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I have an old eMac that I want to erase its memory before sending it off for recycling. What is the best way to accomplish this?

611 Views 2 Replies Latest reply: Nov 15, 2013 1:32 PM by K Shaffer RSS
dlrobinson49 Calculating status...
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Nov 8, 2013 7:50 AM

I have an old eMac that I want to erase its memory before sending it off for recycling. What is the best way to accomplish this?

aMac, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,825 points)

    Does it still run?


      1. Insert the Mac OS X Install disc that came with your computer, then restart the computer while holding the C key.

       2. When your computer finishes starting up from the disc, choose Disk Utility from the Installer menu. (In Mac OS X 10.4 or later, you must select your language first.)

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

       3. Click the Erase tab.

       4. Click the disclosure triangle to the left of the hard drive icon to display the names of your hard disk volumes and partitions.

       5. Select your Mac OS X volume.

       6. Highlight the drive, select Partition Tab, then Format type... MacOS Extended Journalled, select the Security Options button, choose Zero Out Data, Erase... after completion do a new install.





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

    In the same pref pane highlight your old account, click the little minus icon, then use Disk Utility to Secure Erase Free Space.

  • K Shaffer Level 6 Level 6 (8,610 points)

    If the machine no longer functions, another answer would be to remove the hard disk drive before committing the eMac computer to recycling; you can physically destroy a hard disk drive or put it into an external enclosure to erase it, if you are concerned about any personal or corporate intellectual properties held within a drive.


    Some of the online take-apart or upgrade information web pages can be helpful to learn the process required to take out a hard disk drive. This should be easier if the computer is going to be dismembered; but if it is a working computer, and may see reuse as such, to replace the old hard disk drive with a reformatted one, perhaps with a new original system install, before donation; it would be a fair idea... To show it still works.


    And if you still have the original system install/restore discs, they should be included with the computer unless it is bound for disassembly or destruction. A computer with a major hardware failures may be only OK for parts.


    Good luck & happy computing!


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