11 Replies Latest reply: Feb 4, 2012 6:26 PM by Gabizou
keany1976 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hello Everybody,


Is there a straightforward way to erase the hard drive of my imac and reinstall Lion. I have purchased the mac from my friend but I believe the HD hasn't been completely wiped as I can still see some of his files.


OSX Lion was purchased and installed but is there a way to completely delete the HD, reinstall Lion and start with fresh computer?



MacBook Air, Mac OS X (10.7)
  • rkaufmann87 Level 9 Level 9 (51,930 points)

    If you want to tackle it you can. Here is an aritcle from MacWorld with instructions:


    Lion Recovery Disk Assistant

  • PeteF10 Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)

    Did it yesterday. Erased the hard drive and installed a fresh copy of Lion. It's pretty straight forward. Didn't need a bootable CD or thumbdrive. Restart computer and hold down Cmd+R. It will take you to Recovery Disk Assistant (I believe that's what it's called). Followed the directions from there.

  • keany1976 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi PeteF10


    Is there a way of doing this but still keeping ilife?

  • rkaufmann87 Level 9 Level 9 (51,930 points)

    Yes just do a backup using Time Machine. If you are already using TM they're you're all set, if you aren't all you need is an external HD and follow the Time Machine Tutorial. It's incrediby simple and something you should be doing to protect your data.

  • keany1976 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks very much for your help.


    Can I erase the HD using disk utility, reinstall Lion from a created installation disc, reinstall ilfe from the discs I have, then download and install itunes etc


    Would this get me back to a "clean"computer?


    Sorry for my basic knowledge!

  • rkaufmann87 Level 9 Level 9 (51,930 points)

    Yes that should work, I"m guessing you are selling the computer or don't care about your data.

  • keany1976 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I don't have any personal data on it yet - I bought the imac from a friend and some of his files are still on it. I'm trying to delete all his files and start from scratch - I have all the Ilife discs etc.


    First thing I did was install Lion, unaware that he hadn't completely emptied his drive.


    I use Time Capsule with my macbook air to back up all my data.


    Thanks again for your help

  • rkaufmann87 Level 9 Level 9 (51,930 points)

    I got it now, well it sounds like you're on your way.


    Enjoy the new iMac.

  • CFII/ME Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm in the same boat but a slightly different twist. It appears, from talking to Apple support, that MobileMe corrupted some of my data on my iMac. Everything is backed up. It appears that some of the preferences have been corrupted because my scrolling doesn't work the way I set it. MobileMe propagated this corruption over to my Macbook Pro but I'm living with it right now. I turned MobileMe off on my iPad2 and my iPhone. I'll go and correct the issue but then the incorrect will turn itself back on. Even repairing permissions fixed stuff and they came back later. I chose to reinstall Lion. I booted CTRL+R, chose ERASE with the correct Mac format then double checked everything before reinstalling Lion. NO LUCK. Lion comes back but like the person above said, there are files still there so ERASE doesn't ERASE EVERYTHING. I still have issues with my preferences. I've installed the Lion Recovery Disk Assistant and have it loaded on a 4gb thumb drive. Now what I want to do is erase...blotto...flatline...zap... you name it, I want it GONE. Then I want to format and reinstall Lion from a totally naked disk drive. Anyone have any ideas?  Thanks very much. It was right here that I found out about the Recovery Assistant!

  • conejo61 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I found this thread, anyone seeing an answer to the last post? I was going to do the CTRL-R method but if it doesn't erase all the data on the computer, that's a problem.


    I bought a new MBP and am selling my old one. I want ALL my stuff off the old one, basically just giving the guy a clean, fresh install of Lion and nothing else.


    any suggestions?

  • Gabizou Level 1 Level 1 (115 points)

    It will not erase, simply install a new version of Lion (updated from the internet).


    IF you run Lion Disk Recovery (that one with CMD+R or holding down option and selecting Recovery Disk), the computer will give you options to Reinstall Lion, Disk Utility etc


    First if you want to get rid of all the data, you must go to Disk Utility and select the partition, not the drive, and ERASE (format as however you prefer).


    Then, once the partition that contained Mac OS X Lion is erased, go ahead and quit Disk Utility and run the Reinstall Mac OS X Lion which will download the latest version of Mac OS X and walk you through the first time install all over again.


    Finally, if you need iLife reinstalled, go ahead and chuck those dvd's in and install!