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  1. #1
    Selling MBA, how do I reformat/clear contents? Thanks!!

    Member Since
    Jul 18, 2008
    Posts
    4
    Selling MBA, how do I reformat/clear contents? Thanks!!
    Hello:

    I have some folks interested in purchasing my macbook air.

    I'd prefer to completely reformat, but I don't have a superdrive, and/or access to another computer to remote share.

    I will cut and paste all my personal content (e.g. pictures, documents) to an external drive.

    What other steps can I take to completely wipe out the contents? Is it possible to remove any trace of the websites I visited?

    I want to remove office 2008. Do I simply remove the application icon from the Application folder?

    Any other suggestions is GREATLY appreciated!!

    Thanks,

    PJ

  2. #2
    Selling MBA, how do I reformat/clear contents? Thanks!!

    Member Since
    Jan 31, 2008
    Posts
    195
    Reformatting won't be enough. You want to do a 35-pass erase with the Disk Utility. http://www.udel.edu/pnpi/tools/erase/mac/erasedisk.html
    iMac G3
    600 MHz
    OS 10.3.9

  3. #3
    Selling MBA, how do I reformat/clear contents? Thanks!!
    cwa107's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 20, 2006
    Location
    Lake Mary, Florida
    Posts
    26,758
    Specs:
    15" MBP, Core i7/2GHz, 8GB RAM, 480GB Crucial M500 SSD
    If I were in your shoes, I'd back up my important files, then create a new user account. After that, log into the new user account and move your old home folder to the trash. Then, Click the Finder menu and click "Secure Empty Trash" to completely remove it. That should wipe all of your stuff out. You'll also need to go back into System Preferences => Accounts and remove the account from there.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  4. #4
    Selling MBA, how do I reformat/clear contents? Thanks!!
    cwa107's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 20, 2006
    Location
    Lake Mary, Florida
    Posts
    26,758
    Specs:
    15" MBP, Core i7/2GHz, 8GB RAM, 480GB Crucial M500 SSD
    Quote Originally Posted by Juan Largo View Post
    Reformatting won't be enough. You want to do a 35-pass erase with the Disk Utility. http://www.udel.edu/pnpi/tools/erase/mac/erasedisk.html
    The problem with that approach is that the OP has no means of reinstalling the OS without an optical drive.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  5. #5
    Selling MBA, how do I reformat/clear contents? Thanks!!
    PerryLynch's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 24, 2007
    Posts
    235
    Specs:
    17" MacBook Pro 4GB
    Take a combined approach:
    1 - move or copy all of your data to a network share.
    2 - create a new admin-level user account
    3 - log in as the new admin user and delete the old account as described above
    4 - Use Disk Utility to verify and repair permissions, and then to Erase Free Space - use the 7-pass Erase of Deleted Files - it will take a few hours, so be sure you are powered up before you start.

    From a forensics perspective, a 7-zero pass will be enough in most cases. If you were using the machine for sensitive corporate or government work, then yes, I'd recommend a 35-zero pass, but the decision is yours to make.
    Perry M Lynch, CISSP CISA
    Mac Newbie, Security not-so-newbie

  6. #6
    Selling MBA, how do I reformat/clear contents? Thanks!!

    Member Since
    Jan 31, 2008
    Posts
    195
    Quote Originally Posted by PerryLynch View Post
    Take a combined approach:
    1 - move or copy all of your data to a network share.
    2 - create a new admin-level user account
    3 - log in as the new admin user and delete the old account as described above
    4 - Use Disk Utility to verify and repair permissions, and then to Erase Free Space - use the 7-pass Erase of Deleted Files - it will take a few hours, so be sure you are powered up before you start.

    From a forensics perspective, a 7-zero pass will be enough in most cases. If you were using the machine for sensitive corporate or government work, then yes, I'd recommend a 35-zero pass, but the decision is yours to make.
    I mostly agree with the above recommendation, although I'd use the 35-zero pass just to be sure. Let it run overnight.

    The problem with that approach is that the OP has no means of reinstalling the OS without an optical drive.
    My understanding was that you can install the OS on the MBA wirelessly from a remote HDD. If that is not the case, then the MBA has a really bad design flaw. If phatjoe or his buyer don't have access to another computer, then they shouldn't be using a MBA in the first place.
    iMac G3
    600 MHz
    OS 10.3.9

  7. #7
    Selling MBA, how do I reformat/clear contents? Thanks!!
    cwa107's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 20, 2006
    Location
    Lake Mary, Florida
    Posts
    26,758
    Specs:
    15" MBP, Core i7/2GHz, 8GB RAM, 480GB Crucial M500 SSD
    Quote Originally Posted by Juan Largo View Post
    My understanding was that you can install the OS on the MBA wirelessly from a remote HDD. If that is not the case, then the MBA has a really bad design flaw. If phatjoe or his buyer don't have access to another computer, then they shouldn't be using a MBA in the first place.
    Yes, you can use another computer's optical drive remotely, but the OP said that he didn't have access to another machine.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  8. #8
    Selling MBA, how do I reformat/clear contents? Thanks!!
    Dysfunction's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 17, 2008
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    6,821
    Specs:
    Way... way too many specs to list.
    Quote Originally Posted by PerryLynch View Post
    Take a combined approach:
    1 - move or copy all of your data to a network share.
    2 - create a new admin-level user account
    3 - log in as the new admin user and delete the old account as described above
    4 - Use Disk Utility to verify and repair permissions, and then to Erase Free Space - use the 7-pass Erase of Deleted Files - it will take a few hours, so be sure you are powered up before you start.

    From a forensics perspective, a 7-zero pass will be enough in most cases. If you were using the machine for sensitive corporate or government work, then yes, I'd recommend a 35-zero pass, but the decision is yours to make.
    Or, if its an SSD hard drive, just format it and reinstall.
    mike
    This machine kills fascists
    Got # ? phear the command line!

  9. #9
    Selling MBA, how do I reformat/clear contents? Thanks!!
    Khris's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 13, 2008
    Location
    Edmonton, AB
    Posts
    506
    Specs:
    Unibody MacBook 2.4GHz/4GB Ram/320GB HD
    Why don't you check with your buyer(s) and see if they have any interest for the MBA Superdrive. If so, buy it, jack up your price a bit, and then you can format/reinstall OSX.

    I bought the Superdrive for my MBA and am very glad I did so.

  10. #10
    Selling MBA, how do I reformat/clear contents? Thanks!!

    Member Since
    Nov 17, 2008
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by Dysfunction View Post
    Or, if its an SSD hard drive, just format it and reinstall.
    Does formatting an SSD securely remove all the data from it, or does it too need to have its data zero'd out?

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