My Mac won't turn on but I'd like to sell it for spare parts. How can I make sure there's no personal information stored on the hard drive for the buyer to retrieve?

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    You could try booting it in Target Mode and then erase the disk from another machine. But that assumes it does at least turn on... – lhf Jul 9 '13 at 12:13
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    Sell it without the hard drive? – Ashley Jul 9 '13 at 14:03
  • What @Ashley said. If you want to sell it with the drive, you could try connecting the drive to another machine temporarily. On the other hand, if you used FileVault 2, you may not have to worry at all—just don't supply your password. – zigg Jul 9 '13 at 17:02
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    Does "won't turn on" mean it doesn't power up, or doesn't boot, or...? – Gordon Davisson Jul 9 '13 at 17:34
  • → Ashley: good point. And if the disk is the failure point bend it with pliers at the central axe level. – dan Jul 17 '13 at 21:23

Depending on what model it is, if it has an Optical drive then you can insert the install disc that came with the machine and boot to the disc where you can use Disk utility to erase the drive.

  • Dany's Mac doesn't turn on ☹! Its performance with the DVD reader will be off too. – dan Jul 17 '13 at 21:05
  • Open up the machine and remove the hard drive – Maximus Jul 27 '13 at 11:58

If the hard drive is OK and one of the spare parts to sell, then you will have

  1. to extract this disk from the MacBook,
  2. install it within another one and
  3. format it with DU + Security Options… = Zero Out Data (which is the right one for the risk you want to cover).

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