Questions tagged [hard-drive]

A hard drive is a device for permanent or long-term storage in computers.

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163 votes
6 answers
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Is it safe to delete ~/Library/Caches?

Is it safe to delete the file Caches, in the Library of the Mac OS X Hard Drive? It's a pretty big file, 3.56 GB, Caches reminds me of logs i don't need or browser cookies. Is it safe to delete the ...
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102 votes
8 answers
167k views

How do I get detailed SMART disk information on OS X (Mavericks or later)

I'm trying to get a detailed SMART status report on the drives in my Mac. I'm not talking about "Verified," I'm talking about the detailed report that's about 100 lines long listing all the vital ...
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66 votes
8 answers
92k views

How to check if my HD is case sensitive or not?

How can I get information if my HD format is case sensitive or case insensitive? I want to make sure my Mac running Mountain Lion has a case sensitive file system.
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  • 2,698
65 votes
2 answers
97k views

What is com.apple.bird? Why does it grow so big?

When trying to clean up their hard disk, some users discover ~/Library/Caches/com.apple.bird is pretty big, sometimes in the order of many gigabytes. What is it?
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  • 801
57 votes
9 answers
61k views

Time Machine ridiculously slow after El Capitan upgrade

I recently updated to El Capitan, and told Time Machine to backup. It got stuck on Preparing Backup for hours, so I stopped it, deleted the InProgress file, rebooted and tried again. After ~30 mins, ...
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56 votes
7 answers
11k views

Do Macs need to be defragmented?

I don't see any application to defragment my Mac (running OS X). Is defragmenting not necessary for Mac OS X? If so, why not?
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53 votes
6 answers
73k views

How do I clear the purgeable area on my disk?

I cleared space on my disk by deleting files and emptying trash. But, I am unable to make use of the space that I freed up. That is, as you can see the disk reports 142 GB as Available with 83 GB of ...
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  • 967
53 votes
10 answers
154k views

How to eject my external drive when my Mac refuses because of Spotlight?

I have plugged an external disk to my Mac. Now, I want to eject it. But my Mac stubbornly refuses and says that an application may be using the disk. I have not launched any app neither opened any ...
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52 votes
11 answers
172k views

External Hard Drive Won't Mount

I've searched and tried a lot of stuff but still can't get it to work. I was able to use my seagate HDD properly last week but now it doesn't mount. I tried plugging it to a PC & another mac, it ...
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  • 683
49 votes
2 answers
31k views

What is the difference between a "sparse disk image" and a "sparse bundle disk image"?

What are the differences between sparse and sparse bundle disk images?
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43 votes
4 answers
350k views

How do I make the hard drive visible in the Finder?

On OS X Lion I don't see the hard drive in the Finder and I seem to have no permission to create a folder under / from terminal. I know I can do this if I activate the root user, but I need to be ...
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  • 543
43 votes
3 answers
38k views

What are the differences between journaling HFS+ and non-journaling HFS+?

I'm about to format an external hard disk drive (HDD). What are the key differences between journaling HFS+ and non-journaling HFS+? Apart from the fact that one has journaling and the other does not,...
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37 votes
9 answers
273k views

Unable to format / erase hard drive

I have an external HD that died on me a while ago and I'm trying to see if I can format / erase it to start using it again. The disk does not show up in Finder but I can see it in Disk Utility. When ...
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  • 572
33 votes
7 answers
114k views

What is the best way to clone a disk between two Macs?

What is the best way to clone a disk between two Macs? I ask this every couple years or so and every time I get the same answer. "Use Carbon Copy Cloner", they say. But the unfortunate fact is that ...
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33 votes
3 answers
170k views

USB Drive Will Not Mount, Not Listed in Disk Utilities, but Found In System Profiler

I have a Seagate FreeAgent Go drive with the optional docking station. I use it to keep files that I don't access on a regular basis and as a place to do "quick backups" of things like my Paperless ...
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30 votes
8 answers
186k views

Disk Utility won't Unmount HD for formatting

I have two internal drives in my 27" iMac (10.8.5). An SSD system disk and a 1TB SATA drive. The HDD has been acting up recently, very slow performance, bad behavior etc. Tech Tool Pro and Disk ...
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  • 303
30 votes
3 answers
61k views

How to get the "securely erase" function of Disk Utility on El Capitan & Sierra

Up to Yosemite I regularly used Disk Utility with Erase > Security Options... > writes a single pass of zeros over the entire disk... as a simple method to fully check that a disk is fully safe before ...
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29 votes
4 answers
17k views

How do I eject the Time Machine backup drive automatically after each backup?

