Question about erasing a drive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by xkmxkmxlmx, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. xkmxkmxlmx macrumors 6502a

    xkmxkmxlmx

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2011
    #1
    When I go to erase a drive, there are two options. "erase free space" and "erase".

    If I choose just the erase option, does it erase the free space as well?
     
  2. AppleNewton macrumors 68000

    AppleNewton

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Location:
    1 Finite Place
    #2
    Essentially erasing free space is telling the drive that the free that has been freed up from previously deleted files will securely erase the free space so any files previously deleted or removed will be harder to recover.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3680?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

    So in turn erasing free space will NOT erase your entire drive, so a simple Erase will do fine.
    I like to a single Zero out to securely remove data, though most of the time repartitioning the drive works fine too.
     
  3. xkmxkmxlmx thread starter macrumors 6502a

    xkmxkmxlmx

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2011
    #3
    Thanks for your reply. I understand what erasing free space means. I am asking if choosing "erase" covers both the actual files AND the free space, or if I have to do both. I am still unclear from your answer.
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #4
    "Erase" will erase the entire drive. "Erase free space" will erase only the free space. If you click the ? in the lower left corner, you can get more information on any of the Disk Utility screens.
    ScreenCap 2012-06-23 at Sat, Jun 23,12.24.46 PM .PNG
     
  5. xkmxkmxlmx thread starter macrumors 6502a

    xkmxkmxlmx

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2011
    #5
    Thanks man, I appreciated it.
     

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