10 Replies Latest reply: Mar 9, 2014 1:08 PM by K Shaffer
IngBat Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hello All,

I have a PowerBook 5300c which I´ve decided to part with. As there´s personal data on there,I´d like to delete everything on the hard-drive before it leaves my home. Can somebody give me a hand as to how to do this?? I don´t have the operating system diskette anymore, nor the means of hitching up a CD drive to it.



Mac OS 8.6 or Earlier
  • K Shaffer Level 6 Level 6 (11,680 points)

    If there is an Apple user group or two in your vicinity, they may be contacted and if asked perhaps they know of someone among them who has the Classic OS 8.1 or 8.5, etc on Floppy Disk. They may be able to make a copy for reasonable cost of supplies, etc. Or someone among that kind of group or an independent Apple specialist may know of someone who can help you erase the hard disk drive and install a new system on it.


    At least if you can erase, and restore a system on the computer, and/or get a copy of the boot system on a floppy disc to go with the PB 5300c, it could be a little more useful or appreciated as a vintage item.


    Since some persons like to collect those older portables, it may have a residual value even if lacking the accessories and parts, discs, etc that made it a working kit when new. I was looking online at lowendmacs.com on their software page and there are a few listed or named companies that may still have older Mac OS on floppy. There are also some links to update a few older systems, still.


    Anyway, without the correct SCSI cables or other adapters, or compatible way to attach and use another computer and a compatible utility, the cure to this issue revolves around finding the correct stuff.


    You could remove the hard disk drive, if not terrible difficult. And whack it with a big hammer. Or if you find someone who wanted the old PowerBook 5300c, and had floppy discs of the OS, and extra parts, they could erase it.


    From where I am, there isn't much available. Older repair shops have gone, and a small population base makes those who like good vintage stuff have to look ever so harder to save it from destruction.


    Hopefully someone with a method within practical means will reply.

    Good luck & happy computing!

  • IngBat Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks K Shaffer!


    Taking the hard-drive out and hammering it is my last option, I´ve borrowed the small screwdriver needed for that already and I also know how to get the thing out.


    As I´ve seen the glow in people´s eyes who fell in love with these PowerBooks back then, I find the idea of passing it on as a vintage item much nicer. Maybe I should offer it on Ebay (I wouldn´t know where else, I´m in Germany) without the hard-drive, but instead of hammering it I could give the option of the buyer coming by and erasing and restoring the system before taking it along. That could work.


    It´s probably not worth too much, so it´s hardly worth spending money to get the stuff deleted by someone else. Well, having said that, it comes along with one of those bags in red, yellow, green and blue. And that is pretty cool

  • dalstott Level 4 Level 4 (2,625 points)

    Low end Mac has a recent article on the 5300.



  • IngBat Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hiya dalstott, thanks ever so for pointing me in the right direction.

    What I thought of as a "precious jewel for collectors" is actually something the Apple staff probably still cringe about today. OK. I guess that makes decision making much easier for me.

    Be well!

  • K Shaffer Level 6 Level 6 (11,680 points)

    Here's a retrospect of vintage notebook Apple models, + era clones



    •PowerBook 5300c/100 specs:



    {there also was a 5300/100 model of similar spec}


    There are models of PowerBook G3 'Pismo' still desired by users

    some of whom have modified them, even upgraded to G4 CPU.


    Anyway, some people like to collect almost all these.

    At least one each. I had a room once with 80 in it.


    Good luck & happy computing!

  • Jan Hedlund Level 6 Level 6 (9,540 points)



    If the PowerBook 5300c is working OK and can be connected to the Internet, you could download a Disk Tools PPC file from Apple:




    http://download.info.apple.com/Apple_Support_Area/Apple_Software_Updates/English -North_American/Macintosh/System/Mac_OS_8.1_Update/Disk_Tools_PPC.img.bin


    You will need Disk Copy 6.3.3 (the Make a Floppy command under the Utilities menu) to create a sector-copied bootable floppy from the downloaded disk image:




    http://download.info.apple.com/Apple_Support_Area/Apple_Software_Updates/English -North_American/Macintosh/Utilities/Disk_Copy/Disk_Copy_6.3.3.smi.bin


    Drive Setup on the Disk Tools floppy can be used to erase/initialise a hard disk (one should choose 'Zero all data' under Initialization Options).


    If the PB 5300c is not connected to the Internet, you could download the files on another computer with a floppy drive (even a PC) and then transfer them on 1.44 MB floppies. Just keep the MacBinary (.bin) encoding intact until on the PB 5300c. Use StuffIt Expander to decode the .bin on the PB 5300c.


    If the other computer is an older (approx. 1991-1997) Mac with a built-in floppy drive, you could of course create the Disk Tools floppy there instead.



