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How do I wipe my computers clean so they can be recycled?

5993 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Sep 7, 2009 8:47 AM by EJ\'s tech support RSS
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Jul 17, 2009 4:40 PM
I have finally decided that it's time to recycle my Performa 6300 and Power Macintosh G3. I would like to wipe them clean before I recycle them. I don't think I have the original start up disks but can go hunting for them if need be. What do I do to wipe them clean? Do I just put everything that's personal into the trash and empty it? I recall there being ways that you could pull things from the trash with Norton... however I suspect that anyone getting these computers would not go to all that work. But I would feel better though if everything was removed. Any advice would be appreciated.

iBook G4, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • Texas Mac Man Level 8 Level 8 (44,245 points)
    Since you don't have the discs, your best option is to remove the hard drives. Then get a big hammer & smash the drives. Recycle the remaining parts.

     Cheers, Tom

     G4 1.25MHz MDD, G3 400 FW Pismo,, Mac OS X (10.5.6), OS 10.4.11/9.2.2, Canon LiDE30 Scanner, Canon i960 Printer, Belkin UPS
  • Jan Hedlund Level 6 Level 6 (8,880 points)

    What do I do to wipe them clean?

    If you wish to recycle the computers by giving them away, and if you can find appropriate system CDs or a Disk Tools floppy, you could use Drive Setup. Start the computer from a system disc or from a Disk Tools floppy. Locate the Drive Setup utility. Look for a Functions menu. Choose Initialization Options and then check "Zero all data".

    If necessary, Disk Tools PPC (here) can be downloaded. Disk Copy 6.3.3 (the Make a Floppy command) is used to create a bootable floppy.

    Do I just put everything that's personal into the trash and empty it?

    No, that is not sufficient. Only the directory entries are deleted this way. As you already indicated, the contents can be easily retrieved. One should always overwrite the "emptied" space. If a dedicated utility for this (such as Wipe Info from Norton Utilities, or the freeware program Burn 2.5) is not available, one could duplicate a single large (not personal) file until the hard disk is full.

  • Appaloosa mac man Level 5 Level 5 (4,300 points)

    It depends on what you mean by recycle. You state " I suspect that anyone getting these computers would not go to all that work." If you want someone to benefit from the use of the computers, take the time to find the restore CDs that came with the computers. Start up from the CD by holding down the C key when turning on the power. Soon you should hear the CD-ROM drive spin up or ratchet up, as it sometimes sounds,then let go of the D key.

    Open up drive setup as Jan mentioned and select 'erase drive.' Find the option to zero out data and then select erase drive.

    If you just want the parts to stay out of a land fill, go to Home Depot, buy some small torx screw drivers. Take the drive apart for the education and use the drive platters as wind chimes. The data will forever be blowing in the wind.

    Your choice.

    128k to vicarious G5, Mac OS 8.6 or Earlier, Saving old Macs for future generations.
  • EJ\'s tech support Calculating status...
    I, too, have the original Performa 6300CD installation disks, but I could not find any documentation that assured that the formatting or erase operations zeroed out the data or only the directories. Rather than take a chance, I removed the disk, after finding directions for removing the disk at . I will recycle the rest.
    iBook (900 MHz PowerPC G3), Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (48,110 points)
    For future reference, if you boot to the System/Install CD, the Hard Drive is completely available and can be fully zeroed with Drive Setup using an initialize with Write Zeroes option. Your data will be completely overwritten with zeroes. Only those willing to disassemble it and examine it in a clean-room with special equipment would be able to recover any of your data.

    deleting the data with the Finder just removes the Directory entries -- the data blocks are not erased.
    Beige G3,G3 B+W,G4/867,G4/dual 1.25 MDD, Mac OS 8.6 or Earlier, and 9.2, 10.4 and Server - LW IIg, LW 4/600, ATalk ImageWriter LQ
  • EJ\'s tech support Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the information, but I am almost glad that I did not have it before I removed the disk - especially considering our plan to recycle it rather than donate it. We have not used the Performa for over 5 years, and I think it took less time (about ten minutes) to remove the disk than it would have to start it up again. The only tools required were a flat screwdriver and a Phillips screwdriver.
    iBook (900 MHz PowerPC G3), Mac OS X (10.4.11)


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