Formatting An External Hard Drive For Mac

  1. External Hard Drive For Mac
  2. Formatting External Hard Drive For Mac Catalina
  3. Formatting An External Hard Drive For Mac And Pc
  4. Formatting External Drive For Mac
  5. Formatting External Hard Drive For Mac Scheme

Part 2: Format External Hard Drive for Mac with Disk Utility. Formatting an external hard drive would erase everything on it. Hence, you must backup your important files before reformatting the drive if you want to save them. The easiest way is to drag it from one drive to another. All is set, then you can go ahead to format the drive on your Mac. A) Yes, you’re going to be using “Disk Utility” again.Matter of fact, you’ll be seeing this tool a lot throughout the article. Now, fire it up! B) Look to the left of the “Disk Utilities” window and select the drive to be reformatted.Click on the “Erase” button. C) Follow prompts to select a file system.Choose “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” or another file system if you’re. On Windows: Plug your hard drive into your computer. Insert the drive's USB cable into one of the. Options For Having An External Hard Drive for Mac and PC Without Formatting. Use a Software Solution – You get a piece of software that sits on your Mac. Or one for your Windows PC. This software acts like a translator. It interprets what is on the external hard drive so that your Mac or PC can read and write to the drive.

Video editors will often find that they need to share files between a PC and a Mac. Use these steps to format external hard drives for both operating systems.

Top Image via Hard Drive Labels

Formatting An External Hard Drive For Mac

As a video editor or Digital Imaging Technician, you will often need to share files with others. Eventually you will find out that you may not be working on the same operating system (OS) as others. If you work solely on a Mac, but need to send files to someone working on a PC, your external hard drive needs to be set up for both operating systems. Let’s take a look at the different types of formats, and which are best for video production.

Formatting the Hard Drive

A vast majority of video production will be done on a Mac or Windows operating system, so we aren’t going to cover Linux. Hard drives set up for use on Windows machines only will often use NTFS, while Macs will use HFS+. That said, if you are using both a PC and Mac in the workflow, you’ll need to use a different format.

Image from Shutterstock

You may be using only Macs or PCs in your own office, but you will also need to take into account what type of machines your client is using. If you need to send them RAW files or an edited sequence, you will need to make sure the external hard drive is set up for both operating systems. To do this, you will need to use either exFAT or FAT32 formats. This will allow you to use the hard drive on both a Mac and PC.

FAT32 is often used among general users, but FAT32 has limitations that can affect filmmakers. FAT32 has a maximum file size of 4 GB per file. The limitation affects both Mac and PC users. A single high resolution file can easily go over 4 GB, so Fat32 may not the best format. The best format for video production is exFAT. The maximum individual file size for exFAT is 16 EB. 1 EB, or exabyte, is 1 billion GB. That said, if you are using smaller file sizes — FAT32 can suffice.

Format Hard Drive (Mac)

Formatting an external hard drive for mac

1. Connect the external hard drive to the computer.

2. Click Go on the top tool bar, and select Utilities.

3. Open Disk Utility.

4. Select the external hard drive on the left-hand side.

5. Click the Partition tab.

6. Change the Partition Layout from Current to 1 Partition.

7. Click Options, Select Master Boot Record, and click OK.

External Hard Drive For Mac

8. Name the hard drive with a name of your choice.

9. Click the Format drop-down menu.

10. Select exFat (or MS-DOS FAT for a FAT32 format).

11. Hit Apply, then click on Partition.

Formatting Hard Drive (Windows)

Image from Shutterstock

1. Right-Click on the Windows icon in the lower left-hand corner.

2. Select Disk Management.

3. Right-Click on the external hard drive in the Volume tab.

4. Click Format.

5. Name the hard drive.

6. Select exFAT (or FAT for FAT32).

7. Click OK.

Formatting An External Hard Drive For Mac

Naming and Labelling Hard Drives

Formatting External Hard Drive For Mac Catalina

If you will be using multiple external hard drives on a project, you’ll want to make sure to keep them organized. This includes the way you name the drive and how you label it.

One of my personal tricks is naming all drives after an actor. For instance, one project had several external drives, all of which were named after different Will Ferrell characters — Mugatu, Megamind, Lord Business, and Ron Burgundy. Another project used Tom Hanks characters — Forrest and Woody.

