Recommendations for Formatting 4TB External Drive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Remsing, Dec 12, 2014.

  1. Remsing macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2014
    Ive had a 4tb external drive for a while. Previously it just had one big partition in exFat for storing video files for various projects. But Im not going from Mac to PC anymore so I decided to swap to a mac partition.

    My question is how I should format it. I know to use Journaled Extended. Im just not sure how many partitions would be best. As one big partition would end in the Partition Table getting corrupted.

    It was suggested to me to change this drive to be 4 individual 1TB partitions and just sort my files between them. Figured before I run the risk of losing any data to ask you gents here.

    For background I did a disk check and everything came back fine using Disc Utility.

    Thanks in advance for the help =D
  2. McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
    I think that physically most of the 4TB drives are actually 2 2Tb drives.

    Can you please elaborate on that partition table issue and the need to break them down to 1TB each?

    I have various 4TB drives and this kind of makes me think.

    Anyway, don't forget to back up no matter how many partitions you end up with.
  3. Plutonius macrumors 604


    Feb 22, 2003
    New Hampshire, USA
    My 4TB drives are also one partition and are journaled extended. I have never heard any of issues in OS X on having a 4TB drive with one partition.
  4. Remsing thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2014
    Huh. Guess it's a good thing I asked. Im honestly not certain what happened with the partition files. The first time I threw some copies of video footage on it I was able to recover the partition file. The second time it wasn't able to be rebuilt (I use Disc Drill as my file recovery/restoration software). - Not sure how to tell anything else than that.

    It may be that I was using it as my Premiere Pro scratch disc. Which is how I put most of my drives through their paces.

    The first time I partitioned it I used exFat and tried it. No issues.
  5. cruisin macrumors 6502a


    Apr 1, 2014
    Hard drives are made from a few platters inside, but only laptop drives have one or two platters. External drives have different amounts based on capacity, with six for the 8TB versions. The 4TB should have three or four.

    I have never heard of a 4TB issue on Mac. People have upgraded their desktop Macs with 4TB drives without problems. Likely something went wrong during formatting or your external drive can't deal with Mac formatting for some reason.

    Multiple partitions will slow down your drive as the inside track of the drive is the fastest part and stores all your partition data. A disk with multiple partitions would have multiple storage areas and be slightly slower. There's also the annoying issue when one partition fills up and the other partitions are reserved for other things. I would go ExFAT over having four partitions.
  6. Garsun macrumors regular


    Oct 20, 2009
    Unless you have some compelling reason to want multiple partitions I would make the whole drive one big petition. Apples journaled filesystem is pretty robust and I have never had the type of trouble you described. A disk hardware failure is much more likely then a corrupted petition map and the pros far away the cons :D

    Hardware failure are not all that comment either but remember to always back up your data:cool:

Share This Page