I'm selling my mac. What should I delete?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by fivepoint, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    IOWA
    #1
    Normally, this would probably be an easy question... I would erase the entire hard drive, reinstall the OS from the disk and be done with it.

    Unfortunately, because of several issues...
    A) Losing the Leopard install disk
    B) Not wanting to erase ALL of the programs I have installed

    ...erasing the entire hard drive is not an option.

    Instead, I would like to delete all important things and personal items from the hard drive, leaving all of the programs in tact. I will delete my home folder contents, and my safari bookmarks, and things like that... but I really need to know what OTHER items (such as library items) that I need to delete.

    Please, help me! If you were selling your mac under similar circumstances, what files would you be sure to delete? Where are those files?
     
  2. Koodauw macrumors 68040

    Koodauw

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2003
    Location:
    Madison
    #2
    I did the same thing once, and just deleted my account on the computer. (after I had set up a new admin of course)
     
  3. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    IOWA
    #3
    Good suggestion. So, basically, I should be able to go into system preferences > accounts Then create a new account, make it a 'admin', and then delete my own after that?

    Is there anything else to it?
     
  4. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    IOWA
    #4
    And if I do that... will all of the existing programs/software be accessible from the new user account?

    Will all of my content in the home folder/library etc. be deleted accordingly?
     
  5. Koodauw macrumors 68040

    Koodauw

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2003
    Location:
    Madison
  6. Dimwhit macrumors 68000

    Dimwhit

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    #6
    Deleting your user account should be fine. I don't think it's securely deleted, so keep that in mind. If you have any really confidential files (checkbook register, passwords, etc), delete those first with a secure empty trash.
     
  7. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    IOWA
    #7
    Will all of the applications/programs still work perfectly after the user account deletion?
     
  8. Dimwhit macrumors 68000

    Dimwhit

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    #8
    For the most part, provided that the Applications aren't in the user folder.

    Some apps, though, store serial numbers on the user level, and not the root level, so those won't show up as registered. Before you delete the user account, log in with the new admin account you create and check the apps to see which serial numbers you might need.

    But that should be the only issue.
     
  9. je1ani macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    #9
    I had Final Cut Studio 2 on an old iMac I sold (20" C2D) I just deleted my user name made a new one with a default user name and all the programs ran perfectly. They were all still registered to me so it wasn't like migration assistant where you still had to enter the serials and reregister.
     
  10. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    IOWA
    #10
    Thanks guys! It worked perfectly.
    I am excited to get this thing sold and get my new one as soon as possible!

    C'mon Macworld... you can do it.
     
  11. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Up the irons
    #11
    If you are selling your mac erase the entire drive and zero it out. Do a fresh install and just shut the machine down right as the user account wizard starts.
     
  12. donga macrumors 6502a

    donga

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Location:
    AZ
    #12
    could you point me to a faq/how to on this? or tell me? sorry for the newbness. :rolleyes:
     
  13. plumbingandtech macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    #13
    Be sure to launch itunes and "deauthorize this computer" if you have bought anything from the itunes store, so apple does not count this computer you no longer use as one you currently are using.
     
  14. rob finch macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #14
    Open Disk Utility from the Utilities folder in Applications. Select your drive, click on the Erase tab and click the Erase Free Space button.
     
  15. Bengt77 macrumors 68000

    Bengt77

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2002
    Location:
    Europe
    #15
    Listen to these two guys. Very good advice. Don't just delete your user account. Please, do yourself a favour and go all the way in zeroing out your drive. After you've done that, use the original install dvd to bring your iMac in the original state. The new owner will appreciate it being clean, and you won't have to worry about your personal information.

    And while you're at it, check if you've ever set an Open Firmware password. Please, reset/delete it if you have, otherwise the new owner won't be able to start up using anything other than the internal hard drive.
     
  16. MovieCutter macrumors 68040

    MovieCutter

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #16
    ;)
     
  17. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #17
    Create an Admin account if you don't have one.

    Delete all user accounts from system prefs.

    Delete the user accounts again. Look in Finder and manually delete old user accounts.

    Not done quite yet. Your old data is still un-deletable! Open disk utility and Erase Free Space. By default it should overwrite free space with zeros once. This is usually enough security but to be sure I would overwrite with 7-pass instead of once. Please make sure you are only erasing free space and not deleting or creating partitions.
     
  18. Bengt77 macrumors 68000

    Bengt77

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2002
    Location:
    Europe
    #18
    Ah, sorry. Obviously I hadn't read the OP's question very well. Thanks for setting me straight. :eek:
     
  19. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #19
    Reinstall OS -- can you apply updates too?

    If you clean the disk and reinstall OS X from the distribution DVD, is it possible to "log in" without registering so as to download any necessary updates and install any applications that are to be sold with the used computer and still provide the "out-of-box experience" for the new user just like a new machine with the "Welcome" dialog?

    This would be considerate for the new owner if perhaps they don't have a high-speed internet connection to download possibly hundreds of megabytes of updates required of a mature release point. Or, perhaps they are a new Mac user, and you want to be sure the setup is correct before you ship it to them to avoid any startup problems due to their inexperience.

    -howard
     
  20. deniser macrumors 6502

    deniser

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Location:
    Cornwall, England
    #20
    Can you explain how to do that please, many thanks
     
  21. Dimwhit macrumors 68000

    Dimwhit

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    #21
    He's not saying it can be done, he's asking IF it can be done.

    And it can't, to my knowledge.
     
  22. Dianearm macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
    #22
    Clear your free space, too!

    Found fabulous walkthrough on secure file deletion and what to do if you're not sure you deleted securely (which allows vagrants a way into the files you thought you deleted). You write-over your free space. See:

    http://www.udel.edu/pnpi/tools/erase/mac/erasefiles.html
     

Share This Page