Zero out to increase drive speed?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by T3hPreacher, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. T3hPreacher macrumors member

    Jan 7, 2008
    I'm about to reformat my HD and do a fresh install of OSX10.6. I read that zeroing out with disk utility can map bad sectors and even increase write speed slightly. Is this legit? Should I take the extra time to do this now to save time later?

    Here's the link:
  2. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    I always zero out my drives whenever I buy new ones, or reformat for new or major OS updates and installations. You're right, it maps out bad sectors (even new drives can have bad sectors). As for speeding up, it is only (slightly) faster because it is fresh with zero file fragmentation, but it won't be noticeable and really has nothing to do with zeroing out. OS X does a decent job of keeping drives from fragmenting so that is a moot point.

    Zeroing out will also buy you more time if your drive is acting flakey. It's not a longterm solution, but it might allow you to use the drive for temporary storage until you can get a replacement. I had a drive that threw a couple of write errors... so I zeroed it out. It lasted another 6 months until it started acting up again. I eventually replaced it (I was using it as a Photoshop scratch disk, so I didn't worry about data loss).
  3. T3hPreacher thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 7, 2008
    Thanks for the timely and informative answer. I'll go ahead and do that then.
  4. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    The only reason it would increase speed noticeably is if your drive is defragmented (which does happen with OS X, even if people say otherwise)

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