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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

How to erase a HDD when the computer won't boot?


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vita64

 
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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
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clayneal

 
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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
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harryb2448

 
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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.
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vita64

 
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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.
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hughvane

 
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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.

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vita64

 
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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.
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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!

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Rottie

 
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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.
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hughvane

 
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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?

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vita64

 
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I DID keep the tiny screws! *sigh* I think hoarding is in my future ...
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