Returning MBA 13 128 - How to clean install?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by yuanmoons, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. yuanmoons macrumors 6502

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    Aug 7, 2008
    #1
    I brought a 128gb 13 MBA - its fine except i feel better with a bigger drive - my fault. So know i need to erase the drive and swap it for a 256gb.

    Just brought it today and i want to exchange it tomorrow (+£250!! for extra 128gb.... :confused:)

    Anyone give a me a quick heads up on how to do it. Ive done a few searches and it seems i restart and press the option keys and get the recovery hd option thing and then i do an erase from disk utility at top and then download 4gb of lion (!!).....

    Help appreciated. A nice precise concise web link would be great. Thanks.
     
  2. iExpensive macrumors 6502

    iExpensive

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    #2
    Yeah, seems like you've found the answers yourself.
    Go into the Recovery and redownload.
     
  3. yuanmoons thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    thought there might be an easier or better way....?

    what a waste of my monthly allowance.... :-(
     
  4. h00ligan macrumors 68030

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    #4
    Well, you could download the recovery disk maker and make your own...it may be less bandwidth.
     
  5. xeonbot macrumors newbie

    xeonbot

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    #5
    You can't do a secure erase that way though can you?

    I thought the safest thing was to create a new admin account, secure delete the other user through system prefs, then reinstall.
     
  6. yuanmoons thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    I agree. This is a good idea to just delete the user folder SECURELY. Then maybe don't even need to do a reinstall and I'm returning to the store and they will wipe it anyway as part of there refurb process. Save 4gb.

    Agree?

    And does ALL personal data reside in the user account? or does some little bits spill over into system files etc.?
     
  7. blevins321 macrumors 68030

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    #7
    I thought that all the disc maker would do is allow you to redownload without the recovery partition?

    Edit: Did you buy it from Apple? If so they'll do the reinstall in store before you return.
     
  8. yuanmoons thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Yes, the disk maker just creates an external utility that is already on my mba 2011 anyway - accessed via pressing command c upon restart so it doesn't save any bandwidth.

    My only genuine concern is to delete my files off it securely and leave it 'clean'.
     
  9. xeonbot macrumors newbie

    xeonbot

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    #9
    Hmm, yeah, now I think of it, I'm pretty sure I just did the "secure delete user" bit when returning my two Airs, no reinstall. I'm quite fussy about wiping my machines properly before returning, selling, etc. and that seemed good to me :)
     
  10. robby818 macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    I had to wipe out a 11" before I returned to Amazon. Boot into the recovery partition and run Disk Utility. Delete Macintosh HD. At that point, your data is essentially gone. It's up to you if you want to go to the trouble of re-downloading Lion. I did, but I had access to a high speed connection which completed the download in 17 minutes. Without that type of connection, I would probably just leave the drive without an OS.
     
  11. xeonbot macrumors newbie

    xeonbot

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    #11
    Without a secure (multiple pass) erase, your data is still recoverable.
     
  12. yuanmoons thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    I went into recovery hd and then disk utility but when i tried to erase the main mac hd the option for secure delete was no available. Only 'normal' erase.

    So at this stage I'm going to create another admin account and delete my user account securely then erase blank space with 7 wipes.

    I think thats all i can do.
     
  13. misterneums macrumors 6502

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    #13
    At some point, it makes me wonder what exactly you're hiding on your computer that needs to be so securely erased....
     
  14. B.Chang macrumors member

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    Jun 9, 2011
    #14
    Research documents for one! Standard procedure at a research institute I worked at was to securely erase portable lab computers once a month and only load relevant project data for each personnel!

    They were too intense for me though :p
     
  15. yuanmoons, Aug 14, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011

    yuanmoons thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Hiding is not the way to look at it - very few people are hiding things in the way i assume you are wondering.... I'm sure you have personal stuff on your mba e.g., letters, notes, journal, emails, receipts, bank statements, photos, etc that could be useful / interesting to 'someone'. And its fair to say the chances of apple or the next owner of this mba 'mining' deleted files is very slim, but you can never know so its better to secure delete as good practice.

    If you had the paper equivalent of everything you (or most people) have your computer in your home and you moved home would you leave the copies in that house?

    So its just like house cleaning. Some people are thorough and do a good job, others not so.

    And how is 128gb working for you?

    As soon as i saw i had 60gb left on this mba i thought - as my main and only laptop, that i want to keep for 3-4 years, its not enough in the long run. Too much time managing files onto MobileMe etc.
     
  16. Spacemarine macrumors newbie

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    #16
    It is an urban legend, that multiple passes are more secure than a single pass.
     
  17. xeonbot macrumors newbie

    xeonbot

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    #17
    You know that a file doesn't disappear when you delete it, right?
     
  18. Spacemarine macrumors newbie

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    #18
    Of course, but I don't remember making a statement about deleting a file.
     
  19. xeonbot macrumors newbie

    xeonbot

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    #19
    Fair enough :p

    I think the point I was trying to make was that, as far as I recall, and for whatever reason, running Disk Utility during the Lion reinstall doesn't let you run any passes, just delete the drive.

    The data on the drive would still be recoverable, right?

    If so, secure-deleting the user account (which I assume involves at least one pass) seems more secure.
     
  20. Spacemarine macrumors newbie

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    Aug 2, 2011
    #20
    I totally agree on that. To securely remove infomation, this information has to be overwritten. Overwriting it more than once is a pure waste of time however.

    The tip to overwrite it more than once originates back from days of the old 1.44 MB disc drives, where the write/read head didn't align perfectly with the tracks on the disk and there some magnetization could remain aber one pass. (Thats the reason why some disks were not readable until you formatted them in the drive you were going to use them in)
     
  21. urkel macrumors 68030

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    Nov 3, 2008
    #21
    Are you even bothering with reinstalling? Because the whole Lion redownload/reinstall process is a waste of bandwidth and time, and since the store will likely do a reformat anyway before selling then you might as well just do an erase and give it to them blank and save yourself a major hassle.
     
  22. misterneums macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Fair enough. I've still got 97 GB free on my Air atm. I've changed up the way I handle a lot of my files. My 750 GB external I got for free from best buy (turned that 100 dollar gift card around) now holds my music and picture files. ^.^
     

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