Resetting a MacBook for sale

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Jpoon, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. Jpoon macrumors 6502a


    Feb 26, 2008
    Los Angeles California
    I'm looking for some advice as to how to just reset a Macbook so I can sell it.

    Any suggestions would be helped. Is there just a factory reset option?

  2. hmai18 macrumors 6502

    Mar 26, 2008
    Boot from the system disc that came with the Macbook. Get into Disk Utility and click on the button for Security Options under the Erase tab. Be sure to zero out the drive. Then do a clean install of OS X.
  3. uicandrew macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2006
    i concur with what hmai18 says. I just wanted to add that for zeroing out a hard drive. it takes a LOOOONG time.

    I'd say maybe 1-2 hours per PASS. you have the option of 1 pass, 3 or 5 pass, and 7 pass.

    I'd go for the middle one. I'd like to think that no one is buying old notebooks to steal personal information by painstakingly retrieving data, but you never know these days.

    If you're a paranoid-government-conspiracy type, then go for the 7 pass. I'm more the cautious, but realistic type, so I go for the middle one.

    I tell it to start zeroing out when i leave in the morning, and when i come back at night, it's either done, or close to being done.
  4. piimaPAKK macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2008
  5. dmiller macrumors member

    Aug 11, 2008
    If he were to buy a new HDD and do a clean install of OS X on it, would that get rid of everything as well? or is some information stored elsewhere?
    I know he'd spend money on it before selling it and probably doesn't want to go that route but I'm curious if that will work.
  6. uicandrew macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2006
    now THAT'S paranoid :)

    will it work? yes, but it is overkill.

    but get this (i love making paranoid people even more skittish)

    there might still be some personal information on the RAM. I mean, that's 2-4gb info. Honest to god, I read an article on engadget or somewhere relatively reputable where hackers were able to get a password or something fresh off the ram.

    briefly, the method was

    Step 1 - cut a hole in the box
    Step 2 - put your ....... wait, different set of instructions

    Step 1 - enter the password/information
    Step 2 - shut down computer
    Step 3 - freeze or chill the RAM (to keep it in suspended state without losing data)
    Step 4 - transplant RAM to another computer or machine that read the information of the RAM that was still suspended state from the low temp

    But for those people who are EXTREMELY paranoid, I'm sure that the reinstallation of 6-7gb of Leopard will fill up every nook and cranny of the 2-4gb RAM wiping it clean of prior memory.

    (or does it? when was the last time your mac maxed its memory usage, so there still might be some bytes hanging out in the corner, refusing to be erased)

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