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Chapter 18. Maintaining Your Computer > Formatting and Copying a Disk

Formatting and Copying a Disk

Computers are wonderful devices; however, it's the information they hold that makes them important. Not only is that information important on your computer, it might also be something you want to send to someone else or archive. In order to send or archive, you'll first need a disk. When you format a disk, you're actually telling the operating system to scrub the disk of all information, and prepare it for use. Make sure you backup any important data before performing the formatting operation. When using the Disk Utility to copy, Panther creates a mirror copy of the original. This differs from dragging and dropping a file onto a disk icon. When you drag and drop, Panther places the new files in whatever space is available. However, when you use Disk Utility, it places the files in exactly the same tracks and sectors as the original.

Format a Disk

Open the Applications folder, double-click the Utilities folder, and then double-click the Disk Utility icon.

Select the volume (disk) you want to format (you cannot format the startup drive).

Click the Erase tab.

Click the Volume Format pop-up, and select from the following options:

  • Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Uses the same HFS Plus filing system as Mac OS Extended, and keeps a journal of your activities. Journaling makes for shortened startup times, and helps in the event of a crash ().

  • Mac OS Extended. Formats the disk using HFS Plus filing system (helps to compress files and maximize file space).

  • UNIX File System. Formats a disk for use on a UNIX system.

  • MS-DOS File System. If avail-able, formats a disk for use on a Windows (MS-DOS) system.

Type a Name for the formatted disk.

Click Erase.



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