Apple Tips

Using  Disk  Utility

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Most disk drives have a single partition.  Your Mac came with an internal hard drive containing one partition, named Macintosh HD.  But internal or external HDs can contain multiple partitions (also called volumes) if desired. 

Each partition occupies contiguous physical space on the disk, and for most purposes is treated as a separate drive.   Each one has a different name, and by default will appear on your desktop and Finder sidebars as if they were separate drives.

You can use Disk Utility to format an entire internal or directly-connected external hard drive, but not the same drive you’re running from.   To erase or format a drive connected to a network, you must connect it directly to your Mac via USB or Firewire.

To format (or re-format) your internal HD, you must start up from another source, either your OSX Install disc or a different disk.

You can, however, add, remove, reformat, or erase other partitions on your internal HD normally.

Some 3rd-party apps, such as  iPartition, can do some things that Apple’s Disk Utility can’t.  Those are not covered here. 

C o n t e n t s

  1. Drives or partitions to be used for Time Machine backups

  2. Format or Reformat a drive for Time Machine backups

  3. Add a Partition to be used for Time Machine backups

  4. Partitions to be used for Boot Camp

  5. Must be added and managed by Boot Camp Assistant only.  There can be only 2 partitions on such a drive;  OSX must be first, Boot Camp second.  See Mac 101: Using Windows on your Mac via Boot Camp for details.

  6. Drives or partitions to be used for other purposes

  7.   1.  Format, Erase, or Reformat a drive

  8.   2.  Erase a partition    

  9.   3.  Add a partition

  10.   4.  Removing and Resizing partitions

  11.   5.  Verify or Repair Disk Permissions

  12.   6.  Verify or Repair Disk

  13.   7.  Copying a volume via the Restore tab

  14.   8.  Disk Formats

  15.   9.  Checking the S.M.A.R.T. status

  16. 10.  If a disk doesn't appear in the sidebar

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