I have two older Macs in which I want to erase the hard drive. Secure-erase is a plus, but not a show-stopper at this point. I don't have any Mac OS X discs so I can't use disc utility.

What I'd really like to do is download or buy and download a utility that can create bootable discs so I can boot each computer and erase the hard drives.

Any suggestions on utilities?

  • 1
    Is an option taking them to a working Mac and using target mode firewire to securely wipe both drives? The power supplies and logic boards need to work well enough to spin up the drives, but lots other can be broken on the two Mac for them to get erased.
    – bmike
    Dec 5 '12 at 21:47
  • I suppose we could. I had thought my early 2010 MacBook did not have firewall, but apparently it does... I don't have a cable, but that's easily remedied.
    – tcv
    Dec 5 '12 at 22:10
  • Was just on MegaMacs and they sell legacy software, I don't work for them. link to there software page is below
    – rclyde
    Dec 6 '12 at 1:31
  • megamacs.com/index.php
    – rclyde
    Dec 6 '12 at 1:33
  • Thanks for the link to megamacs. I'm using FW target this time but I'll keep them in mind because their disc prices are MUCH better than what I was finding elsewhere.
    – tcv
    Dec 6 '12 at 20:15

Do you have a current Mac with a Firewire port? You can attach the old Macs1 to the new one via Firewire, and boot them using Target Disk Mode, and use Disk Utility on the new Mac to wipe the drives (they'll appear as external drives).

1 Note that the earliest G3 iMacs didn't have Firewire, and thus can't use this feature. The G3 with slot loading drive (released in Octoboer 1999) and later will work.


An alternative method is to use a program called TrueCrypt to do a whole disk encryption, then boot into Linux (live CD or USB) and format your drive with whatever you want - or do as @robmathers suggested with Target Disk Mode and erase the drive. This way the data would not be recoverable, and you wouldn't have to use a live CD to format.

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