Is it easy to format an external HD?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Chef55, Nov 29, 2008.

  1. Chef55 macrumors member

    Sep 10, 2008
    Looking for an external HD at the moment and realising that the 'for Mac' options are considerably more expensive.
    Is it necessary to go for these or can I buy any external HD and format it? If yes how do I do this, and is it easy for a numpty? Thanks.
  2. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop
    It is very easy to format an external drive with OSX. Just plug the drive in and then open p Disk Utility in your utilities folder. You will need to select the drive on the left hand side, then select the erase tab, check that the Volume format is set to Mac OS Extended Journaled* and off you go.

    Generally the "for windows" options means that it comes with some backup software that is only compatibile with windows. There are many good backup programs for OS X so this is not a problem. The harddrive will be just another harddrive in a standard caddy so it is not like it is special hardware that only works with windows.

    *Depends on your needs but if you are only ever going to use it with a mac this is the best option.
  3. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    Ridiculously easy. OK, it's not as easy as right-clicking the drive and selecting "Format" as you would in Windows (one of about 5 things Microsoft does better), but the above poster pretty much points out everything about it. Takes maybe a minute to format.

    If you buy a HDD from a company you've actually heard of (Western Digital, Seagate, Maxtor), you'll have no problem getting it to work. I stick with WD drives myself, but most of the big boys work fine with Macs.
  4. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020


    Jun 14, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Keep in mind that the extensive instructions I have given you in your other thread are based on not needing a "Mac formatted drive", so no there is no need to pay extra for that. The partitioning step we have discussed takes care of that at the same time that you are establishing your new partition scheme and partition map.

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