Formatting a Disk Using Disk Utility

There are some hidden partitions such as EFI used for the purposes of providing drivers and settings during boot. These aren't volumes since they cannot be mounted. Depending on whether you have features such as FileVault 2 or Fusion Drive, your partition layout might differ slightly to what is pictured above.

For many of the options within diskutil , it's necessary to use the disk or partition's Identifier. Using list will provide you with this information. Should you have a number of disks and only want to view information about a specific one, you can append the disk identifier to the command:. The first number represents the physical disk identifier. The number following the letter "s" represents the partition number. If a disk has three partitions, it would follow this convention:.

In addition to list , you can also use info with the corresponding identifier to display even further information, like so:. As within Disk Utility, the diskutil command can be used to verify or repair volumes of any errors and is very straightforward to do using either verifyVolume or repairVolume. These options don't need the disk identifier, just the volume's name:. If the feedback within Terminal looks familiar, that's because it's the same information Disk Utility provides. Erasing disks from the command-line can be a dangerous process as there aren't any warnings or confirmations.

One typo could lead to irreversible data loss if there's no backup to restore from. If you're not familiar with the command-line, Disk Utility is just as capable. You can either erase a whole disk which will remove any partitions stored upon it, or individual volumes without affecting others. To erase an entire disk, you'll need the disk identifier, enter the following, adjusting the disk identifier to suit:.

How to Format an OS X Terminal Hard Disk

You'll notice this command has a little more going on than previous ones. The structure of the command is:. Erasing a whole disk will clear any partitions and create a new, single partition, before formatting it as a volume. You can specify the filesystem to format the partition in by using any that are supported. This simply refers to the name of the volume that will be created. In this instance, I've just labelled the volume as "Test". Only the primary part of the identifier i.

The additional segment indicating the partition number is omitted.

Identify Hard Drive Disk Identifier

Here is an external drive that's partitioned with two volumes, FirstVolume and SecondVolume. To erase SecondVolume , the command is:. Do not screw this up. For some quick reference, here are a few examples of various disk erasure methods for different file system format types. As always, be sure you change the disk node as appropriate for your disk. All volumes on this disk will be destroyed. Ownership of the affected disk is required.

You cannot erase the boot disk. Single User Mode alone is not sufficient to erase the actively booted operating system. Enjoy this tip?

How to format a USB external disk for Mac OSX using Disk Utility | Coolest Guides on the Planet

Subscribe to the OSXDaily newsletter to get more of our great Apple tips, tricks, and important news delivered to your inbox! Enter your email address below:. Thanks for the interesting article. The spreading of knowledge should never be discourage. They will learn something from it.

Disk Utility

And no great disaster will occur. My story is I hand off USB and other older hard drives. One way I was taught was to hard format a drive in Windows, then do similar in Mac, then again format in Windows, then add the data. For jpgs, this should elimant many software recovery options. My understanding of how your trying to do secure deletes: As a bare minimum overwriting the whole disk 7 times is considered just about acceptable. Why is Apple holding back from implementing a modern disk file system on their computers?

The specs for one of these was offered to them and basically everyone else free of charge, quite a few years ago by Sun Microsystems. Apple charges a higher than normal price for what I will admit is a higher than normal quality machine. So, please, put a few of your brilliant engineers on this, would ya?


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Failure should not be an option. Maybe they will release new Macs in that time that could use it. Under the strictest supervision from Apple, I was able to do this from the command line. There are several alternative appearance settings. After this shows up in terminal..

This is what I see. This worked great, thank you so much for showing me how to erase a hard drive from the command line. Hi — Despite my double checking the list to identify the right dev to delete, I deleted a drive that had all of my photos. I have four drives in an external Stardom stack. I was having problems with a corrupted drive.

Do you have any advice on how to retrieve the files? EFI How do I continue? Apple Devs are going down the drain these days! Hi, I tried a lot of command from here but was not able to repair my GB lexar flash drive. I got this error: Wiping volume data to prevent future accidental probing failed Can anyone help me on this? On MacOS But the CLI way went alright! Hi, I tried a lot of command from here but was not able to repair my 16GB flash drive.

Wiping volume data to prevent future accidental probing failed I spent two days on it and found no solution. Please help me on this? Thank you for this. I follow the instructions, and I received the message:.


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This is an article for Mac, it is erasing a hard drive from a Mac command line, it is not a Windows tutorial. You can, however, format a Windows hard drive from a Mac if you connect the Windows hard drive to the Mac and format it through Disk Utility, or the command line as described above. If you are having a hard time using the command line, try the Disk Utility app, which is simpler and uses the GUI.

Initialize Hard Drive Using macOS Command-Line Tutorial

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