Replacing Hard Drive and Privacy

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Rugbyplayer, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. Rugbyplayer macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2008
    Im having the 250 GB HD replaced in my early 2008 MacBook Pro but Im concerned about privacy.
    1. Can tech replace without having my password?
    2. How can I be sure that a backdoor hasn't been placed on my new one (I am getting it with some software already installed)?
    I guess Im paranoid but Ive got lots of stuff on my old drive that Ill restore from my back up.
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    First, it's very simple to replace the drive yourself, and no special tools are required. There are plenty of online tutorials to walk you through the process.

    You should have a backup of your drive anyway, especially before taking your Mac in for service or performing service yourself, in case something goes wrong and the drive is damaged.

    You don't have to worry about back doors being installed. Your new drive should be formatted prior to putting your old OS, apps and data on it, which will wipe out any software preinstalled.

    Here's a suggested approach for replacing the drive yourself:
    1. Buy an external enclosure and put your old drive in it.
    2. Install your new drive in your Mac.
    3. Boot from your old (external) drive by holding the Option key on startup.
    4. Prepare your new drive by formatting it to HFS+ using Disk Utility
    5. Use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the old (external) drive to the new (internal) drive.
    6. Boot from the new internal drive.
    7. Your now running on your new internal drive and your old drive is now an external drive, useful for backups or additional storage.
    Some have encountered problems cloning from the internal to the external, then swapping them, which is why I recommend you swap them first, then clone from the external to the new internal. For more info on this: Can't Boot From Cloned External SSD
  3. Command macrumors regular


    Jan 23, 2015
    Even if a password is required, you can change it.
  4. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    I'm more curious about the "extra software". Are you buying the application packages from the tech and he/she is installing them or are they "throwing them in" as part of the job?

    As for avoiding any "back doors", change your account password once you get the system back and make sure you have the password for ALL the accounts on the system (boot it and look in system preferences/users & groups), change the passwords for all of them or disable them when you get home.
  5. Rugbyplayer, Apr 9, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2015

    Rugbyplayer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2008
    Thanks to all who provided extensive and very sound advice.
    The additional software included some that I was a bit sceptical of accepting so I didn't use that freelance tech.
    I appreciate the help.
  6. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    Yeah, beware of freelance techs offering to throw in "free" software. :)

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