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Mac OS X 10.6: The internal disk

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The internal disk

Your computer has an internal disk, which is a storage device that contains the software and information used by your computer. Some computers have additional internal disks, or externally connected disks.

Specifying a startup disk

The startup disk contains the Mac OS X system software. Your internal disk is usually the startup disk, but you can also start up your computer from an external disk or a CD or DVD that has system software on it.

To find out which disk is being used as the startup disk, choose Apple menu > About This Mac.

Changing your startup disk

Managing disk space

To see how much space is available on a disk, click its icon to select it, and choose File > Get Info. To increase available space, you can compress folders, delete personal items, or store items on a separate disk.

Increasing disk space

Partitioning a disk

You can divide a single disk into sections, called “partitions,” that act like smaller disks. Some people do this to help organize and manage their disk space.

Partitioning a disk

Backing up your disk

It is very important to regularly back up the files on your internal disk. The Time Machine application on your computer makes it easy to back up files. You can also copy your files onto CDs, DVDs, or other disks.

Setting up and adjusting Time Machine

Troubleshooting disk problems

If you suspect or experience problems with your internal disk, applications such as Disk Utility can help you diagnose and repair problems. Be sure to follow application instructions carefully. If necessary, a faulty disk can be replaced.

Repairing a disk
Last Modified: Aug 6, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Aug 6, 2013
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