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Articles: Wipe Out!

Surfing Dog

Let’s say, just for the sake of conversation, that you want to take advantage of PowerMax’s wonderful Trade-In program (which just happens to be the Web's BEST Trade-In Program). You want to upgrade to a newer (or the newest) computer, but first you have to get rid of yours, and that includes wiping the hard drive (HD) clean of all your personal items.


First, back up everything. If you’re not already using Time Machine to backup your system multiple times a day (automatically), then it’s high time to get set up for that. The price of an external HD is worth it when you think you could lose that novel that’s taken you a year to write or ten years of family photos. PowerMax sells a wide variety external HDs, so you can take your pick. I’ll be writing about Time Machine, how to use it for backup, and how to recover lost or saved files from it in an upcoming article.


Second, disable Find My Mac via iCloud. This is a very important step if you’re using this great feature because if you don’t, PowerMax can’t accept it. Once a machine is linked with a user’s Apple ID, there is absolutely no way to get around that. Only the user or Apple themselves can release it, and Apple usually will not release it due to security protocols. So please don’t skip this step. Find instructions how to do that here.


Time to erase your entire drive, and it’s easier than you might think. Also, if you’ve followed the first step and backed up everything via Time Machine to an external HD, then it’s not at all scary.

The fastest way to erase your HD is through Recovery Mode. If you’re running Lion (10.7) or later, you can do this with just an internet connection. The steps are fairly straightforward:

  1. Make sure the adapter is plugged in, if you are on a notebook computer.
  2. From the Apple menu in the top left corner, choose Restart. Immediately hold down the Command + R keys while it restarts. Don’t let go!
  3. Select “Disk Utility” from the list, then continue
  4. Select the drive you wish to erase and choose the Erase tab.
  5. In the Format menu (pop-up), pick Mac OS Extended (Journaled) and click Erase

Voila! It’s that simple!

Quit Disk Utility when the HD is erased, and then you’re set to reinstall Mac OS X if you so choose. This really cool built-in recovery system can do many things, not just erase. Check it out, it’s usually one of the steps I take when helping a customer isolate their computer’s issue.

See! Now you have no excuse not to Trade-In that old machine for a new (or new used) one from PowerMax!

Our friendly, knowledgeable Mac Experts are awaiting your call at 800-844-3599.


ChristineChristine is a Technical Support Specialist and Content Writer for PowerMax. Follow her articles as she takes you “Behind the Sasquatch: A Look Inside PowerMax,” an inside look at the day-to-day operations from the perspective of a Woman in Tech. She’ll also post great Tech Tips, helping you get the most of your Mac apps as well as write about some common technical issues and how to fix them. Finally, Christine will periodically post some Tutorials that teach readers how to do things like make podcasts and iPhone apps. Find what you’re looking for in the categories on the right. 

If you have a tech question or issue, please don’t hesitate to contact Christine for help.

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