I want to recycle and be secure!
October 9, 2008 6:33 PM   Subscribe

iMac G5--how do I wipe the drive prior to recycling?

Apple will recycle, but I want to make sure all data is off or "secured" prior to handing it over. How do we go about doing this? FWIW, I searched under G5 and hard drive without finding anything that helps.
posted by 6:1 to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
dban for Apple Powermac is what you want.
posted by majick at 6:41 PM on October 9, 2008

The Leopard install disc has an option to zero the drive.

posted by damn dirty ape at 7:02 PM on October 9, 2008

Apple's "Disk Utility" app found in /Applications/Utilities can perform a secure erase. The only tricky part is that you'll want to be boot from a volume other than the one you intend to erase. If you don't have a second boot drive, you can do this using a Mac OS X installation disk. Here are the steps:
  1. Put your Mac OS X install disk in your CD or DVD drive and restart, holding the C key during boot.
  2. After the installer's main window appears, choose Disk Utility from the Utilities menu
  3. In Disk Utility, select the disk or volume to erase, and then click Erase.
  4. Specify a volume format (probably should be Mac OS Extended (Journaled), and enter a name for the disk.
  5. Click Security Options and choose one of the options that writes over the data. I'd probably just use Zero Out Data, but you can choose a 7 or 35 pass erase.
  6. Click OK.
  7. After the disk is erased, quit Disk Utility. You'll be returned to the installer. I recommend you reinstall Mac OS X on the now erased drive so that the Mac can boot normally.

posted by RichardP at 7:08 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: This is a good place to start, or end. I run it over every drive I get rid of several times.
posted by InsanePenguin at 7:14 PM on October 9, 2008

An iMac G5 is a pretty decent computer, still. Any chance you could--instead of recycling it--give it away or sell it? If you're in the NYC area, I'll take it off your hands.

Otherwise, RichardP's advice stands. Zero all data with Disk Utility and you'll be all set.
posted by mrbarrett.com at 7:15 PM on October 9, 2008

Yeah, why must you recycle it? Find a use for it somewhere else (music server perhaps, maybe a dvd player in a bedroom, etc).
posted by ooklala at 8:06 PM on October 9, 2008

Response by poster: Sorry--I forgot an important part. After months of threatening to die, it won't boot up. Power supply and logic board are bad, and the machine is a pre-Intel G5. It wasn't going to be worth the cost of repair for us.
posted by 6:1 at 8:32 PM on October 9, 2008

Oh, in that case pull the drive, stick it in a different machine, and then DBAN it.
posted by majick at 8:38 PM on October 9, 2008

So they're not recycling it as a new computer for someone, just for metal etc?

(1) Take the drive out and slap it in an external enclosure for such use.
(2) Take the drive out, take a screwdriver or torx driver to the drive, and see what neat stuff there is in there. Absurdly powerful little magnet, among other stuff. Sharpen the platters and make them into pizza cutters, or bend them into sculpture.
(3) Take the drive out and thermite it.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:52 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

I wouldn't try to wipe the drive. Instead, just pull it and place it in an external firewire or USB drive case. You can also optionally encrypt it.
posted by crazyray at 8:58 PM on October 9, 2008

If you don't have to give the drive to Apple, as has been suggested you should keep if for yourself. Pop it in an enclosure, and use it for whatever.
posted by djgh at 8:23 AM on October 10, 2008

I've noticed that on Wall Street, they drill a hole in the biggest chip in the drive circuity before they dump them in the trash. :(
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:46 AM on October 10, 2008

Hmm, circuity is a word.
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:51 AM on October 10, 2008

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