will deleteing a user account erase ALL traces of it?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by shecky, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. shecky Guest

    shecky

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Location:
    Obviously you're not a golfer.
    #1
    i am leaving an contract job at the end of the week and i want to essentially wipe the machine (PowerMac G5) of all traces i was ever on it. things like preferences, web bookmarks, emails, etc.. i want to all go away. i do not want to trash the actual documents i have been working on.

    so, if i now work under admin account A, can i just copy everything in my Documents folder to an external drive, create new admin account B, delete account A, copy everything back to the documents folder and be done with it?
     
  2. FJ218700 macrumors 68000

    FJ218700

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    Mar 8, 2007
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    Blue Dot, Red State
    #2
    after the swap, erase your free space 35x over (disc utility)
     
  3. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    Jul 11, 2006
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    Somewhere
    #3
    after you delete an account probably until the space it was on has been written over it could still be recoverable, why not just copy the documents you want to save and reformat the drive with a fresh install of OS X?
     
  4. shecky thread starter Guest

    shecky

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    Obviously you're not a golfer.
    #4
    not really an option to do a reinstallation.
     
  5. savar macrumors 68000

    savar

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
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    District of Columbia
    #5
    Depends how paranoid you are. Your name will still show up in the system logs. Your employer, for example, could see when you logged in and logged out even after you erased the account.
     
  6. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #6
    Erase the free space on the machine using Disk Utility. 7x should be more than enough. You would probably want to delete all the log files as well.
     
  7. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
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    sitting on your shoulder
    #7
    There will be the disk image created in the Deleted Users folder, but I think you already knew about that, am I right?
     
  8. Blubbert macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    #8
    If you are willing to work with the command line, i suggest create an admin account and then delete the other user folder by using the command "sudo rm -rfP" and then add a space and drag the user folder into the terminal and press enter. the -P flag will overwrite the deleted space 3 times, which is good enough for the government.
     
  9. jonnylink macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    #9
    Wait, everyone is assuming he is talking about making the files unrecoverable. Is that the case? Or are you just trying to get rid of any files that are on the computer because of you.

    It is amazing how much you can recover, but it is unlikely an employer would try to use forensic tools without a very good reason. Unless you used the computer for personal things I can't even imagine what you'd like to erase beyond recovery. In any case just realize that to do so will take quite some time because you have to overwrite the entire disk with random junk many times.
     
  10. shecky thread starter Guest

    shecky

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Location:
    Obviously you're not a golfer.
    #10
    all i want is to erase things like:

    -web history, cookies, auto form fills, etc.
    -anything in any way relating to my email including messages, mailboxes, accounts, preferences, etc.
    -any and all passwords including AFP logins, systems passwords, etc.

    the actual documents are the companies to keep so i do not want to erase them. i just want whoever uses the computer next to not be able to find the above stuff is all. these people are not remotely smart enough to use any kind of data forensics to hunt down passwords and such, i just want it gone from the machine is all.
     
  11. jonnylink macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    #11
    Then I would just go into the user folder, throw the library folder in the trash and then choose "secure empty trash" from the finder. The library folder contains the keychains, email and webstuff
     
  12. theBB macrumors 68020

    theBB

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    #12
    Safari has a "Reset" option, I think through Preferences, to erase all history, cookies etc.

    Not sure what to do about Mail.app or Keychain, as I use neither.
     

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