Reformatted HD

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by elodieluna, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. elodieluna macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2013
    In an attempt to reformat my external portable hard drive (so that I could save my itunes library to it before trying to uninstall the infamous itunes 11 and revert to 10.7), somehow I have changed the format of my HD and my folders have all disappeared, now all of my files are presented in one long list. The externa hard drive contains the old format of my HD that I wish to retrieve. Help anyone! I used the disc utility and partition option to do this and now I dont know how to undo this mess! Thanks :)
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Just to clarify, you have one external HDD, which is not in a format Mac OS X supports, and one internal HDD, with the system and all your user files on it?
    In order to get the external HDD to be working with Mac OS X, you formatted the external HDD with Disk Utility and used the Mac OS Extended format to do so?
    Now the external HDD is not working probably and shows one long list of files?
    Can you make a screenshot and attach it to your next post?
    Or have your formatted your internal HDD (which should be impossible, if you run Disk Utility from the OS and not any startup media (grey Restore DVD or Retail or Upgrade DVD or Recovery Partition).

    Or am I misunderstanding you?
    Can you clarify on that?


    Overview of the four major file systems (called "Formats" in Mac OS X) used on Windows and Mac OS X, compiled by GGJstudios. You can use Disk Utility to format any HDD to your liking.

    Any external hard drive will work with PCs or Macs, as long as the connectors are there (Firewire, USB, etc.) It doesn't matter how the drive is formatted out of the box, since you can re-format any way you like. Formatting can be done with the Mac OS X Disk Utility, found in the /Applications/Utilities folder. Here are your formatting options:

    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Don't use case-sensitive)

    NTFS (Windows NT File System)
    • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
    • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
      [*]To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X, here are some alternatives:
      • For Mac OS X 10.4 or later (32 or 64-bit), install Paragon (approx $20) (Best Choice for Lion)
      • For 32-bit Mac OS X, install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free) (does not work in 64-bit mode)
      • For 64-bit Snow Leopard, read this: MacFUSE for 64-bit Snow Leopard
      • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx $36).
      • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and Lion, but is not advisable, due to instability.
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
    • Maximum file size: 16 TB
    • Maximum volume size: 256TB
    • You can use this format if you routinely share a drive with multiple Windows systems.

    exFAT (FAT64)
    • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
    • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
    • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
    • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
    • You can use this format if it is supported by all computers with which you intend to share the drive. See "disadvantages" for details.

    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
      [*]Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    • You can use this format if you share the drive between Mac OS X and Windows computers and have no files larger than 4GB.

    Also know, that formatting any HDD will delete the contents of that HDD, though the data is not lost, but you have to use specialised software to retrieve the data.

    To retrieve files, that have been deleted and also been emptied from the Trash or are on unrecognisable partitions or HDDs or on accidentally formatted partitions or HDDs, you can use

    • Data Rescue 3 - trial lets you scan for free, but recovery needs a purchase (99 USD)
    • Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery - trial lets you scan for free, but recovery needs a purchase (99 USD)
    • FileSalvage - trial lets you scan for free, but recovery needs a purchase (99 USD)
    • DiskDrill - trial lets you scan for free, but recovery needs a purchase (79 USD)
    • Nice To Recover - trial lets you scan for free, but recovery needs a purchase (69.95 USD)

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