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

Need to erase hard drive, screen cracked, no firewire


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DianeDennis

 
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Hi All!

I have a MacBook that has a cracked screen. That's all that's wrong with it (son with anger issues squeezed the display until it cracked) but I want to sell it off, most likely cheap for parts or whatever someone wants it for.

I need to erase it but I can see absolutely nothing on the screen.

I don't have Firewire capability (or whatever that is when you use that particular cord to "connect" computers).

Is there any other way I can erase the hard drive just using the computer itself? Short of beating it with a hammer (which would obviously negate the possibility of selling it).

Thank you so much!
Diane
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DianeDennis View Post
Hi All!

I have a MacBook that has a cracked screen. That's all that's wrong with it (son with anger issues squeezed the display until it cracked) but I want to sell it off, most likely cheap for parts or whatever someone wants it for.

I need to erase it but I can see absolutely nothing on the screen.

I don't have Firewire capability (or whatever that is when you use that particular cord to "connect" computers).

Is there any other way I can erase the hard drive just using the computer itself? Short of beating it with a hammer (which would obviously negate the possibility of selling it).
Either plug an external monitor into it...or open it up to remove the hard drive. Then install it into an external case...then plug it into a 2nd computer to erase it.

- 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
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DianeDennis

 
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Thank you Nick.

Sadly that is beyond my capability. There's no "easy" button huh?

I figured it wouldn't be easy. But if I can't do it on that computer with that computer only then it's probably going to be the hammer route.

Thank you again though!
Diane
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Slydude

 
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Plugging in an external monitor should not be a big problem assuming you have a monitor with the right kind of cable. Once the monitor is connected power it on before attempting to boot the Mac. MacBooks are pretty good about recognizing that an external monitor is attached.

Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

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DianeDennis

 
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My biggest problem is that I don't have anything to plug it into. I used to have a firewire cable and I do have a couple other macs that I could use the firewire with but I no longer have the cable (someone snaked it).

When you say "external monitor" could another MacBook be the external monitor even though there's no firewire? If yes, what would be the "right kind of cable"?

I have a second MacBook that is exactly like the one with the broken screen (except it doesn't have a broken screen) so I could use it if I have a way to connect them.

I don't know what the right kind of cable would be to do that or if it's even possible to do that.

Thank you so much to both of you for helping me with this!!
Diane
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DianeDennis View Post
Sadly that is beyond my capability. There's no "easy" button huh?
As Slydude mentioned...plugging in an external monitor IS the EASY BUTTON!

If you don't have an external monitor (almost anything will do)...then maybe you have a friend or relative that does that you could borrow from.

Beyond this...you can:

- remove the hard drive as I already mentioned (not really that hard)
- put it into an external case (about $10-$15 bucks)
- plug this into one of your other Mac computers you mentioned having (via the USB port)
- erase the HD
- reinstall the HD back into the original computer
- sell the computer for parts

If you cannot do the external monitor or HD removal ideas...then I am sorry to say that you are out of luck. These really are two very easy solutions (especially the external monitor)...so you really should be able to pursue one of them.

- 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
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khcrazy10

 
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Note that a compatible TV could be used an an external monitor. I know I have a TV that has VGA input, so you could check for that on a TV you have access to. Also if you have an HD tv, you should also be able to use that as a monitor if you check out the thread on connecting via HDMI: Adapter/Cables for connecting Mac to TV via HDMI

If all else fails, I'd crack it open and just remove the hard drive before selling it. That's probably the easiest route if you don't have an external display.
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DianeDennis

 
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Thank you very much to all of you for your suggestions!

Hopefully I can make at least one of them work.

Have an outstanding evening everyone!!
Diane
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rustyk123

 
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Here is what you can do to get the job done at no cost. Remove the hard drive as pigoo3 said. It is very simple:
  • If yours has the removable battery, remove it. There is 3 screws spread across one side (other sides have more), remove those. The hard drive is in the front right of the computer and will slide right out.
  • If you don't have the removable battery, there is 10 screws on the bottom, that pops off (has a few snaps to hold it in the middle as well). Then inside there is a black bar with orange spots on it, remove the 2 screws on it, and then the hard drive will lift out and unplug.
Then move the hard drive to the other MacBook and now you have your screen. Just make sure you switch it back after you wipe the drive.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rustyk123 View Post
Here is what you can do to get the job done at no cost. Remove the hard drive as pigoo3 said. It is very simple:
  • If yours has the removable battery, remove it. There is 3 screws spread across one side (other sides have more), remove those. The hard drive is in the front right of the computer and will slide right out.
  • If you don't have the removable battery, there is 10 screws on the bottom, that pops off (has a few snaps to hold it in the middle as well). Then inside there is a black bar with orange spots on it, remove the 2 screws on it, and then the hard drive will lift out and unplug.
Then move the hard drive to the other MacBook and now you have your screen. Just make sure you switch it back after you wipe the drive.
This is a very good idea...especially since the OP mentioned that both of the MacBook's they have are exactly the same (no OS version issues).

