Can't reformat external hard drive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Sean1218, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. Sean1218 macrumors member

    May 22, 2011
    I'm trying to reformat a newly purchased 3 TB Western Digital Elements external, but I'm running into problems.

    I'm selecting the drive itself in disk utility (not the partition), I go to the Erase tab, select exFAT, rename the drive (just to 'Elements') and click Erase (security setting at lowest notch). I get back this error:

    Any ideas? Everywhere I've read seems to say you reformat just in the Erase tab, but should I be doing it in the partition tab instead? I dabbled in that a bit, and now I can write to the drive (and the new partition, named 'Elements', is exFAT now), but I don't see why I couldn't rename the drive itself. Also, shouldn't I reformat the whole drive and not just the main partition on it?

    Either way, I'd still like to know what's with that error in the Erase tab.

  2. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    You can't format the drive itself - you must first create a partition and format it. You can rename the partition in the Finder.

Share This Page