I am bored....Good idea or what?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by SiNNeD, Aug 28, 2006.

  1. SiNNeD macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2006
    So I am new to the Mac world as I have stated so many times b4 in previous threads. I have been on the help pages of my MacBook reading and reading. I have been all over these forums reading up on information about Apple, Mac and Macbooks.

    My question is, I am bored and I would like to learn more about the Mac and the inner workings of how things are run and how things are done. I was thinking of reformatting my macbook just for fun. I am a person that has to know everything about anything...and as a windows user for the last 10 yrs or so I know nothing about Apple or Mac or Tiger etc etc. Any opinions would be great.

    From what I can see in the readings its just as simple as putting in the OS X disc restarting and then running through the steps as they come. But what I dont fully understand is the Disc Utility and how or why you would want to erase the drive from there and or what the Erase free space is all about. I read somewhere and it said that you add zero's or something all the way up to 35 would anyone be able to explain this a little more in depth for me...is this in any way shape or form got anything to do with a reformat of my HD or would this be something that I would do say after or before I have reformatted my HD...? Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!! :)
  2. thewhitehart macrumors 6502a


    Jul 9, 2005
    The town without George Bailey
    Erasing free space on a huge drive can take ages (hours). Erasing free space makes it difficult for anyone but the smartest hackers to recover files you've deleted. Erasing free space has to sort through the data on your drive so as not to add zeros to the data you want to keep, which may be scattered around your drive. Basically, don't do it for no reason. It's not the same as formatting a drive, which has no regards for erasing your files and is a lot faster.

    Don't reinstall OS X, what's the point? If you want to play with Disk Utility, make yourself some disk images and fill them up, etc.

    When I get bored, I play around with my old Classic Mac emulator, installing older operating systems.
  3. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    thewhitehart is correct. There's no need to do this as a routine matter of course. If you're getting rid of your Mac, then you might want to write over your data a few times...

    But if you'd like to do a 35x erase of your drive, plan on waiting a few days for the job to finish.
  4. Shadow macrumors 68000


    Feb 17, 2006
    Keele, United Kingdom
    I use my USB drive to play with Disk Utility.
  5. SiNNeD thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2006
    Ok so I wont do the erase free space thing, but say I need to reformat. Is it as easy as putting the OS X disc in restarting the macbook and then following the steps to re-install OS X? Just curious is all!
  6. steamboat26 macrumors 65816


    May 25, 2006
    Arlington VA
    as far as i know thats all you have to do, but you probably have to erase the old partition with os X on it, and recreate that partition and then install os X again.
  7. SiNNeD thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2006
    Ok my next question would be how to erase the old partition and then recreat it?
  8. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    If you need to mess with the partitions, you can do this from Disk Utility while booted from the install disc (it's in the menus)--try it, you're not obligated to erase anything by just poking around, and you'll always be warned in advance. From there you can partition, wipe, whatever, your internal drive, similar to what you can do with the Windows installer (but a LOT prettier, and more functional).

    That said, if you only have one partition or just want to wipe the OS partition and put a fresh OS on it (as opposed to an install that maintains your old data), then you don't even need Disk Utility--the installer will give you "Erase and Install" as one of the options. The other commonly used one is "Archive and Install", which keeps all the old data but puts a fresh OS down, or "Archive and Install, Preserving Users", which does the same but keeps your user data intact, so your account(s) still functions as it did before, without having to recreate anything from backups or the archive.

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