Hey internets folks -- I am seeking a good tutorial/how-to on completely reinstalling user/operating system on an iMac (2013ish) and ideally wiping the HECK out of it ... like a 7x hard drive wipe.

I have an old iMac from my father. I want to make it usable. It needs to have its data deleted and it needs to be scrubbed LIKE HECK.

This is causing me a lot of stress triggers because of stuff w/my dad so I'd seriously appreciate tips/direction to posts.

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@platypus Do you have osx install media? If so, boot that. From one of the very few menus is Disk Utility and in turn "secure erase" of the disk before you install on it.

@trini I do not. I can probably make myself a bootable USB... do you know where one would get that? (I'm v. used to doing it w/Linux distros)

I do know how to use the Disk Utility secure erase (from doing external HDs/internal HDs in chassis) so if I can get to that point, that sounds promising, thank you!

@platypus i don't know much about cracking open imacs specifically, but a possibility you might want to consider is - if you're going to be wiping from scratch and reinstalling anyway, and if you think there's any chance you'll look at 2013's idea of a good size hard drive and go "aw nertz i really need a bit more space"... you could see about buying and installing a new one.

the major caveat here is that i come from the land of PCs where that's much easier, but iirc macs have made the jump to>

@platypus aaah i see, yeah that's definitely fair enough! i know that suggestion was one where you were likely way ahead of me but i thought it worth tossing out on the slim chance it hadn't been under consideration yet

mostly because it can end in cleansing bonfire

@wigglytuffitout I am very tempted by cleansing bonfire. My sister told me how it could be done w/Napalm. However--there's a couple tools my husband would like to use and that seems like a good reason to redeem it.

@platypus this is admittedly a slightly underhanded move, but - would it help you get some space from the mental burden if you asked your husband "hey, if you're the person most interested in using this thing, can you do more of the heavy lifting of fixing it up?" and handing the problem over to him? it might be worth considering if it can make sure you're not overwhelmed by mental fuckery.

@wigglytuffitout sadly, while he has a comp-sci degree, he's really bad w/hardware. It does MAJORLY help me reframe it as a gift to him to clear this stuff off. When I thought I might sell it or something, I was too overwhelmed to go near it.

@platypus >using a not-quite-their-own-thing-more-compatible system, hard drives are relatively cheap, and as far as cracking open the case and making a swap on anything, a hard drive is probably the easiest thing to do and a really good starting point.

...if this is a desktop, mind, laptops are another kettle of fish entirely

but hey, then you could go put the old hard drive in a cleansing bonfire

@platypus I got excited for a moment that I might be able to suggest a degausser but I think it's too modern a computer for that. <.<

@platypus my imac is about this old (2011) and here’s what i did

1. made a bootable USB of elementary OS
2. rebooted iMac into Disk Utility
3. performed a Secure Erase. i only did 3 passes but you can select 7. it will be slow!
4. repartitioned
5. installed elementary OS

it’s been running really well! and i bet it would be similar / perhaps even easier if i’d stuck with OS X

@mood thanks -- the only reason I'm gonna keep OSX is my husband wants it so he can use some Mac-only programs. Or rather he's happy to accept it as a gift. But it looks like I'm good to go on something similar.

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