How to View Information about Partitions and Volumes in Mac OS X Snow Leopard

Disk Utility is a Mac OS X Snow Leopard feature that helps you perform maintenance chores on your Mac. You can use Disk Utility to see what data resides on the volumes or partitions you have on your computer. To find Disk Utility, open the Utilities folder within your Applications folder. When you first run this program, it displays all the physical disks and volumes on your system.

The Disk Utility application has its own toolbar that you can toggle on and off. Click the lozenge-shaped button in the upper-right corner of the window to display or hide the toolbar.

View the contents of your volumes with Snow Leopard’s Disk Utility.
View the contents of your volumes with Snow Leopard’s Disk Utility.

The volume tree structure on the left of the Disk Utility window lists both the physical disks and the partitions that you’ve set up. A single physical hard drive can contain several partitions. The information display at the bottom of the Disk Utility window contains data about both the volumes and the partitions on your hard drive.

In the example shown here, clicking the drive labeled 320.07 GB (the physical hard drive at the top of the tree) displays a description of the drive itself, including its total capacity, interface (connection type), and whether the drive is internal or external.

Display data on a physical drive.
Display data on a physical drive.

Clicking the tree entry for Wolfgang, however — the name of the partition created when the drive was formatted — displays information about the type of formatting, the total capacity of the partition and how much of that is used, and the number of files and folders stored on the partition.

Display data on a volume.
Display data on a volume.
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