Previous 1 2 Next 16 Replies Latest reply: Jul 28, 2013 11:05 PM by nbar
tash1973 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hi, I'm selling my MacBook Air, what do I need to do to erase everything and basically hand it over as "new" I'm not great at technology so simple answers will be appreciated!

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (257,795 points)

    Follow these instructions step by step to prepare a Mac for sale:

     

    Step One - Back up your data:

     

           A. If you have any Virtual PCs shut them down. They cannot be in their "fast saved" state. They must

               be shut down from inside Windows.

           B. Clone to an external drive using using Carbon Copy Cloner.

     

              1. Open Carbon Copy Cloner.

              2. Select the Source volume from the Select a source drop down menu on the left side.

              3. Select the Destination volume from the Select a destination drop down menu on the right side.

              4. Click on the Clone button. If you are prompted about creating a clone of the Recovery HD be sure

                  to opt for that.

     

              Destination means a freshly erased external backup drive. Source means the internal startup drive.

     

    Step Two - Prepare the machine for the new buyer:

     

              1. De-authorize the computer in iTunes! De-authorize both iTunes and Audible accounts.

              2, Remove any Open Firmware passwords or Firmware passwords.

              3. Turn the brightness full up and volume nearly so.

              4. Turn off File Vault, if enabled.

              5. Disable iCloud, if enabled: See What to do with iCloud before selling your computer.

     

    Step Three - Install a fresh OS:

     

         A. Snow Leopard and earlier versions of OS X

     

              1. Insert the original OS X install CD/DVD that came with your computer.

              2. Restart the computer while holding down the C key to boot from the CD/DVD.

              3. Select Disk Utility from the Utilities menu; repartition and reformat the internal hard drive.

                  Optionally, click on the Security button and set the Zero Data option to one-pass.

              4. Install OS X.

              5. Upon completion DO NOT restart the computer.

              6. Shutdown the computer.

     

         B. Lion and Mountain Lion (if pre-installed on the computer at purchase*)

     

             Note: You will need an active Internet connection. I suggest using Ethernet if possible

                        because it is three times faster than wireless.

     

              1. Restart the computer while holding down the COMMAND and R keys until the Mac OS X

                  Utilities window appears.

              2. Select Disk Utility from the Mac OS X Utilities window and click on the Continue button.

              3. After DU loads select your startup volume (usually Macintosh HD) from the left side list.

                  Click on the Erase tab in the DU main window.

              4. Set the format type to Mac OS Extended (Journaled.) Optionally, click on the Security button

                  and set the Zero Data option to one-pass.

              5. Click on the Erase button and wait until the process has completed.

              6. Quit DU and return to the Mac OS X Utilities window.

              7. Select Reinstall Lion/Mountain Lion and click on the Install button.

              8. Upon completion shutdown the computer.

     

    *If your computer came with Lion or Mountain Lion pre-installed then you are entitled to transfer your license once. If you purchased Lion or Mountain Lion from the App Store then you cannot transfer your license to another party. In the case of the latter you should install the original version of OS X that came with your computer. You need to repartition the hard drive as well as reformat it; this will assure that the Recovery HD partition is removed. See Step Three above. You may verify these requirements by reviewing your OS X Software License.

  • tash1973 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi there, it's the 2011 model so I didn't get a disc

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (257,795 points)

    Then follow the procedure outlined in Step Three, Section B for Lion and Mountain Lion.

  • NewYorkNative28 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Kappy,

     

    You mentioned the ability to instal the original OS to a MacBook Air. How exactly do you repartition the hard drive?

     

    Thank you in advance!

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (257,795 points)

    Depends on what you are installing and how. Look at the entire outlined process which tells you exactly what to do.

  • NewYorkNative28 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Wow! Thank you for the quick response!

     

    Like the original poster, I am trying to prep my 2011 MacBook Air to sell it. I have removed all iCloud data and restored the computer to factory settings (or so I thought) until I was prompted to input my Apple ID so I could download Mountain Lion again. The original OS was Lion. You mentioned having to repartition the hard drive to remove the Recovery HD so I can just install Lion and not Mountain Lion. I would expect the issue for the new user is that they would need my Apple ID to do anything with Mountain Lion, which I hope to avoid :-)

     

    My MacBook Air didn't come with a disc to reinstall the original OS.

     

    I'm dumb when it comes to computers, so was hoping you could clarify how to do that.

     

    Thank you so much, again, for your help!

     

    Best regards.

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (257,795 points)

    I'm sorry but I never mentioned repartitioning the drive in order to reinstall Lion or Mountain Lion. I only state that you will erase the OS X volume.

     

    Repartitioning the drive to remove the Recovery HD is only in the event that you purchased Lion or Mountain Lion from the App Store because you cannot transfer that license. So you need to deliver the computer without an OS installed or, if possible, with the OS that it came with originally such as Snow Leopard, for example, that you install from a DVD.

  • NewYorkNative28 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Ok. So in my situation, I bought my MacBook Air that came pre-installed with Lion. I later upgraded to Mountain Lion by purchasing Mountain Lion through the App Store. Is there a way to restore to the original OS X Lion without having to install Mountain Lion?

