Wiping a MacBook Air without wiping it?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Hengest, Aug 22, 2016.

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  1. Hengest macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    #1
    My girlfriend has a macbook air (specs below) that she is intent on selling, but unfortunately she bought it second-hand without any of the usual resources to re-install the OS. All I can do to wipe it, as far as I know, is go through and delete programs, settings, documents, etc. manually as thoroughly as possible. However, I know that many programs will retain her settings (including usernames and passwords) when re-downloaded even if I delete all their files.

    My question is this: is there any way to manually wipe this computer so that it is safe to sell? If so, what files should I make sure to delete? Any advice from people more knowledgeable than me would be most appreciated.

    Specs:

    2011 (I think) Macbook Air 13"
    OS X 10.6.8
    1.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    2 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
     
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #2
    I'd begin by updating it to El Capitan (OS X 10.11.6). This is a free update through the App Store.

    Once El Cap is installed, turn off the Mac. Turn it back on and immediately hold CMD+R on startup. This will boot into OS X Utilities.

    Erase the drive using Disk Utility. Then select "Reinstall OS X". Point it to the newly erased drive.

    Once it installs, it'll go to the setup menu where you choose your user name, etc. From here you can just hold the power button to turn it off. Turning it back on will just take you to the same setup menu.

    So you'll have a wiped drive with a machine on the latest OS, ready to setup for the new owner. Feel free to quote this if you have any queries or concerns!
     
  3. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #3
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202313

    Assuming you are correct about the model, that Mac has Internet recovery. So just reboot and hold command-option-r at startup. After selecting your wifi network, you will see a spinning globe while the recovery utility downloads. Then you will see the recovery screen. From there start Disk Utility and erase the internal drive to Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Then quit Disk Utility and click reinstall OS at the top. Once the install is done and it reboots, just power down and leave it.
     
  4. Left4DeadBoy macrumors regular

    Left4DeadBoy

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2015
    #4
    hi instead of wiping the hard drive clean wipe it down! no reason to delete all things!
     
  5. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #5
    I didn't suggest that as the OP said they had SL. Had no idea you could use Internet Recovery on systems that shipped with 10.6; I thought it was Lion & later only! Ah well, you learn something new every day.

    I'd listen to Weaselboy on this one, OP :D
     
  6. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #6
    Since the machine shipped with 10.6, it will not have Internet Recovery by default. However, a firmware update is available which adds it. But the next problem is that 10.6 is not available via IR. IR will prompt for an Apple account and password; this account needs to already have one of the newer releases purchased.

    In short, don't wipe the hard drive until you're sure that you can recover from it!
     
  7. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #7
    Yeah... many of the Macs on that list shipped with Snow Leopard and no Internet recovery, then a firmware update came out that enabled Internet recovery on those models and it will get you Lion.
     
  8. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    #8
    "Wiping a MacBook Air without wiping it?

    The correct technical query to above brain teaser is, "How to return laptop to factory setting." - for next time. :)
     
  9. Hengest, Sep 1, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2016

    Hengest thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    #9
    I tried to download El Capitan, and it said that this computer (which I now think might be from 2009, not 2011) cannot run it. Does anyone know what is the highest OS X version a 2009 Macbook Air will run? I see that Lion is only $20, which would be worth getting if it will allow us to set it back to factory settings.
     
  10. CoastalOR macrumors 68000

    CoastalOR

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #10
    I think you might have the Original (1st model) 2008 MBA since it does not support El Capitan (Max OS 10.7 Lion). Every model after that model will support El Capitan.
    http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/macbook-air/specs/macbook-air-core-2-duo-1.6-13-specs.html
     
  11. kiwipeso1 Suspended

    kiwipeso1

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2001
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #11
    It's a 2010 MBA 13" if it's core 2 duo.

    Easiest way to do this is to make a new blank admin account for the person who buys it with no password, and then delete her admin account. The buyer then decides if they want a password on it or not.
     
  12. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #12
    The original MacBook Air is also Core 2 Duo
    It's also the only MBAir with DDR2 RAM.
    So, more confirmation that OP has a first generation MacBookAir1,1 - model A1237
     

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