Reformat to Zero data

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by adnansiddiqui24, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. adnansiddiqui24 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    #1
    so im looking to buy the unibody macbook...but going to sell this one i ahve now thru craigslist. i have an install disc for leopard if i put that in and do a clean install will this take EVERYTHING off my harddrive...i dont want any sort of personal data to be left on te machine. thanks
     
  2. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #2
    Yes, if you select "Erase and Install" the computer will be completely restored to its original state, just as if you had removed it from the box for the first time.

    However, if you're dealing with top-secret information, you may wish to first secure erase your disk.
     
  3. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    Jul 4, 2004
    #3
    No, it will not. Put the DVD in, boot from it holding down the C button as you restart the machine... and before you get to the install process, go to the Utilities menu, start up Disk Utility, select the drive in the sidebar on the left and under the 'Erase' tab, go to the Security Options button towards the bottom and select 'zero out data'.

    I tend to do this three times instead of waiting for a 7-pass erase which can take an awful long time to do.

    After that, do a clean install of the OS.
     
  4. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

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    Apr 29, 2005
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    San Francisco
    #4
    Dude, zeroing out the data takes so long. Now do it 3 times? It takes forever... and for what? Just format the drive and install Leopard. You're totally wasting time zeroing data (like 2-4 hours of waste).

    EDIT: I misread your post, I thought you meant you would zero out your new computer. Sure zero out how ever much you want.
     
  5. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #5
    When you have credit card info and other private info on a machine stored in various files, if the drive is not properly erased they can be easily retrieved by any file retrieval utility... what's a couple of hours in the scheme of things? It's not like you have to sit round watching it.

    Edit: Yeah, the old computer. ;)
     
  6. toolbox macrumors 68020

    toolbox

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    #6
    If it were me, i would be replacing the drive with a new one and reinstalling leopard onto it.

    That way who ever buys it has no chance of recovering anything.
     
  7. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #7
    This is always a good method.

    No change of data compromise this way.

    Otherwise, a secure erase of the HD, then doing a clean install is the best way to go. One wipe is better than nothing. However, I would suggest a 7 pass if you have personal data that you do not want compromised.

    Another option is KillDisk. However, you will need a PC and be able to connect your HD to the PC in order to use KillDisk.
     
  8. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    NYC
    #8
    Of course in addition to all these, if your data is really important and needs to be secured, I would swap out the HDD for a new one (or buy a used one off ebay cheaply).
     
  9. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #9
    Uh, that option has already been mentioned above a couple of times. :)
     
  10. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #10
    Would you really want to buy a Mac with an aftermarket hard drive, installed by someone with potentially little or no technical ability?

    I know this isn't a very difficult operation, but we also know that some people are truly all thumbs, and also that you can buy some really cheap mechanisms -- which is what someone's going to do if they're disposing of the Mac.

    Then, what are you going to do with the old drive, have it shredded?
     
  11. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #11
    A buddy of mine drills his a few times.

    Personally, for those drives with sensitive info on them, I use KillDisk a few times, then physically destroy the HD.
     
  12. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #12
    Paranoia is its own reward. ;)
     
  13. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

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    Canada, eh?
    #13
    My goodness. What are you people storing?!

    If my credit card number or SSN is stored in a file somewhere on my hard drive, I couldn't tell you where. I certainly don't write those down in any files.
     
  14. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #14
    Ironically (if you can call it irony) my business credit card has been compromised by thieves twice in as many years -- and nobody needed access to my Mac, let alone to deconstruct my hard drive, to do it.
     
  15. dubhe macrumors 65816

    dubhe

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    May 1, 2007
    Location:
    Norwich, UK
    #15
    I dropped my last drive over the side of my ship mid-Atlantic on my way to Brazil, don't think anybody will be getting to that one :)

    Maybe I should start a business...
     
  16. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

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    #16
    Just do a 7 pass erase.

    It's simple, secure, and costs nothing.
     
  17. wackymacky macrumors 68000

    wackymacky

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    #17
    Along with the body of your wife?


    Seriously though...


    A simple 3 pass then install the OS as new should be fine. (more for your peace of mind than any real threat.

    Unless your on a CIA watch list I can't see someone spending many hours trying to recover your data after that.
     

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