Please Help With Erasing My Hard Drive - It's Driving Me Insane!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by siberguy, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. siberguy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    #1
    Hello,

    I'm desperately trying to erase the hard drive on my Mac Mini so that I can sell it.

    My problem is that I've had it 4 years and have no idea where either the OS X install or system restore disks are.

    Is there ANY way I can delete my personal information so that it's safe to sell without:

    a) Finding the disks (believe me, I've turned the house upside down)
    b) Going through the folders one by one and deleting things
    c) Paying for replacement disks (I've just spent £1200 on a new brand new imac - I don't think apple need any more of my hard-earned!)

    I've been trying to find an alternative solution for three days and I'm starting to go slightly mental.

    It's a Mac Mini with Intel Core Duo processor, running Mac OS X 10.4.8.

    PLEASE HELP ME!! :confused:
     
  2. stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    Not that Im advocating piracy

    but you could download a full copy of OSX from somewhere and burn that to a disk!


    Replacement disks are like £10 or something like that, these would be your best choice.
     
  3. stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Thinking about it, this is in fact a bad idea as you would be selling on pirated goods if you reinstall OSX from the downloaded disks. Your best bet will be to speak too Apple.
     
  4. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #4
    You could enable the root user, login as root and delete your account via System Preferences > Accounts.
    Then use Disk Utility to erase the free disk space with "zero out" as option selected.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Then create a new user for the new owner, with admin privileges and tell the owner the root account details.


    Or if you wanna delete everything, use Target Disk Mode with your iMac and erase all data securely.
     
  5. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #5
    An alternate plan to enabling the Root user is to just create a new Administrator account with a simple password in the Users preference pane, then log into that account and delete all the other accounts, using the "delete immediately" option when prompted.

    If you're paranoid or have sensitive data on the computer, you can also use the erase free space option explained by spinnerlys.

    None of these, however, will remove applications or any system-level settings. There are few of these, but for example if you had Adobe Creative Suite installed, you would want to deactivate (and uninstall, if possible) before selling the computer. Most apps aren't that "integrated", but a few are, and serial numbers usually aren't stored in the user account.
     
  6. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #6
    That will soon become the buyer's problem. If you find a sucker, sap... er, find someone willing to buy the Mini without the discs.
     

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