Sold my Mac, need to restore it, quick way?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by cramazing, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. cramazing macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2012
    so i sold my Mac and need to delete everything on it, can i just use the "Find my Mac" feature and click "Erase Mac"?

    does it work like this?
  2. designs216 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    Backing up everything and doing "Most Secure" erasure of the drive would likely take a week. A fast erase isn't as secure and might only take 15 minutes but I wouldn't recommend it. You could swap in the cheapest new HD you could find and do a fresh OSX install in about an hour.
  3. NorCalLights macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2006
    If your computer is relatively recent, just boot it up while holding the Option key. Then select the recovery partition as your startup disk. From there, launch disk utility and perform a 7-pass erase of your regular boot drive. That will be plenty secure and it will only take about 24 hours. Or maybe less since it's an SSD.

    Or if you're not that concerned about someone trying really hard to recover the data off of the drive, just do a Zero Out erase.

    Once the drive is erased, format it and use the recovery partition to reinstall OSX.

    Edit: It's possible that the secure erase options will be greyed out because they don't offer many advantages on an SSD. If that's the case on your computer, just do a zero out and move on.
  4. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    This made me wonder, if you got a recent Mac (with recovery partition), and after, say, 3 years or whatever, and you've long upgraded to the newest OS. Now you want to sell the Mac.

    How do you return the Mac to the OS it originally comes with? (If you don't, you would a) have to login with your Apple ID to install the OS (bad idea), or b) sell the Mac as "with no OS" and the other party would need to buy the *same OS that the recovery partition is based off* off the App Store *on another Mac* before being able to use it (oh, it's old and no longer being sold? You're SOL, it seems?), or install another OS entirely (Windows or what you).).

    Doesn't sound right to me...
  5. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    What you (and the OP) would do in that case is do a command-option-r (all three keys at once) boot to Internet Recovery. Then use Disk Util to erase the entire disk (not just Macintosh HD) then click install OS. This will get you back to whatever OS shipped with the machine and no AppleID will be required. Apple's servers will see the serial number and give you the OS that came with the machine.

    Again, this is Internet Recovery and it bypasses normal recovery from the local Recovery HD partition which always give you the same OS version as the Recovery HD partition version.

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