How do I set Time Machine to eject my external Time Machine backup drive automatically after each backup?
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  • 423
26 votes
12 answers
64k views

Error creating bootable USB

For two days my Mac has been "dead"; the hard drive crashed, so I reformatted (twice). I wanted to reinstall Mavericks via Recovery, but at the end of the process it shows nearly 1 million minutes ...
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  • 363
26 votes
4 answers
66k views

Why is a secure erase 'not necessary' for SSD's?

I'm about to trade in a 2010 MacBook Pro with an SSD. However, I'm unable to do a Secure Erase from the recovery disk (as I used to do with mechanical hard drives before selling or giving away a ...
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  • 581
26 votes
4 answers
26k views

MBP SSD upgrade - which settings to change?

After replacing the harddisk drive in MacBook Pro with a Solid State Disk I am wondering which settings I should change and how. Thinking of things that are supposed to protect the SSD like ...
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24 votes
4 answers
45k views

How can I merge primary APFS partition with other empty APFS partition?

Using the latest Macbook Pro with currently High Sierra 10.13.1, I was using bootcamp for a year, and I decided to get rid of the Bootcamp partition this morning. The Bootcamp utility would not let me ...
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  • 433
24 votes
5 answers
60k views

Mac OS Sierra - Disk Utility will not let me partition an external hard drive

Within disk utility, the partition icon is grayed out. If I mouse over it, it reads: "Disks with Master Boot Record Partition Maps cannot be partitioned". The history on this drive: It is a 2 TB ...
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  • 415
24 votes
3 answers
144k views

What are next steps when fsck reports "could not be repaired after 3 attempts"?

My Mac Book Pro 13.-" doesn´t get past the grey booting screen with the apple and the spinning wheel (The loading bar appears but when it´s done nothing happens) I have 220 GB in one single ...
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  • 241
22 votes
7 answers
67k views

What format for my external drive allows use with Mac and Windows?

How can I use my external hard drive on Mac OS so I can modify/edit files on both OS's: Mac and Windows? How should I format it?
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  • 379
22 votes
10 answers
135k views

USB HDD can’t be opened because the original item can’t be found

When I try to access my 2Tb Transcend StoreJet External Hard Drive in Finder, I always get the following error: However, 16Gb USB Flash Drive can be accessed without any problems. I cannot also see ...
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  • 321
21 votes
3 answers
63k views

Can there be two separate Time Machine Backups on the same external drive?

I'm interested in buying an external hard drive. I'd like to know whether if it's possible (and simple if so) to have two separate Time Machine Backups from two different MacBooks at the same time?
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21 votes
1 answer
24k views

Disable the disk check when reconnecting an improperly disconnected disk to OS X

If you disconnect a removable drive without ejecting it first, the next time you connect it, Windows or Mac run an fsck check on the disk to ensure data integrity. Windows will ask if you want to ...
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  • 439
20 votes
9 answers
440k views

How do I get an operating system onto a new hard drive?

I will be installing a new 500GB hard drive in my macbook. It is a late 2008, aluminum, 13-inch screen. Once I install it, how do I get an operating system that's 10.7 or newer (downloaded from the ...
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20 votes
6 answers
76k views

OS X can't unmount disk

My 1TB LaCie Rugged THB decided it was a good idea to stop working all of a sudden. If I open it in disk util I sometimes see an actual name of a partition, but most likely it's not the real name. In ...
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  • 303
19 votes
4 answers
59k views

How can I mount an encrypted disk from the command line?

When I type diskutil mount disk3 in the terminal, it says Volume(s) mounted successfully. However, the disk is not mounted and I can confirm this by opening the GUI of Disk Utility.app and also the ...
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  • 311
19 votes
1 answer
124k views

Force mounting an external disk that is not recognized

I recently bought a 4 TB naked (no enclosure) external hard drive that I mount via a Newer Tech dock (the ones where you insert the naked drive like bread in a toaster) and is connected to my MacBook ...
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  • 441
18 votes
5 answers
35k views

What are the sector sizes on Mac OS X?

I read on the HFS Plus Wikipedia page that the default sector size on a Mac is 512 b. However, I also read that Macs support 4kb sectors. How can I determine which I have, 512 b or 4 kb sectors? I ...
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  • 282
18 votes
5 answers
2k views

Does the use of SSD give one a dramatic performance boost?

