Disk First Aid

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Disk First Aid
Disk First Aid.png
Developer(s)Apple Inc.
Stable release
8.6.1 / May 3, 2001
Operating systemClassic Mac OS
Typesoftware utility

Disk First Aid is a free software utility made by Apple Inc. that was bundled with all computers running the classic Mac OS.[1] This tool verifies and repairs a limited number of directory structure problems on any HFS or HFS Plus hard disk or volume.[2]

Disk First Aid is a very simple tool, with it only being able to detect and repair directory damage[3] and many books are critical of its sometimes inaccurate reporting of errors, and often suggest to run the tool more than once to ensure you are receiving a consistent result.[3][4][5] Disk First Aid is located in Applications:Utilities:Disk First Aid.[4] The classic Mac OS provides an option to run Disk First Aid on startup, although it has been reported that it provides little gain and sometimes can amplify a problem.[4]

Its capabilities were incorporated into Disk Utility in macOS.

Situations to use the tool[edit]

One source suggests that disk utility should be used when there are:

  • Frequent system crashes
  • Disappearing files
  • Files changing size
  • Problems copying files from one place to another.
  • Problems saving files.
  • Cryptic error messages.[5]

as well as for general maintenance every 6 months.[6]


Disk First Aid has built-in capabilities to check for damage to:

After analyzing the disk directory, Disk First Aid determines whether it is able to repair any damage that was detected. The utility can commonly only fix problems associated with the catalog/extents files and the volume bitmap.[4] Commonly, the program reports that there is an error, but cannot fix it.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Watson, Andrew (2008-02-07). "Disk First Aid Utility in Mac". Retrieved 2009-01-12.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Stauffer, Todd (2004). How to Do Everything with Your iMac. McGraw-Hill Professional. p. 456. ISBN 0-07-223188-2. Retrieved 2008-01-12.
  3. ^ a b c Breen, Christopher (2002). Mac 911. Peachpit Press. pp. 104–5. ISBN 0-201-77339-2. Retrieved 2008-01-12.
  4. ^ a b c d e Landau, Ted (2000). Sad Macs, Bombs, and Other Disasters: And what to Do about Them. Peachpit Press. pp. 805–11. ISBN 0-201-69963-X. Retrieved 2008-01-12.
  5. ^ a b "In OS X, what is First Aid, and when and how should I use it?". University Information Technology Services Knowledge Base. Indiana University. 2008-12-18. Retrieved 2009-01-12.
  6. ^ "Disk First Aid for Macintosh". IT Service Desk (8help). Ohio State University. 1999-06-04. Archived from the original on 2009-03-17. Retrieved 2009-01-12.
  7. ^ "Mac OS 9 - How to Use Disk First Aid". Computing@UW-MADISON KnowledgeBase. University of Wisconsin-Madison. 2001-02-09. Retrieved 2009-01-12.