safe to sell used ibook?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by blairh, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. blairh macrumors 68030

    blairh

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    #1
    my girlfriend wants to sell her ibook and get a macbook. she was looking into selling it on ebay or craigslist, but i warned her that if someone who knows their way around computers may be able to access her personal data that may still remain within the computer.

    am i wrong in my thoughts? i just don't want her information exposed to some stranger via her ibook sale.

    thoughts?

    ps.

    is there anything she can do to the ibook to avoid any dangers like this?
     
  2. airjuggernaut macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    #2
    The best way to get rid of everything would be, to buy a new hard drive, take out the old one and pop the new hard drive in.
     
  3. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #3
    It is possible, yes, but pretty unlikely that anyone would do that. If you're paranoid, you can certainly delete files that you think might be sensitive (things like the keychain too) and then "Secure Empty Trash," which will overwrite those segments of the hard drive 7 times with random noise, making any data nearly impossible to recover.

    If you're REALLY paranoid, you can boot off the system restore CD/DVD and do a secure format of the drive, which will write random noise to the entire drive 7 times, but that takes a very long time (24 hours sometimes) and is largely a waste. Simply secure deleting sensitive files individually and then doing a normal erase and install from the system restore DVDs should be more than sufficient.
     
  4. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #4
    the ram too if you are truly cautious
     
  5. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #5
    Just wipe the HD a few times before installing an OS to sell the system.

    TEG
     
  6. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #7
  7. GeneKam macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Location:
    Mississauga, ON
    #8
    yup after scrambeling the data seven times, it is next to impositble to recover, just do that and you are fine. Look at it as a series of 0 and 1, lets say here is the data 1100110101, after moving them around 3 times they can go to this 101101010011, to place it back is nearly imposible as it will take a long time to do that, and the software will not know waht to make of the files as the code is much bigger then 10 numbers, it is in the millions. So after leaving it over night fo erace you will be fine, or you can just literaly turn all 1 to 0 that will also make everything useless. So no worries about personal data, unless you work for the government and have that kind of data, then do a 35 times pass, but really if that was the case you would trash the drive rather then sell, so you are safe as far a s is see it.
     
  8. zelet macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2003
    #9
    Misinformation...

    I do data recovery for a living and there is a ton of mis-information in this thread. Some of it is overly paranoid and some of it is way too lax.

    First of all, you don't need to wipe the drive 7 times. Once over is fine for everybody - except those that own an electron microscope.

    The person that said it's hard to get personal data off of a drive doesn't know what they are talking about either. It is VERY easy. Especially pictures. There are all sorts of free/cheap tools to recover "deleted" or "partitioned" information. It is incredibly easy.

    Also, the person that said erasing individual files is also wrong. Files, because of defrag, swap, temp internet cache and other reasons are written all over the disc. So, that sensitive "word document" could be written to your drive in several different places that you (and your system) don't know about.

    The best way to be sure you got everything is to boot off of the system CD/DVD and go into disk utility. From there chose the disk (not the partition) and go to the "erase" tab. Click on "security options" and select "Zero Out Data." I haven't done it in a while - and disk utility might not let you zero out the drive. In that case, chose the partition and do it there. That should remove everything that you need.

    If you have any questions send me a PM.
     
  9. alexjdb macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2007
    Location:
    Montreal, QC, Canada
    #10
    Thanks for the clarification, way too much confusion going on in this thread :p
     

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