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I have unearthed an old working iBook G4 which I'd like to clean and then give away. I don't have a copy of 10.4 on hand to install. And I'm not terribly interested in wiping the installed applications off of it, more so I just want to make sure there's no application user data left on it.

At this point all I can think of is to just create a new user, and delete all trace of the existing user from /Users/. I personally have very little experience of 10.4 however, and only got involved in Mac since 10.6, so I'm concerned about things I might be missing.

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You can take your 10.6 knowledge and apply it down all the way to 10 as the big changes in user level data and file system changes arrived at 10.7 and later.

The easy way out, is boot the Mac in target disk mode and connect it via FireWire to any Mac and zero the drive, secure erase, etc... The recipient will likely be able to order a 10.4 replacement disk for less than $25 online and set up the OS as desired.

Also your plan to just make a shell user account and delete the old user accounts would work well for light protection. Better to copy movie files or other data over all the empty space then delete them to prevent a simple undelete from recovering files only deleted by the OS.

Maybe examine the system keychain for any wireless passwords you don't want escaping, but most things of a sensitive nature are in the user home folder.

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If you have an external disk, let's name it bob to be clear.

  1. Clone your iBook G4 internal disk to bob with Carbon Copy Cloner, version 3.4.7.

    Check that this copy is bootable. Carbon Copy Cloner will display this information.

  2. Reboot from bob.

  3. Start Disk Utility, select the appropriate level of security to completly erase your iBook G4 internal disk. Erase it.

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