6 Replies Latest reply: Sep 27, 2013 12:14 AM by Kappy
lookattherain Level 1 (0 points)



I would like to give a six year old iMac to a my son. What is the best way to whip it clean and give it to him in a usable, but clean state?


We will be purchasing a brand new iMac to replace it with.


Thanks in Advance

  • Kappy Level 10 (265,883 points)

    I hope you mean "wipe," because "whipping" it won't make it feel very good.


    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


              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. Use Boot Camp Assistant to remove a Windows partition, if there be one.

              6. 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.


         C. See What to do before selling or giving away your Mac



    *If your computer came with Lion or Mountain Lion pre-installed then you are entitled to transfer your license once. You must remove the computer from your list of registered hardware. If you purchased Lion or Mountain Lion from the App Store then you cannot transfer your license to another party. In this case 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. See Terms and Conditions if you need to transfer an Extended Warranty that is still in effect (Transfer of Plan.)

  • lookattherain Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks. Not sure what you mean, in my broswer the subject reads...


    Whiping an iMAC clean to give to someone else


    Only one P



  • Kappy Level 10 (265,883 points)

    Yes, I saw that. But there is no 'h' in wipe, which is the correct spelling. 'Whip" is the word for a lash or horse whip, used to beat something. I just thought it was a cute misspelling because of the different meaning it conveyed. I guess you did not get the humor due to the misspelling.

  • lookattherain Level 1 (0 points)

    I get humor. I googled whipping vs wiping the slate clean first since I have trouble remembering such things. It's a world wide web so I found plenty of hits for whiping the slate clean, in fact they came to the top. Thank you for your help. My mother was an English teacher, I use to know better. These painful migraines, make it really difficult to concentrate.

  • Kappy Level 10 (265,883 points)

    OK. I thought perhaps I had insulted you, which was not my intent. I also hope my procedures help you with the problem you had asked about.