How to wipe computer if it has to go to Applecare

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by PaulMoore, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. PaulMoore macrumors regular

    Dec 3, 2007
    I have a problem with my iMac and if it has to go back to Apple to be repaired/replaced, once I've backed up with Time Machine what's a quick and simple way to erase my personal information and documents stored on it?
  2. H&Kie macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2004
    The simpliest and quickest way is to put your personal files to trash and then, in Finder, choose >Finder >Secure empty trash. That way, the space that's freed up by trashing will be overwritten with random information.

    If you really want to be safe, you could perfom a secure erase of the HD using Disk Utility on your install disk. But that's surely not a fast method and your entire disk will be erased.
  3. patrickmacrumor macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2008
    I would take some time, and use Disk Utility to erase the data. You just never know.

  4. MacGeek7 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 25, 2007
    If you really want to make sure it's gone, while using Disk Utility, select the "write over data 35 times"
  5. agentphish macrumors 65816


    Sep 7, 2004
    You only need to use the 7 pass wipe. The 35 pass wipe will take you a not really, but a LONG time.

    As it is the 7 pass will take probably around 8 hours, but it is the Dept. of Defense/NSA standard for "secure" delete.

    It's a good idea to take the time to do it...if you're nice, you can even run your restore DVD's afterwards and reload your OS and see if your problem persists. That way they can reliably test it.

    If you're only worried about certain files, then you can probably just use the secure empty trash as has been said.

    What is your issue w/ the iMac anyways?
  6. unixham macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2007
    I am a fan of using Carbon Copy Cleaner or SuperDuper to get a bootable image to an external firewire (then boot from it just to make sure you are all set) even with the time machine backup available. In fact it allows you to still use "your mac" if you can snag a friends or something for quick work on your principal dataset. Also when the machine comes back, you can instantly plug in boot from external and work, saving the copy back time for after hours.

    Then disk utility, repartition and format the disk and reinstall OSx so you are sending a freshly installed mac to them. I have too many accounts and too much cruft, files, etc. that I do not want to make mistakes when sending my machine off.

    Again, this may not be the minimalist waay to do it, but it is a framework of a method that has served me well maintaining all sorts of machine (PCs via Ghost or PING, Linux via PING or dd for that matter).


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