5 Replies Latest reply: May 12, 2012 6:19 AM by R C-R
zit Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)

I received a replacement for a defective hard drive and used Disk Utility "Restore" to copy a backup to the new drive.

I assumed, incorrectly, that the Restore would partition the new drive.

Everything works with the new drive (except the blue activity light seems dead).

It mounts, verifies, reads, writes, 59367 folders, 99406 files.

Finder says Format: Mac OS Extended (Journaled).

But Disk Utility says Partition Map Scheme: Unformatted.


Is it worth redoing?

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8), MacBookPro3,1 6GB
  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,325 points)

    A partition map is a area on the drive that talks to the hardware accessing it, what, what size, where and how many of the partitions on the drive.


    Mac's and most computers create a partition map, even if it's one partition on the drive.



    I would do it over again, but use this method for reliability, even though it takes some time




    Check under partition > options that it has a GUID and a OS X extended journaled format.

  • zit Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)

    Thanks. I'm surprised that it worked so well without one.


    The zeroing takes many hours.

    I wish Steve Gibson would port SpinRite to the Mac.

    That would be more worth the time.

    I don't have an IBM compatible handy.

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,325 points)

    zit wrote:


    The zeroing takes many hours.



    Yea, I know. But it's only time, it's cheaper when you sleep on it.

  • WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (12,775 points)

    I realize there may still be some who feel this is necessary, but the opinion widely held by many, almost a consensus, is that zeroing out a new drive to map out any bad blocks is a waste of time. The drive has spare sectors and any bad blocks will be mapped out and surplus ones utilized all on its own automatically during use.

  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (16,855 points)

    Disk Utility's secure erase options do not read back the zeros (or other data patterns used in the multi-pass options), as the user tip incorrectly claims it does. (The same is true for the diskutil erase options.) Thus, this step doesn't map out bad sectors, which can only be detected during reads by the drive itself.


    The only function of a secure erase is exactly what the name implies: to securely erase any existing data on the targeted part of the drive, which is done by by writing over it with one or more meaningless data patterns. It is not necessary to read anything from the overwritten sectors to do this; in fact, since reading a weak sector during the process might cause the drive to map it out while it still contained recoverable data fragments, it is undesirable from a security standpoint to do this.


    Plus, from a practical standpoint, reading back the sectors would more than double the time the secure erase would take & cause pointless work for the drive. Writes take less time on the average than reads because the drive automatically performs integrity checks on reads, which sometimes requires more than one read attempt even from good sectors.


    If you doubt that a secure erase is a write only process, you can check this for yourself by getting the drive's specifications & comparing its read & write performance with how long it takes to do the secure erase. If it takes less time than it would to both write & then read the sectors then you know it can't possibly be reading back anything.