2 Replies Latest reply: Aug 3, 2010 4:23 PM by Backgroundcamel
Backgroundcamel Level 1 (0 points)
I have a 6 year old iMac that i would like to completely wipe clean and make it all shiny new again.
I don't have the start-up disks for it, have either put them somewhere safe (and hidden) or lost them. Is it possible to reset the mac back to factory settings without the disks? Or could I use my macbook's or powermac's disks?
I was told I could just press a combination of keys on the keyboard when I started it up to reset it but I don't know how true that is or what combination of keys it would be.

Thanks for any help!!


iMac G5, Mac OS X (10.3.x)
  • WZZZ Level 6 (12,795 points)
    If you are giving this computer away or selling it, it is your obligation to give the purchaser or recipient the original Install Disk and any other disks that came with the computer. You can get replacements at nominal cost from Apple if you call and give your serial #. If you don't, you are selling a crippled computer. (Of course, this makes the entire procedure below moot, since you will have the Install Disk which you can use to do this.)

    There are no keyboard combinations for this and you won't be able to use the disks from your other computers if they weren't the full retail versions usable on any machine. If you have a clone of your G5 on an external drive, you could boot from it, or if you have another Mac with the same OS (Tiger or Leopard will probably work as well; I don't know about Snow Leopard), you can boot the two computers in FireWire Target Disk Mode. This will effectively turn the G5 into an external drive.


    Open up Disk Utility on the Mac you are booting from, select the G5 Volume and go to Erase>Security Options. Choose Zero out Data 1 pass. This will wipe the Drive completely and securely, but it will not reproduce the state it was in when it was completely new, which would have opened Setup Assistant. At this point, the computer will not have an OS installed.
  • Backgroundcamel Level 1 (0 points)
    No I'm not selling it, using it for myself. Found the startup disks eventually so solved that problem.
    Just installed an airport card and upgraded the ram to 2gb so should be good. It's running on 10.3.9 which ***** as no-one does anything for it anymore and I was going to ask if I could upload Tiger/Leopard from one of my other Mac's startup disks but it seems you've already answered that for me... bloody Apple. Spend thousands on their machines and still have to fork out more when things don't work as they should =P
    ash well... it'll be worth it =)