7 Replies Latest reply: Jul 5, 2010 4:11 PM by jsd2
Commonman Level 1 Level 1
I recently purchased a 2010 MacBook Pro. For the last 2 years I have been using 2008 MacBook. I want to sell the 2008 MacBook but I want to ensure all data is removed from the 2008 MacBook. I can delete basic documents but I don't want any "smart fields" revealing passwords or other information. Please help me sanitize this computer. I've also learned through computer forensics that when one "deletes" data, the date is actually still there. Any advice will be appreciated.

iMac 3.06 Intel 2 Duo, 24 inch Screen, MacBook 13.3/2.4 -4gB RAM, 160 gB HD, Mac OS X (10.5.4), 80 gb iPod, iMac G4, MacBook 2.4 Ghz, 4gb RAM, OSX 10.5.5
  • Lyssa Level 6 Level 6
    You can use your install discs to erase the hard drive, writing 0's to the empty space. This would be enough to delete your data.

    If you had any extremely sensitive data on the drive, the best thing to do is remove the hard drive from the machine and install a replacement, or sell the machine without the hard drive.

  • macjack Level 9 Level 9
    The proper way to "clean" a computer before selling it is to zero the hard drive. This will make all your data irretrievable.

    Steps for zeroing the drive Disk Utility:

    1. Insert your Mac OS X CD-ROM disc or Restore DVD disc, then restart the computer while holding the C key until you see the spinning gear.
    2. Once started up from CD or DVD, choose Disk Utility from the Installer menu.
    Important: Do not click Continue in the first screen of the Installer. If you do, you must restart from disc to access Disk Utility.
    3. Choose the entire disk (top icon).
    4. Choose erase tab.
    5. Click on Options
    6. Choose "write zeros".
    7. Erase
    This will take a bit of time because the computer is physically writing zeros to each block.

    You should then re-install the original OS from the system disks and deliver the Mac to the new owner with the system disks that shipped with it.

    If you want it to boot as new at startup and create an admin account:
    Then, launch Terminal and type:
    sudo rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone
    Press Return

    cd /
    Press REturn

    sudo rm -r /Users/yourname

    Press return.
    sudo nicl -raw /var/db/netinfo/local.nidb delete /users/yourname/
    Press return
    Then, shut down the machine immediately.

  • jsd2 Level 5 Level 5
  • macjack Level 9 Level 9
    jsd2 wrote:

    +After installation, when you’re prompted to create a new user, just press Command-Q.+

    Excellent! That makes it easy enough
    but in case anyone wants to do it the hard way
    there's all that cool code you can use

  • Commonman Level 1 Level 1
    After I erase all the data per the procedure outlined above, will there still be an operating system and the basic applications on the MacBook?
  • Commonman Level 1 Level 1
    Oh, sorry - I now see that in the instructions above it does address re-installing the original OS using the disks provided with the computer (hope I can find those).

  • jsd2 Level 5 Level 5
    Re-installing the OS as per that article will also re-install the basic apps such as TextEdit or Mail, but it might not automatically re-install the iLife suite that came with the computer - check your original documentation. If not, the "bundled software" on the original discs could subsequently be installed by the buyer, after a user account has been established.