How to Format an Apple Laptop

By Michael O. Smathers

Formatting a hard drive erases all data.
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Mac OS X 10.6 is the default operating system used on current Apple-built desktops and laptops. If you have a laptop that uses Mac OS X 10.6 and want to format it for a fresh start or to install a new hard drive, the format process works differently from Windows operating systems. You will have to format your hard drive containing Mac OS X by using the installation disc. You can format other drives from within the operating system.

Format from Installation Disc

Step 1

Insert the install disc into your laptop's optical media drive and restart the computer.

Step 2

Hold the "C" or "Options" key as the laptop boots.

Step 3

Set your language and then select the "Utilities" menu on the next screen.

Step 4

Select the hard drive to format from the menu on the left of the screen. According to Apple Support, this hard drive is usually labeled "Macintosh HD."

Step 5

Click the "Erase" tab. At the "Volume Format" prompt, leave the option as "Mac OS X Extended (Journaled)" unless you're installing an operating system that requires another setup. Name the hard drive and confirm that you want to format.

Step 6

Exit Utility Manager after the drive has been formatted. From this point you can install another operating system.

Formatting from Hard Drive

Step 1

Open your main hard drive.

Step 2

Choose "Applications" and then "Utilities."

Step 3

Open "Disk Utility."

Step 4

Click the drive you want to format and then click the "Erase" tab.

Step 5

Select the volume format, name the drive and then confirm the erase.

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