14 Replies Latest reply: Jan 9, 2014 1:31 PM by Eric Root
bratman91 Level 1 Level 1 (140 points)

What is the best way to prepare an iMac with Mountain Lion for sale? A similar question has been asked before in this forum but I am not sure that the answers are still accurate because of Apple's use of the App Store to deliver operating systems and updates. I can easily do a fresh install of Mountain Lion and I think that this will erase any personal data from the computer. However, doesn't this link the operating system to my iTunes account and password?


iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2012), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • 1. Re: Preparing an iMac for sale
    macjack Level 9 Level 9 (50,510 points)

    The proper way to "clean" a computer before selling it is to zero the hard drive. This will make all your data irretrievable.

     

    Steps for zeroing the drive Disk Utility:

     

    1. Insert your Mac OS X CD-ROM disc or Restore DVD disc, then restart the computer while holding the C key until you see the spinning gear.

    2. Once started up from CD or DVD, choose Disk Utility from the Installer menu.

    Important: Do not click Continue in the first screen of the Installer. If you do, you must restart from disc to access Disk Utility.

    3. Choose the entire disk (top icon).

    4. Choose erase tab.

    5. Click on Options

    6. Choose "write zeros".

    7. Erase

    This will take a bit of time because the computer is physically writing zeros to each block.

     

    You should then re-install the original OS from the system disks and deliver the Mac to the new owner with the system disks that shipped with it.

     

    If you want it to boot as new at startup, do the installation of OS X and follow the onscreen prompts until it asks you to enter a username and password to create your first account. Quit the installer and shut down the system. The next time the system is powered on it will display the same welcome message and be ready to setup OS X.

     

    If your Mac shipped with Lion or Mountain Lion then you'll need to boot into Recovery to do the operation.

  • 2. Re: Preparing an iMac for sale
    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.

  • 3. Re: Preparing an iMac for sale
    Ralph Landry1 Level 7 Level 7 (32,345 points)

    If the iMac came with ML installed, you can do a reinstall, if you are concerned about linking to your ID, by restarting holding the Command+Option+R keys, note three keys instead of the usual two.  That forces an internet recovery where the iMac goes to Apple's serviers, they look at the serial number, and then proceed with an install based on the as-shipped Mac OS X.  Takes your AppleID out of the loop.

  • 4. Re: Preparing an iMac for sale
    bratman91 Level 1 Level 1 (140 points)

    My iMac was shipped with Snow Leopard and I upgraded to Lion and then Mountain Lion. I have done a clean install of Mountain Lion using the Recovery Utility but I think that this required me to enter in my Apple ID and password.

  • 5. Re: Preparing an iMac for sale
    AnaMusic Level 9 Level 9 (57,005 points)

    bratman91 wrote:

     

    My iMac was shipped with Snow Leopard...

     

    Then that is the OS you need to Sell it with... including the Original Install Disc(s).

     

     

    If you have Downloaded and Upgraded to Lion or Mountain Lion...

     

    See...


     

    Here is an excerpt of the SLA; the Lion license (purchased from MAS) is NOT transferable. The SLA is quite clear:

     

    B. If you obtained your license to the Apple Software from the Mac App Store or on Apple-branded physical media, it is not transferable. If you sell your Apple-branded hardware to athird party, you must remove the Apple Software from the Apple-branded hardware beforedoing so, and you may restore your system to the version of the Apple operating systemsoftware that originally came with your Apple hardware (the “Original Apple OS”) andpermanently transfer the Original Apple OS together with your Apple hardware, provided that:(i) the transfer must include all of the Original Apple OS, including all its component parts,printed materials and its license; (ii) you do not retain any copies of the Original Apple OS, fullor partial, including copies stored on a computer or other storage device; and (iii) the partyreceiving the Original Apple OS reads and agrees to accept the terms and conditions of theOriginal Apple OS license.

  • 6. Re: Preparing an iMac for sale
    Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (226,690 points)

    You should reinstall Snow Leopard. The buyer will purchase their own copy of Mountain Lion. You must not include it with the computer. You must include the original Snow Leopard installer DVDs that shipped with the computer.

     

    Again, DO NOT install Mountain Lion or Lion. See my instructions in previous post.

  • 7. Re: Preparing an iMac for sale
    bratman91 Level 1 Level 1 (140 points)

    Very many thanks to all those who provided advice - I appreciate it. I still have the original SL operating system disc so I'll reinstall SL . Particular thanks for the warnings concerning license considerations. Mind you, I suspect that the resale value will be a lot less with SL installed so I may decide to keep it as a spare.

  • 8. Re: Preparing an iMac for sale
    Immink Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi,I bought the Pro with Snow Leopard, without dvd and later I installed Mountain Lion.

    So I don't have a DVD tot put in.

    Marjan

  • 9. Re: Preparing an iMac for sale
    AnaMusic Level 9 Level 9 (57,005 points)

    Immink wrote:

     

    Hi,I bought the Pro with Snow Leopard, without dvd and later I installed Mountain Lion.

    So I don't have a DVD tot put in.

    Marjan

     

    If your Mac shipped with Snow Leopard... Contact AppleCare and for a small handling charge, they should be able to provide you with the correct Install Disc(s) for your Mac.

  • 10. Re: Preparing an iMac for sale
    Immink Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    O I'm sorry, I DO have a dvd. Thanks for all replies. I will try to do it the 'dvd way'.

    Immink

  • 11. Re: Preparing an iMac for sale
    Viper3881 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    CMD+R is for local recovery which installs current OS and CMD+OPT+R is for internet recovery which installs original OS?

     

    Exactly. cmd-r will boot to the local Recovery HD partition on the drive and reinstall whatever version is now on there, and cmd-opt-r will bypass all that and pull down a recovery utility from the Internet and reinstall whatever version the machine came with.


    Just to clarify though, both of these methods download the entire OS over the Internet. The OS itself is not on the Recovery HD partition. The Recovery HD partition is just 650MB and is used to DL the OS.


  • 12. Re: Preparing an iMac for sale
    Dudley01094991 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I am also selling my iMac which came with snow leopard already installed. However I bought mountain lion off iTunes and downloaded it. So how can I reinstall snow leopard onto my iMac?

  • 13. Re: Preparing an iMac for sale
    Viper3881 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    See my response right above yours

     

    CMD+R is for local recovery which installs current OS and CMD+OPT+R is for internet recovery which installs original OS?

     

    Exactly. cmd-r will boot to the local Recovery HD partition on the drive and reinstall whatever version is now on there, and cmd-opt-r will bypass all that and pull down a recovery utility from the Internet and reinstall whatever version the machine came with.


    Just to clarify though, both of these methods download the entire OS over the Internet. The OS itself is not on the Recovery HD partition. The Recovery HD partition is just 650MB and is used to DL the OS.


  • 14. Re: Preparing an iMac for sale
    Eric Root Level 6 Level 6 (16,165 points)