Which Drive Do I Erase To Do A Reinstall?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by fred1234, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. fred1234 macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2015
    Hello. I'm doing a full erase and clean install of my OSX from the boot disc however I cant remember what drive to click erase on when I'm in the Disk Utilitiy menu. Do I do a full erase on the actual physical hard drive titled '250 GB Toshiba Media' or the volume icon just below it titled 'my mac hdd'-? I've looked up a few youtube videos but some do one, others do the other. Which do I erase to do a clean install? Thanks.
  2. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    You can choose to erase from either line. The biggest difference would be if you have more than just that one partition, or a partition that you know that you don't want to erase.
    If you know you have only the one partition, then choose the drive line (250 GB, hardware model number, etc), which will revert the drive to a single partition, regardless of how many partitions you might have on the drive.
  3. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

    Aug 24, 2013
    Far from here
    It all depends on what you booted from : you can NOT erase the whole disc if you booted from the Recovery partition : you can only erase Macintosh HD.

    If you booted from an external drive (DVD, clone, USB stick) you will be able to erase the whole drive (the physical drive, first line).

    If you are "downgrading" and have a Recovery partition, you will need to erase the whole disc (=including the Recovery) to be able to install the OS.

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