How to format external hard drive for Mac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by virginblue4, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. virginblue4 macrumors 68000

    virginblue4

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #1
    My western digital my passport has just arrived and it says on the box that it needs to be formatted for OS X. I'm sure it's simple but I won't be at home with my iMac for a few more hours, so thought I would ask on here.

    So what do I do to format the external hard drive for use with Mac?
     
  2. Stewart21 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    Location:
    South Yorkshire
    #2
    Use the Disk Utility that is part of OSX. You can choose to partition the disk if you want to then format the partitions. It's very straightforward.
     
  3. ssmed macrumors 6502

    ssmed

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Plug the disk into your mac. It will probably mount, but with a non-mac format. Then open disk Utility (/Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility.app) and select the disk and follow the instructions to create a HFS+ disk, with or without encryption depending on your preference.

    If it doesn't mount, then you will get a dialog saying that the disk is unreadable. Follow the instructions to format at that point.

    HTH
    SS
     
  4. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #4
    Just follow this guide to format to Mac OS Extended using Disk Utility.
     
  5. virginblue4 thread starter macrumors 68000

    virginblue4

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #5
    If I choose to restore a file from time machine back to the present day will it be readable if I send it to a windows device? I just read the first comment saying how the files won't be compatible with windows?
     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #6
    Yes, that will work. It is just that a Mac OS Extended formatted drive will not be readable on a default Windows install. But it won't hurt the files themselves, they will still be the same. So if you pull a file off the WD onto the Mac then send it to a Windows machine, it will still be the same file and will work fine.
     
  7. virginblue4 thread starter macrumors 68000

    virginblue4

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #7
    Great! Thank you very much for your help, it is really appreciated! :D

    ----------

    I put it in and it is automatically asking me if I want to use this for Time Machine backup. Does this mean that it does not need to be formatted?
     
  8. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #8
    Yep... just tell it yes your want to use it for Time Machine. As I recall it automagically formats it for you.
     
  9. virginblue4 thread starter macrumors 68000

    virginblue4

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #9
    Don't worry I have done it now. I didn't realise how easy it actually was! :eek:
     
  10. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #10
    Hah... no sweat! I know how it is when you spend $2,000 on a computer and you want to make sure you don't screw it up. :D
     

Share This Page