Remember that external drives should be used temporarily — and all footage should be backed up elsewhere. Use checksum verification to make sure everything is copied correctly.

There are plenty of ways you can label your drives. You can simply use some masking tape or gaff tape, and then write the name of the drive. You can also use hard drive labels, which are the awesome stickers featured above. You easily put them on your external drive to keep track of them.

If you are a parent, like myself, you can also use any stickers you have lying around the house. I recently had Kermit the Frog and Optimus Prime hard drives.

No matter how you label your hard drives, just make sure you keep track of them. You never know when you will need that footage from a three-year-old project.

Got any hard drive organizational tips to share with the community? Let us know in the comments below!

Format Any External Hard Drive for an Apple Mac Tutorial with Images

So you’re shopping for a new hard drive for your mac but you noticed a few things on the box.

  • Some don’t specify they are Apple Mac Compatible
  • The ones that say Apple compatible are sometimes more expensive

The great news is it does not matter which brand you buy. You can easily format the drive in a few simple steps that I will show you. I’ve even heard sales staff in shops try to up-sell a more expensive hard drive to customers because they used an Apple Mac.

How I Pick an External Hard Drive

Me personally, I shop based on hard disk drive size and price. Usually, but not always I get great deals on Western Digital Drives or Seagate external hard drives. Whatever is the least expensive with the biggest capacity is the one I will get.

No Mention of Mac Compatibility on the Box? No Problems!

I just purchased a Seagate 2TB Expansion drive from a local office supplies store. One the side of the box it says “Compatible with Windows”. There’s no mention of Apple anywhere on the side. This means the disk is pre-formatted so you can plug it into a PC and it will just work fine. The great news is we can re-format the disk to work for mac in 8 easy steps listed below.

How to format any drive to work with an Apple Mac in 8 Easy Steps

Formatting An External Hard Drive For Mac And Pc

STEP 1: Unbox the hard drive and plug this side of the cable into the hard drive.

STEP 2: Plug the blue USB connection (below) into a free port on the computer. The blue color denotes that this hard drive is USB 3.0 Speed. If your cable is plain black it could be a USB 2.0-speed drive. It doesn’t matter either way for storage usage. USB 3.0 is faster to transfer files but it’s not a big deal.

Once you have the hard drive plugged in you can see it come up on the Desktop

If you double click inside the drive you see files already in the drive. This is usually the case for any Windows drive because it comes with free software we don’t even need. Let me show you how to format this drive properly for Mac.

STEP 3: Click on the Launchpad Icon from the Task Bar

STEP 4: Start Typing “Disk” and “Disk Utilities” will come up. Click on the Disk Utilities Icon

Formatting External Drive For Mac

Formatting An External Hard Drive For MacFormatting external hard drive for mac failed

STEP 5: You are now presented with the Apple Mac Disk Utility Tool. Click on the new hard drive you just installed. Usually, it has the name of the brand on the drive. As you can see below the new drive in my case is called Seagate Expansion. If you purchased a WD drive it will say Western Digital or WD for example.

STEP 6: After selecting the proper drive click the “Erase” button at the top of this same view.

STEP 7: After clicking Erase on the prior step you are greeted with this popup. You can now rename the drive easily to anything you like. For my use I am calling it YouTube 2019 as I will be storing all the new video files I produce on this drive.

STEP 8: This step is critical or it won’t work. Please use the format drop-down menu and click MAC OS Extended (Journaled). Next click Erase

Disk Utilities will go through the following steps automatically:

Once you see the Green Tick you are all done! ✅

Congratulations! You have now formatted your new external Hard Drive to work with your Apple Mac running Mojave.

Please Remember:

This is the process for formatting any External Hard Disk Drive to work with an Apple Mac running OS Mojave or High Sierra. The process is also the same for the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac Pro, iMac, and MacMini computers.

It doesn’t matter what brand of hard drive you buy. It all comes down to the formatting applied to the drive. This process will work for Solid State (SSD) drives as well as any other hard disk drive not pre-formatted for Apple Mac. There’s no need to spend the extra dollars on a drive that is pre-formatted. Once you have done this once the process is so simple I’m sure you’ll now be able to show your friends how to do the same exact thing as this article.

Formatting External Hard Drive For Mac Scheme

If this tutorial is helpful please share it with anyone who might require help with this topic.

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