Formatting Your System Drive Using Your OS X Install DVD

Even Macs age and eventually need to be replaced.  If you are planning on giving your Mac away, it is best to format it first so that you do not unintentionally leave personal data on it.  It is even better to wipe the drive.  You cannot format the system drive from within your operating system because that would wipe out the very files that are used to perform the format.  Instead, you must use the install DVD.  Here are the steps.

  1. Insert the OS X Install DVD in your optical drive.
  2. Start your Mac by pressing the power button and then hold the “c” key on the keyboard until a grey screen with the Apple logo appears.
  3. Select your language
  4. On the Utilities menu, select “Disk Utility”
  5. Select a drive from the list of drives and volumes.
  6. Click the “Erase” tab.
  7. Enter a name for the drive. The default name is Untitled. I typically name the drive with my OS, “System”, but you can name it whatever you want.
  8. Select a volume format to use. The Volume Format drop-down menu lists the available drive formats.
  9. Click the “Security Options” button. A Security Options sheet will display the available secure erase options.
  10. Select “Zero Out Data” from the list of options to identify bad hard disk sectors and mark them so that they will not be used. This helps prevent data corruption.
  11. Make your selection and click the “OK” button.
  12. Click the “Erase” button. Disk Utility.


About The Author


Eric Vanderburg

Eric Vanderburg is an author, thought leader, and consultant. He serves as the Vice President of Cybersecurity at TCDI and Vice Chairman of the board at TechMin. He is best known for his insight on cybersecurity, privacy, data protection, and storage. Eric is a continual learner who has earned over 40 technology and security certifications. He has a strong desire to share technology insights with the community. Eric is the author of several books and he frequently writes articles for magazines, journals, and other publications.

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