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How to remove personal info from macbook without formatting

tornadog 3,904 420 February 7, 2012 at 11:57 AM
I am trying to sell my macbook pro with all the software on it. It has CS5, Office 2010 and other stuff that I dont have the disks for(installed them from school). How can I remove my personal info from the macbook without removing all those software, because I advertised that those were included, which fetched me a better price.

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#2
*assuming* macos follows unix conventions you hopefully just need to do the equivalent of the 'userdel -r' command...

at a command prompt
$ sudo bash
# dscl . -delete /Users/tornadog

Note - you should probably use this as a starting point for more research if no-one has the definitive answer
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#3
Quote from tornadog View Post :
I am trying to sell my macbook pro with all the software on it. It has CS5, Office 2010 and other stuff that I dont have the disks for(installed them from school). How can I remove my personal info from the macbook without removing all those software, because I advertised that those were included, which fetched me a better price.
If you advertised that the software was included I would certainly expect to have copies of the software as a buyer. That being said I would probably create a new account, login with that account and then delete your personal account. After you move all your personal files and delete the account I would also wipe all free space on the drive so nothing is recoverable.

http://docs.info.apple.com/articl.../8163.html
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#4
The resale of an academic license likely invalidates this license. The only way you can ensure all of your personal data is erased (Lots of places for it to hide, (Not just in the operating system but programs too) is to erase the drive with a boot CD that does a secure wipe, and then reinstall.
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#5
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
The resale of an academic license likely invalidates this license. The only way you can ensure all of your personal data is erased (Lots of places for it to hide, (Not just in the operating system but programs too) is to erase the drive with a boot CD that does a secure wipe, and then reinstall.
If you run with regular user permissions, an app can't write to a location outside of your home dir unless the privs have been escalated
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#6
Quote from brbubba View Post :
If you advertised that the software was included I would certainly expect to have copies of the software as a buyer.

http://docs.info.apple.com/articl.../8163.html
Plus, it would be obvious fraud now that you have been made aware that Academic Licences cannot be resold. I would relist or make the purchaser aware of that fact they aren't getting a legal license.

And the only real way to have a chance is by wiping the drive(*) and reloading the OS, don't care what OS you use.

(*) and how crazy clean do you want to sanitize the drive? DoD wipe?
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#7
Quote from RocketGeek View Post :
Plus, it would be obvious fraud now that you have been made aware that Academic Licences cannot be resold. I would relist or make the purchaser aware of that fact they aren't getting a legal license.

And the only real way to have a chance is by wiping the drive(*) and reloading the OS, don't care what OS you use.

(*) and how crazy clean do you want to sanitize the drive? DoD wipe?
Before I sold a hard drive I sure the hell would.
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#8
Quote from RocketGeek View Post :
Plus, it would be obvious fraud now that you have been made aware that Academic Licences cannot be resold. I would relist or make the purchaser aware of that fact they aren't getting a legal license.

And the only real way to have a chance is by wiping the drive(*) and reloading the OS, don't care what OS you use.

(*) and how crazy clean do you want to sanitize the drive? DoD wipe?
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
Before I sold a hard drive I sure the hell would.
Seconded. You never know what people may do if you give them information. Better safe than sorry. That's why I'm always hesitant to sell hard drives, even after wiping them.
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#9
Quote from XReflection View Post :
Seconded. You never know what people may do if you give them information. Better safe than sorry. That's why I'm always hesitant to sell hard drives, even after wiping them.
Yes, if I sold a used system of mine, I'd DoD wipe it and reinstall the OS. I'm not sure about the skills of the OP, so it was meant more as a knowledge test than anything. We all probably know that if the question is being asked, we're not dealing with a person that rotates through 20+ machines a year.

So depends on how cleaned off the owner needs it to be...
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#10
Quote from vivahate View Post :
*assuming* macos follows unix conventions you hopefully just need to do the equivalent of the 'userdel -r' command...

at a command prompt
$ sudo bash
# dscl . -delete /Users/tornadog

Note - you should probably use this as a starting point for more research if no-one has the definitive answer
No, there's a control panel for Users and Accounts that will delete your account, with all of its data and settings. That's the proper way to be sure all of your personal data is deleted.
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#11
It is illegal to sell it with that software.
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#12
Quote from Rebound View Post :
No, there's a control panel for Users and Accounts that will delete your account, with all of its data and settings. That's the proper way to be sure all of your personal data is deleted.
Ouch, Rebound.... REP=REP-1....
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#13
Quote from Rebound View Post :
No, there's a control panel for Users and Accounts that will delete your account, with all of its data and settings. That's the proper way to be sure all of your personal data is deleted.
Isn't the control panel option just a front-end for the dscl commands?
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#14
The other thing you can do, if you want to be secure, is you create a brand new account and delete your account. Then back up the whole hard disk using Time Machine. Then you boot up from the Mac OS DVD, and do a full reformat/restore from the Time Machine backup. That will ensure that your data cannot be recovered.

Another method I've used is to copy a giant file, like a DVD image, and duplicate it over and over again until the whole hard disk is full. This will physically over-write every sector. Then you delete all the files you copied.
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#15
Quote from Rebound View Post :
The other thing you can do, if you want to be secure, is you create a brand new account and delete your account. Then back up the whole hard disk using Time Machine. Then you boot up from the Mac OS DVD, and do a full reformat/restore from the Time Machine backup. That will ensure that your data cannot be recovered.

Another method I've used is to copy a giant file, like a DVD image, and duplicate it over and over again until the whole hard disk is full. This will physically over-write every sector. Then you delete all the files you copied.
This is unix, why would you go through all of that? Yes, delete the old account and add a new one. After that:
dd if=/dev/zero of=dummyfile ; rm -f dummyfile
dd if=/dev/random of=dummyfile ; rm -f dummyfile

Repeat that last one 5 times and you have a DOD wipe of your unused space. If you do not want a DOD wipe, just a "good enough" one, just do the first line.
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