- Mar 15, 2018 When you connect a Mac-formatted drive to Windows, you’ll be informed that “you need to format the disk in drive X: before you can use it.” Don’t click the “Format disk” button or Windows will erase the contents of the drive–click “Cancel”! Both Windows and Mac OS X have full read-write support for exFAT drives without any.
- To format an external hard drive for Mac with Time Machine, you must follow the steps below. Step 1 Open Finder, Applications, then go to Utilities and Disk Utility. Step 2 Follow the steps above to format the drive, and then you can use it with Time Machine on your Mac system. Part 3: Bonus Tip – Data Recovery from Formatted Hard Drive on Mac.
Mac Os X Formatted External Hard Drive Windows 10
If you've switched to the Mac, welcome aboard. Your old external Windows PC drive will work great on the Mac. Apple has built OS X Yosemite and some previous OS X releases with the ability to read from those disks just fine. If you're using such a drive and you'd like to write new data to them, you'll find you can't unless you add new software. Fortunately, you don't have to spend a dime.
Mar 31, 2020 If you buy a new external hard drive, you may notice that working between Mac and PC is an often difficult - but it doesn't need to be. We'll show you everything you need to know about the. May 14, 2015 Macs can easily read PC-formatted hard disk drives. Writing to them, however, is a different story. If you've switched to the Mac, welcome aboard. Your old external Windows PC drive will work great on the Mac. Apple has built OS X Yosemite and some previous OS X releases with the ability to read from those disks just fine. If you're using such a drive and you'd like to write new data.
Dec 07, 2021 HFSExplorer is completely free; it’s a basic application designed to help users read Mac-formatted hard disks and disk images. HFSExplorer gives support to various file systems: HFS (the Standard file system on Mac), HFS+ (the Extended file system on Mac OS), HFSX (the Extended Mac OS file system with case sensitive file names), etc.
Switch to Mac
- Restart your Mac and press the Command + R keys to boot it in the Recovery mode. Launch the Terminal app by visiting the utility menu and enter the command: csrutil disable. In the end, restart your Mac in the normal mode and launch Recoverit again. Tips for Formatting Hard Drive.
- Format Hard Drive (Mac) 1. Connect the external hard drive to the computer. Click Go on the top tool bar, and select Utilities. Open Disk Utility. Select the external hard drive on the left-hand side. Click the Partition tab. Change the Partition Layout from Current to 1 Partition.
Every week our Peter Cohen brings you Switch to Mac — a column to help you move from Windows PC to the Mac and OS X!
One option is to back up your old Windows external drive (using Time Machine or another method). Reformat the drive using Apple's Disk Utility software and the company's HFS+ file system instead. Then you can restore the backed up data to the drive.
Even if the backed up and restored files originally came from a PC, they'll be stored on the drive using a file system the Mac fully understands. That way the drive will be fully Mac-compatible without any need for you to modify the operating system of the Mac to get it to work properly.
Obviously that solution doesn't work for everyone. Maybe the drive you're using has to be used with a PC occasionally. Whatever the case, the good news is that it's not a show-stopper: There are a few utilities out there that will enable Macs to write to mounted NTFS volumes.
Tuxera's NTFS for Mac is one of the best ways to do it. It uses smart caching to keep data transfer as fast as possible and works with every OS X version since 10.4 (Tiger). NTFS for Mac costs $31, and you can download a demo first to see how it does.
Paragon Software's NTFS for Mac 12 is another excellent choice. It includes several additional utilities for people who need to tinker or repair, to enable you to format drives with NTFS, check NTFS partition integrity, fix errors, and more. NTFS for Mac costs $19.95.
If you're a DIYer and you'd like to go the free route, you'll find a Sourceforge project called NativeNTFS-OSX that gets the job done. NativeNTFS isn't for rookies: It's a bash script that needs to run from the Terminal command line and requires you to have root (administrator) access to your computer.
An easier way to go is to download OS X Fuse, a third-party software tool that extends the Mac's file system capabilities. Follow the directions on the OS X Fuse website to download and configure the software. Follow the instructions to download NTFS-3G for Mac OS X, whose development seems stopped right now but still works in Yosemite. Once OS X Fuse and NTFS-3G are installed, your Mac should be able to read and write to NTFS disks just fine.
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Some people are asking for a way to format a hard drive for Mac. Whether you are trying to backup Mac to an external hard drive, wipe out any personal information and sell the computer, or even use a new operating system, you need to format the hard drive on your Mac or PC.
But before you can do anything, you need to make it clear that the hard drive you want to wipe or format would be an external hard drive or an internal hard drive. We can easily format external hard drive for Mac. But when it comes to format internal hard drive for mac, things are getting a little more complicated. Maybe we will go through with the way to format a startup drive for Mac later. But now in this guide, we will cover the situation of formatting an external hard drive in steps.
Notice that you need to backup your importanct files on the hard drive you are going to format as the procedure would delete all of the data and bring it back to the factory settings.
