Formatting a Seagate 1TB Expansion Drive difficulties...

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by babaguy, Jul 22, 2010.

  1. babaguy macrumors newbie


    Jul 22, 2010
    Dear All -

    I'm new here - first post! I bought a Seagate Expansion Drive (1 TB) a while ago, and have been trying to format it for use with my Mac Mini.

    I have tried "Disk Utility" several times - once zero'ing out the drive, once DOD'ing it (but that would have taken more than TWO DAYS, so I cancelled that op.) - and by simply clicking on "Erase" and setting the 'volume format' as the Mac one (journaled) -

    Each time it has failed and the message I get is "Drive Formatter Failed."

    Dodgy drive? Dodgy Disk Utility? Any clues...? Any help will be immensely appreciated - I'd like to be able to use the drive with some video in Final Cut Pro that I'm going to be working with....

    Thanks, everyone!

    - babaguy
  2. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    Have you clicked OPTIONS under the ERASE tab to set the partition table/map to GUID? Btw, no need to format the external HDD to Journaled.
  3. babaguy thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jul 22, 2010
    Not yet...

    Dear Spinner -

    "Not yet", is the only answer I can give...What *IS* the "GUID" btw - here in Scotland it's the actual pronunciation of the word "good"....

    I didn't set any partitions as I wanted the entire drive to be Mac-friendly...

    I'll have a look either later today or tomorrow and get back to the forum - must get on with my day just now!

  4. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    I just saw that you have a POwerPC Mac. What Mac OS X version is installed on it?

    GUID is a partition scheme, like Master Boot Record (MBR) for Windows or Apple Partition Map for older PPC Macs.


    What interface (USB or FW) do you use to connect the HDD to your Mac?
  5. babaguy thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jul 22, 2010
    Didn't See These Options...

    Hi Spinner !

    I didn't actually *see* these options...I have a Mac Mini w/ OSX 10.5, I think (bought it in 2008) -

    I've reformatted drives and done/re-done partitions with GPartEd in Puppy Linux before, but, as I say, maybe I missed this option, or - as I suspect - it didn't present itself...

    As I averred before - must dash! And, again, heartfelt thanks for your prompt and cogent response!

    More soon!

    - babaguy
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    If your Mac Mini has a g4 processor, you DO NOT want to use the "GUID" partition format on the drive.

    Instead, you need to use the "APM" (Apple Partition Map) scheme for proper operation.

    It IS NOT necessary to be "zeroing out" the drive all the time. Probably not even good for it.

    Here's what I suggest:
    - Boot up the Mini, and connect the external drive
    - It doesn't matter if the drive mounts on the desktop or not
    - Open Disk Utility
    - You may see one or more "entries" for the Seagate drive in the upper left of DU's window
    - The TOPmost entry is the "physical drive". The entry (entries) below it represent the logical "volumes" on the physical drive.
    - Click the TOP entry (the drive itself) ONE time to select it, then....
    - Toward the upper right, click "partition"
    - You should now see (on the left) a "representation" of the current partition scheme. We want to change that.
    - From the popup menu (that probably says "current") choose "1 partition" (or whatever number you wish).
    - Toward the right, there should be an option to choose the "partition scheme".
    - THIS is where you want to make sure you have selected "Apple Partition Map"
    - When everything is set, click the partition button down below and let DU do its thing.
  7. babaguy thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jul 22, 2010
    Failure (again...) !

    Hi Helper - and Thanks again!

    I did as you suggested and chose "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" as the file system using 1 partition - It's a fairly new Mac Mini (2008) and so the only options for re-formatting or wiping a drive are:

    4 different versions of Mac OS Extended (upper & lower case sensitive, etc. and an MS-DOS FAT choice.

    The GUID and other formats are not available...

    ANYway - I asked it to apply 1 partition using the above-mentioned FS, and it immediately gave me the same error:

    "File System Formatter Failed"

    - Dodgy Disk Utility, thinkest thou...?

