We are giving away an old mac book pro and a windows asus laptop to teenagers at school in Nairobi. We need to remove the contents of the hard drive first. Please advise as to how we go about doing this?
Apple. Boot the computer from an external hard drive or system install DVD/CD Then use Disk utility on boot disk to format the drive. Zero all data. If starting up from System DVD/CD once the system install screen has started you will be able to access Disk Utility from the menu bar, again format and zero all data.
To be absolutely sure nothing can be recovered from your HDD remove it from the machine and physically destroy it.
If you are not too fussed you can simply put all your data and applications in the bin and (if using a flavour of OSX) secure empty wastebasket, from menu bar/finder. Leaving the System files intact.
Someone will be along to advise on Windoze. But pretty much the same will apply.
If there's such an option in Mac, make sure you do a full format, not a quick format. I assume that's what 'zero all data means'. Windows can do the same.
I did by some second user windows machines where they had done a clean install of windows, so the main drive was 'clea' but the previous user had done a backup into a second partition on the disc that was completely intact. Easy to restore, and all their data re-appeared. I cleaned it myself as I didn't want any nasties they may have had.
Not quite I think Duncan, zero all data overwrites existing byte for byte with zeros, you can stipulate how many overwrites up to 7. Forensic software could still achieve some measure of retrieval. I advocate the method on the drive for absolute security.
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