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disk utility: erase

250 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Jan 5, 2013 10:26 PM by paulsx RSS
FH678 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Jan 4, 2013 5:41 PM

I have an external hard drive with two partitions. I want to free up the space on one partition so I can use it for additional storage/backup. Will a simple "erase" in Disk Utility do that? The various descriptions under Security Options make it seem like a simple Erase doesn't really get rid of files, but only "erases the information used to access your files and leaves the date in the files unchanged." All the files in the partition are backed up elsewhere, and I just want to clean off the partition for archiving files.

Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • paulsx Calculating status...
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    Jan 4, 2013 6:18 PM (in response to FH678)

    I have this problem at the moment. I am trying to move all files from 1 terabite external HDD to trash. It has taken 2 days and is only 1/2 way through.

  • roam Level 6 Level 6 (13,545 points)
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    Jan 4, 2013 9:13 PM (in response to FH678)

    I want to free up the space on one partition so I can use it for additional storage/backup. Will a simple "erase" in Disk Utility do that?

    If you want to free up space, delete the content and empty the trash using Finder. Disk Utility is not for this purpose. You are 'over thinking' it.

  • noondaywitch Level 6 Level 6 (8,130 points)
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    Jan 5, 2013 3:55 AM (in response to FH678)

    FH678 wrote:

     

    I have an external hard drive with two partitions. I want to free up the space on one partition so I can use it for additional storage/backup. Will a simple "erase" in Disk Utility do that?

     

    Yes. No need to bother with the security options unless the info you're deleting is sensitive or personal.

  • LexSchellings Level 5 Level 5 (5,505 points)
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    Jan 5, 2013 5:38 AM (in response to FH678)

    @FH678

    roam is right: use the finder to delete and then empty the trash bin on your computer to really free up the (invisible) trash bin on your disk. No need to do a secure erase with Disk Utility.

    @paulsx

    you should not delete the whole 1TB at the same time: since the files are not destroyed and space freed up as long as this "delete" runs it has to use a lot of diskwrites and reads (for the caching) : you do a good "handfull" and then empty the Trash Bin, to free up space, so that the caches can be much larger. This will be much faster, the more space you free up by emptying the Trash.

  • LexSchellings Level 5 Level 5 (5,505 points)
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    Jan 5, 2013 6:33 AM (in response to FH678)

    The "erase" is the same as the "format". "Secure erase" writes more times over (VERY slow).

  • paulsx Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 5, 2013 10:26 PM (in response to LexSchellings)

    Thanks LexSchellings, I had waited 2 days for the Trash bin to empty, trying to empty it all at once. I subsequently emptied file by file: very tedious but it worked.

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