Skip navigation

HT2404: Software downloads: Frequently asked questions

Learn about Software downloads: Frequently asked questions

HT2404 Is there a way I can wipe my mac entirely without my install CD?

1023 Views 2 Replies Latest reply: Oct 10, 2012 10:27 AM by BobHarris RSS
Lconnelly Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Oct 9, 2012 4:00 AM

Is it possible to wipe my entire mac book pro without the istallation CD? I recently bought a new macbook so I am trying to give my old one a revamp.


Thanks in advance!



  • roam Level 6 Level 6 (13,545 points)

    Not on its own, no. You need a separate instance of Disk Utility to erase a hard drive. Another cloned version of your OS on an external drive would do the trick however.

    The key to understanding this point, is that you need to be booted into one drive to erase the disk contents of another.


    Why don't you just create an new Admin User on your Macbook and ensure it has Admin privileges, log out and log into the new account. Return to System Preferences and delete your old account.


    This is not as completely secure as erasure with a Disk Utility, but without a DVD it achieves a reasonable result.



    On re-reading your post, if you have two MacBooks, connect them together and use the Disk Utility in one to erase the drive in the other. 


    Message was edited by: roam

  • BobHarris Level 6 Level 6 (12,510 points)

    To add more detail to 'roam's connect them together.  You connect a firewire cable between the 2 Macs.  You boot your old Mac into Target Mode (Finder ->Help -> Target Mode should give you details).  You old Mac will appear as a disk drive on your new Mac.  You can then use your Applications -> Utilities -> Disk Utility to erase your old Mac.

    NOTE:  If you do this, you will not any OS installed on the Old Mac.  If you are going to sell it to someone expecting to get an OS, they may not be happy.  If you are going to recyle it in, or use a service such as Gazelle, they it does not matter.


More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)


  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.