So I am trying to wipe an old Macbook clean before giving it away to charity or recycling but I am having some issues. For my PCs I have used DBAN successfully and I was hoping to use it here as well. But Macbook refuses to boot from my DBAN Usb drive! When i restart and hold the "alt" button I get into the "boot menu" but I can only choose from my standard HD. Any suggestions?


The old MacBook 2,1 (White 2008) could only boot from the CD/DVD drive. Since you didn't mention that you could see the recovery partition (where you can access Disk Utility), we have to assume it's not there.

If you want to properly wipe it to ensure that all private data has been removed, do the following:

You could try to "hack" together a solution to get your USB to boot with rEFInd, but the work to put in to get a USB drive bootable is (IMO) a large expenditure of time just to wipe a drive.

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    The HDD is super easy to remove (I just wiped two of these machines in this fashion) and it took me <5 minutes for the pair. – NoahL Jun 6 '17 at 21:17

Firstly you need to have your USB drive formatted to HFS+ or else the Mac won't be able to see it. You can use this MacOS disk creator to create a USB drive to boot from or depending how old the Mac is if by 2,1 you mean the white plastic unibody MacBook then you can use Internet recovery on the by holding down CMD-R during startup. Make sure you're connected to the internet whilst doing so. Your Mac should boot to recovery mode where you can go ahead and wipe and re-install with a clean version.


Use Lion Recovery Assistant or one of the many online guides to create USB macOS media. Then boot off of that media and wipe the system from there.

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