Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.


macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jul 13, 2008
Los Angeles, Ca
I love my Mac Mini, however the lack of portability is really taking a toll here at university. I need to sell this Mac Mini with 500gb HDD, and get rMBP most likely.

Anyways, how can I go about a complete successful HDD erase so as not to worry about a future owner accessing any of my stuff?

Would I need to take the HDD out and erase it as an external? If so, wouldn't it render the HDD somewhat useless (for the new owner) when first reinstalled into the Mini?

Ideally, I would like it where none of my info is on this Mac. Including my personal login account and iCloud features within. Ya' never know, ya know?


macrumors regular
Oct 23, 2012
In the dark windows days...dban (Darik's Boot and Nuke) was very handy. Not sure if there ever was a Mac version.


macrumors 6502
Jan 10, 2009
Reboot into recovery by restarting your Mac Mini holding down the option key than select the mountain lion recovery partition. Once it booted up select disk utility and the erase and then security options and select whichever seems better to you. the more passes the longer it will take.


macrumors 6502
Apr 10, 2011
I assume you will back up ur system first, right?
If so, clone your system (also make TM back up)
Super duper back up, it gives you bootable drive from USB or whatever external you have. Also, your mini will be ready to ship or collection at any time
1-clone it (super duper is good)
2-boot from cloned drive
3-open up Disk Utility
4-choose 500gb HHD and Erase change the security option as 7 pass
and erase. It will teak at least over night
5- you can install clean OS after Erasing finished
6- use your external drive (boot) untill you sell it(it keeps your data from your HDD

Edie Brickell

macrumors member
Apr 22, 2010
@hamkor04 has given the best answer of your question. First backup everything then erase with disk utility or any third party tool likely a Wipe software but disk utility is preferred because its free to use.


macrumors 6502a
Mar 6, 2002
New England
I thought this was weird and not sure how it happens. 2 years ago I sold a mini server on ebay. Before i sold it I erased the HD and reinstalled software. This past week I bought a brand new 2012 mini. During the initial setup I inputed all my info including my apple email address. When i opened safari for the first time I was shocked to see that safari had all the bookmarks I had on my server from 2 years ago. I thought everything gets erased but apparently not. Somehow apple maintained a copy of all my bookmarks. Makes you wonder what else they have?
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.