Carmela writes in with a question after wiping a 2010 MacBook Pro and reinstalling macOS:

I wanted to restore it to factory settings, but while erasing the disk I erased not only “Macintosh HD” but the “Hitachi…” What have I done? I reinstalled the OS fine. Did I damage my system?

This highlights how well Apple typically hides some of the fussy details of an operating system from users, usually to the good: most of the time, we don’t need to know any low-level details in order to use a Mac. iOS obviously goes a few steps further, mostly preventing even advanced users from seeing much of what’s under the hood.

What Carmela is seeing is the difference between a drive and a partition. While this may be old hat for veteran users, it’s just jargon for those who have never had to format a drive before.

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