Disk Utility

Disk Utility is the name of a utility created by Apple for performing disk-related tasks in Mac OS X. These tasks include:

  • the creation, conversion, compression and encryption of disk images from a wide range of formats read by Disk Utility to .dmg or, for CD/DVD images, .cdr;
  • mounting, unmounting, and ejecting disks (including both hard disks, removable media and disk images);
  • enabling or disabling journaling;
  • verifying a disk's integrity, and repairing it if the disk is damaged (this will work for both Mac compatible format partitions, and FAT32 partitions with Microsoft Windows installed);
  • verifying and repairing permissions;
  • disk erasing, formatting, partitioning and cloning;
  • secure deletion of free space or disk using a "zero out" data, a 7-pass DOD 5220-22 M standard, or a 35-pass Gutmann algorithm
  • adding or changing partition table between Apple Partition Table, GUID Partition Table, and master boot record (MBR);
  • creating, destroying, merging, and repairing RAID sets;
  • restoring volumes from Apple Software Restore (ASR) images;
  • burning disk images to CD or DVD in HFS+ format;
  • erasing CD-RWs and DVD-RWs;
  • checking the S.M.A.R.T status of a hard disk.

Disk Utility functions may also be accessed from the Mac OS X command line with the diskutil and hdiutil commands.

Disk Utility was updated with Mac OS X v10.3. Prior to v10.3, the functionality of Disk Utility was spread across two applications: Disk Copy and Disk Utility. Disk Copy was used for creating and mounting disk image files, and Disk Utility was used for formatting, partitioning, verifying and repairing file structures. The ability to "zero" all data on a disk was not added until Mac OS X 10.2.3

Further changes introduced in 10.4.3 allowed Disk Utility to be used to verify the file structure of the current boot drive. However, as Apple notes in their public knowledge base, doing so can sometimes yield false error messages.

Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard added the ability to create, resize, and delete disk partitions without erasing them, a feature known as live partitioning.

In versions of the Mac OS prior to Mac OS X, similar functionality to the verification features of Disk Utility could be found in the Disk First Aid application. Another application called Drive Setup was used for drive formatting and partitioning, and the application Disk Copy was used for working with disk images.

Famous quotes containing the words disk and/or utility:

    Unloved, that beech will gather brown,
    This maple burn itself away;

    Unloved, the sun-flower, shining fair,
    Ray round with flames her disk of seed,
    And many a rose-carnation feed
    With summer spice the humming air;
    Alfred Tennyson (1809–1892)

    Moral sensibilities are nowadays at such cross-purposes that to one man a morality is proved by its utility, while to another its utility refutes it.
    Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900)