How to Use the Disk Utility on an iMac

By K.C. Winslow

The Disk Utility application in OS X allows iMac user to manage and work disks in their computer in a variety of ways. These disks include the computer’s hard disk, external hard disks, CDs and DVDS, and disk images. Disk Utility is generally the first stop for home users when troubleshooting a problem and when performing general maintenance on the hard disk.

Step 1

Open “Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.”

Step 2

Verify and repair disk permissions in Disk Utility. When a computer is experiencing problems such as programs shutting down, changes to preferences not being remembered or applications failing to start up, it is frequently a problem with disk permissions. Disk permissions are sometimes changed when programs are installed on the computer or by applications as they perform some tasks. In the First Aid tab, press “Verify Disk Permissions” to see if there are permission problems on your disk. If errors are found, pressing “Repair Disk Permissions” will restore the permissions to Apple’s specifications.

Step 3

Verify and repair the disk in Disk Utility. A computer’s road map is known as the “directory.” Over time, parts of the directory can get out of order, resulting in a number of problems with the computer. To verify and repair the disk, boot from your OS X install disk and open disk utility. In the First Aid tab, press “Verify Disk” to analyze the state of the directory. If errors are found, press “Repair Disk” to restore the directory.

Step 4

Erase and format an external drive in Disk Utility. Before being used with an iMac, most hard drives need to be formatted to work with OS X. Select the external drive in the menu on the left-hand side of the screen. In the Erase tab, select the desired format type and press “Erase.”

Step 5

Burn CDs or DVDs from a disk image in Disk Utility. In the File Menu, select “Open Disk Image” and locate the disk image you want to burn. Insert blank media and press “Burn.”

Step 6

Open, unmount and eject disk images in Disk Utility. Select the disk image from the menu on the left-hand side or go to the File Menu and selecting “Open Disk Image.” Use the “Open,” “Unmount” and “Eject” buttons at the top of the window as desired.