Disk Utility: difference between Device and Volume?

ericddd

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 2, 2008
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0
Hi. I ran Disk Utility on an external USB 3 drive. First, by clicking on the device name "Toshiba Drive" it does its thing and the drive passes. However, when I click on the Volume - 3TB Logical Volume OS X Extended - First Aid fails - message is "First Aid process has failed. If possible back up the data on this volume".

Also, an onscreen message, "You can still open or copy files on the disk, but you can't save changes. Backup and reformat as soon as you can".

Question is why does it pass on device but not volume. What's the difference?

I had just moved my media files from an older drive this one. For a day, it seemed fine. Should I reformat and then move all my media back to it again, or is this a bad drive?

Not sure if this belongs here or in the Peripheral thread, if so, sorry about that.

Thanks.
 

leman

macrumors G3
Oct 14, 2008
9,961
4,550
A device is a piece of hardware, such as the physical drive itself. A volume is a logical structure that describes how data is stored. This structure can span multiple devices (in case of Fusion Drive), but is usually confined to a single one. A useful analogy is to think of a device as a storage room and a volume as an card index that tells in which part of which room to fact which data. In this, the device and the volume are principally different. It is possible that the disk is perfectly fine, but that the volume (the data index) has been corrupted beyond repair.

Although, in your case I am a bit confused because I was always under impression that running a check on a device will also check its volumes. At any rate, I recommend that you backup the affected disk and completely reformat it.
 
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Ebenezum

macrumors 6502a
Mar 31, 2015
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Disk Utility can't repair all errors. More advanced software such as Techtool Pro or Diskwarrior are more likely able to repair the disk without having to reformat it. That is assuming problem is only in the filesystem and not in the drive itself.

If the problem happens again after reformatting drive it's likely that the disk is defective. You might want to check the disk SMART info just to be in the safe side with software such as SMART reporter.
 

CoastalOR

macrumors 68020
Jan 19, 2015
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Oregon, USA
Disk Utility can't repair all errors. More advanced software such as Techtool Pro or Diskwarrior are more likely able to repair the disk without having to reformat it. That is assuming problem is only in the filesystem and not in the drive itself.

If the problem happens again after reformatting drive it's likely that the disk is defective. You might want to check the disk SMART info just to be in the safe side with software such as SMART reporter.
ericddd: +1 for Techtool Pro and Diskwarrior. I have used both and they definitely can fix problems that Disk Utility can not fix. My favorite is Disk Warrior.

Ebenezum: I will admit that I'm not familiar with SMART reporter, but I did not think that external drives via USB would support SMART info.
 
Last edited:

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,132
8,805
California
Hi. I ran Disk Utility on an external USB 3 drive. First, by clicking on the device name "Toshiba Drive" it does its thing and the drive passes. However, when I click on the Volume - 3TB Logical Volume OS X Extended - First Aid fails - message is "First Aid process has failed. If possible back up the data on this volume".

Also, an onscreen message, "You can still open or copy files on the disk, but you can't save changes. Backup and reformat as soon as you can".

Question is why does it pass on device but not volume. What's the difference?

I had just moved my media files from an older drive this one. For a day, it seemed fine. Should I reformat and then move all my media back to it again, or is this a bad drive?

Not sure if this belongs here or in the Peripheral thread, if so, sorry about that.

Thanks.
Normally when you select the device up top it would check the whole volume, but you have a "logical volume" present and just selecting the device does not check that. Think of a logical volume as sort of a virtual physical disk drive.

If you run the command below in Terminal to will see that either your drive is configured as a cores storage volume or you have FileVault turned on. Both create logical volumes like this.

Code:
diskutil cs list
I would remove any data to an external drive then remove the logical volume and erase the entire disk then copy the OS and data back and start over. It may be that you have the beginnings of a disk failure there.
 
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