Preparing my iBook for sale

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by andrewlacey, Jun 1, 2004.

  1. andrewlacey macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2003

    I'm upgrading my system and I've found a buyer for my 2003 G3 iBook (14"). Before sending it out to him, I'd like to clean all of my files off the hard drive and generally have it all in good order for him to use. I've tried to delete my files manually but there are just too many. There could also be stuff on there like credit card details that I don't want to give out and don't know how to delete. Can somebody give me a very detailed step by step guide to basically wipe all of my information off so that the buyer has a 'new' machine? Is it possible to return the machine to the point just after I booted the machine up (I remember using 2 CDs) for the first time when I bought it to give the new owner a fresh start?



    EDIT: I have the last upgrade before Panther.
  2. slipper macrumors 68000


    Nov 19, 2003
  3. andrewlacey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2003
    I have no idea what I'm doing

    I'd be grateful if you could give me a bit more information :)
  4. LeeTom macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2004

    This process will take around a half an hour, most of which you can be gone for:

    First, make sure you have all your documents off there, and there is nothing else you need, because it's ALL gonna be gone.
    Then, grab the Install CDs that came with the system. Put one in the drive, and restart the computer.
    When the screen goes black, right before it makes the chime sound, hold down the 'C' key for a little bit (10 seconds or so) until it starts booting from the CD.
    Here, you just follow the instructions to install OS X. I can't remember the EXACT wording, but be on the lookout for some sort of Options button, so you can do a CLEAN install. This will erase EVERYTHING and reinstall it to factory specs.

    Good luck,
    Lee Tom
  5. andrewlacey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2003
    Thank you very much. Before I try this tonight can somebody give me any more information or at least confirm that Lee Tom's instructions are correct?

    I don't mean to be rude or anything Lee Tom but I'm sure you can understand that I just want to be very sure before I go ahead and do this! Thanks again for your instructions though.
  6. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040


    Nov 5, 2002
    his instructions will work but they arent' the easiest.

    1. backup all your stuff to a cd/dvd/ new computer
    2. put in your MAC OSX restore disc, it will mount on the desktop and click Install OSX, it will prompt you for your password then ask you if you want to restart. Click yes restart and the machine will boot from the CD.
    3. Follow the instructions and click Format and Install. and that should give you a clean install.
  7. Elmy macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2004
    Formatting your HD will NOT necessarily delete the data on it. All formatting will do is remove the master partition table which tells the computer where the data is located on the disk; if the person you are selling to wanted to, they could recover all of your files no problem. Even deleting them won't help; this just writes to the hard disk that sector xxxxxx is now available for writing; the data is still there until it is overwritten.

    Basically I would recommend deleting your entire user directory using Panther's Secure Delete Trash method under Finder. This will overwrite the HD data multiple times and make recovery impossible. There may be a utility which you can burn to CD and boot from, then tell it to do a Guttman or DoD strength write of the harddisk permanently wiping all data. This can be easily done using a Linux bootdisc, I will happily explain how to do it if you wish.
  8. nesbitt_a macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2003
    Yes - he's correct.

    If you want to be really safe about your data, click apple menu on bootup, and get into the disk manager. Format your disk using an '8-way erase', or a 'zero all data'. That will mean that your data is in no way ever recoverable. Then exit the disk manager, and proceed with install of mac os 10.


    Edit: Wow, two replies in the time it took me to write this. Dont you just hate that.
  9. Elmy macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2004
    There we go then, Mac OS X installer disc already has this function built in! I'm impressed.

    My Mac hasn't come through the post yet, but as a long time Linux user I knew it could be done by running this command 8 times:

    # dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/hda bs=8192

    Might work under OS X too if the unix type toolset is complete!
  10. applemacdude macrumors 68040


    Mar 26, 2001
    Over The Rainbow
    But ill take a couple of hours to do the 8 way hd erase...
  11. andrewlacey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2003
    Thanks to everyone who took the time and effort to reply. I succeeded in executing a "clean" install of OS X but didn't attempt the 8 way erase.
  12. WALoeIII macrumors newbie

    May 12, 2004
    Its highly unlikely that they'll data mine your hard drive and find anything useful. The cost out weighs the benefits. If you really want to be safe you can just do the 8-way or zeroing and re-install - the only thing it takes is your time.

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