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Formatting a Mac Air.

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I bought a Mac Air second hand last year. It's running Lion. I am now looking to format the HDD to remove all private information/installs etc. But of course Apple's scheme of tying licences of their OS to individuals iTunes accounts is working beatifully; I can't do this without buying a whole new licence. Is there any way to get around this? I just want to be able to format the HDD and return it to factory new.
post #2 of 13
I have done this before with a system disk. My brother's 2009 MacBook pro shipped with a system repair disk. I simply placed it in the drive and booted from it, and it gave me the option to format and reinstall somewhere along the way.

Obviously you have no disk drive and likely have no disk.... but if you could acquire one and an external optical drive, or perhaps a flash drive with the image on it, then you could feasibly do that.

Alternatively, just take it to the Apple store and tell them what you're trying to do. They are surprisingly helpful with stuff like that. Something about data integrity or privacy or something.
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post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Is there a third party tool I could use to do this myself.
post #4 of 13
Lion and Mountain Lion have a built in recovery partition that should be there unless. You boot to it by holding the Option key for bootable options or just holding down Command + R to boot to that partion. Disk Utility is built in there and you can wipe the drive and start over. This will not remove the Recovery partition you are booted to so if you want to do that, then you have to make your own bootable USB drive and then you can get around attaching it to just one apple account.

There are lots of results with a quick Google search on how to do this but here are a couple links to help you out:

http://www.macrumors.com/2012/07/25/create-a-bootable-mountain-lion-usb-key-installer/

http://liondiskmaker.com/

let me know if that helped you out.

Edit: Shoot, re-read your post and realized what you are talking about. Is there any way to re-download the installer and make your own boot drive? To install fresh again from the recovery you will have to have an Apple ID with Lion already purchased. 10.8 though is only $20 so it is not that bad.
Edited by KyleMart06 - 3/18/13 at 1:13pm
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post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
But this required the password for the licence does it not? I don't have that, it's a second hand mac.
post #6 of 13
If you have an OSX install image like I do, then you wouldn't have a problem. Purchase mountain lion then do this:
http://www.macrumors.com/2012/07/25/create-a-bootable-mountain-lion-usb-key-installer/

Keep it for safe keeping. It is what I have for Tiger and leopard(also on a Firewire drive to install onto PowerPC based macs). Then on my Snow leopard, lion, and mountain lion on a flash drive (3 of them) plus a fully bootable OSX image with disk warrior, tech tools and various other things.

You cannot get around this legally.

You cannot download the installer unfortunately... You need to have access to it before upgrading. With that being said, you need to buy mountain lion and put it onto a flash drive... Sorry.
Edited by Lord Xeb - 3/18/13 at 9:03pm
 
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post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Xeb View Post

If you have an OSX install image like I do, then you wouldn't have a problem. Purchase mountain lion then do this:
http://www.macrumors.com/2012/07/25/create-a-bootable-mountain-lion-usb-key-installer/

Keep it for safe keeping. It is what I have for Tiger and leopard(also on a Firewire drive to install onto PowerPC based macs). Then on my Snow leopard, lion, and mountain lion on a flash drive (3 of them) plus a fully bootable OSX image with disk warrior, tech tools and various other things.

You cannot get around this legally.

You cannot download the installer unfortunately... You need to have access to it before upgrading. With that being said, you need to buy mountain lion and put it onto a flash drive... Sorry.

^ if anyone around here would know it would be xeb
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post #8 of 13
I am an ACMT by trade (Apple Certified Macintosh Technician).
 
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post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Xeb View Post

If you have an OSX install image like I do, then you wouldn't have a problem. Purchase mountain lion then do this:
http://www.macrumors.com/2012/07/25/create-a-bootable-mountain-lion-usb-key-installer/

Keep it for safe keeping. It is what I have for Tiger and leopard(also on a Firewire drive to install onto PowerPC based macs). Then on my Snow leopard, lion, and mountain lion on a flash drive (3 of them) plus a fully bootable OSX image with disk warrior, tech tools and various other things.

You cannot get around this legally.

You cannot download the installer unfortunately... You need to have access to it before upgrading. With that being said, you need to buy mountain lion and put it onto a flash drive... Sorry.

Cheers lads.

Will I be able to buy mountain lion into a new account or will it still be tied to the account that I don't have a password for? It's relatively cheap, I don't mind buying it.

Or; is there a way to strip personal data and logins without actually formatting the HDD? When I open Skype, steam etc. it automaticall logs into my accounts... if there was a way to delete all personal info like that off the mac instead I would do that instead. Is there a free app for that or anything?
post #10 of 13
The account you buy ML for (the apple ID you sign in with) is what the OS will be tied to. But if you have OSX on a flash drive after downloading it, it won't matter wink.gif


Though if you want to keep programs but wipe out everything else, you can just create a new account.


Go to Apple > System Preferences > Users and Groups
Click the unlock button and enter password (press return if there is none)
Click the plus button down in the bottom left corner of the white column.
Enter in Your user name, the short name you wnat for your account (this is what your user folder will be called), password, verify password, and enter in a hint. Make sure the account is set to administrator.

Click apple

Log out, and select the user you just created. Go back into users and groups
Unlock then click on the account you don't want
Click the minus button and select Remove home folder (it is the bottom option). Don't select secure erase. As you use the machine and as the machine works, it will overwrite the deleted account over time.

Enjoy your new account. All system settings are stored (mostly) inside of the user account.
Edited by Lord Xeb - 3/19/13 at 6:41am
 
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