Apple has included the Disk Utility App in the macOS from forever. It has had it’s up’s and down’s with features and usability, but it is the first go-to App for troubleshooting and maintenance on your Mac. There are other third party Apps that cost money, but everyone has Disk Utility. Recently, I read an article about a different way to use Disk Utility that is a little more thorough.
I am running Disk Utility here on an APFS drive and HFS+ drive, there are slight differences. Here is what I consider my new way of using Disk Utility, especially with APFS drives. Check out what this gentlemen says and his order of running Disk Utility:
You can actually repair the devices in any order, but I’ve been using the following order successfully for a while: Volume, Container (if applicable), Physical drive. My reasoning for this order is to limit potential data loss when repairing. As you move from the lowest level, the Volume, you add additional items that can be affected by a repair failure. Repairing a volume will normally only affect the selected volume. Repairing a Container can affect all volumes within the container. And repairing a Physical drive can affect all partitions, containers, and volumes housed on the drive.
Now, this is very thoughtful. Moving from the lowest level, the Volume, to the Container and then to the Physical Drive (in that order) is to prevent any data loss, is a great way to think.
Before beginning any of this, make sure all your devices are showing. Go to the Disk Utility View Menu and select “Show All Devices”:
Here, I ran Disk Utility on a APFS drive starting with the Volume:
Once that was finished, I ran First Aid on the Container lever (remember, APFS drives can have several Volumes in a Container):
Lastly, I ran First Aid on the Hard Drive itself:
OK, so this might be overkill, but in the name of thoroughness, it really is the way to go with Disk Utility First Aid.
Here is First Aid running on a HFS+ drive Volume level:
Remember, HFS+ file format does not have a Container Level. You just move to the Physical Drive for the last level:
Yes, this might be a bit more than you need, but if you have the time, I think it is worth it. By the way, I ran all this in macOS Mojave. The Disk Utility App is a little different in earlier versions of macOS.
This is my new go-to way to run Disk First Aid on my Drives these days. It sure cannot hurt to be this thorough.