Help: How to remove all personal data on a Mac

Discussion in 'MacBook Air, MacBook & MacBook Pro' started by den_lim, Feb 3, 2010.

  1. den_lim

    den_lim Active Member

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    I'm considering selling our old ibook.
    I was wondering how to go about cleaning all the personal info from the ibook so that the buyer won't have access to my accounts/passwords/etc.
    Any ideas?
     
  2. renzo

    renzo Member

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    create a new user account (system preferences) with a default 12345 password and make it an admin and delete your user account
     
  3. ricocamus

    ricocamus Member

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    I do a full reformat with a 7 pass erase using disk utility to completely wipe the disk, then do a clean install. If you are worried about security this would be the best way to clean out the computer
     
  4. Qin Zhi

    Qin Zhi Well-Known Member

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    That's a good suggestion if (1) you really need to totally prevent the next owner of your Mac from accessing your personal files, and (2) such person actually possesses both the technical competence and motivation to retrieve files from your previously-formatted hard disk.

    But I guess that's only necessary if you happen to work for a terrorist organization and you would want to somehow prevent the CIA or similar agencies from recovering your files and eventually foil your plans on world domination. :p

    Ordinarily, I would recommend that you simply (1) make a backup of all your important files; (2) pop-in your MacOS X install disc and select the option Erase and Install; and afterwards, pop-in the Applications CD, if you have one, and install all the factory-default apps.

    Life's that simple...

    ...provided you're not a member of The Axis of Evil. Hahaha! :p
     
  5. raypin

    raypin PhilMUG Addict Member

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    ahhh......no one here can afford to be casual about privacy. Do use some heavy duty clean-up as suggested by @ricocamus. Don't forget to deauthorize if your iBook is authorized by your iTunes account.
     
  6. michelledsbona

    michelledsbona Active Member

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    Oh no, what do I do now since I failed to deauthorize the iTunes account in my old MBA, which I sold last December when I upgraded to the new MBA? When I authorized iTunes in my iMac, I remember it told me that I already authorized four out of five Macs allowed. My first mac (a white MB) was already passed on to my brother but how do I deauthorize the one that I disposed of? :(
     
  7. raypin

    raypin PhilMUG Addict Member

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    .....only two solutions: call up the new owner and meet up to deauthorize the old MBA from your iTunes account or deauthorize one of your machines to make way for a new machine / deauthorize all and reauthorize once your hit the 5 limit (which you can only do once a year) . You're now stuck with 4. That's one of the hazards of DRM/Fair use.

    It is a common mistake for unloaders.
     
  8. ricocamus

    ricocamus Member

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    You are absolutely right about not being casual about privacy. The mac makes it so easy to store and manage your digital life. When you consider how much private data is kept (passwords to bank websites, confidential company information, pictures, etc) you do need to be safe.

    The person you are selling the computer may not be a hardcore hacker, but would you really want the chance that they stumble on your pictures from a wild party and post them on facebook? They may be playing around with software designed to recover deleted files and find something interesting.

    Be safe, its not that difficult.
     
  9. alistair

    alistair Member

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    Where can we join these wild parties you speak of?

    Live an open, boring life with nothing to hide or be ashamed of. It's easier.

    (And just so I'm not OT: I always just pop in the original restore disks and do a reformat, reinstall of OS X. And I use TrueCrypt.)
     
  10. seabournlegend

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    You can remove your old hard disk and put in a clean new one if you like to.
     

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