Selling MBA, how do I reformat/clear contents? Thanks!!

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by phatjoe, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. phatjoe macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2008

    I have some folks interested in purchasing my macbook air.

    I'd prefer to completely reformat, but I don't have a superdrive, and/or access to another computer to remote share.

    I will cut and paste all my personal content (e.g. pictures, documents) to an external drive.

    What other steps can I take to completely wipe out the contents? Is it possible to remove any trace of the websites I visited? :confused:

    I want to remove office 2008. Do I simply remove the application icon from the Application folder? :confused:

    Any other suggestions is GREATLY appreciated!! :)


  2. Luigi239 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2007
    Honestly, your drive won't be safe until you do a reformat. Anybody who wanted to could easily snatch all the data, deleted or not off of your drive. You should really try and borrow a friends computer so that you can boot from the OS X disk and zero out your drive. If you can't do that, you should delete all your files by secure emptying the trash, by going to Finder>Secure Empty Trash in the menu bar.

    Good luck :)
  3. RainForRent macrumors 6502


    May 31, 2006
    Greenville, SC
    Yes, booting from the OSX disc and running Disk Utility will let you zero out the drive, and effectively erase your data.
  4. showtime macrumors 6502

    May 10, 2007
    When you reformat your drive it'll completely erase everything and restore the computer to factory settings. If your really paranoid about your data being recovered just change the pass although it will take a lot longer to reformat.
  5. Vikz macrumors regular


    Nov 13, 2007
    San Juan, Puerto Rico
    remember to make it a 7 zero pass, so everything in your harddrive is protected properly
  6. PeterO macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2008
    Here's a very good precis on data sanitizing methodology. Albeit geared for a techie audience, I think it's readable for the interested layperson (or Prosumer, if you will), and at the very least, it highlights the relative spectrum of 'deleting'. From the Trash Bin to the Paranoid (loony) Bin, it's presented.

    This sets-up the precis

    There's some overlap from above but this article has greater relevance starting on page 5:

    You can find more content here:

    As it relates to your MBA, I'm not sure I can give you a detailed recipe to erase your user data to a degree higher than running a multipass zeroing that was suggested earlier. Lack of an optical drive still throws me. Piggybacking another Mac's optical drive gets flaky when mounting or booting to non-Leopard OS's. Temporarily removing the drive from the MBA and installing it in an external enclosure or standalone tower for erasure isn't practical. Perhaps others can help....

  7. RainForRent macrumors 6502


    May 31, 2006
    Greenville, SC
    That blasted MBA doesn't even have Firewire... I was just about to suggest Target Disk Mode. This is really bugging me.
  8. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008

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