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  1. #1

    vita64's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 09, 2009
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    Austin, TX
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    Specs:
    MacBook Pro 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5, OS 10.8.4
    How to erase a HDD when the computer won't boot?
    I've given up on trying to revive my old G4 tower, "FrankenMac." It served me well, but it's a dead soldier. Before I take it down to Goodwill to be scavenged for parts and/or recycled, I'd like to wipe the HDD. I'm not able to start FrankenMac directly, but I can see its HDD via my MacBook Pro and a FireWire cable.

    How can I erase the HDD?

    Thank you,
    Andrea

  2. #2

    clayneal's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 27, 2009
    Location
    Lincoln Nebraska
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    2,146
    Specs:
    late 08 macbook 2.0 4gig 320hdd10.7.3 32 gig iPhone 4s
    I personally wouldnt trust just erasing a drive I was about to turn out for the public. If it were me I would take it out and drive a couple of nails through it !

    Just my thoughts
    Clay
    MY ADVICE COMES WITH A DOUBLE YOUR MONEY BACK GUARANTEE!

  3. #3

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
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    Nambucca Heads Australia
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    21,878
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    Imac 27" Retina 3.3GHz, 512GB Flash, 16GB memory, OS X.11.4.
    Well if you can see the drive when using Firewire, select it in the left hand column of Disk Utility and hit the erase button, and if you are a spy or secret agent, maybe zeroing the drive as well.

  4. #4

    vita64's Avatar
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    Sep 09, 2009
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    Austin, TX
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    MacBook Pro 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5, OS 10.8.4
    The nail sounds easier! *grin*

    However, I'll give the other way a shot. I don't think there's anything super sensitive on the drive, but I wouldn't want to drop it off at Goodwill without erasing it at the very least.

    In the past, I've always done a clean install to accomplish this, but I seriously doubt that a drive which is at death's door can take an OS install.

    Thanks everyone. I don't know what I'd do without this forum.

  5. #5

    hughvane's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 18, 2008
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    Banks Peninsula, Canterbury
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    3,306
    Specs:
    MacMini 2.4, 8 Gb, OS 10.11 and 10.6; MacBook 2.4, 4 Gb, OS 10.6.8
    Oh, you terrible folk! There's a perfectly good HD unit begging for an owner to give it a good home, and be used as storage via ATA-USB2 adaptor. Release it from its prison inside the G4 and let it be available to others - once wiped of course.
    ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
    Please post your Mac (or other) specs and MacOS version in your post, your profile or your signature. It helps us to help you better.

    I'm leaving now to go and find myself. If I should return before I get back, please ask me to wait.

  6. #6

    vita64's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 09, 2009
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    Austin, TX
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    MacBook Pro 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5, OS 10.8.4
    The unit in question is toast. (No, I didn't put a nail through it. It's just hopelessly broken.) However, all usable parts (including a second HD) will be taken from the G4 for reuse either by myself or others. Goodwill here in Austin will help me recycle what can't be used.

  7. #7

    hughvane's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 18, 2008
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    Banks Peninsula, Canterbury
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    Specs:
    MacMini 2.4, 8 Gb, OS 10.11 and 10.6; MacBook 2.4, 4 Gb, OS 10.6.8
    Actually, I've pulled old and failed PCs apart for others to do just what you're planning to do - destroy the disks inside the drive. I simply bent them in half, no way was anything going to be 'extracted' from those.
    Deviating off-topic slightly ... a pointer - the magnets inside a drive are high quality and strength, some of the best I've ever come across. I gave them to our local school for use in science, or others I used to attach to a sheet of metal for use as a nail finder on demolition sites. Those magnets soon picked up metal debris left behind. If the drives were in working order however, I retained them, reformatted them (using the adaptor I mentioned), and then either gave them away to budding enthusiasts, or used them myself, including a 6 Gb BigFoot!
    ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
    Please post your Mac (or other) specs and MacOS version in your post, your profile or your signature. It helps us to help you better.

    I'm leaving now to go and find myself. If I should return before I get back, please ask me to wait.

  8. #8

    Rottie's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 23, 2009
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    336
    Quote Originally Posted by hughvane View Post
    Actually, I've pulled old and failed PCs apart for others to do just what you're planning to do - destroy the disks inside the drive. I simply bent them in half, no way was anything going to be 'extracted' from those.
    I did the same thing with the 6Gb HDD that was in my old B&W G3/400 the weekend before last.
    There's nothing like getting down and dirty with a HDD and literally ripping it apart to relieve a little stress.

  9. #9

    hughvane's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 18, 2008
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    Banks Peninsula, Canterbury
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    MacMini 2.4, 8 Gb, OS 10.11 and 10.6; MacBook 2.4, 4 Gb, OS 10.6.8
    Quote Originally Posted by Rottie View Post
    I did the same thing with the 6Gb HDD that was in my old B&W G3/400 the weekend before last.
    A-ha! But did you keep all the tiny screws, 'just in case' you might need them for something obscure in the future? Why is destroying something so stress-relieving I wonder?
    ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
    Please post your Mac (or other) specs and MacOS version in your post, your profile or your signature. It helps us to help you better.

    I'm leaving now to go and find myself. If I should return before I get back, please ask me to wait.

  10. #10

    vita64's Avatar
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    Sep 09, 2009
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    Austin, TX
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    Specs:
    MacBook Pro 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5, OS 10.8.4
    I DID keep the tiny screws! *sigh* I think hoarding is in my future ...

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