Reformatting external hard drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by neptune229, Feb 21, 2009.

  1. neptune229 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
    #1
    Hi,
    I recently bought a 640 GB Comstar external hard drive for my macbook, and it came out of the box formatted in NTFS. I know that if the drive was in this format, I could not use it with my mac. So I opened up disk utility and tried to reformat it into Mac OS Extended (Journaled), but disk utility showed an error and the drive wasn't reformatted. So I tried FAT32 instead, and it worked. The drive has been working fine now, however, I have realized a limitation of FAT32: the files can only be smaller than 4 GB. This is a problem for me, so I need some advice. So here is my dilemma: I need to be able to share the contents of the drive over a local network that has both windows and mac computers. (Users on the network only need to be able to read the drive, not necessarily write). However, I can't use FAT32 because of the file size limitation. I'm not sure how to format the drive so that I (using my mac) can read and write it, and users on the local network can read it. I'm thinking HFS+ (mac os extended, journaled), but will windows users be able to read it then? Sorry if I sound like such a newbie.
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #2
    Yes, as long as the computer that is doing the sharing (presumably your Mac) can read it, any connected computer can read it. HFS+ is the way to go. Are you still having trouble formatting it?
     
  3. neptune229 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
    #3
    Hey thanks for replying to my thread so quickly!!!
    Ok so I tried using disk utility to erase the drive and reformat it into Mac OS Extended (case sensitive, journaled), and it seemed to be working for a few seconds, until disk utility gave the error:
    "Disk Erase failed with the error:
    File system formatter failed."
    Now I seem to be stuck, I'm not sure what to do.
    Any advice? Again, thanks in advance!

    Edit: I also tried to Verify and Repair the disk, but neither of those worked.
     
  4. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #4
    You need to initialize the drive, and not the partition (which is below and indented in Disk Utility).
     
  5. neptune229 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
    #5
    Thanks, caveman, I actually figured it out myself; I repartitioned the drive and created a single HFS+ partition. Thanks to everyone who helped out!
     

Share This Page