Help! Leopard can't reformat my new external hdd

Discussion in 'macOS' started by superspiffy, Nov 11, 2007.

  1. superspiffy macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2007
    So I bought a new 1TB Western Digital external hdd to use for Time Machine. I go about reformatting it to Mac OS Extended via Disk Utility but it keeps giving me the error:

    Disk Erase failed with the error:
    File system reformatter failed.

    I try it over and over again after multiple reboots. The only thing that works is just FAT. The drive works fine under FAT, but I obviously need hfs for Time Machine. So I open up Time Machine and I choose the new drive. Time Machine then attempts to reformat it. Then it gives me the error:

    The underlying task reported failure on exit.

    I do this again and again with the same errors. I just can't reformat the drive to hfs. What am I doing wrong?
  2. admiraldennis macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2002
    Boston, MA
    Try repartioning the drive first.

    In Disk utility:
    -Select your actual drive (not the volume)
    -Go to the partition tab
    -Under "Volume Scheme", choose '1 Partition' (or whatever you want)
    -Format accordingly
  3. superspiffy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2007
    Ok everything is good now and here's the method I used:

    Disk utility, Partition tab, select "1 Partition," click on Options, and select the "GUID... " option, and press OK.

    There's probably something about Western Digital's master boot record that conflicts with OS X.
  4. dlmart2 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2007
    I have the same drive and had the same problem... it took me a while to figure it out but finally got it working after being frustrated. lol


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