External HD Won't Format

Discussion in 'macOS' started by iveo83, May 5, 2009.

  1. iveo83 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #1
    I just bought a new WD Elements (1tb) and I am getting an error when I try and format. I wish I could tell you what that error says but I was trying to figure something else out so I chose the disk6s1 and formatted it to os extended but it seems like it is frozen. I am afraid if I force quit it will screw up the drive. This is the 2nd one I have tried, I returned the 1st one thinking the drive was faulty. Now I think I screwed up the drive when I formatted it in disk utility. Any help is MUCH appreciated :confused:

    [​IMG]

    -Additional Info-
    I have installed 2 western digital internal Hard Drives into my Pro and have used 2 other external HDs both western digitals. If there was any problems with any of my HDs, I would open up Disk Utility and Erase them to be Mac OS Extended (My WD TV won't read Journaled drives).
     
  2. Blue Fox macrumors 6502a

    Blue Fox

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    #2
    Dude, I had the EXACT same issue. It's not the drive, it's something else in the Disk Utility and I for the life of me can't remember what it was that I did differently to get it to format.

    Okay, I believe it was that you have to format it as Journaled first, THEN go back and re-format for Extended.........I think.
     
  3. madog macrumors 65816

    madog

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Location:
    Korova Milkbar
    #3
    Just throwing this out there, but is the drive formatted as GUID or Apple Partition? I'm not sure if DU will even give you the option to format as HFS if it's not in an Apple volume scheme, but maybe that's why it won't format correctly.

    Otherwise, try formatting while having the drive itself selected, ie, select the "931.5GB WD [...]" and perform the format/erase instead of selecting the "disk6s1"

    There always is a possibility that you can cause a physical problem with the drive through incorrect formatting or errors, though that would most likely be a coincidence if not a 1/10000000000000000 chance of happening.

    Stopping the formatting if DU has crashed or something similar would more than anything cause an unreadable disk that should then still be able to be reformatted properly.
     
  4. iveo83 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #4
    well that's not very helpful;)
    I tried formating with every option. They gave the same error message.
    I really wish I took a screen shot....
     
  5. iveo83 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #5
    I am not to sure about GUID. I believe its FAT because as a last effort I formated it to FAT and it worked. Then I tried to format with Mac OS Extended and got the error.

    Thats what I figured if I forced quit then it wouldnt brick my HD but I want to make sure b/c like I said... this is already #2

    When I think back ... I believe that I force quit it last time b/c it froze for hrs and then when I tried to read the drive it wouldnt read it at all. Now it's not in my devices tab..
     
  6. madog macrumors 65816

    madog

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Location:
    Korova Milkbar
    #6
    The GUID is volume scheme (or whatever they call it) as opposed to a format option like HFS, FAT, or NTFS.

    Instead of choosing the Erase tab in DU (with the drive selected as I mentioned above, as opposed to the disk6s) choose the Partition tab, change the pull down menu that says "Current" to "1 Partition", this will let you click the "Options" button below, to which you choose the proper selection (GUID for Intel, AP for PPC, MBR for Windows), click OK to confirm that option, then change the format pull down menu to "Mac OS Extended" (Journaled if you want), give it name if you want, then click "Apply".
     
  7. iveo83 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #7
    Ok I tried it on my 1st HD b/c I didn't send it back to amazon yet.

    Disk Erase Failed
    Error:
    File system formatter failed

    It seems that I can format that drive with FAT also. I need this HD for large files though and to my understanding FAT will only allow files up to 3gb...
     
  8. madog macrumors 65816

    madog

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Location:
    Korova Milkbar
    #8
    It's limited to 4GB, but yeah it does have that limitation that others don't have (or at least no file has been large enough yet).

    So the drive will only successfully format to FAT, and nothing else? Or was it FAT to begin with and it fails formatting to anything else?

    I would next try formatting the drive while booted to a system disk, or formatting it using another computer or Windows or bootcamp.

    Although, it's sounding more and more like this drive is just bad.
     
  9. iveo83 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #9
    THANK YOU!!!! :D
    That seems to have worked perfectly! Just have to add some files and make sure it will read off my WD TV. I didn't think about partitioning b/c I thought you could only do 2 or more. Looks like I should have came on here before getting a replacement from amazon!
     
  10. madog macrumors 65816

    madog

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Location:
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    #10
    Yeah, it's strange that DU will only let you change that volume scheme when you change the partitions (as if you leave it to Current, you can't click Options). It might be required in some order of operations to changing the drive that way, but it doesn't really make it obvious on how to do it.

    Most drives are shipped as Master Boot Record volume scheme with FAT or NTFS. FAT is more common as it is Mac/Windows read/write compatible, and this "fix" is fairly common, so I would imagine Apple would just make it a little easier to do since most people should (as opposed to not knowing, having FAT, then later finding out a movie won't transfer to it because it's too large, or that they can't boot from it if they made a clone) and not have to find out the "hard way" and lose too much hair over it.
     

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