5 Replies Latest reply: Nov 8, 2010 2:31 PM by baltwo
KCastaneda Level 1 (0 points)
So I'm selling off an old MacBook and I need to wipe its hard drive - the problem is that I don't have my Installation Disks anymore. So I need it to be wiped clean, but I'm not sure how to do so without the aforementioned disks.

Is there anything I can do?

MacBook, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • captfred Level 7 (26,290 points)
    If you have a SL disc or a clone of the machine on an external drive you can boot from either of those and format the machine.

    Don't forget to deauthorize that machine from iTunes....

    http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-20011109-263.html?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=Ma cFixIt
  • Matt Clifton Level 7 (29,850 points)
    You can use the Erase Free Space feature while booted into the system itself.

    First, delete your user files: I recommend that you create a new, admin user, log in as that user, and then delete your previous user(s) completely using the Accounts preference panel. (Choose to "Delete immediately", not save as an image). Also uninstall any applications that you aren't passing on the disks or licences for.

    Then, using Disk Utility, click on your HD on the left side, click the Erase tab, and use Erase Free Space to write over the now-empty space on your drive. One pass of zeros is usually quite sufficient (unless you have military secrets).

  • KCastaneda Level 1 (0 points)
    Worked like a charm. Thanks a million, Matt!
  • dorseydevice Level 1 (20 points)
    Great solution!


  • baltwo Level 9 (62,215 points)
    While Matt's solution clears most user stuff off the machine, I strongly recommend that you contact Apple for replacement discs (should be available for a nominal S&H charge), since buying a used computer w/o its original discs is like buying an used auto w/o its spare tire and jack. I usually advise purchasers to pass on such an item. Once you get the discs, boot with the restore one and zero out the data and shut down the machine. Let the new user restore everything to factory specs.