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How to uninstall a TarDisk from your Mac

When it comes time to part with your Mac, you'll probably want to keep your TarDisk. Here's what you need to do.

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We recently walked you through how to double your Mac's storage with a small accessory called TarDisk. As was mentioned in our guide, installing TarDisk should be viewed as a permanent solution for your storage woes.

With that said, computers don't last forever and there is bound to come a time when you need to remove a TarDisk from your Mac and return the hard drive to its normal settings.

In order to revert your Mac to its regular-size hard drive, you'll need to plan on spending an hour or so going through the process. Most of that will be taken up by waiting for backups, and then waiting again as you restore your Mac from said backups. Or you could always opt to complete wipe your Mac and set it up as brand new, in which case you won't spend a terrible amount of time working on your computer.

During the installation process, there were a few things you needed to know before you began and the same applies to reversing the "Pearing" of your Mac's HD and TarDisk:

  • The total storage used on your Mac's hard drive can only be 80 percent of its original size. Meaning, if you have a 256GB HD in your Mac, can only have around 204GB of space used.
  • Create a backup with Time Machine if you want to keep your files. Otherwise, all will be lost.
  • If you use OS X's encryption feature FileVault, you'll need to disable it before proceeding.
Jason Cipriani/CNET

Alright, with that out of the way and a Time Machine backup created it's time to turn off your Mac. Next, use the guitar pick included with your TarDisk or a credit card to remove the disk from the SD slot. I found the best way to remove TarDisk was to use the corner of a credit card, catching the lip located on the top of the disk to pull it out.

  1. After removing TarDisk, press and hold the Command and R keys on the keyboard and then power up your computer. Hold the keys in until you see a dialogue labeled OS X Utilities on the screen.
  2. Jason Cipriani/CNET
  3. Click on Disk Utility > Continue. If you're using OS X El Capitan, you should see a progress bar-like menu displaying how much storage you have available on your drive. If you don't see anything resembling a progress bar, you'll need to follow the a couple of extra steps outlined here.
  4. For those on El Capitan, quit Disk Utility and then click on Utilities > Terminal. In the Terminal window, type diskutil CS list and press Enter.
  5. Jason Cipriani/CNET
  6. Near the top of the screen will be the label, Logical Volume Group. Copy number next to it.
  7. Now type: diskutil coreStorage delete followed by pasting the number you just copied into Terminal. With the command and number in place, press Enter.
  8. When Terminal finishes, you should see "Finished CoreStorage operation" just above the new prompt.
  9. Quit Terminal and open Disk Utility again. Click on your Mac's hard drive, then click First Aid > Run.
  10. Jason Cipriani/CNET
  11. A green check mark will indicate the disk is healthy and the process worked. If not, go back and repeat step 5 ensuring you correctly entered the command and copied the entire number. Exit Disk Utility.

The hard part is over, now you just need to set up your Mac by either selecting Reinstall OS X or Restore from Time Machine Backup then follow the prompts.

Now that wasn't too scary, was it? If you do happen to get off track at some point, you can always look through the official TarDisk guide. And if you decide you want to that TarDisk again, keep in mind you'll need to take a few extra steps as outlined on this page.

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