Sending Mac back...is my data secure?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Souljas, Aug 19, 2007.

  1. Souljas macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    #1
    Hey..Im just about to send back my Macbook (which does not want to start anymore) but im not sure if my data on the HD is secure or not?

    I have only one user, which is password protected (password is something like: ghdur8ht)...
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #2
    I would never send my computer anywhere to have it fixed with personal data on it. I would wipe it clean. While it is not 100% clean, it's just not worth it to the layman (even the Apple Techs) to bother with it.
    De-authorize your music as well regardless of wiping it clean or not.
     
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #3
    Umm... you're kidding, right?

    Anyone with a Boot CD/DVD can reset your default password and look at everything you have on the drive. Apple Service centres generally do have the boot CD's....

    Not that they would be motivated, particularly, to read your love emails to Paris Hilton, (and her lawyer's responses), but proceed on the assumption that your data is entirely naked from the moment you send it in. Including your online banking IDs and any passwords in the Keychain.

    Also, proceed assuming you may get back a different machine or a different hard drive. Meaning, back up ALL of your data before sending the machine in.
     
  4. SteveG4Cube macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    MontCo., PA
    #4
    I believe if you read the fine print they mention that you should back up all data. They'll may wipe it and re-format, especially if it's a hard drive related problem. Did you run through any troubleshooting with your OSX disc before sending it in?
     
  5. kumbaya macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    #5
    Question

    Given that the OP's computer doesn't start anymore, how would he back it up and delete all his data?

    Seriously... would love to know if there was a way to do that

    :) :apple:
     
  6. vicious7 macrumors 6502a

    vicious7

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Location:
    Jacked into the net...
    #6
    +1. Not that I have any important data, secure info or, uh, porn or anything...:p
     
  7. AlBDamned macrumors 68030

    AlBDamned

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    #7
    It's called removing the hard drive and putting it in an external enclosure and using another computer to back up the contents (and delete anything you don't want others to see).

    Simple really ;)
     
  8. erandall38 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2007
    #8
    Definitely back up your data, if lost, Apple will not cover that.

    And your data is definitely NOT safe going to the repair center. I have a good horror story for that. To the OP, if you want to know what happened PM me.. but long story short, do NOT send in your personal information.!
     
  9. James L macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    #9
    This really is two issues:

    1) EVERYONE should have a recent backup of their data...stored in a separate location than their computer is kept if possible. There is no excuse not to. After all, there are only two kinds of computer users. Those who have had a hard drive fail, and those who are going to.

    2) What to do when you have to send machine in and it won't boot. Will it boot in target mode?
     
  10. powz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    #10
    Hmmm...I'm kind of new to OS X but isn't there an option while reformatting to write to your hard drive several times so that all data is supposedly erased? There's also the "shredder" option while deleting stuff from your Trash, tho it's still pretty easy to recover if someone is sufficiently motivated as I think it only writes over the data once. Still...better than nothing.

    Edit: whoops...dunno how I missed the fact the OP's comp isn't starting anymore...
     
  11. megfilmworks macrumors 68020

    megfilmworks

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Location:
    Sherman Oaks
    #11
    You can use "secure empty trash", this overwrites the files with random junk as well as rewrites the directory.
     
  12. Gamoe macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    #12
    To reinforce what has already been said: Your data is not secure, and they may very well wipe the drive or give you another one.

    My recommendation:

    Use another computer (a friend's computer if you don't have another) to copy your data. It does not even have to be a Mac.

    Here's how:

    Remove your MacBook's hard drive. This is very easy! Connect it to the other computer. You can do this either by opening up the case and connecting it directly to the computer's Serial ATA interface or by buying an external enclosure or a Serial ATA to USB cable. If you don't already have the cables, you'll need to buy them, but you may well use them in other similar situations in the future.

    Get an an external drive of the same size or larger, or borrow one from another computer. Mkae sure both drives are connected to the computer. Copy all your important data from your MacBook's hard drive to the new drive.

    After you're done and checked over your data, wipe your MacBook's hard drive, put it back in and send your MacBook. You might want to try the multiple(double, triple, etc.)-pass erasing if you're particularly concerned about your private data being accessible. There are applications for all OSs that do this.
     