    Thanks again, for the time being...
  8. cube macrumors Pentium

    May 10, 2004
    You can try the Terminal:

    pdisk to partition the drive

    newfs_hfs to format a partition

    Google some guides.

    BE CAREFUL. Don't wipe out a different disk.
  9. cube macrumors Pentium

    May 10, 2004
    And you can use diskutil to get disk information.

    diskutil list
    diskutil info <device>
  10. babaguy thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jul 22, 2010
    What the system says about my Seagate 1 TB Extension Drive...

    Hello Cube -

    And thank you for lending your considerable expertise...When I go to the command line and use the command you gave me, to 'list' all the disks, it gives me the following about the Seagate Extension Drive:

    0: FDisk_partition_scheme *931.5 Gi disk1
    1: Apple_HFS 931.5 Gi disk1s1

    HOWEVER: When simply choose "Get Info" about the Extension Drive I get the following:

    Name : Seagate Desktop Media
    Type : Disk

    Partition Map Scheme : Master Boot Record
    Disk Identifier : disk1
    Media Name : Seagate Desktop Media
    Media Type : Generic
    Connection Bus : USB
    USB Serial Number : 2GHL6A5B
    Device Tree : /PCI0@0/USB7@1D,7/@2:0
    Writable : Yes
    Ejectable : Yes
    Mac OS 9 Drivers Installed : No
    Location : External
    Total Capacity : 931.5 GB (1,000,204,886,016 Bytes)
    S.M.A.R.T. Status : Not Supported
    Disk Number : 1
    Partition Number : 0

    So it looks to me like Terminal Disk Util recognises that the drive HAS BEEN formatted over to the HFS+ - or at least "Apple_HFS" - but the more generic
    "Get Info" lists the partition scheme as "MASTER BOOT RECORD"

    Bit of a problem here... ( I'll wait to use the command line to reformat the Extension Drive until I hear more advice...okay? )

  11. cube macrumors Pentium

    May 10, 2004
    The command shows the partition scheme as FDisk, ie. MBR.

    You have formatted the disk in Disk Utility with an MBR partition scheme, and an HFS+ partition inside.

    Try formatting it with the Apple Partition Map scheme in Disk Utility (this is the scheme handled by pdisk).
  12. babaguy thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jul 22, 2010
    Success !

    Thank you, Cube -

    I didn't see the drop-down menu (which *IS* there) offering GUID, APM and something else...ever before; it seems like it's a two-step process, which I didn't appreciate before...

    The Extension Drive seems to be re-formatted and is expecting to be my new Time Machine...

    So I guess that's pretty good going - Thank you again !

    BUT - Why, when I typed "format drive" or "format extension drive" or other possible topics is there NOTHING in the Apple Help Menu Guide about any of this...? A simple step-by-step would be so...useful !

    But glad for all the help here. Again, thanks to you all !
  13. cube macrumors Pentium

    May 10, 2004
    - MBR is the old PC scheme
    - APM is the old Mac scheme (the only one bootable by PPC Macs)
    - GUID is the new scheme.
  14. babaguy thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jul 22, 2010
    Thanks for the Explanation...

    I appreciate the explanation, Cube. I've used the "Master Boot Record" in doing Puppy Linux formatting of an old 4 Gig laptop I rescued, and of a USB flash drive used with that machine...

    Cheers !
  15. babaguy thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jul 22, 2010
    One Final (dumb) Question...

    Hello All -
    One final question: I got the drive to format thanks to you all, and Time Machine switched on and I backed up my Mac Mini - I only put ONE partition of the Seagate Extension Drive (D'oh!) - Is it possible to add partition(s) to the drive without disturbing the current back-up, or should I start again from scratch...
    Because I am not knowledgeable, I'm not sure what the RAID option provides. Would this allow me to divide the 1 TB extension drive into a couple of partitioned chunks of 1s and 0s...?
    Thanks in advance...
    - babaguy

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