Restore Lion to factory/wipe all data

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by kevin222, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. kevin222 macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2006
    I upgraded my macbook pro to Lion and then decided to buy a new Air and sell the Pro. How can I safely wipe everything off my pro and get Lion back to complete factory settings? Typically I would just use the recovery disc but we all know that's not possible anymore. I was reading about the built in recovery mode of Lion (command + R on boot up) - will this allow me to reinstall Lion and wipe everything? From the way I read, it may just reinstall Lion, leaving all my stuff/settings still here. Any help would be appreciated!
  2. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Jun 21, 2006
    Open Disk Utility from the restore partition and reformat the Lion partition first.
  3. kevin222 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2006
    How do I do that, restart in recovery mode?
  4. steveoc macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2007
    Adirondacks NY
    You could make a clean install of Snow Leopard reformatting the drive then install Lion over it.
  5. saberahul macrumors 68040

    Nov 6, 2008
  6. kevin222 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2006
    I was considering this, but my goal was to put it back to an "out of the box" state. If I do this, I would have to actually log into the computer for the first time after reinstalling, enter my credentials back at the Mac App store etc. I'd just like to just wipe it all and then shove it back in the box with a fresh version of Lion on it if possible...Can that be done using the recovery mode do you know?
  7. mmduluth macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2011
    Download Lion again and burn it to a DVD and restore using that.
  8. JediMeister macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
    Restart the computer holding :apple:+R. Choose the option relating to Disk Utility and erase the Macintosh HD. Close Disk Utility and from the list of options, reinstall Lion.
  9. kevin222 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2006
    Oh that sounds like it will work - thanks! That will definitely get rid of everything, including settings, right?
  10. fritzsaam macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2011
    Erase and reinstall Lion

    I searched for two days to find what you offered in two sentences! Your 'erase and reinstall' procedure worked flawlessly. Many thanks :)
  11. StrollerEd macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2011
    just read this thread with interest as I have similar problem to solve I think.

    I have bought the 2011 mba and using the Migration Assistant I tried to transfer everything from my 2009 mba. It took a while using my domestic wifi but somewhere I took a wrong turning and have ended up with two accounts on my 2011 mba, one including the stuff from the 2009 mba, and I dont seem to be able to access one from another.

    Talking things through with a colleagues we thought about

    a) copying all new files that I have created since I have had the 2011mba
    b) using this procedure just described.
    c) re-trying the Migration Assistant and making sure that I do it right this time.

    Any flaws in the above - even if I dont know where I went wrong last time?
  12. ybhco macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2011
    Question re: formatting hard drive

    Hi folks, I followed the steps above, but I'm still confused. On the SuperDrive screen where I'm trying to delete the drives, I've got "320.07 GB Hitachi..." and a subheading "Macintosh HD." I deleted the "Macintosh HD," and it's grayed out now, but the heading is still there.

    It also lists "disc2" with a subheading "Mac OS X Base System." Should I delete this as well?

    I'm handing over a Macbook Pro to a co-worker (I got a new one) and need all of my data deleted and the system restored to factory settings. Sorry to be a n00b. Can anyone help?

  13. blackbrant macrumors newbie

    Jan 23, 2012
    option + R no worky

    Ok, so I already deleted the Lion .dmg file so I can't rip a disc, and I tried reformatting clean installing leopard and Lion does not allow this. I've tried to option + R and it brings me to a grey screen with a password prompt (before the apple logo appears)...what gives?
  14. alexstrider18 macrumors member


    Nov 5, 2011
    dublin , ireland
    so did you ever get an answer for that question ,.
    It also lists "disc2" with a subheading "Mac OS X Base System." Should I delete this as well?

    I restored a new replaced mbp , that i got due to soo many faults with the old machine,.. and i think i brought some of the old probs into the new machine when i did a restore from my time machine ,. :-/ ,.. I've 15 GB of GHOST data in the folders on the backup ,.. cleaned that up,. fixed iMovie,and iPhoto,.. did a full system restore ,.. command=r ,disk utility erase mac HD ,.... quit that and do a full lion iOS reinstall ,. twice now ,.. and no joy,.. was afraid to delete the "Mac OS X Base System" ?? love some advice
  15. rayward macrumors 68000

    Mar 13, 2007
    Houston, TX
    I am having trouble with my iMac, and I tried to erase the Mac HD using Disk Utility, but it says it cannot. It instructed me to reformat the drive and then restore a backup.

    My question is this: how do I initiate a reformat? It is not an option under Disk Utility. TIA.
  16. Poimetheus macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2012
    Horse ****

    The whole concept is utter bull ****. Why does such a simple task have to be so damn Cantankerous?! I should be able to put whatever OSX version I please into any hardware and perform an install. Apple thinks everyone should have their "latest and greatest" and upgrade when appropriate; so **** compatibility and anything else we might want to do with it. I will NEVER own fascist technology.
  17. Pacwell macrumors member

    May 14, 2012
    Good lord. No need for such anger.
  18. Shade12 macrumors regular


    May 15, 2012
    hey i bought a imac it has mac 10.6.8 and i want to restore it and erase all data how can i do that can you help me ?
  19. JediMeister macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
    Reinstalling Mac OS X 10.6.
  20. Shade12 macrumors regular


    May 15, 2012
    but i dont have the cd can i do it without it ?


    is apple logo means command ?
  21. JediMeister macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
    If the seller did not give you discs, you'll need to purchase replacements provided they can still be acquired. If yours is a computer that shipped with 10.6, you need the gray discs specific for that model. If the Mac was upgraded to 10.6 a retail copy of 10.6 will do nicely. To see whether your Mac shipped with 10.6 or earlier, take a look at this.

    And yes, the :apple: and Command keys are one and the same.
  22. Shade12 macrumors regular


    May 15, 2012
    Thanks for respond I bought cd for Mac 10.6.8 I think I erased the hard drive cuz when I turn Mac on a folder comes up with a question mark on it can you please send me link or instructions how to erase hard drive and reinstall Mac so I have fresh Mac. Nothing on it. Thanks. Cuz I bought used.
  23. Aryababa macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2011
    Folder with question mark

    Hey, I am i the EXACT same boat as you. Got the folder with the question mark! Except what I did before I got the question mark was completely erase the hard drive via the COMMAND + R key (right as you turn on the computer). I am returning my mac back to the online store and wanted to do a clean erase myself.

    So it seems like you erased it yourself. What you need to do is restart your computer and hold down those buttons mentioned above. Hold them until you see a dark ashy gray screen (almost black) and then release the keys. The menu will pop up saying you can 1) restore from a time machine backup 2) restore lion from the .dmg thats saved in the computer automatically 3) (forgot what this one was) and 4) use disk utility to format/erase a hdd.

    If you want a clean install of lion, select the restore from lion option! Make sure your computer is hooked up with an internet cable as it will need to verify the computer with apple servers and voila. Hope this helps.
  24. jenz macrumors newbie


    Jun 8, 2010
    San Francisco Bay Area
    I'm gonna try to do that, I sold my iMac today and I need to ship it tomorrow.

  25. mspomer macrumors newbie

    May 11, 2013
    Guess I need help after reading through.

    I'm selling a mackbook pro (late 2008) and want to wipe and have as though the buyer just bought.

    Problem is I have the original disk, but no cd/dvd (as it has been replaced by a data doubler and 2nd hard drive).

    Can anyone tell me how to wipe and reset to factory lion default?


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