How to Format a Disc on a Mac


If you have a rewritable disc that you formatted for use in a PC and you want to now use it on a Mac, Mac OS X system software has a built-in utility to quickly handle the task. The Disk Utility application is a handy tool that reformats discs and troubleshoots problems with drives or volumes. The reformatting process formats the disc and deletes the all the data on the disc. Depending upon the level of security you want, the process takes several passes to wipe it clean.

  • Insert your disc into the optical drive.

  • Choose "Go" from the Apple "Finder" menu. Scroll to "Utilities" and locate the Disk Utility application in the folder. Double-click to launch the utility.

  • Select the disc or drive you want to format or erase from the left pane of the Disk Utility window. Click the "Erase" tab. Click the "Volume Format" pull-down menu and select "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)." Name your disc.

  • Change security options to erase the data. The greater number of passes you select, the harder it will be for a hacker to retrieve data off the disc. Respond to the dialog box that asks you to confirm if you want to erase the disc. Click "Erase" once again to erase the disc.

Tips & Warnings

  • Disk Utility performs other disc-related administrative functions, such as mounting and unmounting discs; burning data to discs; verifying the integrity of a disc and repairing it if it is damaged; copying a disc; and adding or changing partitions.
  • You will lose all data on the disc that you format in Disk Utility. Make sure you have made backup copies of any data you do not want to lose.

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