7 Replies Latest reply: Jan 5, 2014 10:23 AM by Kappy
sophie291 Level 1 (0 points)

im wishing to sell my g4 powerbook after upgrading very quickly and wish to erase all data properly. i have no install disc so cannot do it this way nor do i have a firewall connection cable as ive read on a few discussions already, is there an easier alternative? i thought about deleting everything manually but i'm afraid i may miss things and this would take up alot of time also.


thanks in advance and much appreciated!

  • Kappy Level 10 (266,058 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


              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 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. If this is not possible then simply erase the drive. 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.

  • sophie291 Level 1 (0 points)

    i have no installation disc to use though, don't think i got one or is lost - that is my dilemma. any non-disc alternatives?

  • Kappy Level 10 (266,058 points)

    There is no non-disc solution for this.


    You may be able to purchase replacements from Apple:


    Apple Store Customer Service at 1-800-676-2775 or visit online Help for more information.


    To contact product and tech support: Apple - Support - Contact Apple Support.


    Or find some on eBay, Amazon, or Google.

  • romko23 Level 2 (395 points)

    Does Apple still have PowerPC discs for PowerPC machines?? Last I called and asked for extra set for G5 Quad they tell me no more they have.

  • K Shaffer Level 6 (12,614 points)

    Some discs  for certain machines were said to be available (related to serial number, etc) of original restore disc sets; probably among the last ones made, from Apple; according to a post I'd seen in ASC.


    However if someone had a retail boot disc Leopard 10.5 it probably would have suitable means when running the computer from the disc, to erase the entire contents, in Secure Erase, from the Installer> Disk Utility. Those are harder to get and may not be available at all from Apple, as things move on forward, or are obsoleted.


    If you know of someone with another powerPC Mac and a firewire cable, it may be possible to use FW Target Disk Mode, and the other mac can erase and perform some major actions on the iBook's HDD. Just not reinstall a new or plain OS, and an installation disc should be included with the computer.

    That's what the original kit was for...


    Good luck & happy computing!

  • Jan Hedlund Level 6 (9,720 points)

    Alternatively, once backup copies have been made from all important files, you may want to carry out a test with an old PowerPC release of a data erasure utility called DBAN (try a web search for it and a dban-2.0.0_powerpc.iso file). One can burn the iso file to a CD-R, and then boot a computer from that disc (while holding down the C key). Follow the on-screen directions. If everything works OK with the computer in question, the result should be a completely wiped/overwritten hard disk.



  • Kappy Level 10 (266,058 points)

    How do I know? Hence, the reason I said "may." One never knows until one asks.