     

    Or are you saying I cannot sell my Air because there isn't a way to transfer the license of Lion (the original OS that was not purchased in the App Store)?

     

    Sorry for the dumb questions.

     

    Again, thank you for helping :-)

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (257,795 points)

    Lion is no longer available. If you erase your volume and reinstall OS X, Mountain Lion will be installed because that's the version you now own.

     

    If a computer is purchased with Lion/Mountain Lion pre-installed (your case) then you can do a one-time license transfer to a new owner. That's explained in the last paragraph of the above guide.

     

    If your computer came with Lion or Mountain Lion pre-installed then you are entitled to transfer your license once.

     

    Follow these steps:

     

    B. Lion and Mountain Lion (if pre-installed on the computer at purchase*)

     

             Note: You will need an active Internet connection. I suggest using Ethernet if possible

                        because it is three times faster than wireless.

     

              1. Restart the computer while holding down the COMMAND and R keys until the Mac OS X

                  Utilities window appears.

              2. Select Disk Utility from the Mac OS X Utilities window and click on the Continue button.

              3. After DU loads select your startup volume (usually Macintosh HD) from the left side list.

                  Click on the Erase tab in the DU main window.

              4. Set the format type to Mac OS Extended (Journaled.) Optionally, click on the Security button

                  and set the Zero Data option to one-pass.

              5. Click on the Erase button and wait until the process has completed.

              6. Quit DU and return to the Mac OS X Utilities window.

              7. Select Reinstall Lion/Mountain Lion and click on the Install button.

              8. Upon completion shutdown the computer.

     

    Read your software license to learn how to go about making the ownership transfer. See Para. 3 of the license.

  • NewYorkNative28 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you Kappy. It sounds like I can still sell the computer and the new user needs to accept the terms when they first boot it up for the one-time license transfer to occur.

     

    A couple more questions and I promise to stop bugging you :-)

     

    Does my needing to use my Apple ID and password to install Mountain Lion during restore create any privacy threat for me? In other words once the restore completes (even after having to log into the App Store to grab the OS files) I should not have any personal data left on the computer, correct?

     

    Thanks again for all your help.

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (257,795 points)

    Not unless you tell the buyer what your Apple ID and password are. Unless the license transfer is carried out as Apple outlines the buyer will not be able to upgrade or reinstall the software because he/she doesn't know your Apple ID. You need to do further research on how to arrange for the legal license transfer.

     

    If you have followed the procedure for erasing the drive from the Recovery HD and used the security option then your old data is secure from curious eyes.

  • Chris P Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Using all your excellent guidelines, I have tried to reinstall the original OS that came with my Original MacBook Air (January 2008), using the Remote Install OS X app on my iMac, but that iMac doesn't recognize or find the Install Disk (maybe because it is running Mountain Lion).  Meanwhile, I've erased the hard drive on the MacBook Air that had been running Lion, but it shows Lion ready to install at the set up screen.  Will a buyer be able to register or purchase Lion using his or her own Apple ID? 

     

    Obviously if I had an external superdrive, I'd use that to install the original OS, but I don't.  How do I completely remove Lion so that the MacBook Air can be sold with no OS? 

     

    Disk Utility shows the 80GB disk and a "disk 1" with Mac OS X Base System.  I can't seem to partition the disk using Disk Utility; I get an error "couldn't unmount disk" when I try to create 1 Partition, and I get no options to partition or erase the OS X Base System.

     

    Thanks.

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (257,795 points)

    You have to boot from another device in order to erase the hard drive. You cannot erase the startup drive.

     

    If you have Lion or Mountain Lion already installed you can boot into the Recovery HD and erase the main volume:

     

    Erase But No Reinstall

     

    1.  Restart the computer and after the chime press and hold down the COMMAND and R keys until the menu screen appears. Alternatively, restart the computer and after the chime press and hold down the OPTION key until the boot manager screen appears. Select the Recovery HD and click on the downward pointing arrow button. Select Disk Utility from the main menu and click on the Continue button.

     

    2. After DU loads select your hard drive (this is the entry with the mfgr.'s ID and size) from the left side list. Note the SMART status of the drive in DU's status area.  If it does not say "Verified" then the drive is failing or has failed and will need replacing.  SMART info will not be reported  on external drives. Otherwise, click on the Partition tab in the DU main window.

     

    3. Under the Volume Scheme heading set the number of partitions from the drop down menu to one. Click on the Options button, set the partition scheme to GUID then click on the OK button. Set the format type to Mac OS Extended (Journaled.) Click on the Partition button and wait until the process has completed.

     

    4. Select the volume you just created (this is the sub-entry under the drive entry) from the left side list. Click on the Erase tab in the DU main window.

     

    5. Set the format type to Mac OS Extended (Journaled.) Click on the Security button, check the button for Zero Data and click on OK to return to the Erase window.

     

    6. Click on the Erase button. The format process can take up to several hours depending upon the drive size.

     

    7. After formatting is done quit DU and return to the main menu. Now shut down the computer.

  • toehawk Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Do you need to do something with deleting the admin for the machine or create a new admin for the machine in order to have the profile totally removed?

Previous 1 2 Next