Mac Format - - IMPROVE -


Run a health check

Se­lect ei­ther a disk or a vol­ume on the left, click First Aid in the tool­bar and then click Run when asked to con­firm the op­er­a­tion. Disk Util­ity will run through some health checks to en­sure that ev­ery­thing is okay with the item you se­lected, and it will at­tempt to re­pair prob­lems.


For­mat a disk for Mac

When you buy stor­age, it’s likely to be for­mat­ted for use with Win­dows. On the left, se­lect the disk or the vol­ume on it, then click Erase. Set For­mat to ‘OS X Ex­tended (Jour­naled)’. (If you se­lected the disk, set Scheme to GUID if you want to in­stall a sec­ond copy of OS X on it.)


For­mat as en­crypted

Par­tic­u­larly with a por­ta­ble drive, you might want to en­crypt its con­tents in case you lose it. In this case, choose ‘OS X Ex­tended (Jour­naled, En­crypted)’ as the for­mat. You’ll be asked to set a pass­word, which will be re­quired to ac­cess the drive upon con­nect­ing it to a Mac.


For­mat for Win­dows

To share a disk with a Win­dows PC, set its for­mat to ‘MS-DOS (FAT)’ if the disk or vol­ume is un­der 32GB in size, or ExFAT if it’s larger than that. Its la­bel can be 11 char­ac­ters long, but file­names can be longer. Both OS X and Win­dows will be able to write to the disk.


En­crypt with­out eras­ing

A Mac vol­ume can be en­crypted with­out eras­ing its con­tents – but back them up first! In Finder, se­lect Go > Com­puter, hold and click the vol­ume, choose ‘En­crypt…’ and set a pass­word and a re­minder. Af­ter click­ing En­crypt Disk, click the vol­ume to check progress.


Par­ti­tion a disk

To split a drive into smaller par­ti­tions – per­haps to limit space that’s avail­able to Time Ma­chine – se­lect it (not a vol­ume on it) and click Par­ti­tion. When you click the + be­low the pie chart, space will be reap­por­tioned from the vol­ume that’s se­lected (shown in blue).


Back up to a disk im­age

You can make a disk im­age from a folder (use­ful for archiv­ing projects). Choose File > New Im­age > Im­age from Folder, and then se­lect a folder and click Open. The im­age’s con­tents can be com­pressed and en­crypted. To re­store an im­age, choose Edit > Re­store.


Se­curely erase a disk

Some re­searchers say it’s un­nec­es­sary to erase a mod­ern hard disk mul­ti­ple times be­fore it’s aban­doned. If do­ing so eases your nerves, erase the disk to con­tain one par­ti­tion, se­lect that par­ti­tion, click Erase, then Se­cu­rity Op­tions and choose a num­ber of passes to make.

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