Erase disk on older Macs

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Herlind Wurth, Jun 22, 2004.

  1. Hi!

    I have some older Macs (Quadra 800, different PowerMacs) and I want to
    completely erase their harddrives, so that the old data can not be recovered
    (even with recovery-tools). I am thinking like writing randomly 1 and 0 to
    the disk.

    Is there a tool that will do this?

    Unfortunately not all of these Macs have a CDROM-drive. So it would be great
    to be able to have such a tool on a floppy-disk that I can boot from and
    then use the tool to overwrite and erase the disk.

    I hope someone can help me.
    Thanks, Ann
    Herlind Wurth, Jun 22, 2004
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  2. I googled for this a few months ago and found an image of a bootable
    floppy-disk that would do this, but I can't remember what the name is
    nor find it on Google right now.

    Not much help, but at least an indication that there is a solution ...

    Tako Bruinsma, Jun 22, 2004
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  3. Thanks for the tip.
    Maybe you can still remember what keywords you googled for when you found
    the tool.
    Herlind Wurth, Jun 22, 2004
  4. If you can find an old Norton Utilities set, there was a component
    called "Disk Erase" which did exactly this. Hopefully, you also have
    a set of installation floppies handy for when you've 101'd the hard
    drive? (Old Macs don't boot well without a System Folder...)
    David C. Stone, Jun 22, 2004
  5. You want a Disk Tools floppy. If you have installer CDs for any of these
    Macs, it should have a Disk Images folder with a Disk Tools image from
    which you can create a bootable floppy using Disk Copy. (The only system
    you can download for these machines would be System 7.5.3, available at

    This should allow you to boot most of these older machines, although
    some of them might require an OS later than 7.5.3. On the Disk Tools
    floppy will be a formatter application -- Apple HD SC Setup or Drive
    Setup -- that will have an option to write zeroes to the disks.
    Neill Massello, Jun 22, 2004
  6. Herlind Wurth

    Bob Blaylock Guest

    Many years ago, when the time came to get rid of my old Macintosh II,
    the tool that I used to erase its hard drive, in order to insure that
    any personal data thereon would not fall into the wrong hands, was a
    rock hammer.

    That turned out to be very hard work. These hard drives are a lot
    tougher than they look. If I were now going to specifically acquire a
    tool for this purpose, I'd be looking for something more on the scale of
    a heavy sledge hammer.

    I hate spam, but that isn't really part of my email
    address. Remove the string "HatesSpam" from this email
    address before you use it:

    Ever wonder what it'd be like to be a blood-sucking parasite?
    Bob Blaylock, Jun 22, 2004
  7. The boot disk for OS 7.5 is the "Network Access Disk" and fits on one
    floppy. You can get it at:

    You can check the disk utility on that disk and see if the Apple
    formatting software provided for zeroing all data at that time.

    There are also boot disks for some of the later versions of the Mac OS
    at the same site.

    Cathy Stevenson, Jun 22, 2004
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