How to reformat an external hard drive mac

Sign up for our weekly newsletter Be the first to know about our latest recommendations every Sunday. Choosing the right format for your drive Non-Linux computers can use four main file systems: NTFS is native to Windows, and most hard drives are preformatted for this file system. A drive formatted this way will not mount on a Windows computer without additional software. FAT32 was introduced in Windows 95 in , but it remains useful because nearly every system can use it. Now your computer will see your single drive as multiple, smaller drives.

Make sure to leave plenty of room for future backups on both partitions. Reformatting your drive in Windows How to reformat your drive in Windows. To reformat a drive on Windows: Plug in the drive and open Windows Explorer. Right-click the drive and choose Format from the drop-down menu. Select the file system you want, give your drive a name under Volume label, and make sure the Quick Format box is checked. Click Start, and the computer will reformat your drive.

To reformat your drive for macOS: Plug in the drive and open the Finder. Thank you. I have contacted customer service. I have reinstalled NTSF whatever. I was going to mail it back this morning. I just did what you said and it is now backing up.

How to Reformat an External Hard Drive Without Losing Everything on It

Keeping my fingers crossed but SO relieved! Can check this off my list and move on. I have external HD and want to use it with my mac.

But I have several pictures on this HD. I want to be able to add folders and continue to put several of my pictures and files on it. WHat do I need to do? If the drive is not recognized by the Mac, you can use Disk Utility to recognize the PC formatting and then format it for Mac compatability: I have an external hard drive that used to work with my mac.

Now it is reasonable only on a mac but I can read and write in a windows pc. How can i make it read and write for both mac and windows. I have an external drive and tried going to disk utilities…. Erase…Mac OS extended journaled …. Erase I get an error that it is unable to format. Any suggestions? The comment at the end is confusing see the last phase in quotes below …Is that just an advertisement? I want to follow the 7 step instructions to format a backup drive for my Can I follow the 7 steps and achieve that?

Yes, you can format an external hard drive for Time Machine this way. And no this is not the Dell site. Is it okay to keep it and reformat it for mac or am I much better off returning it and buying another one specifically for mac? Yes just format the drive for the Mac as described in this article on formatting an external hard drive to Mac OS X compatibility. Same here!

This is the exact message. It came straight from the box:. Erasing a partition deltes all the data on that partition, but does not affect other partitions on the same disk. Same here. Click Done to continue. The Disk Utility has changed, you might want to update the screen shots to reflect the new version, the Partition tab is noticeably different. It Fails and says: Disk Erase Failed. I get similar errors constantly when using USB hubs on Mac with external drives, but when plugged directly into Mac the hard drives work.

Having the identical problem connected directly to USB on the back of iMac. How do you tell if it is locked? I have a new maxone external drive, and it is not recognized in the left-hand panel of the Disk Utility.


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It is connected by USB cable, plugged directly into mu iMac. I have an Iomega Ext. The storage is half full with over MB of storage left.

How to Format Your External Hard Drive

Am I able to continue with the formatting without erasing the current files that are already on it? I have a 1TB Toshiba external hard drive, I have been using on my iMac and have been able to read an write on it. Why is it working on my iMac and not on my macbook pro? It seems that the hard drive is formatted for Windows but it does work read and write on my iMac. Do I need to format this external drive to be able to use in more than one Apple computer? The one single thing, arguably one of the most important bits has been skipped altogether from this guide….

Majority if not all flash drives come not only with Windows dominant file systems, but also MBR formatted, vs the Mac where the operating system is always installed to a GPT partitioned disk. Format for Mac compatibility as described, I use it with every disk. You do not need to mess with schemes, this is not Windows. This is Mac. In this case you are formatting the drive to be Mac compatible.


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  4. This is not about Windows. Just trying to figure out if I need to back my pictures up to a second hard drive before I do this. Backup everything you want to save. Nothing is left on the external hard drive after formatting is completed. This post is a lifesaver even 5 years down the track! Hi, I did what it said. But two of my USB are ruined, my computer cannot read them anymore. I kinda wanna cry. If you format a hard drive it erases the data on it. That is what formatting does, it erases a drive.

    What else do you think erasing a drive is supposed to do except erase the data? I purchased a 4TB WD external drive and having a heck of a time reformatting this drive. I have tried all the above advice without getting to have this new hard drive formatted. Any other suggestions?


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    I just keep getting the error Disk erase failed. There must be something new with High Sierra Is there an option besides just declaring the data irretrievable, and more importantly, how does a USB uninitialize itself?

    How to Reformat a Drive on Windows

    Will I be able to copy and share media across both Mac and Windows? I am Computer-Eleteret lol. Now My Mac is about There. I just have no Clue how to do it. Name required. Mail will not be published required. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited. Enter your email address below: Posted by: Andy Robinson says: January 4, at 4: Fernando says: January 4, at AppleExpert3 says: November 12, at 2: AstroExpert2 says: July 6, at 3: Emaven says: January 4, at 8: April 22, at 4: Joe says: June 27, at 8: Sam says: July 28, at 8: August 21, at Roger says: April 10, at NYCer says: January 8, at 7: Ahmed says: November 26, at Lina Alvarez says: September 17, at 9: January 25, at 3: Thasleem says: March 17, at Debbie says: March 25, at 4: Timothy says: April 3, at 1: