Formatting your USB flash drive this way will give you full interoperability with Macs. You can even set up an OS X startup drive if you have the right files, the know-how, and a big enough flash drive, which will allow you to boot your Mac off an external disk if something goes wrong with your built-in drive. The "Mac OS Extended Journaled " option will have the highest degree of support for Mac OS X features, and there's no limit to the size of files you can put on the drive.
Windows-running PCs can read files from drives formatted this way, but they can't write to them at least not without the same amount of work it takes to get OS X to write to NTFS-formatted drives. Otherwise, you may need to consider one of the file formats discussed below. FAT32 offers near-universal interoperability with virtually every computing system on the planet.
A drive formatted this way can easily transfer files between Macs and PCs. You can also move files to video game systems like the PlayStation 3, Xbox , and Wii. Virtually all cameras and videocameras support FAT32, too. It's the closest thing we have to a universal file system format, which is why most flash drives are formatted this way right out of the box.
FAT32 doesn't support files larger than 4 GB, and that's its greatest drawback. You also can't create a startup drive for your Mac using this format. Furthermore, FAT32 doesn't support OS X Lion's Versions feature -- something users have discovered the hard way when working directly off of files stored on a USB flash drive something we recommend against doing.
However, those downsides may be more than outweighed by FAT32's near-universal support, and if you don't think you're going to be dealing with files bigger than 4 GB, this may be the optimal choice. It has one big advantage over FAT If you won't be dealing with older Macs or PCs, this may not be a problem. Of greater issue is that most consumer electronics cameras, camcorders, video game systems don't support exFAT, either. If you need to transfer files between your Mac and one of these non-PC devices, you're almost certainly going to have to format your flash drive in FAT32 instead.
Here's a basic rundown of which format we recommend for your USB flash drive, broken down by use case. If you absolutely, positively will only be working with Macs and no other system, ever: The Buyer's Guide. As the article mentioned, this is one of the common formats in external hard drives. Oh my gosh. Thank you. I have contacted customer service.
Here's how to format USB on Mac
I have reinstalled NTSF whatever. I was going to mail it back this morning. I just did what you said and it is now backing up. Keeping my fingers crossed but SO relieved! Can check this off my list and move on. I have external HD and want to use it with my mac. But I have several pictures on this HD. I want to be able to add folders and continue to put several of my pictures and files on it.
WHat do I need to do? If the drive is not recognized by the Mac, you can use Disk Utility to recognize the PC formatting and then format it for Mac compatability: I have an external hard drive that used to work with my mac. Now it is reasonable only on a mac but I can read and write in a windows pc.
Mac 101: Format choices for USB flash drives
How can i make it read and write for both mac and windows. I have an external drive and tried going to disk utilities…. Erase…Mac OS extended journaled …. Erase I get an error that it is unable to format.
Any suggestions? The comment at the end is confusing see the last phase in quotes below …Is that just an advertisement? I want to follow the 7 step instructions to format a backup drive for my Can I follow the 7 steps and achieve that? Yes, you can format an external hard drive for Time Machine this way. And no this is not the Dell site. Is it okay to keep it and reformat it for mac or am I much better off returning it and buying another one specifically for mac? Yes just format the drive for the Mac as described in this article on formatting an external hard drive to Mac OS X compatibility.
Same here! This is the exact message. It came straight from the box:.
Erasing a partition deltes all the data on that partition, but does not affect other partitions on the same disk. Same here.
Click Done to continue. The Disk Utility has changed, you might want to update the screen shots to reflect the new version, the Partition tab is noticeably different. It Fails and says: Disk Erase Failed. I get similar errors constantly when using USB hubs on Mac with external drives, but when plugged directly into Mac the hard drives work.
Having the identical problem connected directly to USB on the back of iMac. How do you tell if it is locked? I have a new maxone external drive, and it is not recognized in the left-hand panel of the Disk Utility.
It is connected by USB cable, plugged directly into mu iMac. I have an Iomega Ext. The storage is half full with over MB of storage left. Am I able to continue with the formatting without erasing the current files that are already on it? I have a 1TB Toshiba external hard drive, I have been using on my iMac and have been able to read an write on it.
Mac Format choices for USB flash drives
Why is it working on my iMac and not on my macbook pro? It seems that the hard drive is formatted for Windows but it does work read and write on my iMac. Do I need to format this external drive to be able to use in more than one Apple computer? The one single thing, arguably one of the most important bits has been skipped altogether from this guide…. Majority if not all flash drives come not only with Windows dominant file systems, but also MBR formatted, vs the Mac where the operating system is always installed to a GPT partitioned disk.
Format for Mac compatibility as described, I use it with every disk. You do not need to mess with schemes, this is not Windows. This is Mac. In this case you are formatting the drive to be Mac compatible. This is not about Windows. Just trying to figure out if I need to back my pictures up to a second hard drive before I do this. Backup everything you want to save. Nothing is left on the external hard drive after formatting is completed.
This post is a lifesaver even 5 years down the track! Hi, I did what it said. But two of my USB are ruined, my computer cannot read them anymore. I kinda wanna cry. If you format a hard drive it erases the data on it. That is what formatting does, it erases a drive.
What else do you think erasing a drive is supposed to do except erase the data? I purchased a 4TB WD external drive and having a heck of a time reformatting this drive.
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I have tried all the above advice without getting to have this new hard drive formatted. Any other suggestions? I just keep getting the error Disk erase failed.
Which format to choose?
There must be something new with High Sierra Is there an option besides just declaring the data irretrievable, and more importantly, how does a USB uninitialize itself? Will I be able to copy and share media across both Mac and Windows? I am Computer-Eleteret lol. Now My Mac is about There. I just have no Clue how to do it.
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