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Using Disks and Discs

Working with hard drives, CDs, DVDs, and other similar types of storage devices is quite similar under Mac OS X to what it was under Mac OS 9. The following bullets provide information about some useful disk-related tasks:

  • You can control whether mounted disk and volume icons are automatically shown on the desktop using the Finder Preferences window (choose Finder, Preferences). Check the “Show these items on the Desktop” check boxes to show icons on the desktop or uncheck them to keep those icons from appearing on the desktop. (If you chose not to have disk icons mounted on the desktop, you can access the mounted disks and volumes using the Computer directory.)

  • You can eject removable disks by dragging them to the Trash, or by selecting them and choosing File, Eject, pressing +E, using the contextual menu Eject command, or by using the Eject icon that you can place on the Finder toolbar.


    When you select a mounted volume, the Trash icon becomes an eject symbol to indicate that you are unmounting a volume rather than deleting it.

  • To erase a disk under Mac OS X, you use the Disk Utility application (Applications/Utilities). Open the application, select the disk that you want to erase, and choose Options, Erase Disk.

    → To learn how to use the Disk Utility to format and partition a disk, seeInitializing and Partitioning a Hard Drive,” p. 594.

  • Disk Images are a file type that mimics the behavior of a disk. When you open a disk image, it acts just as if it were a real disk. Disk images are mostly commonly used to distribute applications. Disk images are mounted using the Disk Copy application (Applications/Utilities). When a disk image is mounted, you can open it as you would a physical disk, eject it, and so on.

    → To learn more about disk images, seeInstalling Mac OS X Applications,” p. 117.



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