Disk Utility: Reformatting an External Drive

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Sum 2 Three, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. Sum 2 Three macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2008

    I've got a large external drive that I'm trying to reformat. Using disk utility, I was going to erase the disk (was fat-32) and reformat it using a journaled Mac OS Extended file system.

    I was simply curious as to how long it would take to zero the drive, so I started erasing it that way (still using disk utility). When I found that it would take a very long time, I clicked the skip button (as I planned on doing a quick erase... I'm not selling the drive or anything).

    Now, I'm getting the 'resource busy' error. I also can't format the drive using the basic windows disk manager (returns and error).

    Is there anything that I can do to save the drive? I've got the data backed up, but the drive was both expensive and insanely useful.


    I should also mention: disk utility now lists the partition map scheme as unformatted
  2. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020


    Jun 14, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Well you could try going directly to the "Partition" tab in Disk Utility immediately after selecting the drive on the left. If the "Options" button at the bottom is not black (clickable), change the heading that reads "Volume Scheme" at the top from "Current" to "1 Partition" and the "Options" button will become selectable. Click it and select "GUID" in the window that appears, then name the drive, select Mac OS Extended (Journaled) (if that does not already appear in the format field), then click "Partition" and hopefully it will proceed normally with the erase and with establishing a valid GUID partition map.

    Good luck!
  3. Sum 2 Three thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2008
    It doesn't. The same problem arises... 'Resource Busy'. Further, disk utility cannot verify the disk.

    I've gotten it to erase the drive by zeroing it. As far as I can tell, disk utility is working on it. I guess this is a good thing as, hopefully, I'll be able to partition and format the drive when the eraser is done.

    The sad part is that the zeroing looks like it's going to take 20+ hours :( I dare not stop it (by hitting 'skip') as that is what caused the problem in the first place.

  4. Sum 2 Three thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2008
    The zeroing has failed. Instead of returning the 'Resource Busy' error at the start of the process, it returned it at the very end.

    I still can't clear, partition, or access the hard drive either via os x or windows.

    Does anyone out there know what I can do?

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