WD external harddrive formatting back to windows?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Gaddamn, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. Gaddamn macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2011
    New user not sure if this fits here but anyway...

    I have a WD external hard drive. I was told that it could operate between mac and windows, which i need to do for school. (best buy guy said all i need to do is format it)

    I had been using it fine for awhile on windows but then i needed to put something from my mac on it.

    It showed up per normal but when i tried to save something to it, it wouldn't let me. So i decided to get my files and put them on my desktop and format it.

    Everything went fine, i put my files back on and ejected the disk. I tested to see if the file would show up on my dads windows laptop. I heard the alert that it new something was plugged in but it wont show up in "my computer".

    I'm assuming it's not showing up because i formatted it to my mac, fair enough the guy at best buy was mistaken or i didn't do something right.

    but problem is i can't format it back to windows, or at least I don't know how. Does ANYONE know how to fix this?

    And please go easy with short forms and **** cause I'm fairly new to this.
  2. johnhurley macrumors 6502a


    Aug 29, 2011
    If you formatted the external hard drive as NTFS ( normal windows default I think on big external drives ) then mac os x ( aka your machine when running under apple operating system ) can ONLY read from it it cannot write to it.

    You can format the drive in a way that both mac os x and windows can read and write from. That format is exFAT ... which you can select in mac via disk utility when you erase it.

    Another way of doing it is to create 2 partitions on the external hard drive. In other words divide the external hard drive into 2 pieces ( partitions ). One partition can be NTFS and the other partition mac os x format.

    That's the way I have my external drives setup. All of them have at least 2 partitions some of the bigger ones ( 2 TB drives ) have more than 2 partitions.

    So there's lots of choices. If the external hard drive is fairly large then having multiple types of partitions on it is ( maybe ) the best choice if you can figure out what sizes to make each slice and what format to use for each slice.

    Go do some research and google around some maybe ... before making more changes!
  3. Gaddamn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2011
    Thank you sir, you are a gentleman and a Scholar :)

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