  13. Souljas thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    #13

    hey thanks for all your replies...since the computer does'nt want to turn on it looks like im gonna have to get an external HD for all the data, connect it to the imac and wipe the HD clean!

    but just a few questions...

    -I am going to have to buy an external HD enclosure, is this one ok for the job? http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/2-5-USB-2-0-1...ryZ86758QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    -Once I get the enclosure and connect it to the imac how to I go about wiping the HD? And do I have to re-install OSX from the original disks I got with the Macbook?

    Thanks
     
  14. Analog Kid macrumors 601

    Analog Kid

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2003
    #14
    Will Apple accept the machine if he just pulls the drive and sends the machine in without it?
     
  15. noodle654 macrumors 68020

    noodle654

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Location:
    Never Ender
    #15
    Always back up your data with an external HD. It is a must for anybody owning a computer. Apple is very careful when they repair everything and I think it is against their policy to look through your files and if something happens I think the main Apple headquarters will back you up. You should not worry.

    ***Memphis, TN AppleCare (Flextronics).
    Has anybody gotten their laptop fixed here?? I have had numerous problems with this place including 3 repairs in 2 1/2 weeks. Anybody have any problems. They tend to not take care of your computer and they basically damaged/destroyed mine.
     
  16. pengu macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Location:
    Diddily Daddily...
    #16
    um. no. each keychain file has a password. NORMALLY this is the same as your login password, and is automatically unlocked when you log in. however, if the passwords do not match, you will be prompted to unlock the keychain.

    also, as much as they may be technically able to see your data, if they were to do anything with said data, they would be liable for damages. now if you have illegal stuff they may report you (child porn is usually the big thing they report)
     
  17. Souljas thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    #17
    I have bought a new SATA 2.5 enclosure but am having a bit of a problem..when I connect it to the Imac it says:

    You have inserted a disjk cibtaanbing no volumes that nac OSX can read. TO continue with the disk inserted, click ignore...3 options

    ..Eject ....initialize.... ignore

    I have no idea what to do to save my stuff like iphoto's and itunes music..?
    my macbook was 10.4.10 (i think ) but my imac is only 10.3.9 does that make any difference?

    thanks
     
  18. tmoney468 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    #18
    ^There are two possible problems, the first being that you need to format the HD into the HSF+ format, which is the Mac filesystem. This can be done in the Disk Utility in the Applications folder. The second problem is that if you just bought an enclosure, you need a HD to go along with that as well (I'm sure that this isn't the case, but just to make sure).
     
  19. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #19
    ProSoft sells diagnostic software that can crack the keychain and expose the passwords inside as long as you can boot the machine.

    Of course the service centre would be liable for damages. IF you knew you were being ripped off. And IF you could prove it was them. Two very big IFs.

    A dishonest technician likely would not use any of the info directly, but would sell it to criminals, where it would be then resold around the world.
     
  20. Souljas thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    #20
    :) yeah I did put the HD in!
    im not sure if you read the whole topic from the start.. but basically the HD is from my macbook which no longer wants to start, so I bought the enclosure to put the macbook HD in so that I could take out all my music etc, and then wipe it clean before I send it back. Would I still have to HSF+ format the HD or will it erase all the data?
     
  21. tmoney468 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    #21
    I did read most of the thread, but I mis-read the part where you actually took the HD out of your Macbook and put it into the enclosure. :) In that case you definitely don't want to format it because you'll lose all of your data. The HD should work just fine in the enclosure, so it could be the enclosure that's messing things up. What's the maker/model of it? And did it come with any drivers? Another thing to try is to hook it up to your computer, then open up Disk Utility (Apps->Utilities) and see if you can see the HD and partition in that
     
  22. Souljas thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    #22
    Hey..thanks for the reply. I got a really cheap one :rolleyes: and it did come with drivers, but it seems to only be for Windows 98, and mac but before osx. I dont really understand the bit about the partition but haave uploaded a pic. [​IMG]

    thanks
     
  23. tmoney468 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    #23
    I'm kind of new to Macs, but it seems like the Mac partition of the external drive isn't mounted (from the picture). If you click on disk1s1 in Disk Utility and then select the "Mount" option, does that help anything?
     

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