6 Replies Latest reply: Aug 24, 2011 10:23 AM by Limnos
churchkey1 Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

I have an older iMac Intel desktop, G3 desktop (blueberry) and G3 iBook (tangerine) all running OS 10.x.y, probably 10.3.9. I may have the models stated incorrectly so included their funky colors. I would like to donate them or trash them if no one will take them due to their antiquity, but first, for security purposes I would like to know if there is an onboard command/app that can be used to reformat/initialize the hard drive to securely erase all of my personal information in order to avoid ID theft. Or, is the only sure way to avoid the access of personal data is for me to remove the hard drive from each computer and "shred" it? Thanks in advance for any assistance provided.

PowerMac, Mac OS X (10.3.x)
  • 1. Re: how can I wipe/Initialize the hard drive on a G3?
    Niel Level 10 Level 10 (241,895 points)

    Securely erasing the drive with the Disk Utility from a Mac OS X install disk or alternate system will stop almost anyone from being able to retrieve the data stored on it. If some but not all of the files need to be erased, trash those and use the Finder's Secure Empty Trash command.



  • 2. Re: how can I wipe/Initialize the hard drive on a G3?
    churchkey1 Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    Thanks for the suggestion but my three older Macs do not have the "secure empty trash" option. If it is there it isn't in the same menu location as my newer machines, e.g., under the "Finder" drop down menu. Any other thoughts? Much thanks for your response!!

  • 3. Re: how can I wipe/Initialize the hard drive on a G3?
    Appaloosa mac man Level 5 Level 5 (4,325 points)



    The easiest method is to have an external drive, boot from it and then wipe the internal drive.  Also, if you have an install CD for each machine, you can boot from it, erase the drives (select the option to write zeros over the top of any data on the drive, then install a clean system.  This allows someone else use of your computers.


    List a city near you and maybe we can find a user group to help you out.



  • 4. Re: how can I wipe/Initialize the hard drive on a G3?
    ericvonk Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    First time forum user here: I was just given an older G3 - I think from about 1999. These used to be called really powerful machines....but I am a PC user since 1986... a MacBook user for only a year....and find the Apple OS confusing.  Still, I hope this G3 can be put to use.  Can you tell me what the most recent OS is, that would work on this machine? I guess it does NOT have the Intel chip so using Windows is out of the question, but even the latest Apple OS's might not work?  Some guidance would be greatly appreciated to put this warhorse to good use. Thanks.

    Eric  <Edited by Host>

  • 5. Re: how can I wipe/Initialize the hard drive on a G3?
    Deborah Terreson Level 3 Level 3 (940 points)

    Eric, I have an old thread titled "Tiger in the beige G3 and a Few Observations on it's Behavior" SOMEWHERE on this forum (it's been moved) If you start with that, you can get an idea of what you can do.


    Tiger OSX 10.4 is the last OS you can run, and my living room box / music server in a table is daily running the stereo and used for watching DVD's.


    You need to get your hands on a spare Sonnet G4 ZIF card - I might be able to dig one out for you. Let me e-mail you directly later tonight. (dinner at in-laws commands my attention now) I have a lot of bits and bobs that need to find a good home and you can do quite a bit on those older systems.





  • 6. Re: how can I wipe/Initialize the hard drive on a G3?
    Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (38,420 points)



    It would also be a good idea to post your question in a new topic rather than add it to this one which covers a different question. If you put it in its own topic with a subject then other users who may be able to answer it will notice it, especially if they aren't following this hard drive erase thread.