: Wiping hard drive


applicable
Sep 9th, 2009, 12:28 PM
I've recently got a new iMac and was selling my old eMac to a friend. I need to wipe the hard drive but since I bought the eMac used myself it didn't come with any CDs.

I do however have the OS X install and Application install CDs from my new computer so I will be able to install everything once the hard drive is erased.

How do I wipe the hard drive without the original CDs and then reinstall OS X?

Orion
Sep 9th, 2009, 12:58 PM
If you have a firewire cable you can start the eMac in Target Disk mode (hold T just after the startup chime) and have your other Mac use it as a plain old external drive. From there, Disk Utility to format the eMac. Obviously some kind of OS will need to be installed ;)

makuribu
Sep 9th, 2009, 01:03 PM
If your new iMac is really new, it's got an Intel chip in it, and its installer discs won't work with the eMac because it has a PowerPC chip in it. You'll have to recycle your eMac's system, but without your personal files.

This may work but don't try it until some higher level Mac ninja has approved it:

Using the Account Manager in System Preferences, create a new account on the eMac called "transfer" or "Slartibartfast" or something. Make it an administrator. After you've backed up all your personal files or migrated them to the new iMac, log in to the new account and, , delete your original account on the eMac. Trash all the files associated with the old account, which will be in a folder. Erase them securely if that is your wont.

Using an external drive (firewire, I think the eMac can't boot from a USB drive), make a clone of the eMac's hard drive using Carbon Copy Cloner or something equivalent. Boot from the external drive and, using Disk Utility, wipe the eMac's internal hard drive. Overwrite with zeros once, seven, or 35 times whichever is your preference.

Now clone the external drive back to the eMac and you have a system with hardly any traces of your original personal files.

Note: If you sell the eMac to a member of CSIS or the NSA, they may still find your files.

HowEver
Sep 9th, 2009, 01:22 PM
Note: If you sell the eMac to a member of CSIS or the NSA, they may still find your files.

Really, not that difficult.

Also, CSIS/NSA etc. don't need to buy your computer to access its files...

eMacMan
Sep 9th, 2009, 01:25 PM
If your new iMac is really new, it's got an Intel chip in it, and its installer discs won't work with the eMac because it has a PowerPC chip in it. You'll have to recycle your eMac's system, but without your personal files.

This may work but don't try it until some higher level Mac ninja has approved it:

Using the Account Manager in System Preferences, create a new account on the eMac called "transfer" or "Slartibartfast" or something. Make it an administrator. After you've backed up all your personal files or migrated them to the new iMac, log in to the new account and, , delete your original account on the eMac. Trash all the files associated with the old account, which will be in a folder. Erase them securely if that is your wont.

Using an external drive (firewire, I think the eMac can't boot from a USB drive), make a clone of the eMac's hard drive using Carbon Copy Cloner or something equivalent. Boot from the external drive and, using Disk Utility, wipe the eMac's internal hard drive. Overwrite with zeros once, seven, or 35 times whichever is your preference.

Now clone the external drive back to the eMac and you have a system with hardly any traces of your original personal files.

Note: If you sell the eMac to a member of CSIS or the NSA, they may still find your files.

After creating the new admin account just do a secure erase of only your original home folder and delete all third party applications that are not being sold as part of the computer. Clone then clone back. Your personal data will be very hard to recover even without the extreme time waste of overwriting the entire HD.

For the extremely paranoid; After cloning to an external, boot from clone, use Disk Utility to reformat HD (HFS Extended) put together several large jpg files then keep copying the jpgs until the HD is full. Jpgs are extremely dense files and will make recovery pretty much impossible. Again a great deal faster than a seven pass secure erase. At this point reformat the eMac drive again and clone the bare bones OS back.

Since you are selling without the original install disks be sure the buyer has the admin password. Do NOT activate File Vault and do NOT activate a firmware password.

makuribu
Sep 9th, 2009, 02:00 PM
For the extremely paranoid; After cloning to an external, boot from clone, use Disk Utility to reformat HD (HFS Extended) put together several large jpg files then keep copying the jpgs until the HD is full. Jpgs are extremely dense files and will make recovery pretty much impossible. Again a great deal faster than a seven pass secure erase. At this point reformat the eMac drive again and clone the bare bones OS back.

Excellent and elegant idea!
I think I'd fill it with JPEGs, MP3s and MP4s of Rick Astley. The thought of Rick rolling a snooper is very appealing.

eMacMan
Sep 9th, 2009, 05:30 PM
Yes mp3s are also quite dense. Maybe a Hard Drive full of Ann Murray's Snow Bird and photos of Dion, Ignuts and Harpo?beejacon Should discourage the most determined nefarious criminal even the ones employed by the feds.:D

applicable
Sep 9th, 2009, 06:59 PM
Everything I wanted from the old computer has already been transferred to the new one. I just deleted most of my personal files as well as any other applications I had added. I then created another admin account and deleted my home folder. Right now the hard drive's free space is having a 7 pass erase executed.

I assume this will get rid of my files well enough without having to reinstall anything or completely wipe the whole computer. I'm not worried about the new owner's CSIS level file recovery skills since she isn't much at all familiar with computers. I basically just wanted it to be clean for her and not have any of my passwords, personal info etc. remaining.

Thanks again!