12 Replies Latest reply: Dec 19, 2010 3:51 PM by b leo
traveler582 Level 1 (0 points)
I'm about to sell my macbook (I've upgraded) , how would I wipe the hard drive, the whole computer for that matter, clean of all websites I've visited, passwords etc?

Anything else you can suggest? Like clear all bookmarks,and in Safari pull down menu, I guess 'reset safari' and 'empty cache' too, etc?
And in Accounts under System preferences can I change the name? I see I can change the password, sorry I'm not too computer proficient...I hate to miss something.
Thanks all

iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.4), and a macbook and a Macbook Air 11 inch
  • First Magus Level 6 (15,855 points)
    I think your best bet would be to reinstall the OS on the MacBook. That would allow everything to be set back to new condition. Be sure to pass on any software disks for your MacBook to the new owner as they will need them. This is the easiest method and allows the new owner to set everything up like they want.

  • traveler582 Level 1 (0 points)
    Yes, I agree, I had thought of that, but was hesitant as I hope I don't screw something up doing it!
    But that is the foolproof way of getting everything clean!

    Thank you Mort, that's what I'll do!
  • chipperz Level 2 (205 points)
    Prior t selling the computer and before installing the OS, I would suggest you erase the HHD and zero out the HDD. Boot up with the OS (or install) CD and click onto disc utilities. Select erase and then select the way you wish to erase. Writing zeroes to the disc is usually sufficient. This would prevent others from possibly retrieving any personal information from you HDD. Erasing only erases the file info, but not the whole file.
  • traveler582 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks, I did erase it and something told me to look a little more into it, and then I saw the other two options regarding erasing and I did pick the option with replacing with zeros, so I erased again with that option, it took a little longer but I feel more confident about the drive being clean now. Thanks for your concern, I don't know what I'd do without this discussion board!
  • musicmannn Level 1 (0 points)
    Here's what you need to do:

    1. Re-install Mac OS (don't choose an option that keeps the old files, wipe it clean!)
    2. After re-installing, open Disk Utility, and run the Erase Free Space utility on your newly formatted drive. This will ensure that your old files can't be recovered.

    If you want your personal data off of your Macbook, simply doing step one will NOT be enough!!! Erasing and deleting are two different things. (Step one deletes, step 2 erases.)

    Also, what chipperz posted should work.

    Message was edited by: musicmannn
  • traveler582 Level 1 (0 points)
    I now was thinking of wiping clean my iMac (not selling it, for me), but would love to keep bookmarks (etc.) if possible.
    Do you know of a selective way to clean and reinstall; I'm doing this because some things don't run the same way they used to, OR, can one reset the default settings on a computer, similar to reformatting it??
  • traveler582 Level 1 (0 points)
    or maybe I could reinstall just safari??

    sorry, I should have been more specific: my usb webcam is no longer being 'picked-up' by a website I cam on, I know the cam works because it works on yim on this same computer, AND the webcam is picked-up by the website on a macbook I have, it makes me think it's the imac....
  • b leo Level 1 (135 points)
    What you can do is archive and install, that'll keep your data in a folder which you can transfer to the new install. Alternatively, you could use Time Machine to backup, then selectively restore what you want. Another option is to use the Migration Assistant.

    With regard to your webcam, I think it's possible that an update to Adobe Flash changed your privacy settings to prevent the website from accessing your webcam. Try right clicking in the Flash applet, going to Settings, and check that allow Webcam use is checked.
  • Ziatron Level 4 (3,830 points)
    Re-installing the Mac OS will not delete all of your data (It will delete some of it). Much of the free space on your hard drive will contain old data that could be recovered.

    There are several hard drive utilitys sold that will wipe your hard drive, by writing zeros and ones randomly or using other methods to write over your old data.
  • traveler582 Level 1 (0 points)
    I did check the adobe updates etc., BUT I just reinstalled the OS and now it works fine, I manually copied my files onto a wd 'passport' hd and also copied the bookmarks.plist and later after reinstalling the os added them, all is well now! thx
  • RizzDat Level 1 (0 points)
    I am readying my MacBook to sell on eBay. I reinstalled the original OS, but it immediately takes me through the registration set up. Is there a way to provide the computer so that when the new owner turns it on it takes them through the original Welcome screen, taking their pertinent data, and naming the hard drive after them (instead of me)?
  • b leo Level 1 (135 points)