Formatting hard drives

These instructions cover how to reformat an external hard drive for macOS exclusive, or as ExFAT, to allow you to move data between Windows and Macintosh workstations. WARNING: THESE INSTRUCTIONS WILL COMPLETELY ERASE YOUR DRIVE, MAKING IT DIFFICULT OR IMPOSSIBLE TO RECOVER ANY EXISTING DATA.

Communication Arts students who wish to take their media with them will need an external drive formatted for Mac OS Extended (Journaled) or ExFAT.  IMC workstations are not configured to be able to write to NTFS (Windows) formatted hard drives.


WARNING:  FOLLOWING THE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW WILL COMPLETELY ERASE YOUR EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE.  UNDERSTAND THAT ANY EXISTING DATA ON THE DRIVE WILL BE LOST PERMANENTLY.  IF YOU HAVE EXISTING DATA ON YOUR DRIVE, YOU SHOULD FIRST COPY OFF THAT DRIVE TO ANOTHER LOCATION.

Formatting your hard drive

  1. Connect your hard drive to the computer, and open Disk Utility from /Applications/Utilities.
  2. Click on the View icon in the upper-left > Show All Devices.
    Image showing the View menu, and Show All Devices selected.
  3. Find your drive listed under the "External" heading.  Select the main disk (one above whatever your drive is named).
    Image showing the main disk selected, immediately above the disk volume.
  4. Verify that the information matches your drive (capacity, make/model etc.).
    Disk information view.
  5. STOP! FROM HERE FORWARD, YOU WILL BE PERMANENTLY ERASING YOUR DRIVE, AND ALL DATA THAT WAS ON IT WILL BE LOST!  MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A BACKUP FIRST!
  6. Click "Erase" at the top of the window.
  7. You can configure your drive two ways:  Mac OS Extended (Journaled) or ExFAT.
    • If you'll only be using the drive with a Mac, and never with a PC, choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) for Format and GUID Partition Map for Scheme.
      Image showing the settings for Mac OS Extended (Journaled).
    • If you want to be able to move data between Mac and Windows computers, choose ExFAT for Format and Master Boot Record for Scheme.
      Image showing settings for ExFAT.
  8. Click Erase.  When Disk Utility is finished, the drive will mount on your Desktop, ready for use.
  9. Click Done and quit Disk Utility.




Keywords:hard drive format formatting erasing   Doc ID:98801
Owner:Peter S.Group:CommArts Instructional Media Center
Created:2020-03-12 21:26 CDTUpdated:2020-03-12 21:43 CDT
Sites:CommArts Instructional Media Center
Feedback:  0   0