Get rid of this doorstop
November 15, 2012 5:56 PM   Subscribe

I have an old ibook from about 2003 or so gathering dust in a corner. It turns on but doesn't function enough for me to delete the data on it, as far as I know how. Plus, I don't own a power cord that works for it anymore. I would like to be rid of it, but I do not even really remember what's there and I don't want anyone else to see personal info that might be on it. I live in the SF Bay Area. What should I do with it?

Garbage can? Donate it somewhere? Is there some way I can erase the data if I can't use it? My memory is when I turn it on it just makes crazy colors on the screen or something, but its been a few years since I tried to use it.
posted by latkes to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Automatic Response in Berkeley does secure hard drive destruction and will accept the rest of the laptop for recycling. I'd contact them.
posted by asterix at 6:09 PM on November 15, 2012

posted by mcav at 6:18 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Single user mode sometimes works on a machine with screwed up graphics components. If you press the power button and immediately hold down Command-"s" (a.k.a. the Apple key and the "s" key), does it boot up with a command line prompt? From there, try "mount -uw /".

I'm not sure the srm command for secure deletions will be available on a machine that old, but if so "srm -fR /Users" should nuke all your personal files irretrievably. If it's not available, "rm -fR /Users" will at least delete the files, such that someone would have to be pretty interested in your stuff to dig it back up.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 6:19 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Thanks folks. I'll take it to Automatic Response.
posted by latkes at 6:26 PM on November 15, 2012

Remove the hard disk. Hit it with large things. The rest of the machine may be safely given away for parts.

That said, were it me, I'd be: Remove the hard disk, connect it to some kind of USB cable, poke about and see if there's anything worth saving.
posted by pompomtom at 7:44 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

I have removed hardrives from Ibooks- it is non trivial. The ifixit folks put removing the hard drive from an ibook at 40 steps over 22 pages of instructions. You have to remove top and bottom plastic covers, the keyboard, and both the lower and upper metal shields. And there are so many screws I suggest using the three page screw guide and taping the screws to it. Seriously.

If you have a drill you can simply drill a hole in the machine and destroy the drive. The drive is located to the left of the touch pad on ibooks- ifix will cover your particular model. Then recycle it.
posted by zenon at 10:38 PM on November 15, 2012

That said, were it me, I'd be: Remove the hard disk, connect it to some kind of USB cable, poke about and see if there's anything worth saving.

For an iBook of this vintage, removal of the drive isn't necessary. Just use the awesome Firewire Target Disk Mode.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 6:42 AM on November 16, 2012

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