Formatting External Drive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by GoCubsGo, Sep 24, 2006.

  1. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Most search results on this I've found were from people who want to format an external drive to use on both windows and mac. I only want to use this drive on my mac and wondered what I needed to format it as.
    Right now it is FAT32 and it limits the size of files I can put on it. I can put 1000 1gb files on, but 1 10 gb file will not go on. My lacie was pre-formatted mac friendly. This western digital is not.

    I know I have to go to disk utility and erase and then choose some file system such as MSDOS, but I want to be sure.
  2. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    Open Disk Utility, select the external disk (NOT the partition under the disk) and select Partition. You can partition (using "split", not "partition") it if you want, or keep it as one. I have a 500 GB external drive formatted with one HFS+ (i.e Mac OS Extended (Journaled)) 20GB partition for a backup OS X install, and another 20 GB FAT32 partition for when I have my work laptop home. The rest is HFS+ for data.

    So, assuming you didn't partition the drive, select the format you want (Mac OS Extended (Journaled) for Mac only), set the name, and click "Partition".
  3. GoCubsGo thread starter macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Awesome thanks! And great idea about the whole 20 gig windows partition. I should do that for my work crapola.

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