Try a BIGGER hammerThe Essential Mac

Backup HD
Rebuild Desktop
Defragment HD
HD Repair utilities
Extensions Conflicts
Clean Install
Reformat HD
SCSI Voodoo

Reformat Your Hard Drive

Sometimes it is necessary to totally reformat your hard drive. This is a rather drastic option which will wipe out everything on your hard drive, so you will need a complete backup of all data and applications before reformatting.

Some reasons for reformatting a hard drive:

  • a corrupted hard disk driver that prevents your drive from mounting
  • severe virus damage to both data and system files
  • creating new partitions on your hard drive

Apple provides the Apple HD SC Setup utility programs (included with the System Software Installer) that can reformat your hard drive as well as create partitions and test for bad blocks. There are also a variety of third party disk formatting utilities such as Silverlining (La Cie) and the FWB Hard Disk Toolkit, which may offer improved performance. Beware, if you do use a third party drive formatting utility, as you upgrade to new versions of Apple System software, you will need to also obtain updated versions of the disk driver from that company.

Once you have made a complete backup of the contents of your hard drive, the actual reformatting is easy. First, you need to boot your computer from something other than the hard drive that is to be reformatted. The System Installer CD-ROM would be a good choice. Next, launch the Apple HD SC Setup program and just click the "Initialize" button. Answer yes to all of the warnings, then wait 10-15 minutes for the formatting process (longer for larger hard drives).

Apple HD SC setup

Once the formatting is done, you should install the System software, then reload your applications and data from the backup.

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