Format an external hard drive for Mac
How to Format External Hard Drive for Mac
If you are trying to format Mac external hard drive, you can go over the process step by step:
Step 1. Connect your hard drive to your Mac.
Step 2. Open Finder and choose 'Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility' to launch the app on your Mac.
Step 3. Once you open the Disk Utility app, you can see all the drives on your Mac are listed on the left-hand sidebar. Just select the one you want to format and click on the 'Erase' tab.
Format an external hard drive for Mac
Step 4. Now in this interface, you will see a 'Format' option. In this drop-down box, you are allowed to choose different format.
OS X Extended (Journaled) should be selected if you are going to use the drive as a system or 'boot' drive on macOS.
Mac OS Extended should be selected if you will be using the drive as a media or 'scratch' drive on Mac.
Mac OS (FAT) is compatible with both PC and Mac platforms. However, there's a limit to transfer files within 4GB.
ExFAT is similar with Mac OS (FAT) but it can work with files as large as 16EB (exabytes)
So if you are going to use an external drive for both your Windows PC and your Mac, you should choose the ExFAT or FAT format.
Choose format for hard drive
Step 5. Name your drive you like but it would be better to choose something specific, so that you can make things clear every time when you look at its name.
Step 6. Click on the 'Security Options' button and you are able to choose the way (fastest or more secure) to format your external disk. The fastest way will save your time but it erases the drive only by removing the header information. That is to say, you can easily restore the hard drive using a data recovery software if the files haven't been overwritten. It is not good and the format process is meaningless in some way. So maybe you can try the more secure one. It may take quite a long time, but it will erase the drive in a deeper way.
Step 7. Click on the 'Erase' button to start erasing the external hard drive or USB. Formatting a hard drive will take a while and wait for it patiently. Once the progress bar is at 100%, the job is done!
How to Recover Formatted Hard Drive on Mac
As it is mentioned above, after formatting a hard drive, all data on the hard drive will be erased. But what if you have second thought and need to recover files from the formatted drive? Is it possible to recover files from formatted drive on Mac? Yes, it is possible. But you'll need FonePaw Data Recovery, a Mac data recovery program that can recover deleted files from hard drive, SD card, USB drive even the drive has been formatted.
Step 1. Run FonePaw Data Recovery on your Mac. Remember that you should not install the application on the formatted drive. Otherwise, some of the files could be overwritten by the application.
Step 2. When the application is open, select the files you want to retrieve from the formatted drive. Tick the formatted hard drive. And click Scan.
Step 3. The application will first quickly scan some easy-to-get files on the formatted hard drive. If you need more files. Click Deep Scan to find files that are buried deeper.
Step 4. View the results by file types or path. Tick the files you need and click Recover. If you have deleted files that haven't been found, do not save the recovered files on the formatted drive. Instead, save them on other drive, such as your USB drive.
If you have any problem when following the steps to format hard drive for Mac, please leave us a message on the comment box below!
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Though the default hard disk file system (also known as format) of Windows and Mac are different, there should be some ways to format an external drive for both Mac and PC. This post will conclude these tutorials:
- A comparison of common File Systems for Mac and PC
- Guide to format external hard drives for Mac and PC
- Guide to partition an external hard drive for Mac and Windows PC
- Make external hard drives compatible with Mac and PC without formatting
Then, after reading this post, you'll know what is the best file system for your camera's SD card and what is the best format for your Mac and PC. More importantly, you will know how to format flash drives for Mac and PC and make hard drives compatible with macOS and Windows.
Common File Systems for Mac and PC
Can An External Hard Drive Be Formatted For Mac And Pc
The file system is one of the most important part for an external hard drive because it manages how your files are stored and retrieved. So, every hard disk needs a proper file system, including desktop drives and portable storage devices like external hard drives, USB flash drives and SD cards. However, different file systems have different advantages and disadvantages. So before you know how to format a hard drive, you should know the pros and cons of each file system.
Best External Drive for Mac and PC Interchangeable: Our Picks in 2020 1. G-Technology Portable External Hard Drive 2TB. This drive is preformatted just for you, offering a high transfer. LaCie Rugged USB-C 2TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD – USB 3.0 compatible, Drop Shock Dust Rain Resistant, for Mac and PC Computer Desktop Workstation Laptop, 1 Month Adobe CC (STFR2000800).
FAT file system includes three major file system variants but the majorly used one is FAT32. FAT32 is commonly used in floppy disks, SD memory cards, USB flash drives, digital cameras, as well as many portable and embedded devices.
- Works universally with all versions of Mac, Windows, Linux, game devices, as well as other devices supporting a USB port.
- Doesn't support a file size larger than 4GB and a drive partition size larger than 32GB on Windows.
