People who have sold mac notebooks - How did you make it 'safe'?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by thesmoth, Jul 2, 2009.

  1. thesmoth macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2008
    I'm not asking about pricing stuff because i'm now aware that it is against the rules.

    I am curious about how to prepare a macbook for sale so that privacy is not an issue. Obviously you can delete your itunes library and your photos and contacts and all of that stuff, and clear your browsing history, internet cache, etc... Is there anything else that needs to be done?

    Is it worth while to do a fresh install of OSX using the disc that comes with your macbook?

    Any tips?
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas

    I just leave it to the welcome screen, which is the common practice. Makes it nice for the buyer too.
  3. DrunkenMunky macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2009
    To make it completely safe. You've got to replace the hard drive.

    Even tho you'll deleted the files, they can easily be recovered.
  4. rick3000 macrumors 6502a


    May 6, 2008
    West Coast
    When you go to boot of the disk to do a fresh install run Erase in Disk Utility and overwrite everything one or more times.
  5. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    Yes, replacing the HDD is one way to be sure

    You can use Disk Utility to reformat the HDD and securely overwrite it
    Then do a fresh install

    No way would I do anything less than that

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
  6. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040


    Sep 28, 2008
    Disk Utility offers up to 7 pass formatting. It takes a LONG time, but for all intents and purposes, impossible to recover any data from the drive.
  7. thesmoth thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2008
    I posted a thread last night asking how much I should ask for my girlfriends macbook but the thread was closed saying it was against the rules, unless posted in the market place.

    Where is the marketplace and where can i go to get a good idea of the value of her system.

    I've seen some of the same ones selling for $1100 on craigslist, BUT hers still has 2 years of applecare and just had the keyboard/trackpad replaced.
  8. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040


    Sep 28, 2008
    You need 250 posts and 6 months of being on the forum to post in the marketplace.
  9. joro macrumors 68020


    Jun 11, 2009
    This is what I did when I sold my MB and MBA on eBay and thus far, no unauthorized credit cards in my name ;)
  10. lavinci macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2009
    I sell macbooks every once in a while so I either replace hard drives or run disk utility.
  11. geoffreak macrumors 68020


    Feb 8, 2008
    A single zero-out pass will be enough to deter all but a forensic investigator. If one of those gets their hands on their hard drive, it might not matter how many passes you do.
  12. mcdj macrumors G3


    Jul 10, 2007
    This is one of the only correct posts in this thread.
  13. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    It's not impossible. Someone with the right tools and desire can pull data off that drive. Now, chances are someone is not going to buy a MB off the internet only to try and pull data off the drive, but it's technically possible.

    If you complete safety, replace the HDD and keep or destroy (very thoroughly) the old one. I've heard stories of even physically shattered HDDs being reassembled and data being recovered, so make sure you grind it down into tiny pieces. I recommend a BlendTech blender. ;)
  14. M-5 macrumors 65816


    Jan 4, 2008
    Hmm, I sold it to a friend of mine and only did a fresh install of the OS. Meh, he's not the type of person that knows much about how to go about recovering these files anyway. I don't even see why he would want to. I just have to worry about who he ends up selling it to.
  15. 5DollaFootlong macrumors 6502


    Apr 26, 2009
    7 pass, 35 pass, it doesn't matter. Only James Bond or the FBI will be able to recover data after a zero pass install.
  16. M-5 macrumors 65816


    Jan 4, 2008
    Unfortunately, I wouldn't know if he was or wasn't.
  17. Wotan31 macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2008
    LMAO it's true. All these people talking about physically replacing the drive, smashing the old one, etc. WTF? The only reason you'd need to do that is if you're storing nuclear research secrets on there or something.

    Just do a single pass format using disk utility, followed by a fresh install of OS X. That's absolutely as safe as it needs to be.
  18. Wotan31 macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2008
    Technically possible for someone with extensive training in data recovery techniques, and a budget of tens-of-thousands of dollars or more.

    Well beyond what anyone would undertake for a random internet laptop.[/QUOTE]
  19. barkomatic macrumors 601

    Aug 8, 2008
    When I finally get a new MBP, I'm not gonna sell the old one. Too much trouble and its always great to have a backup lying around for when the primary one inevitably needs service. :)
  20. NovemberWhiskey macrumors 68040


    May 18, 2009
    Where do I find disk utility and the 7-pass format?

    On a side note, I am preparing a PC with Windows Vista to be returned and I need to wipe the HDD.

    I just used the format/delete utility when you re-install Windows from the disc that came with the computer.

    Is this good enough? I formatted/deleted and re-installed twice.
  21. angelwatt Moderator emeritus


    Aug 16, 2005
    Disk Utility is in the Utilities folder inside the Applications folder. Spotlight should also find it. From there you'll pick your HD on the left, then on the right go to the erase tab and click the Security Options button to find the various erase options.
  22. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    Congratulations for repeating what I already said. Would you like a cookie?
  23. panzer06 macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2006
    Since I upgrade the HD the minute I buy the machine, the original untouched HD is sitting unused on a shelf until I sell the unit. Unfortunately, some of the units sell with different upgraded drives so I have all these extra 120GB & 160GB 2.5" SATA drives laying about.

    I replace my Macs entirely too often.

  24. fuzzielitlpanda macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2008

Share This Page