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The functions currently supported by Disk Utility include:
- Creation, conversion, backup, compression, and encryption of logical volume images from a wide range of formats read by Disk Utility to .dmg or, for CD/DVD images, .cdr
- Mounting, unmounting and ejecting disk volumes (including both hard disks, removable media, and disk volume images)
- Enabling or disabling journaling
- Verifying a disk's integrity, and repairing it if the disk is damaged (this will work for both Mac compatible format partitions and for FAT32 partitions with Microsoft Windows installed)
- Erasing, formatting, partitioning, and cloning disks
- Secure deletion of free space or disk using a "zero out" data, a 7-pass DOD 5220-22 M standard, or a 35-pass Gutmann algorithm
- Adding or changing partition table between Apple Partition Map, GUID Partition Table, and master boot record (MBR)
- Restoring volumes from Apple Software Restore (ASR) images
- Checking the S.M.A.R.T. status of a hard disk
In the classic Mac OS, similar functionality to the verification features of Disk Utility could be found in the Disk First Aid application. Another application called Drive Setup was used for drive formatting and partitioning and the application Disk Copy was used for working with disk images.
Before Mac OS X Panther, the functionality of Disk Utility was spread across two applications: Disk Copy and Disk Utility. Disk Copy was used for creating and mounting disk image files whereas Disk Utility was used for formatting, partitioning, verifying, and repairing file structures. The ability to "zero" all data (multi-pass formatting) on a disk was not added until Mac OS X 10.2.3. Further changes introduced in Mac OS X Tiger, specifically version 10.4.3, allowed Disk Utility to be used to verify the file structure of the current boot drive. Mac OS X Leopard added the ability to create, resize, and delete disk partitions without erasing them, a feature known as live partitioning. In OS X El Capitan, Disk Utility has a different user interface and lost the abilities to repair permissions due to obsolescence, create and manage disks formatted as RAID, burn discs, and multi-pass format internal solid-state drives and encrypted external drives.
- Apple Software Restore
- Logical Disk Manager
- Palimpsest Disk Utility
- GNU Parted
- "Disk Utility 10.5 Help: Testing and repairing a disk or volume". Apple Inc.
- "Mac OS X 10.5: About resizing disk partitions". Apple Inc.
- Landau, Ted; Frakes, Dan (December 20, 2005). Mac OS X Help Line, Tiger Edition. Peachpit Press. ISBN 9780132705240.
- "Mac OS X: About the Mac OS X 10.2.3 Update" Archived March 27, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Apple Inc.
- "OS X v10.11 Developer Beta 7 Release Notes". Mac Developer Library. Apple Inc. August 18, 2015. Retrieved October 7, 2015.[permanent dead link]
- Cunningham, Andrew; Hutchinson, Lee (September 29, 2015). "OS X 10.11 El Capitan: The Ars Technica Review". Ars Technica. Retrieved September 30, 2015.