2 Replies Latest reply: Apr 20, 2014 8:45 AM by TT71
TT71 Level 1 (0 points)

I am prepping my MacBook as a charity donation and want to remove all personal files from it. 


Ideally the new owner has a new out of box experience. 


I do not have a bootable OS CD.


How can I ensure all my personal information is removed from the system?


System Info:

  • MacBook3,1
  • Intel Core 2 Duo, 2.2GHz, 4M L2 Cache, 2GB 800MHz
  • Mac OS X 10.5.8 (9L30)


Appreciate any help on this front.


Thank you

MacBook, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • John Galt Level 8 (44,610 points)

    To prepare it for sale you should follow these instructions:


    What to do before selling or giving away your Mac


    Some of the following will not be applicable to your version of OS X. Disregard references that don't apply.


    In addition to the above:


    • If you enabled FileVault, disable it in System Preferences > Security & Privacy.
    • "Deauthorize" your iTunes account. Same for Audible if you have one.
    • System Preferences > iCloud > de-select "Back to My Mac" and "Find my Mac".
    • Sign out of iCloud. Select "Delete from Mac" when it appears.



    • Start your Mac with its original System Installation DVD (if your Mac shipped with one) or OS X Recovery (if it didn’t).
    • Remove any Open Firmware password if you created one: select Firmware Password Utility from the Utilities menu and remove it.
    • Select Disk Utility from the Utilities menu.
    • Remove any partitions you may have created.
    • Select the Mac's hard disk icon, then select the "Erase" tab.
    • Select the "Security Options" button and erase the disk.


    The more "securely" you erase the disk, the longer it will take. The fastest method is sufficient since all but the most expensive techniques and equipment will be able to recover securely erased data.


    • When it finishes, quit Disk Utility.
    • Select Install Mac OS X from the Utilities menu. Do not create any user accounts.
    • When it finishes, shut down the computer.
    • If you want to install the bundled apps that were included with your Mac, restart by using your Applications DVD and install the bundled apps.
    • Don't forget to include any DVDs that came with your iMac, your AppleCare certificate if you bought it, printed documentation, even the box if you still have it.
    • Execute a bill of sale showing the Mac's serial number.
    • Once no longer in your possession, remove the Mac from your devices in My Support Profile.


    Ideally the new owner has a new out of box experience.


    I do not have a bootable OS CD.


    You will require one to accomplish the above, and its new owner will need it for a variety of reasons. Obtain a replacement from Apple. The cost is reasonable ($25 or so). You will require the MacBook's serial number: MacBook: How to find the serial number

  • TT71 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks John, will get a CD & give it a go.