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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Sep 24, 2008
    How to Sanitize old Hard Drive Before Donation?
    Hello. I've got two old Macs that will be donated to charity on Saturday. First, I need to be 100% certain that all my old banking, social security, etc. info has been deleted from the hard drives.

    I can't seem to find freeware or shareware for this one-time use. Can you help me?

    The first-generation iMac (8.5.1) is my primary concern. The Performa 6115CD has a monitor problem, so I may have to take off the pizzabox top and physically yank the hard disk out of there. Is this a simple operation?


    - JollyDog

  2. #2

    macgig's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 15, 2006
    20" 2007 Aluminum iMac 2.0 Ghz | 4 GB ram | 10.6.8
    boot from the install cd/dvd, open disk utility, do a 7 or 35 pass erase on the drive, reinstall the os.

    i've not used 8.x for some time, but I think you can do this. may be called drive setup on 8.x. hmm, now im not so sure you can do this with that old OS.

  3. #3

    Member Since
    Sep 24, 2008
    A "7 or 35 pass erase" is only for Mac OSX, not for 8.5.

    "Burn" is the most search-returned product, but it's no longer available.

    Are you 100% certain that Mac install discs have the capability of completely sanitizing a hard drive? I thought that only specialty, third party applications could accomplish this goal.


  4. #4

    louishen's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 22, 2007
    Mac Mini Core i7 2012 | White 2009 MacBook 2 Ghz | 733 Mhz G4 Quicksilver
    You can boot up from the 8 restore disks, the old classic disk utility was called Drive set-up, I am not sure of the options in there but do an erase a couple of times and that should stop anybody short of the FBI from getting anything off there

    From there you can install the original factory software

    AS for the performa, IMO it is best mothballed, its a very old mac

    thje original imacs were great machines (by then Jobs had returned)

  5. #5

    Member Since
    Sep 24, 2008
    Thank you for the reassurance. I've erased the iMac hard drive and re-installed the OS. Now that you've put my mind at ease, I can donate it worry-free.

    I just yanked out the hard drive from the Performa and hope that the recycling center has a spare so that the unit might see some use in the future.

    MAC FORUM ROCKS. Thanks, everybody. Have a beautiful summer!

    - JollyDog

  6. #6

    Mac SK's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 21, 2006
    The 100% way is drive a big nail in it with a hammer.

  7. #7

    Member Since
    Jan 27, 2007
    17 inch 2 GHz C2D imac (5,1) with 3GB DDR2 RAM, X1600 (128MB memory) GPU - OSX 10.6.3
    Not so. I've seen true stories on TV and such where they recovered data from drives that had been bashed around, had nails through them, been in a fire and one was even lost out at sea for a few weeks.

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