Reformatting an external hard drive


macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 20, 2009
This isn't really mac related but, is it beneficial to reformat an external hard drive?

I've been using my 500GB WD my book for a couple years as storage for media. I just got a 1TB internal drive and now I want to use the external for my PS3. It's already in FAT32 but would I gain anything (performance-wise) from reformatting it? Thanks!


macrumors 6502
Sep 2, 2009
The only limitation to FAT32 is that you can't copy files onto your external hard drive that are above 4 gigs. If you are using windows you can format it to NTFS, or if you use a mac you have to format it to something else I can't remember the name of (It's something like NTFS+).


macrumors 68020
Jan 14, 2008
If you're going to be using the hard drive for your PS3 (I assume internally), then it really doesn't matter as you should probably format it using the PS3's format utility to ensure the proper file structure gets installed.

If you're wanting to clone your PS3's current hard drive, it might be a good idea to format it beforehand as it will ensure that there are absolutely no hidden files left behind. Most cloning utilities will require you to format the partition to which you are cloning anyways. Then you can use a program to clone the PS3's HDD to your external and do the swap after. This is the method I used to install a 500GB disk in my PS3.

Edit: Actually, for PS3, it needs to be FAT32. It won't recognize NTFS.

Edit 2: The hard drive needs to be a 2.5" SATA drive. If it's a 3.5" drive, it won't fit.
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