What is the C drive on a mac? and cache?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by grosslyclever, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. grosslyclever macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2009

    What is the C drive on a mac?

    Also, where can I find the Safari cache folder?

  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Mac OS X does not use drive letters to address partitions, volumes and HDDs.
    It uses names, and the system volume is normally called Macintosh HD, unless you changed it.

    Safari Cache folder: Macintosh HD / Users / YOU / Library / Caches / com.apple.Safari , found via looking and also via using a search engine for the WWW.

    Helpful Information for Any Mac User by GGJstudios
  3. grosslyclever thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2009
    So, if a mac DID use letters, what would its C drive be? That's my question...Does it make sense?
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    As the C:/ drive in Windows is the drive that holds the system (applications, OS and user data) the equivalent in Mac OS X would be the aforementioned "Macintosh HD" volume, though it might not be called that if one has changed that.
    To find out what the name of your system drive is, go to Finder, click on your Home directory (house icon or use CMD+SHIFT+H) and then go to VIEW in the Menu Bar and select "SHOW PATH BAR" and see for yourself.

    Did that answer your question sufficiently?
  5. grosslyclever thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2009
    I suppose it'll do. I hope you didn't get too angry :)
  6. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Maybe it would help if you explained what you are trying to figure out, or do?

    Windows, while no longer DOS based is still using many of the terms from way back when these things were hardcoded into the OS. OS X, coming from a different lineage that never used Drive Letters (Like C:, or A: for floppies) doesn't really have an exact equivalent.

    I don't know if it's still true for Windows, but once upon a time you designated a certain drive or partition as the C: drive, and then that was the drive that the OS tried to boot from. And if there wasn't an OS there, you didn't boot. So - you set the C: Drive, and then you put the system files there.

    There were limitations too on where the C: could go. Ah yes, the good old days. Whether or not those limitations still exist in Windows, that terminology still exists in working with the OS.

    OS X boots from whichever drive/partition has system files, and iirc, is formatted to be bootable. There are no drive letters for the drives/partitions - just names. So you put the system files where ever you want, then boot from there.

    This is all based on a non-professionals understanding of how things worked, though over the years I've messed around with my fair share of partitions etc.

    Does that help?
  7. Guiyon, Jan 26, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011

    Guiyon macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2008
    North Shore, MA
    The closest you'll get is '/', which is referred to as the root directory and is the top-level directory of the currently booted drive. This is *roughtly* equivalent to 'C:\' in Windows. For example, the default location of the 'Users' folder is '/Users' and your default home folder is located at '/Users/<your-username'.

    Another thing that is interesting (and you may need to know at some point) is that, unlike Windows, there is only one top-level directory. Any drives which are mounted MUST be mounted in a directory under '/'. For example, if you plug in a USB drive named 'MY_DRIVE', Mac OS X will automount it in '/Volumes/MY_DRIVE' and, although you may not always see it, all accesses to the drive go through that location.

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