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MacBook Pro help please

Old 11th Jan 2021, 20:27
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MacBook Pro help please

A dear friend has asked me to remove all of the personal data from a laptop computer before sending for redeployment. The lady has dropped it off, knowing that I can deal with wiping of PCs but I find that the unit is a MacBook Pro. It does not boot up to do anything useful, indeed, I had to cause it to do an intenet re-install to get rid of a white screen and a flashing grey file icon with a question mark in it.

It still does not boot up! None of the keys does anythig and no desktop appears.

Is it already cleaned of all personal data?

The lady is clearing out following the death of her husband and I am a bit loath to bother her for any backup or utility disks.

I don't know what to do with it from this point.

Anyone?

Rans6.........
rans6andrew is offline  
Old 11th Jan 2021, 20:42
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ps the model number on the underside of the unit has worn too thin to read but looking at the info on Apple website suggests it is a 13 inch model from 2010 or 2011. It tried to install high sierra OS...........

Rans6...............
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Old 11th Jan 2021, 20:55
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Anything you could possibly want to ask is on the apple users forum. I once had similar it was a mother board issue. Took out hard drive and sold remainder for parts and bought new
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Old 11th Jan 2021, 21:08
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To quote Apple themselves: "A folder with a flashing question mark means that your startup disk is no longer available or doesn't contain a working Mac operating system."

When doing the Internet Recovery (turn on the Mac and immediately press and hold Command (⌘) and R) it should give you the option to launch Disk Utility and format the drive. And then re-install the OS.
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Old 11th Jan 2021, 22:12
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From what you've described, the disk is not cleared of personal data. Formatting using the Apple disk utility does not remove personal data. However, the disk utility does give you the option to erase the disk and provides several security levels of erase to choose from.

You can also physically remove the hard disk from the laptop and erase the personal data using a SATA-USB interface (e.g., external hard disk enclosure) and a PC using PC disk utility software.
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Old 12th Jan 2021, 03:15
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However, the disk utility does give you the option to erase the disk and provides several security levels of erase to choose from.
Here is the Disk Utility Erase dialog from Catalina. Other OSs will be similar. Click on Security Options:




Move the slider one step to the right and then click OK and then Erase in the first dialog.

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Old 13th Jan 2021, 08:36
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Once you erase everything using disk utility you will need a rebootable USB with the latest operating system on it which is Big Sur. Once you've done that you'll have a clean Macbook

https://www.imore.com/how-do-clean-install-macos

If it doesn't give you the help you need there is plenty of info via Google.

crewmeal is offline  
Old 13th Jan 2021, 12:00
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I believe that you can remove the HDD from that Macbook fairly easily (certainly an SSD replacement is a standard upgrade), so you could remove the HDD and connect it to a Windows PC using a USB - SATA caddy or interface and run a disk erase utility on it that way. If your brief is simply to remove personal data rather than also provide a working Macbook, just remove the HDD and destroy it, leaving it to the next user to install their preferred disk and Mac OS version, .

SD
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Old 13th Jan 2021, 20:20
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Have a look here for a step by step guide on how to get to the hard drive: https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/MacBook...placement/4305
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Old 14th Jan 2021, 20:55
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After letting the OS re-install? I ran the disk utility. Only the First Aid and Partition options were not greyed out. Erase was not enabled. First aid ran a test and said drive OK.....

Machine still didn't boot up to a desktop. Apple Icon didn't do anything.

I removed the drive from the machine, popped it into a disk caddy and fully erased it, removing the partitions as it went.

Job done, no personal data left to fall into the wrong hands.

Thanks for guidance and prompting.

Rans6.............

ps, if I load Linux Mint onto the drive and refit it - is there any chance that it will boot up? I might try that tomorrow.
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Old 14th Jan 2021, 23:13
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if I load Linux Mint onto the drive and refit it - is there any chance that it will boot up?
Probably better to put the drive in the Macbook, then try booting a Linux live from a USB stick. Whether it works or not will be down to what combination of Linux / desktop you try with your specific MBP hardware. It may be that it all works perfectly, or some things don't work - e.g. wifi - or it doesn't work at all e.g. black screen / no video / CLI only. At least with a live install you can just play around without committing to anything - although as you've just got a blank HDD, you've nothing to lose!

SD
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Old 15th Jan 2021, 12:53
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I tred both as around this, ie I put a Linux Mint HDD into the machine, it just sat looking at me. Then I wanted to do a live Linux Mint USB boot up but cannot find a way to change the boot sequence in the apple equivalent of a BIOS, called EFI.

I will not be spending any more time on this, my task was to remove all prsonal data, which I have done.

Rans6.......................
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