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loudpedal Jul 30, 2001 08:19 PM
Prepping a Mac for sale
I've started working with a charity prepping donated Macs for auction. I'm being asked to wipe all traces of the previous owner off the computer (at their request). The people I'm working with say that with the Windows systems they usually prep, they go into the registry and delete the previous owner's name. They say that this clears the person's name from all of the splash screens during app. startup.

I don't know if there are any lawyers out there, but my first question is, "Is this legal?" All of the software is registered to one person and has registration numbers on the splash screen. Assuming that the previous owner got the software legally, I don't see why the computer can't be sold with all of the software intact - as long as it's not misrepresented in the auction. I certainly don't want to do anything illegal and get a charity in trouble. :confused:

My second question is, "How do I erase the previous owner's name and registration number from the splash screen?" The computer has Resedit on it. I looked around but couldn't see any way to get to this information.

Based on the number of donated Macs I saw in their storage, I'm going to face this question time and again. Any answers anyone could provide will get a lot of use (even if I can only get an answer to one question or the other).
wANCO tHE sANE Jul 30, 2001 10:27 PM
Ok, I don't know if you already thought of this or did this, but if you go to your desktop, and click on your HD icon, go to special and there's this opton for "Erase Disk..." If you choose this option you would have to boot up on a System CD or something. Only do this if you want to wipe out the whole hard drive, wipe it clean.... But from what I read, you don't want to do this. But if you do decide to do this and wipe the hard drive clean, you need to reinstall the system software... Don't take my advice and do it, but I think this is the best way to go to get a "fresh system". Only bad thing is that it won't come with a lot of software.... Don't take this advice and do it, get a second opinion....

As for the owner's name and serial number on some applications, go into the system folder, then to preferences. Find that application's preference file and delete it. This usually takes out the registration stuff for certain applications. But some aplications have invisible files on them that keeps the user name and registration number. Don't go around and deleting the system preferences though! I don't know if this is legal.

DON'T DO ANYTHING YET!!!! Try to get a second opinion from the people here... I don't want to mess up anything.....
Miniryu Aug 3, 2001 03:58 AM
If you get an application like Greg's Browser or ResEdit you can look through the invisible prefference files and make them visible and thus deletable. I don't know if this has anything to do with permenent records, but dropping the Hard Drive icon on a Netscape browser will allow you to navigate through your hard drive. Some of the files in there have activity of the owner.

If these computers are to be given away for charity, the legal thing to do would be to start up from the software restore CD, then clean install a new System Folder. As the computer restarts after creating the new system folder, you should erase the PRAM. That will give whoever buys the computer the exact software and setting that come with a new Mac from the factory. Just a note, that doing this will erase any software the previous owner installed.
loudpedal Aug 4, 2001 10:32 AM
Thank you both for the responses. I'll have to try the Hard Drive/Navigator thing. Sounds pretty cool.

What I ended up doing was using ResEdit to check through the hidden files. Most were pretty obvious. Unfortunately, none of the computers that get donated have any system disks with them, so a clean install of the OS is not possible.
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