I use Mac book pro 15", and it's time to buy a new one. For HDD, now I see a new option of SSD, which is pretty expensive. I can expect shorter boot-up time and faster access of files, but I'm not ...
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  • 5,444
18 votes
5 answers
66k views

Disk Utility won't erase my USB flash drive ("Couldn't open device")

I am willing to dual-boot my MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2011) macOS Sierra to install Ubuntu. I am having some trouble with my USB flash drive when I try to erase it using Disk Utility. It says: ...
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  • 181
17 votes
7 answers
6k views

If I delete photos/files why aren't they actually deleted? How come they can be recovered?

I am trying to delete some photos from my daughter's Photos Library/Hard Drive. What I have done so far is that I have moved the photos to the trash and emptied it. Now the problem is, deleted files/...
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  • 173
17 votes
3 answers
152k views

Error: "The operation can’t be completed because one or more required items can’t be found. (Error code -43)"

I accidentally pulled an NTFS hard drive out of my Mac OS X Mavericks machine several times and realized that I accidentally created multiple entries of many different names in my /Volumes/ folder. ...
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  • 273
17 votes
4 answers
10k views

FAT or exFAT or NTFS

I recently brought Western Digital's Passport Essential, and will be using with my MacBook (running Snow Leopard), MacBook Air (running Lion) and Windows 7 Desktop. I should be able to read-write data ...
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  • 1,456
16 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is defragmenting an SSD drive a bad idea?

I have heard that defragmenting SSD drives will shorten the life span of a drive. Just wondering if there is any truth to this and if so could someone elaborate as to why this happens.
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  • 1,371
15 votes
5 answers
13k views

Prevent Spotlight from indexing external drive

Sometimes I use an external drive with macOS on it. This is in conjunction to my current internal drive which also is running macOS. I find it annoying that, whenever I search for something (such as ...
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  • 7,425
15 votes
3 answers
33k views

Is it necessary to eject external drives before logging out, restarting, or shutting down?

Is it necessary or recommended practice to eject external drives before logging out, restarting, or shutting down? (The drives are not being unplugged.) BTW, I am aware that I need to eject my ...
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  • 681
15 votes
4 answers
5k views

Reformat Mac SSD drive so fast - did it really work?

I followed the directions here for erasing my 500 GB SSD drive on a MacBook Pro: How to reinstall macOS I chose the strongest erasing option under the security options. I hit the erase button, and ...
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  • 161
15 votes
2 answers
35k views

How can I get Automator to mount a network volume?

I am writing an Automator "script" that rsyncs media on my 10.6.3 MacBook Pro to my Ubuntu 10.10 HTPC. I can make Automator run my shell script for rsync commands, but I can't make Automator mount the ...
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15 votes
3 answers
105k views

How can I delete a partition (coreStorage logical volume?) from the Terminal?

I finally understood why Disk Utility will not change the partitions on my HDD, even though I added the most recent one myself (maybe significant: to test Yosemite DP) with it. Now I see it says it ...
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  • 451
15 votes
5 answers
96k views

What is filling up my hard drive so fast?

Last night (Because my hard drive was almost full) I freed about 4GB. Then I came back to my Macbook about 3hrs later (I left it idle) and Its was full again. Is something is eating my mac? If I go ...
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15 votes
3 answers
12k views

How can I disable the 2nd hard drive in my 27" iMac?

I have an 2010 27" iMac with an SSD and a regular hard drive. Now that I've been using the machine for some time and have not come close to filling the SSD, I'd like to disable the spinning hard drive ...
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14 votes
10 answers
135k views

I can't write to my flash drive, and it is already in the MS-DOS (FAT) Format. Why?

This is my first question on this website. I am using a Mac Air, and I have a flash drive in which I can read from. I am able to copy files from this onto my Desktop, or anywhere on my computer for ...
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  • 255
14 votes
2 answers
23k views

How to copy all files with extension/filetype in terminal?

I want to copy all files in ~/Desktop with the extension .jpeg to my flash drive. How can I do this in the terminal?
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14 votes
7 answers
45k views

How can I keep my fan from staying at full speed after replacing the hard drive?

I replaced a hard drive in a 2011 iMac (Core i7), though it was a standard hard drive and didn't have a location for the S.M.A.R.T. cord. (Or at least I think that's what it was.) Since then, the ...
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  • 143
14 votes
5 answers
44k views

Is there a utility for mac that shows the information of an SSD like the health etc…?

I am wondering if there is a utility for the mac that allows you to see the details of an SSD like the health of the drive, TBW (total bites written), how many running hours etc... In researching for ...
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