reformatting hard drive

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anne murray
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reformatting hard drive

Post by anne murray » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:45 pm

I am giving away my old MacBook. I would like to erase the drive but retain the operating system. If I completely reformat the drive, can I drag the operating system (10.6.8) from my firewire back-up to the empty drive - or somehow install 10.6.8 from the external drive?

I have booted the MacBook from the firewire drive.

Thanks,
Anne

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Stephen Hart
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Re: reformatting hard drive

Post by Stephen Hart » Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:57 pm

No. You will have to reinstall the OS.

Do you have the original disks that came with this Mac?
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anne murray
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Re: reformatting hard drive

Post by anne murray » Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:35 pm

Yes, but the operating system on the disks is 10.4.8. I was hoping to pass on 10.6.8. I must have downloaded Snow Leopard because I do not have installation disks.

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Stephen Hart
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Re: reformatting hard drive

Post by Stephen Hart » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:40 pm

With a little research online, you can find out what's the latest OS version this Mac will run. Then ask here and maybe a SMUG member will have the disks, or can suggest how to get them.

When you have the right OS version to install, you can set up the Mac as if it were new for the new owner.
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anne murray
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Re: reformatting hard drive

Post by anne murray » Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:48 am

find I DO have Snow Leopard installation disks. I just had to get the brain out of compartmentalized thinking.

Question: Should I reinstall the system that came with the computer and then upgrade or can I just install Snow Leopard? I presume I do this by starting up from the CD system disk.

Thanks.

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JerryFreilich
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Re: reformatting hard drive

Post by JerryFreilich » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:16 pm

You just install the new operating system. Then when that's done, drag everything that's personal files to the trash. You can also go into Prefs --> Accounts and delete any user accounts other than the main one. Then go to Disk Utility and choose Erase Disk where you will see an option for "Erase Free Space." That should do the trick.

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Stephen Hart
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Re: reformatting hard drive

Post by Stephen Hart » Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:09 pm

Alternatively, if you feel comfortable that the recipient won't expend great effort trying to recover your data, you can use the erase and install option. That option might also have a further option to write zeros to the disk. That will take a long time, but will make it nearly impossible to recover any data.

When that's done, the Mac will start up just as if it were new, with the multilingual welcome. You can also follow Jerry's procedure and then set it up as new. I can't give you that procedure off the top of my head, but could find it if you're interested.
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