Preparing an old iMac for sale

Discussion in 'iMac' started by GovtLawyer, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. GovtLawyer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2008
    #1
    Now that I have a new 2013 iMac, I want to sell my 2008 24" iMac. I have read at least 5 different ways to properly clean it of personal information so that I can sell it. Problem is that they usually require a start-up disk. I do not have any original disks. It currently runs on Mavericks, but I am sure I had upgraded it at least twice before.

    I think it would need to retain a clean out-of-the-box type of OS if it were to be salable, wouldn't it?

    I would like some easy to follow directions. I could always connect it to my new iMac via ethernet, if that somehow made the process easy and reliable.

    Thanks
     
  2. accountforit macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2014
    #2
    Create a boot disk with a thumb drive. Instructions are all over the internet. Just google it.

    Use disk utility to do a 7 pass erase.
     
  3. GovtLawyer thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2008
    #3
    Need a bit more instruction

    Thanks for the help above. Several questions remain:

    Can I use one of my external hard drives rather than a USB flash drive?
    If I do, do I need to partition it first?

    Am I making the bootable drive from my old computer, which had the latest version of Mavericks on it, until two weeks ago when I upgraded to the new iMac? - I think I upgraded the version on the new one, if I was prompted that an upgrade was available. - do not remember.
    Or, am I making it from my new iMac.

    Do I need to purchase a third party app such as DiskMaker or other cloning program? Or, will Disk utility work?

    Will Disk Utility erase my entire old iMac; or, just Docs, Apps, etc? If it does not erase the entire iMac, will traces of my personal life remain?

    Is there one set of instructions on the Internet which is more reliable than any other? I have looked on the Internet and found at least 5 different methods to perform the erasure and Mavericks install. All are slightly different and each one contains at least 3 cautionary notes about the method it is touting.

    Thanks,
    Steven
     
  4. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #4
    Yes you can use an external. If the drive has nothing on it you care about, you don't need to partition. If you do want to keep the data on the external, just add an 8GB partition to the end and make the Mavs installer on there.

    You can login to the App Store and go to your purchased section and redownload the full Mavs installer from either machine. It does not matter. This will give you the latest 10.9.1 version.

    You can use the free Diskmaker X or follow this process from Apple to make your installer.

    Once you get the USB installer made, just attach it to the machine and option key boot to the installer. Once there use Disk Util to erase Macintosh HD and your personal data and the OS and apps will all be gone. If you are extra concerned about someone using a data recovery app to restore your personal data you can do a secure erase. One pass is sufficient unless you have the nuclear launch does on there. :)

    Once you have erased, just quit Disk Util and click install OS and wait for the install to finish. Once it restarts after the install and the setup screen comes up, just command-q to quit that and shutdown. This way the new owner will get the setup wizard then they boot.

    Before you do any of this though, follow these steps from Apple to prepare the iMac for sale.
     
  5. Lucianrider macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
    Location:
    St. Lucia, West Indies
    #5
    Buy an 8 gig flash drive, they are cheap and you can use it for your own stuff later on...

    Not sure what you mean but you will need to have the original Mavericks download which was probably erased automatically when you did the upgrade. There are ways of tricking the App store into letting you download it again I believe...

    Diskmaker X is a free download, get it here: www.http://liondiskmaker.com

    Once you erase the disk it will wipe everything. In Disk Utility select the drive and click on erase then click on security options and move the slider all the way to the right for the most secure erase setting or something in between if you are not paranoid... Just be prepared to wait a long time as it writes zeros to the disk 7 times!! Probably only the NSA could get anything back after that!!
     
  6. GovtLawyer thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2008
    #6
    Will this work?

    I just came from a well known tech store in NYC -Tekserve. The techie told me I should not use a Mavericks boot, but would be better off installing Snow Leopard, due to the age of my old iMac - 2008. He suggested a process which sounds a bit simpler. Here it is and please tell me if you agree.

    He said I should purchase from Apple online a Snow Leopard boot disk OS for $19.99. He said I connect my old iMac to my new one using an ethernet wire (I have one from my modem to my router.) Using the Disk Utility on my new iMac I erase the entire drive on my old one. The only thing he cautioned me about was to make sure I did not erase the wrong drive. Obviously I would be quite careful to not do so. Once erased, I boot up the Apple bought Snow Leopard disk too the old machine, and voila!, I have an iMac ready to go with Snow Leopard.

    I think this would eliminate the problem of making sure I had the proper installers to go with the operating system, and I would have the old iMac completely clean of all personal info. My old iMac is in excellent shape and I think it ought to get me several hundred dollars on the internet.

    Does this sound like a viable plan?

    Steven
     
  7. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #7
    You have been running Mavericks on the machine, and you have not mentioned there was any problem at all with it, so why waste $20 to go back to Snow Leopard. If the new owner wants to to that, they can.

    I don't understand you concern about versions. You are going to DL Mavs from the App Store and that version will be the same and will work on your iMac.

    As far as this ethernet cable business, I have no idea what the heck he is even talking about. There is no way you are going to be able to erase the disk on your old iMac over an ethernet cable from the new one. The only thing I can think he getting twisted around is using DVD sharing, but this is for Macs that do not have a optical drive to use.

    Honestly, I think you are overcomplicating this. Just follow the steps in my previous post and you will be fine.

    The only thing the new owner would want to do is login to the App Store with his AppleID and "purchase" Mavs in case he ever wants to reinstall.
     
  8. Lucianrider macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
    Location:
    St. Lucia, West Indies
    #8
    If you want to go through that trouble, sure...

    I wiped my wife's mid 2008 24" iMac and did a fresh install of Mavericks using the Diskmaker X flash drive and it was dead simple and worked perfectly.

    No need to buy a Snow Leopard boot disk....
     

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