Cannot format new external drive

Discussion in 'macOS High Sierra (10.13)' started by robertcoogan, Feb 26, 2018.

  1. robertcoogan, Feb 26, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018

    robertcoogan macrumors 6502

    robertcoogan

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Location:
    Joshua Tree, California
    #1
    I have tried to reformat a new WD 4TB external USB - it arrived NTFS (shocker).

    I at first tried to reformat the drive to AFPS, and that failed. The drive wouldn't even mount, and only appeared grayed out in Disk Utility (as disk4 - I have 3 mounted).

    Then I tried to reformat it JHFS+, that also failed. Same error.

    Then I tried to do both formats in Terminal. That also failed.

    Each time, I can connect it to Windows 10, and it pops up as a "Healthy" partition. I reformat it anyway as NTFS, and went back to macOS, only to encounter the same errors. So I went back to Windows 10, and reformatted it as FAT 32. Same errors on macOS. Then back to Windows 10. Then I tried exFAT. Back to macOS. Same errors. I have even tried Tuxera, that also fails.

    Does anyone know how to get macOS to reformat this drive as either AFPS or JHFS+? I returned 2 drives to Amazon for the same reason - I thought the drive was defective.

    Help!
     
  2. dianeoforegon macrumors 6502a

    dianeoforegon

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Location:
    Oregon
    #2
    I just got the a new WD 4TB My Book and had similar issues formatting. First DO NOT format as APFS. You only format SSD drives with APFS. Time Machine will not even run on an APFS drive.

    Shut down and boot into your Mac with Shift key down. You should see Safe Boot in the top right corner in red.
    Make sure all other external drives are removed.
    Follow directions here: https://support.wdc.com/knowledgebase/answer.aspx?h=p1&ID=3865&lang=en&p=119#highsierra
    You might need to toggle Show all devices on/off to see any changes.
    Check under Partition to make sure you see only one partition. I didn't see the correct formatting and partitioning until I restarted.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Every time I tried to erase, it created another partition that was the size of the drive. Remove was also grayed out.

    Hope this helps!
     
  3. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 68000

    Darmok N Jalad

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2017
    Location:
    Tanagra
    #3
    Don’t try to format a spinning drive to APFS. That’s really only for SSDs.

    When in Disk Utility, click on the box in the upper left corner to have it display devices. From there, try selecting the highest level of that disk, and try to erase it. Set it up as GUID.
     
  4. robertcoogan thread starter macrumors 6502

    robertcoogan

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Location:
    Joshua Tree, California
    #4
    It didn't. The WD instructions don't explain what to do if their method doesn't work. And I can't even get Disk Utility to mount the drive.

    I am also not seeing any option to set GUID, although after I reformat the drive on Windows, it does pop up at GUID under macOS (before I try to reformat it again). Very bizarre.
     
  5. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 68000

    Darmok N Jalad

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2017
    Location:
    Tanagra
    #5
    It might just be easier to get an external HDD enclosure of your liking and a bare 4GB drive. Not sure what WD is doing to their premade drives, but that is odd that it doesn’t even mount in MacOS. Do you have a link to the product you bought?
     
  6. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #6
    Connect the drive to your Mac.
    Open Disk Utility.
    Press Command-2 (which toggles the View menu to Show All Devices.)
    The top item in External will be your W-D device - Select that top item under External.
    Now, click Erase. You will get an erase window.
    Name your drive, whatever you like.
    Change Format to Mac OS Extended (Journaled), and change Scheme to either Apple Partition Map, or GUID Partition Map.
    And, finally, Click the Erase button in that Window. Should only take a few seconds.
    Mounting the drive - that should not be an issue when erasing, unless it does not allow the drive to mount after erasing is complete.
     
  7. robertcoogan thread starter macrumors 6502

    robertcoogan

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Location:
    Joshua Tree, California
    #7
    This didn't work. Though it did give me the error that I didn't have ownership of the volume.
     
  8. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 68000

    Darmok N Jalad

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2017
    Location:
    Tanagra
    #8
    Can you reformat the drive to exFAT in Windows? Did you try to format it from Explorer or Disk Management?
     
  9. vddobrev macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2016
    Location:
    Haskovo, Bulgaria
    #9
    Can you try this in Terminal, I recently purchased a WD Elements 2TB USB3 and had the same issue:

    1. diskutil list
    (identify your drive, it should be under external, physical, for example disk2)

    2. diskutil unmountDisk force disk2
    (replace disk2 with your identifier from step 1)

    3. sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/disk2 bs=1024 count=1024
    (replace disk2 with your identifier from step 1)

    4. diskutil partitionDisk disk2 GPT JHFS+ "MyDisk" 0g
    (replace disk2 with your identifier from step 1, and MyDisk with whatever name you want)

    Credit: https://priyanksharma.com/tech/mediakit-reports-not-enough-space-on-device-for-requested-operation/
     
  10. bbplayer5 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    #10
    I gave up on disk utility for now. I had the same issue where I couldn't partition a drive. I just ended up installing windows in a VM, mounting the drive there, and formatting it that way. I don't know why Apple can't make disk utility an actual utility worth using.
     
  11. vddobrev macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2016
    Location:
    Haskovo, Bulgaria
    #11
    I am sorry you gave up. Yes, it needs a little reading, but it is a powerful tool: this is an old manual, but from terminal you can invoke the latest with "man diskutil" - https://developer.apple.com/legacy/...arwin/Reference/ManPages/man8/diskutil.8.html
     
  12. TheHawk72 macrumors newbie

    TheHawk72

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2018
    #14
    Legend! this totally worked with my Toshiba portable! so happy right now.. thanks
     

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13 February 26, 2018