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Formatting Is Easy With Disk Utility

Formatting Is Easy With Disk Utility

Formatting your hard drive means making it ready to store data. It is not something that is done regularly, but it is required in many situations, like if you wish to give your hard disk to someone, you might want to erase everything on it.

Disk Utility

You can find disk utility in /Applications/Utilities. You can notice the partitions listed under their corresponding Mac devices. You can see tabs on the top right side. To format any drive or partition, you have to select it from the column on the left, and then click on Erase tab, and NOT on Erase button.

If the drive is being used as startup disk, then Disk Utility cannot format it. In case you wish to format your startup disk, you have to allot a separate drive as startup disk, and then you can erase the previous one.

Selecting a format

Select a drive or a partition from the left column. You will see the Format menu. Click on it, and choose one of the six given formats.

The format used for Mac is Mac OS Extended. It has two flavors- OS Extended and OS Extended Journaled. Journaled keeps a log of disk changes. This is helpful if the disk crashes unexpectedly. If a drive is being used for Mac, then using Journaled is recommended. Time Machine needs a Journaled formatted drive.

There are other formats as well. These formats present case sensitivity. They allow files with same names but with different cases to be considered different. For example, ABC.doc is different than Abc.doc.

If you format a drive to be used for both Windows and Mac, you can use MS DOS FAT system, or ExFat. FAT has many limitations, including size restrictions, while ExFat needs Mac to run on OS version 10.6.5 and higher.

Choose a format technique and assign a name to the drive.

Security options

Now click on Security Options button. You have to decide a way to delete the data present on the drive. The ones that are down the list will give you a slow response and might take hours more. For instance, the Don’t Erase Data choice will take almost no time in formatting 1GB pen drive, and 35 Pass Erase one takes 2 hours.


Check your settings once again, and click on Erase button given in the bottom of Disk Utility interface. Click on Erase when confirmation dialog box shows up.

After these steps, it is all done, and you can use your disk.

Have you ever tried formatting your hard drive? What made you do it, and which options did you choose? Let us know.

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