2 Replies Latest reply: Jun 24, 2008 11:31 AM by Kappy
phlabse Level 1 (0 points)
Hi, I recently inherited a Macbook and I need to know how to reformat it(or at least i think that's what you call it). I need to start from scratch, wipe it clean, etc.

How should I go about doing this?

This is probably a common question, I'm just new to Macs so please forgive the ignorance!


  • Kay Marczoch Level 7 (21,685 points)
    Have you got those grey colored "Install Disks" fitting your MacBook?
  • Kappy Level 10 (265,914 points)
    You will need the original software installation DVDs that came with the computer.

    Booting From An OS X Installer Disc

    1. Insert OS X Installer Disc into the optical drive.
    2. Restart the computer.
    3. Immediately after the chime press and hold down the "C" key.
    4. Release the key when the spinning gear below the dark gray Apple logo appears.
    5. Wait for installer to finish loading.

    Extended Hard Drive Preparation

    1. Boot from your OS X Installer Disc (See above.) After the installer loads select your language and click on the Continue button. When the menu bar appears select Disk Utility from the Installer menu (Utilities menu for Tiger or Leopard.)

    2. After DU loads select your hard drive (this is the entry with the mfgr.'s ID and size) from the left side list. Note the SMART status of the drive in DU's status area. If it does not say "Verified" then the drive is failing or has failed and will need replacing. SMART info will not be reported on external drives. Otherwise, click on the Partition tab in the DU main window.

    3. Click on the Options button, set the partition scheme to GUID (only required for Intel Macs) then click on the OK button. Set the number of partitions from the dropdown menu (use 1 partition unless you wish to make more.) Set the format type to Mac OS Extended (Journaled.) Click on the Partition button and wait until the volume(s) mount on the Desktop.

    4. Select the volume you just created (this is the sub-entry under the drive entry) from the left side list. Click on the Erase tab in the DU main window.

    5. Set the format type to Mac OS Extended (Journaled.) Click on the Options button, check the button for Zero Data and click on OK to return to the Erase window.

    6. Click on the Erase button. The format process can take up to several hours depending upon the drive size.

    After formatting has completed quit DU and return to the installer. Now proceed to install OS X. When you complete the OS installation you can use the Installer Disc One to re-install the bundled software that came with the computer originally. Just click on the Install Pre-Bundled Software icon in the Installer Disc's open window. You will need the second DVD handy.