Selling Mac, how to clear data but keep programs?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Mercuric Oxide, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. Mercuric Oxide macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2008

    So I want to sell my Mac on ebay with many of the programs still installed.

    If I delete the user account, will the programs be there for the new account?

    If that is not the case, is there any other way rather than reinstalling everything after clearing the current user?

  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    Create a new administrator account and delete your current one completely. Applications that are in /Applications are system level and available to all users.

    You might want to boot off of an external or OS X DVD and erase free space as well for a little more security.
  3. Mercuric Oxide thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2008
  4. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Then you can do a secure erase of unused space in Disk Utility. :)
  5. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2006
    Laurel, MD (Baltimore, MD / Washington, DC area)
    Handy thread. Personally, when I sell my Apple Computers after I'm done with them, I like to delete everything and restart it from scratch (and sell it with that as a selling point - under the assumption it is one).
  6. AlexH macrumors 68020


    Mar 7, 2006
    I know this more of a hassle, but I'd recommend you perform at least a zero out of your data and then reinstall os x fresh. I prefer the 7-pass secure erase. I do it every time I sell a Mac. It takes a bit longer (leave it running overnight), but in the long run, I'd rather not have anyone snooping around for my personal data.

    Here's a link to Apple's explanation of each secure erase (it's the same in 10.5 Leopard as well, nothing changed).

    Just boot up from the OS X install disk (while holding down "C"), go into the Disk Utility, select your drive (not the partition, but the entire drive), go to the Erase tab, click on the Security Options, and choose either Zero Out Data or 7-Pass Erase. Both are good and secure, I just prefer the 7-pass, but it will take 7x longer than the 1 pass (Zero Out Data option). Then erase the disk and reinstall OS X and the apps you want, and you're done!

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