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I purchased an iMac (Catalina) from a guy on FB a few months ago and I recently found some of his old files on an internal Crucial 250GB SSD. I got in touch with him and asked if he needed any of them and he doesn't.

How do I know if I can reformat/erase the drive so that I can make use of all the space available on it?

I can't tell if there are some system files on there or something that will make the Mac crap the bed and cause me a big headache.

Here are some links to show the architecture of the drive in Disk Utility as well as a look at the drive from Finder.

This is the hierarchy in disk utility:

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This is the FIRST instance of CRUCIAL in Disk Utility, as seen in the Finder:

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This is Untitled2 in the Finder:

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This is the SECOND instance of CRUCIAL in Disk Utility, as seen in Finder, and the one that worries me because of all the folders and such:

enter image description here

And this is Update in the Finder:

enter image description here

Ultimately, I'd like to find out if I can erase the Crucial SSD drive so that I can use it without messing anything up. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks!

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    You can erase the disk and reinstall macOS all from within macOS Recovery. If you want to reinstall an earlier version of macOS (The one that it originally came with, not the latest i.e. Big Sur), you can use Internet Recovery. See how for both here: support.apple.com/guide/mac-help/…
    – apoptosis
    Sep 21, 2021 at 22:51
  • So is this an external drive that came with the Mac or the internal drive. If the former, yes you can completely erase it. If the latter you can delete his user profile and then erase the free space... So which is it? Sep 21, 2021 at 22:51
  • @SteveChambers It's an internal drive. This is the hierarchy in disk utility - link This is the FIRST instance of CRUCIAL, shown in the Finder - link This is Untitled2 in the Finder - link This is the SECOND instance of CRUCIAL, and the one that worries me because of all the folders and such - link And this is Update in the Finder link Sep 21, 2021 at 23:03
  • Please clarify your specific problem or provide additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it's hard to tell exactly what you're asking.
    – Community Bot
    Sep 21, 2021 at 23:29
  • Please edit your *original question * and add the pictures inline. Those links take me to a page that want me to prove I am a human. I am happy to help but you need to make it simple and easy. Sep 22, 2021 at 13:05

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From your comment, it looks like you've got 2 SSDs in the iMac, an Apple 128GB and a Crucial 256GB. Based on your Finder screenshot, they both appear a bit messed up (it shouldn't show the "- Data" part).

I'd recommend restarting into Recovery (based on which OS you want to install, there are a few options: https://support.apple.com/guide/mac-help/use-macos-recovery-on-an-intel-based-mac-mchl338cf9a8/mac). Once you're in Recovery mode, I'd open Disk Utility and fully erase both drives (ensure "Show All Disks" is enabled in the View menu and erase the "Apple SSD..." and "Crucial_..." drives). Make sure to format them with GUID partition maps and APFS (unless you've chosen to install the iMac's original OS, in which case it may need HFS+). Then, back out of Disk Utility and reinstall macOS to whichever drive you want.

Note: It may be possible to open the iMac up and install a different drive in the drive slot, as it appears the previous owner had done (installing a second SSD).

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  • Just so that I'm clear: I've had the Mac for a while now and have quite a few apps and programs installed, as well as a number of documents and such. Am I correct that your suggestion would wipe all of those things away? I would lose my programs, docs, etc? Sep 21, 2021 at 23:21
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    @BlackBeard yes, I was under the impression that you had just gotten it. You should always erase any computer or drive you get used, though. From a security standpoint, it's possible that the previous owner has intentionally or unintentionally installed malware. From a technical standpoint, it's possible that there are configuration issues or corrupted files which may lead to problems down the line. Sep 21, 2021 at 23:34
  • like @At0mic said, wipe any new Macs/PCs you get. If you have a spare 8GB thumb drive you can download the installer you want from Apple and then turn it into a bootable USB installer using the instructions here: support.apple.com/en-us/HT201372. Once booted run disk utility and reformat each drive with the format the OS you are installing supports and the GUID partition scheme. And yes... back up anything you don't have copies of elsewhere. Sep 22, 2021 at 13:12

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