  • Jan Hedlund Level 6 Level 6 (9,540 points)



    If necessary, a complete System 7.5.3 is available for download from Apple. This system can be used on a PowerBook 5300c:






    etc to



    See the file System_7.5.3_Info.txt for details.


    Since the PB 5300c is equipped with PC Card (PCMCIA) slots, it is possible to use a standard CompactFlash memory card in an inexpensive PC Card adapter for CompactFlash for file transfers. A CF card is normally PC-formatted, but can be reformatted to Mac in the PB 5300c. A Mac-(re)formatted CF card holding a valid system folder can be used as a startup disk (the CF card acts as a hard disk).



  • IngBat Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks ever so Jan,


    I so wish one, or all, of you guys lived around the corner. I´d bake a cake, come knocking on your door and ask if you had the time to give me a helping hand. All I can offer is a virtual piece. . . want more?!


    I can´t access the internet with the PowerBook and I don´t have a PC with a floppy drive.

    So I´ll see if I can find somebody with a floppy drive and then get back to those links you´ve posted and see if I can manage. Some of it sounds rather intimidating to me, I´m really only a user. And although I enjoy some boyish things, like carpentry, there are others which remain a complete mystery to me and computers are in that section. I´m a pretty good user, but also pretty hopeless when it gets to the innards.


    Maybe I´ll be able to find somebody who has the equipment and could download the stuff for me and send it to me by snail mail post, from somewhere closer by than across the ocean.


    I really, really appreciate all of your guys sincere help, you´ve all taken my question seriously.

    The answer which I´ve been facing here (in Germany) is that I should just delete the file and then empty the trash bin and that people aren´t interested in my old stuff. This "stuff" on the hard-drive is not just the odd personal letter or suchlike. I used that computer when I first opened my homeopathic practice and all of the client´s data is on there. While some came with a recurring migraine, the flu or an itchy rash, others came because of depression, experiencing violence or nightmares and sometimes opened up and started speaking about things they´d never spoken about to anyone else before. So it p****s me off being told I´m making too much of a fuss. It´s a question of the trust that these people has at that moment. And trust is special, it´s a real present. How pow wow, word of the day.


    Be well

  • Jan Hedlund Level 6 Level 6 (9,540 points)



    Moving a file to the Wastebasket/Trash and then emptying the Wastebasket/Trash only means that the directory/catalogue has been deleted. The file as such is still there, until overwritten. So, it is essential to use a utility that can overwrite any "emptied" space.


    I can only provide general information. Rules and regulations regarding the handling of records of the kind that you mentioned may apply in your country, so you would have to check whether specific procedures are required.


    The best solution in a case like this would probably be to first securely delete and overwrite the data, and then physically destroy the hard drive.


    The 'Zero all data' setting under Initialization Options (from the Functions menu) in Drive Setup, which allows the formatting utility to fill a hard disk with zeros, should be looked upon as an absolute minimum requirement.


    Overwriting a space several times (perhaps using different patterns) can be performed by certain utility programs. One example would be Burn 2.5 (which can be found under the link below; see the 00disk-abstracts.txt file for details).




    If you find someone with a Windows PC with a floppy drive, that machine can be used for downloads. A downloaded file can simply be copied to a PC-formatted 1.44 MB HD floppy disk. Keep any encoding (.bin or .hqx) or compression (.sit). Do not alter the file in any way. Next, move the floppy with the downloaded file to the PowerBook 5300c. The floppy should appear with a PC disk icon on the PB 5300c Desktop. At this stage you will need StuffIt Expander on the PB 5300c for the decoding/decompression (if you do not have an appropriate version of StuffIt Expander, please post back). Drag the transferred (.bin, .hqx or .sit) file onto the StuffIt Expander program icon (or open the file via the menu bar once StuffIt Expander has been launched).



  • K Shaffer Level 6 Level 6 (11,680 points)

    "...then physically destroy the hard drive..."


    When I get to that point, a good friend over decades time, has a few ways

    of doing that to a choice of extremes. He has a small shop where he makes

    custom knives, and with a gas force heats billets of steel (incl. pattern weld)

    and then uses a trip-hammer along with a hydraulic press to form hot metal.


    These devices and their extreme actions can reduce lesser materials to

    a rather worthless mass of varying shape, and description in a little time.

    Just a cold press under 20,000 pounds can make most HDDs unreadable.


    Nice to know some of you (us?) still keep tabs on the details of how to

    keep some aspects of the older Apple hardware in a working condition.

    The links to get basic software utilities, for use on floppies, is fine idea.


    Thank you for posted suggestions along the lines I had hoped I could do.


    Good luck & happy computing!