Snow Leopard, you can move the install media onto a flash drive and install from there. Now, getting the media ONTO a flash drive will require a dvd drive, but it could be one on any mac... A friendly Mac user at home could install it and fedex off the flash drive in the worst case.
 

kodeman53

macrumors 65816
May 4, 2012
1,091
1
If you're on Lion, you can probably do a reinstall through the recovery partition (it will download the media off the net).
I'm on Lion, but I didn't think the MBA2010 supported this.

How do I do this?

EDIT: Nevermind - found the information at Apple support.
 

PBG4 Dude

macrumors 68030
Jul 6, 2007
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I'm on Lion, but I didn't think the MBA2010 supported this.

How do I do this?
Reboot while holding down the option key (I think alternatively OPT+R will go directly to restore partition) and select the restore partition from the choices on the screen.
 

glen e

macrumors 68030
Jun 19, 2010
2,619
2
Ft Lauderdale
Thanks for the input but I now have another problem and that is the person I'm selling iwants to keep a couple the programs that I have , that I need my install disks that are at home.

so I guess I'll get a big USB flash drive and move all my important content over and let them let him reflash the drive totally when he decides to get copies for himself of the programs that are already on there...

Again, thanks!
 

ZipZap

macrumors 603
Original poster
Dec 14, 2007
5,482
905
Anyone got a link on reformatting and installing stock OS, I am on the road an have nothing with me; outboard hard drive, osx disc, etc

I am on the road for 2 months and sold my 2011 air to a guy traveling with me, Does anyone have a ms doc or equiv with step by step instructions to migrate all my stuff the new unit and prepare it blank for him?

Thanks
My 2010 has a Snow Leopard USB key so this should be a snap.

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I'm on Lion, but I didn't think the MBA2010 supported this.

How do I do this?

EDIT: Nevermind - found the information at Apple support.
I have the original Snow Leopard USB key as well as a Lion one I made.

I planned to restore to stock snow leopard.

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Thanks to all for the comments and help!
 

dcorban

macrumors 6502a
Oct 29, 2007
913
28
Secure erase SSD, reinstall stock OS that came with MBA. That's what I'd do. Restore it to out of box condition.
Isn't secure erase obsolete on systems with TRIM support? TRIM ensures the data is not recoverable anyway. It's similar to writing over a magnetic hard drive with zeroes.
 

NewbieCanada

macrumors 68030
Oct 9, 2007
2,574
35
Thanks for the input but I now have another problem and that is the person I'm selling iwants to keep a couple the programs that I have , that I need my install disks that are at home.

so I guess I'll get a big USB flash drive and move all my important content over and let them let him reflash the drive totally when he decides to get copies for himself of the programs that are already on there...

Again, thanks!
You could back up all your stuff, create him as a new user with admin privileges, and then have him remove you as a user, erasing your home folder when he does it.

Not as pristine as restoring to new, nor as secure, but I'm assuming this is someone you know and aren't too worried about using nefarious means to get at your old data.
 

PBG4 Dude

macrumors 68030
Jul 6, 2007
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Isn't secure erase obsolete on systems with TRIM support? TRIM ensures the data is not recoverable anyway. It's similar to writing over a magnetic hard drive with zeroes.
Writing over a magnetic hard drive with only zeroes will still leave data available to be retrieved. This is why multiple writes of random data is used to make irretrievable previous data.

The reason for this is even if you tell your hard drive to write zeroes everywhere, it won't zero out every magnetic particle on the hard drive. A 'bit' on a hard drive is actually a few pieces of magnetic particles, because at 7200 RPM, the head won't recognize one specific particle. It takes the section of particles to determine what that one 'bit' should actually be.

Since the hard drive needs boundaries to know where these groups of particles live, zeroing out a 'bit' doesn't set every particle to zero. Special software can find the data left on the fringes of these groups of bits.

On an SSD, I'm not sure what TRIMming does. Does it actually reinitialize the whole sector? I would agree this should be easier with solid state equipment because there is a wire connected to every bit.
 

dcorban

macrumors 6502a
Oct 29, 2007
913
28
I agree with you about hard disks. However, flash memory either holds the data, or it doesn't. Clearing the data once is enough to make it irretrievable. Secure delete would just cause more wear on your SSD.

The TRIM command essentially zeroes out the data every time you delete a file, which on an SSD is equivalent to a "secure delete". Without TRIM, you have a similar effect as deleting a file on a magnetic hard disk: only the file table is updated, but the data is still there.

I guess I am just convincing myself that, yes, on systems with an Apple provided SSD running 10.6.8 or later (and therefore having full TRIM support), secure delete is pointless.
 

PBG4 Dude

macrumors 68030
Jul 6, 2007
2,744
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Your logic is solid. If that's how TRIM works on the SSD I would be inclined to agree; no DOD style 35 pass wipe required (yay!).
 
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