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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Macintosh HD and Finder.. What is the difference?


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MikeT

 
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I was working on my Dads new imac as I don't have an apple yet and I was wondering what is the difference between "Macintosh HD" and "Finder"? I know Spotlight will locate things for you so what is Finder for? Maybe a better question is What can you do with Finder that you can't do with Macintosh HD or visa versa?

Can you clear this up for me? Thanks!

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smurfy

 
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uh what?

Clicking on Macintosh HD just opens Finder. Macintosh HD is the default name of the primary hard drive in a Mac.
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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeT View Post
I was working on my Dads new imac as I don't have an apple yet and I was wondering what is the difference between "Macintosh HD" and "Finder"? I know Spotlight will locate things for you so what is Finder for? Maybe a better question is What can you do with Finder that you can't do with Macintosh HD or visa versa?

Can you clear this up for me? Thanks!
Finder is the windowed file and folder browser in OS X. The concept is similar to Windows Explorer. Macintosh HD is just a shortcut to display the contents of your hard drive in a Finder window.

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MikeT

 
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So the "Macintosh HD" is just a shortcut to Finder? They are both the same thing?

I Love my Mac!!!
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smurfy

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeT View Post
So the "Macintosh HD" is just a shortcut to Finder? They are both the same thing?
exactly the same.
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Brown Study

 
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This is Wikipedia's article on it. Despite the claim made in it that the Finder was completely rewritten for OS X, many people say it wasn't and that even Tiger contains some ancient code that was merely ported over.

Posts 3 and 4 in this thread appear to confirm this.
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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeT View Post
So the "Macintosh HD" is just a shortcut to Finder? They are both the same thing?
On Windows, you click on My Computer to see a summary of all the drives attached to your machine, including your main hard drive (C. In Mac OS X, instead of having My Computer, you have Macintosh HD (HD stands for Hard Drive) which shows you everything in your main hard drive (like C: in Windows). The Finder is the program that displays these windows, just as Explorer displays these kinds of windows in Windows.

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Think of "Macintosh HD" as "My Computer"... And "Finder" as "Explorer."

Most people seem to understand that a lot beter.
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MikeT, read Browny's, cwa's and punkr0x0r's posts, they have it right.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
Finder is the windowed file and folder browser in OS X. The concept is similar to Windows Explorer. Macintosh HD is just a shortcut to display the contents of your hard drive in a Finder window.
You are correct with one exception. The HD is not a "short cut", it is the actual mount point for the drive image itself. Unlike the "My Computer" on Windows, which serves as the portal to access the lettered drives, the Mac requires no portal and simply mounts the HD on the desktop. Many former Windows users find this confusing.

Finder is simply the vehicle to display much of the UI on the Mac, but the system can run without the Finder. IF you quit the Finder though, you lose the basic desktop interface and have find other-ways to access files.


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They're the same thing.

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MikeT

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
On Windows, you click on My Computer to see a summary of all the drives attached to your machine, including your main hard drive (C. In Mac OS X, instead of having My Computer, you have Macintosh HD (HD stands for Hard Drive) which shows you everything in your main hard drive (like C: in Windows). The Finder is the program that displays these windows, just as Explorer displays these kinds of windows in Windows.
This I understand. Thank you!

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Cwa rocks!
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Great job CWA. I was going to reply till I read your post. You said it the way I would have tried to.
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remain

 
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file manager of Mac OS X = the Finder
file manager of Windows = Windows Explorer or explorer.exe

main hard drive in Mac OS X = named "Macintosh HD" by default
main hard drive in Windows = mounted as "C drive" or " C: ", and named "Local Disk" by default

drives in Mac OS X = displayed on the Desktop and displayed in the "Computer" folder (the name is whatever you named the computer)
drives in Windows = displayed in the "My Computer" folder



It's kinda funny.

I think most Windows users have no idea what their file manager is actually called.
I myself have been a Windows user for many years, and it's only when I became more computer savvy that I became aware of that.

This is mainly because Microsoft decided to not label the Windows Explorer windows (folder windows basically) as "Windows Explorer."

So instead, most people just think of them as "folders," and not the windows of a program.
But in reality, they ARE just like the windows of any other programs. (i.e. Word, or Paint, or Internet Explorer)

Sure, this might be a good idea, because you want to create a better illusion for the desktop metaphor. Obviously, in real life, your desktop and folders aren't part of some "Windows Explorer."

The problem arises when some error occurs, for instance, Explorer crashes.

They'd see a message saying "Windows Explorer has crashed" or "explorer.exe has stop responding,"
but... how would they know what this "Windows Explorer" is? You never mentioned the name until now!

That's also why a lot of Windows users call it "My Computer" or "My Documents."
Because that's usually where they start off in the folders, so it's pretty much the only name they know.

In this respect, at first glance, Mac OS X might seem more complicated. "What's this Finder business?!?"
But in the long run, it actually allows users to be more aware of what's really going on and how the computer actually works.

OK, enough rambling. ;p

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