Restore MBA to "brand new"

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by phillyred79, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. phillyred79 macrumors regular

    Mar 12, 2010
    Hey everyone, I've searched for my topic question, but haven't found the exact answer I'm looking for. I'm returning my new 11" MBA and would like to erase everything on it- including my account info so my name doesn't pop up etc.. I've inserted the USB backup card, power on hold down C etc, but all that does is reinstall OSX and my info and applications are still there.. Is there something I'm missing? Thanks in advance!
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Once you get past the license agreement, select from the menu, tools, disk utility and erase disk
  3. Appleind macrumors regular


    Nov 12, 2010
    I had to once return my MBP as well. Basically reformat the hard disk using Disk Utility and then reinstall the OS. You should be fine
  4. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    OT, but why are you returning it? Is it defective, or do you just need something better?
  5. needmacpro macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2007
    While erasing the drive and reinstalling will make the computer appear as new, the SSD isn't really the same as new. It seems OS X still doesn't support TRIM and zeroing out the drive isn't really recommended either (potential performance degradation).

    Check out some of the older threads like this:

    That said, there has been a lot of discussion on various forums but I'm not sure if there is a definitely answer yet.

    When I did my reinstalling (and prep for possibly exchanging my machine), I dragged the home folders with sensitive data to the trash and did a Secure Empty Trash. I then did a quick erase of the drive and reinstalled. It's not perfect in theory but seems to be working OK.
  6. phillyred79 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 12, 2010
    So, there isn't a specific option for "reformat" in the Disk Utility section, but I assume after I click on "Mactintosh HD" I click Erase in the tabs and then click "Erase Free Space.." ? So, I did this.. Then powered on with holding C and installed OS X and after it reboots I still see my name in the Log Out screen..
  7. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    You didn't do this correctly. Why did you power it off after you did the erase? Upon doing the erase correctly you quit Disk Utility and it returns you to the install screen.
  8. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    See the link in my post above. You must boot from the install stick and use its Disk Utility. You can't erase the drive if you're running an OS from it.
  9. phillyred79, Nov 20, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2010

    phillyred79 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 12, 2010
    I'm a knucklehead! I reversed my steps! This is the correct way taken from the link above:

    1. Boot from the install USB drive by holding alt/option key and select the install USB drive with arrow keys and hit enter. It may take up to several minutes to load everything, so please, be patient.

    2. Select your language and click the arrow (->). It will now prepare the installation and this may again take up to several minutes so be patient.

    3. You should now be at the "Install Mac OS X" screen. Select Utilities from the Menu Bar (the grey bar on the top) and open Disk Utility.

    4. Select your hard drive or partition from the left-hand-side menu (note: if you have installed Windows on to your Mac and wish to keep it as it is, choose your Mac OS X partition because if you erase the whole hard drive, your Windows partition will be erased as well) .

    4.1. Click the "Erase" tab
    4.2. Use "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" as the format
    4.3. Give name to your drive/partition
    4.4. Click "Erase..." and it will ask you are you sure you want to do that, click "Erase"
    4.5. Wait for it to do its magics, this may again take couple of minutes
    4.6. Exit Disk Utility

    6. Click "Continue" and an agreement will appear, click "Agree"

    7. It will now ask you where do you want to install it. Select the erased hard drive/partition you just created and click "Install". The installation process will take about 30-60 minutes depending on your computer

    8. When the installation has succeeded, it will ask you to restart the computer. Simply click "Restart"

    9. Enjoy the Welcome Video

    10. Select your country or region

    11. Select your keyboard layout

    12. Migration Assistant will now open so if you want to migrate your data from the backup you made earlier, select "From a Time Machine backup" (or "From another volume on this Mac" if you did not use Time Machine)

    13. It will then reboot and voilà, you are done!

    14. It's recommended to run the Software Update to make sure your software is up-to-date

    Thanks Hellhammer!! I just copied this from the link ( to make it easier for others to see! This will return your Mac to the fresh Welcome Video screens as it was the day you first powered it on.
  10. phillyred79 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 12, 2010
    I decided, I wanted a MacBook Pro! The new MBA's are quite nice, but I need something with a little more ooomph!

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