2 Replies Latest reply: May 27, 2008 2:33 AM by R C-R
gunar777 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I would like to completely erase everything from my MacBook. I want it to be as if I just took it out of the box. I have heard of wiping a PC, but how do you do it for a Mac?

MacBook, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (249,740 points)
    Insert the OS X Installer Disc One that came with the computer into the optical drive and restart the computer. After the chime press and hold down the "C" key until the spinning gear appears below the dark gray Apple logo. After the installer loads select your language and click on the Continue button. Proceed until you reach a screen where you select the destination or target volume. Select the volume and click on the Options button. Select the Erase and Install option then click on the OK button. Now complete the OS X installation.

    After the computer restarts and you finish the Startup Assistant navigate to the Install Prebundled Software icon on the OS X Installer Disc One. Double-click on the icon and follow the procedures for installing all the bundled software (or only those you select to install.) After the software is installed the computer is in the basic state it was in out of the box.
  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (15,020 points)
    This procedure will not return the MacBook quite to the "out of the box" state because once you complete the Startup Assistant, a user account will be created using the information you supplied to it. It is also not necessary to install the bundled software in a separate step if your original Installer Disk 1 has the "Install Mac OS X and Bundled Software" item instead of the "Install Mac OS X" one.

    Also note that the Erase & Install option does not actually erase the disk, nor does it affect any other partitions on the drive. This may be important if the MacBook will be sold or given to someone that can't be trusted not to use recovery software to pry into its old contents.

    To "wipe" the drive, launch Disk Utility from the installer disk's "Utilities" menu before you start the installation. Select the hard drive (not its named volume) from the list on the left, then click the "Erase" tab. Click the "Security Options" button & select one of the three secure erase choices. Click "OK," then the "Apply" button. Once the procedure finishes (which can take a very long time if you choose one of the multi-pass erase choices), quit Disk Utility, which will return you to the Installer application. Because the drive no longer contains anything except a partition map & an empty volume, it will not matter if you do not choose Erase & Install & proceed with the default "Install" option.