Selling my iMac. Will my account be accessible?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by AndrewMRiv, Nov 30, 2014.

  1. AndrewMRiv macrumors regular

    AndrewMRiv

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    #1
    Hello everyone, I am selling my iMac and I recently re-installed OS X by holding down CMD + R, accessing the Disk Utility and erasing and reformatting Macintosh HD, and then re-installed OS X and left it at an "out of box" state.

    My only concern is that it asked me to authorize the installation of OS X before installing it by typing in my Apple ID username and password.

    If the new user were to finish installing and setting up the Mac, would anything of mine be accessible?

    I plan on de-authorizing the Mac as soon as it sells and such.

    Thank you!
     
  2. IHelpId10t5 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2014
    #2
    If you did not use the security options when formatting the drive using disk utility then all of your files and data are easily recoverable from the hard drive.

    Therefore, what you should do is boot from USB again, go to disk utility and then choose the security options to do a secure overwrite of the drive when formatting:

    http://www.howtogeek.com/179284/how-to-securely-wipe-a-hard-drive-on-your-mac/

    I'd recommend using the 7-pass secure erase. It will take a looooong time but is necessary if you want your data to be unrecoverable.

    Once that is done, simply shut down the Mac and sell it as is. You can include a printed copy of instructions for the new owner to startup from the recovery partition and install using their AppleID.
     
  3. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #3
    No it will not. That AppleID just allows access to Apple's servers to DL the OS for reinstall. That AppleID won't be retained on the computer and the new owner will not have access to it or the data associated.
     
  4. AndrewMRiv thread starter macrumors regular

    AndrewMRiv

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    #4
    Thank you very much!

    ----------

    How would the new user be able to easily access my old data even though I erased the disk prior to re-installing OS X? :eek:
     
  5. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #5
    If you think recovering data after a format *and* re-install of the OS is 'easy', you have a different definition of that word than I do. Not to mention the word 'all'.

    This is absurd. If one thought they had information that needed to be deleted, a single pass would be more than sufficient, unless you are an international spy.


    A.
     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #6
    I'll try and give you a bit of a simplified explanation of this.

    When you delete a file, the file itself is not really deleted, but the entry on the disks table of contents is removed. Think of it like removing the table of contents from a really long book and at the same time hiding the chapter you were looking for. There is file restore software available that can unhide the chapter and put back the table of contents entry for any files that have not been overwritten already.

    So any files that were on disk space that got overwritten by the OS reinstall are pretty much gone forever. Files that were deleted but on disk space not overwritten by the OS reinstall could hypothetically be recovered by the new owner using these disk recovery tools.

    So you would have to have a new owner that for whatever reason had the desire and ability to do this.
     
  7. IHelpId10t5 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2014
    #7
    Yes a single pass is certainly sufficient I personally would feel far better with the 7-pass.

    However, I stick with my assertion that recovering the majority of the OP's files from a drive that has simply been formatted is trivial with any number of recovery tools. Yes there would be some files that have been overwritten but what is important is that a lot of file will not have been overwritten. If those files happen to contain personal information such as bank statements, tax returns, etc. then that's a bad thing.
     
  8. AndrewMRiv thread starter macrumors regular

    AndrewMRiv

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    #8
    Thank you very much for the explanation! I appreciate it. I prefer the "better dafe than sorry" idea so I will work on pulling my iMac from the bubble wrap to do this to be extra secure.
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    I, too, think that "7 passes" is ridiculous and totally unnecessary.

    ONE "write over" using 1's and 0's will do the job...
     

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