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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

MacBook Air - Selling MBA, how do I reformat/clear contents? Thanks!!


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phatjoe

 
Member Since: Jul 18, 2008
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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
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Juan Largo

 
Member Since: Jan 31, 2008
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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

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cwa107

 
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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!
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cwa107

 
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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!
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PerryLynch

 
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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
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Juan Largo

 
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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.

Quote:
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.

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cwa107

 
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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!
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Dysfunction

 
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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!
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Khris

 
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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.
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jowie

 
Member Since: Nov 17, 2008
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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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