Formatting external hard drive NTFS - won't let me choose 'erase'

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by imac123, May 29, 2008.

  1. imac123 macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2008
    When I bring up disk utility and select the external hard drive (either the highest hierarchy of it, or the partition level) and click "erase" all the options are grayed out and non selectable.

    Is it possible to format an NTFS hard drive? Am I doing something wrong? any suggestions? I saw a youtube video where they said you could, but their options werent grayed out like mine are =/

    Also, I'd like to use this external HD as my time machine backup drive - what format should I try to be getting it to?
  2. chscag macrumors 68030


    Feb 17, 2008
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Sounds like the drive is locked. It shouldn't matter whether the drive is formatted to NTFS, FAT-32, or HFS+, disk utility can erase it.

    If you have access to a PC, hook the drive up and use Disk Manager from Windows to see if you can erase the drive. If the drive is locked, you'll be denied permission.

  3. imac123 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2008
    solved the problem... didn't realize you had to "eject" the drive before formatting it. I had it unmounted, but that didn't work... u gotta fully eject.
    At first I thought if I ejected it then it wouldnt show up in disk utility, but i was wrong

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