I want to clean install a completely fresh copy of OS X El Capitan on my mac. I have a recovery USB that I will make using the Install OS X El Capitan.app at the time of install.

I have a question for installing it again. I want to completely wipe EVERYTHING off the drive, including the recovery partition (it was the wrong size for no reason at all), and I want to get rid of every partition on the drive. Completely free of everything like its brand new.

Now, I have watched video tutorials on how to clean install OS X. All of them do not erase the entire drive; they just remake the "Macintosh HD" partition on the drive. I want to erase the whole drive, partitions and everything, so that system partitions, etc, reset to default.

Is it safe to wipe the entire drive (Again, not the "Macintosh HD" partition, but the entire drive (In my case, it shows up as APPLE SSD0256F or something like that idk), with all of the system partitions on it?

I really have no experience with formatting an internal drive except once when reinstalling Mavericks (Long time ago, don't really remember what I did).

1 Answer 1


yup! boot off of your installation usb drive and instead of going straight into the install run 'Disk Utility' and remove all your partitions.

  • Do as this user suggests and you will be fine.
    – Rob
    Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 21:39
  • Ok I'll try that. You stated that I go to disk utility from the recovery drive and 'remove all partitions'. Can I just click the actual drive in disk utility and format it has Macintosh HD. Drive meaning the actual SSD not partition
    – user173581
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 8:19
  • if you want to remove the recovery partition you have to boot from the usb drive. click the parent drive, probably called Apple SSD, then erase button at the top.
    – user980989
    Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 9:09

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