Mac OS X to the Max: Going Further with Disk Utility

Disk Utility is a very powerful and useful application. Unfortunately, covering all its functionality is beyond the scope of this chapter. Following are some hints about other tasks for which you can use it:

  • Create disk images? You can create disk images from files, folders, or even drives and volumes. Just like other disk images you work with, you can easily put your disk images on CD, use them to quickly re-create a set of data in multiple locations, and so on. The commands you use to create and work with disk images are on the Images menu.

  • Burn CDs and DVDs? Disk Utility enables you to burn CDs or DVDs from disk images. You can also use it to create multisession discs?something you can't do from the Finder's Burn command. Use the Burn button or the Burn command on the Images menu to access the application's burn functionality.

  • Work with disk images? As you mount disk images in Disk Utility, it tracks those images in the lower part of the left pane so you can work with them again by selecting them. This makes accessing these images simple.


    To remove a disk image from Disk Utility, drag its icon out of the application window.

  • Mount, unmount, or eject volumes? You can use the mount, unmount, and eject buttons and commands to perform those actions for disks, discs, volumes, and disk images.

  • Restore any folder, volume, or disk? You can create a disk image from any source (such as a folder or volume) and use the application's command to restore that information on a disk. For example, if you want to replicate a set of software on multiple machines, you can create a disk image and use the Restore function on each machine to re-create that data. After you have created the disk image, use the Restore tab to restore it.

  • Access a log file? As you perform actions with it, Disk Utility maintains a complete log of the actions it performs. To access this log, select File, Log or press graphics/mac.gif-L. The Log opens and you can view its contents. This provides a complete history of your disk maintenance tasks.

  • Configure RAID disks? Redundant array of independent disks (RAID) is a scheme whereby multiple disks can be linked to work together for performance and reliability reasons (for example, disks can be mirrored so the same information is always stored on more than one disk in case of disk failure). You can use the RAID tab in Disk Utility to configure RAID services on a machine.

  • Fix OS 9 permissions? Mac OS 9 disks use slightly different permissions than do Mac OS X disks. Use the Fix OS 9 Permissions command on the File menu to repair the permissions on Mac OS 9 volumes and disks.

    Part I: Mac OS X: Exploring the Core
    Part III: Mac OS X: Living the Digital Life