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need emac restore dvd or way to partially erase hard drive?

831 Views 14 Replies Latest reply: Sep 25, 2013 5:49 PM by roam RSS
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Sep 10, 2013 7:05 PM

Want to erase my emac, then restore the OS, however don't have the OS software or restore DVDs or CDs (computer bought was friend's husband [he's dead now] and she couldn't find any of the disks for me).  Then wanted to give computer to local charity.


Is there a way to only partially erase the hard drive, without erasing the OS, and applications that either came with the computer or I've added but would like to have on the computer when I give it away?

eMac, Mac OS X (10.4.11), PPC
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,695 points)

    Hi, your stuck a bit without install Discs, which Apple may or may not have for cheap, call them with the serial# handy...


    How to find the serial number of your Apple hardware product...



    Open System Preferences>Accounts, unlock the lock, click on the little plus icon, make a new admin account, log out & into the new account.


    Remove the original account without saving it, then in Diak Utility, Secure erase Free Space.

  • MichelPM Level 5 Level 5 (7,120 points)

    You need to contact Apple in order to get OS X 10.4 Tiger or OS X 10.5 Leopard from Apple assuming they still have copies.

    Call Apple Store Customer Service at 1-800-676-2775

    These discs will be replacement OS install discs.

    You will need to give the rep your Mac model and serial number and you'll, also, need a credit card as there is a nominal fee of around $18 for processing and shipping of the disc.

    Good Luck!

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,695 points)

    No ned for the 35  pass, one pass is plenty, & may mark out bad sectors.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,695 points)

    Most Applications are not in any Users folder, they are at root of the drive in Applications.

    (Did notice though that the dock was there (in different spot) and also under Applications all of the apps were there?!)

    You must not've been logged out of the old admin account before, any new user will have the default Dock.


    7 Pass isn't needed really.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,695 points)

    Any Documents & personal stuff should be gone, that resides in individual users folders, what Appliccations are you worried about? Or what files in particular?


    A completely erased disc & fresh install will have several Applications on it.

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

    It sounds like you are erasing freespace (35 pass 7 pass, which leaves alone existing files), instead erasing the disk.


    To erase the disk of everything on your hard drive:


    Insert the Install Disk 1 into the drive and then select Restart; when you hear the chime hold down C key until the apple logo appears.

    This will take you to the installation software, but you do not want to install.

    Select your language, then go up to the top menu bar  where it says Utilities and navigate to the Disk Utility application.

    Select your hard drive on the left, and click the Erase button.

    Select the format as: Mac OS Extended (Journelled)

    Have the name Macintosh HD

    Click Erase again but on the one lower down after you have made the above selections.


    This will erase all contents. All data will be lost.


    Once completed quit the Installer, and restart.


    Once again, when you hear the chime hold down C key until the apple logo appears.

    Proceed to reinstall your Operating System. It will be as if new with no previous data from you existing.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,695 points)

    (Next to the Quit/Restore buttons, there's explanation window, which says:  the disk "Macintosh HD" is the startup disk and cannot be restored.

    Seems it didn't really start from the Install Disc, or thinks it disn't for some reasn!???


    Have you done a PRAM reset, CMD+Option+p+r...


    In fact, do 3 in a row, takes a bit of time.

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

    Thnaks BD, that's a good suggestion.


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