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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

Concerned about privacy during mac repairs

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Member Since: Oct 26, 2010
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Hope this is the right place to post this - sorry if it's not.

Long story short, I managed to break my iMac's harddrive thanks to a program called Bootcamp. I sent it away for repairs and was told "we have to give you a new harddrive but we can try to recover as many files and photographs from the old one as is possible". Not really wanting strangers viewing my photographs or potentially reading documents that contain private data (e.g. to do with banks) I asked whether or not this could be done in a way that the content of the files/photographs wasn't visible to whoever was doing the transfer. The guy on the phone told me that one method they use transfers RAW FILES which to his knowledge means you just see code or filesnames, but he isn't a technician so he's not completely sure. I asked him to go ahead with it, but I still don't feel completely comfortable.

Could somebody here tell me, if possible: when you transfer raw files from a hardrive and want to put them onto another, at any point during that transfer do you see the content of the files or is it all just filenames and code like I was told? Also, would you need to convert the files after moving them, and would this mean having open access to them?

Sorry if this is a strange question and not like the ones you're usually faced with. I just have a lot of personal and confidential stuff on my mac and I'm uncomfortable that it's currently 100 miles away in the hands of people who can enter the computer and view/open whatever they like.


edit: Sorry, now that I've done a little more snooping around I guess this should really go in the Snitcher Hangout.
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I can assure you that Boot Camp didn't break your hard drive. Hard drives fail. Sometimes even new hard drives fail the very first time they're used. That's why you should have been backing up your data. And since Apple includes Time Machine, there's no reason not to make backups.

As far as the privacy of your data is concerned, you'll just have to trust whoever is doing the transfer. If someone really wants to get at your data, photos, private messages, etc. they can do it. I know this doesn't put your mind at ease, and may in fact give you over to worrying about it, however, the truth is that your data is open to the person who is doing the transfer.

The good news is that there is no reason why someone would single out your data to look at.
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