Disk Utility. Cannot format disk with MBR

hawkeye_a

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Jun 27, 2016
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I just purchased an external hard drive (WD Elements 4TB), and I'm trying to format the drive using 'Master Boot Record', which I have done before on other hard drives.

Unfortunately, the new drive is using GUID, and I cannot seem to convert it to MBR. It always gives me an error, and I cannot seem to partition the drive using Disk Utility either.

I've tried to do the above on macOS Sierra and Snow Leopard(MBR option is grayed out) to no avail.

Anyone know why this is?

Cheers
 

mfram

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Jan 23, 2010
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San Diego, CA USA
Because there is a 2TB size limit on some disks with MBR depending on the block size the drive reports. Recent versions of Windows can read GUID partitions too.
 
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hawkeye_a

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Apologies for not posting the error... here it is...

mbr.jpg


@mfram I do have another 4TB HDD which I did manage to format years ago with MBR.

Also, I'm trying to use the exFat format.

Any suggestions? Or just stick with GUID?

Cheers
 

mfram

macrumors 65816
Jan 23, 2010
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Maybe the Mac doesn't like the parameters this drive reports. My guess is block size. Do you have access to a Windows box to format it? That might work.

What kind of Windows do you want to share the data with? If it's at least Windows 10 I think it can read the GUID partitions fine. If you aren't sharing with Windows then why use exFat?
 
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Weaselboy

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What kind of Windows do you want to share the data with? If it's at least Windows 10 I think it can read the GUID partitions fine.
I believe you are correct. If this is not to be used for a boot drive, I don't think it will matter if it is GUID.
 

hawkeye_a

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The HDD will mostly be used on a Mac, but also occasionally on Windows XP-10(not as a boot disk) and a Raspberry Pi.

I remember (this is going back 8 years), that the PS3 would only recognize a HDD formatted with MBR and not GUID.
 
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