The two things we don't know are:

1. What OS version is on the HD that needs to be erased (if it has a recovery partition or not to boot into)...then erase the main partition.

2. If the HD has 10.6 or earlier on it...and if so...then the OP will need an OS DVD to boot into...in order to erase the HD.

Again...a very good idea.

- 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
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rustyk123

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
This is a very good idea...especially since the OP mentioned that both of the MacBook's they have are exactly the same (no OS version issues).

The two things we don't know are:

1. What OS version is on the HD that needs to be erased (if it has a recovery partition or not to boot into)...then erase the main partition.

2. If the HD has 10.6 or earlier on it...and if so...then the OP will need an OS DVD to boot into...in order to erase the HD.

Again...a very good idea.

- Nick
Right, but really it does not matter if they have the same OS or even if they are the same laptop, Mac OS on one system is the same as Mac OS on the next system, might just have to update if moving from an older system to a newer one so it can get drivers. Unlike windows which 99% of the time it will not boot if moved to a new system.

We could easily assume it has 10.6 on it though, with no firewire, it is the 2009 or 2010 model which only came preinstalled with 10.6. It could also be a 2008 aluminum, with 10.5, but does not sound like it, I believe they also include a free update to 10.6. I also hope it is not, I forgot about them, I have never had to open one of them yet, don't know how with out looking, but do know it is a cross between the two directions I gave.
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rustyk123 View Post
Right, but really it does not matter if they have the same OS or even if they are the same laptop, Mac OS on one system is the same as Mac OS on the next system, might just have to update if moving from an older system to a newer one so it can get drivers.
The bottom line is...in order to do a complete erase of the HD...the computer either needs to be:

- booted from an OS install DVD if the HD to be erased has 10.6 or earlier on it
- booted from the recovery partition if the HD to be erased has 10.7 or newer installed on it.

And yes...it definitely does matter that the two MacBooks are the exact same model (or VERY close in age)...since if the "good" MacBook is older & the "bad" MacBook (with the HD to be erased) is much newer...then the HD from the bad/newer MacBook could (in theory)...have OS 10.8 installed on it.

If this were the case...then the older/good MacBook would not be able to boot from an HD with 10.8 on it...since a lot of older MacBooks cannot run OS 10.8.

- 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
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rustyk123

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
The bottom line is...in order to do a complete erase of the HD...the computer either needs to be:

- booted from an OS install DVD if the HD to be erased has 10.6 or earlier on it
- booted from the recovery partition if the HD to be erased has 10.7 or newer installed on it.

And yes...it definitely does matter that the two MacBooks are the exact same model (or VERY close in age)...since if the "good" MacBook is older & the "bad" MacBook (with the HD to be erased) is much newer...then the HD from the bad/newer MacBook could (in theory)...have OS 10.8 installed on it.

If this were the case...then the older/good MacBook would not be able to boot from an HD with 10.8 on it...since a lot of older MacBooks cannot run OS 10.8.

- Nick
Ok, got me there, I was not considering that. If the hardware can handle the OS, it would boot.
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rustyk123 View Post
Ok, got me there, I was not considering that. If the hardware can handle the OS, it would boot.
This is probably not the situation...but just wanted to mention it. OP really never told us what model MacBook's we are dealing with...or what OS versions are installed on the HD's. So we are mostly guessing at this point.

Your idea to swap the HD's between the two MacBook's is a good one (provided no OS/model issues). Should have thought of it myself (once we knew there were two MacBook's available)!

- 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
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DianeDennis

 
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Hi Everybody!

The operating system is 10.4.11.

And yeah, I didn't give a whole lot of info, this kind of thing isn't really up my alley. I just open 'em and use 'em. These particular two are several years old but I wouldn't know how to figure out what model they are (other than they're not "Pro", just "MacBook").

I tried taking the screws out but the tiniest screw driver I have (from an eyeglasses kit) won't work. And I can't find a proper cable to connect it to the TV (I was hoping it would act as an external monitor).

I may end up just letting it go as is. There shouldn't be too much on it, and probably nothing sensitive. Especially with it being so many years old, and it belonged to my kid so that should mean even more so that there's not really anything important on it.

Thank you very much to all of you for your help!

Have a terrific afternoon/evening!
Diane
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