7 Replies Latest reply: Jan 16, 2013 11:51 AM by Kappy
newMacUser09 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hi

 

How do I completely reformat and clear macbook air as I am selling it?  I have a Virtual Machine connecting with Windows as well on it.

 

Please could you let me know the steps to ensure that when I sell it, "old" data is completely removed and non-retrievable.

 

Thank you in advance.


Mac OS X (10.7.2), iPhone 4S 16GB Black
  • 1. Re: How to completely reformat and clear macbook air as I am selling it?
    Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (226,690 points)

    Follow these instructions step by step to prepare a Mac for sale:

     

    Step One - Back up your data:

     

           A. If you have any Virtual PCs shut them down. They cannot be in their "fast saved" state. They must be shut down from inside Windows.

           B. Clone to an external drive using using Carbon Copy Cloner.

     

              1. Open Carbon Copy Cloner.

              2. Select the Source volume from the Select a source drop down menu on the left side.

              3. Select the Destination volume from the Select a destination drop down menu on the right

                  side.

              4. Click on the Clone button. If you are prompted about creating a clone of the Recovery HD be

                  sure to opt for that.

     

                   Destination means a freshly erased external backup drive. Source means the internal

                   startup drive.

     

    Step Two - Prepare the machine for the new buyer:

     

              1. De-authorize the computer in iTunes! De-authorize both iTunes and Audible accounts.

              2, Remove any Open Firmware passwords or Firmware passwords.

              3. Turn the brightness full up and volume nearly so.

              4. Turn off File Vault, if enabled.

              5. Disable iCloud, if enabled: See What to do with iCloud before selling your computer.

     

    Step Three - Install a fresh OS:

     

         A. Snow Leopard and earlier versions of OS X

     

              1. Insert the original OS X install CD/DVD that came with your computer.

              2. Restart the computer while holding down the C key to boot from the CD/DVD.

              3. Select Disk Utility from the Utilities menu; repartition and reformat the internal hard drive.

                  Optionally, click on the Security button and set the Zero Data option to one-pass.

              4. Install OS X.

              5. Upon completion DO NOT restart the computer.

              6. Shutdown the computer.

     

         B. Lion and Mountain Lion (if pre-installed on the computer at purchase*)

     

             Note: You will need an active Internet connection. I suggest using Ethernet if possible because

                       it is three times faster than wireless.

     

              1. Restart the computer while holding down the COMMAND and R keys until the Mac OS X

                  Utilities window appears.

              2. Select Disk Utility from the Mac OS X Utilities window and click on the Continue button.

              3. After DU loads select your startup volume (usually Macintosh HD) from the left side list. Click

                  on the Erase tab in the DU main window.

              4. Set the format type to Mac OS Extended (Journaled.) Optionally, click on the Security button

                  and set the Zero Data option to one-pass.

              5. Click on the Erase button and wait until the process has completed.

              6. Quit DU and return to the Mac OS X Utilities window.

              7. Select Reinstall Lion/Mountain Lion and click on the Install button.

              8. Upon completion shutdown the computer.

     

    *If your computer came with Lion or Mountain Lion pre-installed then you are entitled to transfer your license once. If you purchased Lion or Mountain Lion from the App Store then you cannot transfer your license to another party. In the case of the latter you should install the original version of OS X that came with your computer. You need to repartition the hard drive as well as reformat it; this will assure that the Recovery HD partition is removed. See Step Three above. You may verify these requirements by reviewing your OS X Software License.

  • 2. Re: How to completely reformat and clear macbook air as I am selling it?
    newMacUser09 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    At the following section it states:

     

    Step Three - Install a fresh OS:

         A. Snow Leopard and earlier versions of OS X

    .....

              5. Upon completion DO NOT restart the computer.

              6. Shutdown the computer.


    I hope it's not a silly question but why does it state Install the OX and on completion do not restart just shutdown. Should shutdown then press the 'Power' button to start up thereafter.  I assume that what it means.

     

    If you can help please can adivse:  Just before I do the full reinstall, I read that because  should enable' File Vault to encrypt any files, as I've got a SSD hard drive because reformatting doesn't clear all data from the hard drive. So from privacy and security perspective, it seems necessary to try to prevent raw data being retrieved.  I have already deleted files and done a 'Secure Empty Trash'.  Would you recommend this as part of the steps above?

  • 3. Re: How to completely reformat and clear macbook air as I am selling it?
    Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (226,690 points)

    When you sell the computer this allows the next owner to startup the computer as though it were new. If you restart the computer then you must go through the Setup Assistant which you don't want or need to do when selling it. Shutdown means holding down the Power button for 5-10 seconds until the computer shuts down.

     

    3. Select Disk Utility from the Utilities menu; repartition and reformat the internal hard drive.

                  Optionally, click on the Security button and set the Zero Data option to one-pass.

     

    The above step is intended to take you through the process of securely erasing the drive if you want to remove any traces of sensitive information. This is not the same as Secure Empty Trash. If you perform the optional security erase stated above, then there's no need to use Secure Empty Trash which does not securely erase the entire drive but only the files you put in the Trash.

  • 4. Re: How to completely reformat and clear macbook air as I am selling it?
    newMacUser09 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

              5. Upon completion DO NOT restart the computer.

              6. Shutdown the computer.

     

     

    Please can you let me know how to eject the cd/dvd player after step 6?  I need to eject the CD and then eject the cd/dvd player.

     

    Thanks again for helping.

  • 5. Re: How to completely reformat and clear macbook air as I am selling it?
    Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (226,690 points)

    That DVD should transfer wth the computer so there is no real need to eject it. But if you must:

     

     

    If none of the above work try this: Open the Terminal application in your Utilities folder. At the prompt enter or paste the following:

     

     

    If this fails then try this:

     

    Boot the computer into Single-user Mode. At the prompt enter:

     

            /usr/bin/drutil eject

    Press RETURN. Disc should eject.

    Shut down the computer:

     

              shutdown -h

     

    Press RETURN.

  • 6. Re: How to completely reformat and clear macbook air as I am selling it?
    newMacUser09 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the information.  I had to eject the CD as it is an external hard drive connected to the macbook air.

     

     

    On the Disk Utility, on the left column, I can see the "root" called "121.33GB Apple SSD ...", then I can see the "sub directory".  I dont know the proper terms for that part. 

     

    I select the "root" and then 'Erase' and followed the steps above.  Can you please clarify where to carry out:

               4. Install OS X.

     

    What is the sub-directory part used for?  I clicked it and there is an option to 'Erase Free Space' but this is not available when the "root" is selected.

  • 7. Re: How to completely reformat and clear macbook air as I am selling it?
    Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (226,690 points)

    A CD is not an external hard drive. An external hard drive can be disconnected after the computer is shut down.

     

    The "sub-directory" in Disk Utility is a sub-entry - it is the formatted volume you create by partitioning then formatting the hard drive.

     

    Screen Shot 2013-01-16 at 2.49.06 PM.png

     

    Above you see the main entry, the OCZ-Vertex. The sub-entry is the volume named Hack SSD. You might see yours as Macintosh HD on a new computer.