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  1. #16


    Member Since
    May 17, 2011
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    I just saw this. There is no way of deleting all the contents of a hard disk such that at least some of the files cannot be restored afterwards. My brother runs a business using many laptops (over 40, replaced annually or thereabouts) holding highly sensitive financial and government data, and he long since concluded the only safe way is to remove the HD and sell the machine without one. Then he physically destroys the hard drives.

  2. #17

    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
    Location
    Texas, where else?
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    26,541
    Specs:
    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '14 1.8 i7 8GB 10.11; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.11; 6S
    A business - yes, destroy the drive
    A kids computer - no banking or other financial info - not, just format it a couple of times.

    Get one of these - there are less expensive versions available from Amazon. Only need to remove the one drive, then connect it externally to the other Mac and reformat it.

    Same one at Amazon - link.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  3. #18


    Member Since
    Apr 20, 2010
    Posts
    13
    Thank you again everyone.

    Unfortunately I'm unable to get the hard drive out of there, the little screwdriver I have doesn't work with it.

    I'd love to run up to the local Radio Shack and grab a cable there for a few bucks (don't have more than that to spend and since I won't need it after this, that also makes me hesitate to purchase anything) but the people that work there (at Radio Shack) never know anything about anything...

    I wish I could just see the darn screen so that I could erase it. Soooo frustrating.

    But thank you again everyone!

    Have a great day!
    Diane

  4. #19

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
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    U.S.
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    36,528
    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by DianeDennis View Post
    Unfortunately I'm unable to get the hard drive out of there, the little screwdriver I have doesn't work with it.
    Depending where you live...a screw driver set that contains what you need can be purchased for around $5.00 bucks.

    You've been given a number of viable solutions...but all I keep hearing is how those solutions are not doable for one reason or another!

    Personally I wouldn't sell a computer without secure erasing the HD...or removing the HD before selling it. Since you cannot do either one...I guess you will not be able to sell it (unless you know for sure there is on sensitive data on the HD).

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  5. #20

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by peterbj7 View Post
    I just saw this. There is no way of deleting all the contents of a hard disk such that at least some of the files cannot be restored afterwards. My brother runs a business using many laptops (over 40, replaced annually or thereabouts) holding highly sensitive financial and government data, and he long since concluded the only safe way is to remove the HD and sell the machine without one. Then he physically destroys the hard drives.
    There are always extremes...and in life there are almost no 100% guarantees to be found.

    But using Apple Disk Utilities "Secure Erase" feature where up to a 35 pass erase can be performed (where 1's and 0's are randomly written to the HD)...it's a pretty darn good way to insure security for the vast majority of the population.

    Even with physical deduction of a hard drive...there are certain protocols that must be followed to insure complete destruction. So even with physical destruction of a HD...if it is not physically destructed properly...some data may still be recoverable.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  6. #21


    Member Since
    Apr 20, 2010
    Posts
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    You've been given a number of viable solutions...but all I keep hearing is how those solutions are not doable for one reason or another!

    - Nick
    Hi Nick!

    Yes they are all very viable options and all are very much appreciated.

    Sadly my current situation doesn't allow for me to follow any of them. That may sound like a cop-out or whatever but trust me, the situation doesn't allow for it.

    I do know there's no sensitive data on it, the "worst" thing is some iTunes music but I believe the computer has been deauthorized for that.

    So I'll have to make a decision on that one.

    But as I've said several times I do truly appreciate all of the support and suggestions that I've received in this thread. And if things were different here I could utilize one or more of them.

    When I originally came on here I really thought it was doable using only the MacBook itself (even though the screen is broken) and that I just needed someone to show me how.

    But alas I was wrong...
    -----

    I maybe should start a new thread on this next question so please let me know if I should...

    Regarding the other MacBook that I can see the screen on, is there a way to wipe it completely clean without wiping the operating system?

    I don't have install CD's so I wouldn't be able to re-install it if I do have to wipe it clean.

    It also recently occurred to me that I don't have the chargers for them (they're the older style magnetic ones and all I can find are the older style plug-in ones).

    Without a charger whoever purchases them would have to purchase them for parts or purchase them with the plans to purchase a charger.

    That will significantly lower the amount I was hoping to get for them (I wasn't hoping for much but at least a little)...

    But anyhow, is there a way to wipe clean the one I can see without wiping out the OS? If I have to wipe out the OS so be it but if I don't have to that would be cool.

    Thank you again so much to all of you.
    Diane

  7. #22

    Slydude's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 16, 2009
    Location
    North Louisiana, USA
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    10,862
    Specs:
    2.8 GHz MacBook Pro 10.11, 8 GB mem, iPhone 6+
    Here's the only way I can think of at the moment though someone else may have a better idea.

    1.. Log into your current user account (I assume it is an administrator account)
    2. Copy any files you need from your existing user account to another location or another drive.
    3. Create a new User account (make sure it is an administrator account)
    4. Log out of your current account and into the account you just created.
    5. Go to the Accounts Preference pane and delete the old user account.

    I think you will be asked whether you want to save the contents of the user folder or delete
    them. Choose to delete them. You may even be asked to securely delete them. If so, choose that option.
    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  8. #23


    Member Since
    Apr 20, 2010
    Posts
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by Slydude View Post
    Here's the only way I can think of at the moment though someone else may have a better idea.

    1.. Log into your current user account (I assume it is an administrator account)
    2. Copy any files you need from your existing user account to another location or another drive.
    3. Create a new User account (make sure it is an administrator account)
    4. Log out of your current account and into the account you just created.
    5. Go to the Accounts Preference pane and delete the old user account.

    I think you will be asked whether you want to save the contents of the user folder or delete
    them. Choose to delete them. You may even be asked to securely delete them. If so, choose that option.
    Yay, thank you Slydude!! I know there aren't any files that I need to copy so I can make the new account, delete the old account, and then all is good.

    Thank you again so much! Have a great night (or morning now...)!
    Diane

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