- Doesn't support the drive partition larger than 2TB on macOS.
exFAT is a good option for external hard drives (e.g. Seagate Backup Plus Slim), especially for large-capacity removable storage devices. It also is frequently used in flash memory drives such as USB flash drives and SD cards. exFAT is easily often implemented in firmware that has low memory and low power requirements, such as cameras, mobile phones, media players, etc.
How To Format Hard Drive For Mac
- Supports the largest partition and file sizes by today's standards.
- Not compatible with too much old operating systems.
- Not a good option for drives less than 32GB because it can't maximize space utilization.
NTFS is a proprietary journaling file system developed by Microsoft. It is used as the default file system of Windows system hard drive (e.g. Windows 10). NTFS does well in data security based on its encryption, access permission control, and log file.
- Improved performance, reliability, and disk space use.
- Performs better in protecting data security, data management.
- Compatible with all versions of Windows and latest hardware.
- Read-only in macOS and the disabled-by-default write support for NTFS in macOS is unstable.
4. Mac OS Extended (HFS+)
HFS Plus or HFS+ is a journaling file system developed by Apple Inc. It's the startup disk’s default file system before macOS High Sierra. It also frequently used as Time Machine backup external hard drives of WD, Seagate, etc.
- Supported by all versions of Mac OS X and macOS.
- Has journaling, compression, and encryption features.
- Has no access permission control.
- Perfoms slow or crash in dealing with a large number of files.
- Harder for data recovery when an HFS+ hard drive is corrupted.
5. Apple file system (APFS)
APFS is the new proprietary file system of Apple. It has been known to increase read/write speeds on solid-state drives (SSDs), as well as increase storage space due to the way in which it calculates the available data on disk.
- Allows full-disk encryption with single or multi-key encryption for added security.
- Efficient in management of free storage space
- Not good for Time Machine backup due to no support for hard links to directories.
- Can only be used on macOS 10.13 and above.
After knowing their unique specifications, it becomes easier to choose the best file system for your storage device. For instance, you would know why exFAT is better for camera SD cards, or why NTFS is better for external backup drive on Windows 10. In a word, you can format or reformat your external hard drive per your requirement, either for Mac and PC.
Warning: Formatting will erase data on this drive. So, make sure you have a backup. However, if you have formatted this drive and lose files, you can recover lost data from formatted external hard drive with iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac.
How to format external hard drives for Mac?
To format external hard drives on Mac, you'll need the built-in disk management tool called Disk Utility. Then, you need to choose the best file system for your external hard drive when erase it.
Tips: Remember to back up the files on the external hard drive if you have saved anything important on it.
• Guide to format external hard drive on Mac computer.
How to format external hard drives for Windows computer?
Similarly, you can also format your drive on Windows computers with a utility called Disk Management.
Tips: To prevent data loss during formatting, make sure you haven't saved important files on the drive. If you have, backup them first.
• Guide to initialize and format external hard drive on Windows computer.
How to format an external hard drive for Mac and PC?
It's important to know how to format an external hard drive for your Mac and PC before you use it to free up space and transfer files between computers. If you don't format the external hard drive correctly, it won't work to the utmost extent. For instance,Windows uses NTFS, while Mac uses HFS+ or APFS. Out of the box, Windows can't read or write to HFS+/APFS drives and Macs can't write to NTFS drives either.
Best External Hard Drive For Mac And Pc Interchangeable Tool
Sometimes, users need to use the same external hard drive interchangeably on Mac and PC. To make it compatible with both macOS and Windows, you need to reformat the external hard drive.
Whether you are using an APFS/HFS+ or a Windows NTFS formatted external hard drive on Mac, you can reformat the external hard drives for both Mac and PC. File systems like FAT32 and exFAT can make the external HDD compatible with both Macs and Windows PCs.
Warning: Reformatting will wipe files off the external hard drive. So, you should make sure you have backed up your files on the external hard drive before you continue any steps.
When should you choose FAT32 file system?
FAT32 works with almost any operating system as well as video game consoles, Android USB expansions, media players, and other devices. However, FAT32 can only support files up to 4 GB in size. So, If all your files on the external hard drive are smaller than 4 GB, and the drive itself is smaller than 2 TB, then FAT32 is a better choice for you to use the hard drive on Mac and PC.
When should you choose exFAT file system?
Similarly, exFAT is also a widely compatible file system. The difference is that exFAT has no limitations on file size and hard drive size. So, when the external HDD you want to used for both Mac and PC is larger than 2 TB, exFAT is the best choice.
After you choose the best format for your drive, you can format or reformat the external hard drive in Disk Utility as it was introduced. Then the external hard drive will work both for Mac and PC.
When should you choose NTFS file system?
Some users would prefer to the features of Windows NTFS file system. However, naturally, Disk Utility can't format external hard drive to NTFS. If you want an hard drive that you can only read on Mac but have full access on Windows, NTFS is the best choice. You can also use iBoysoft NTFS for Mac to reformat the external hard drive with NTFS on Mac.
- 1. Download and install iBoysoft NTFS for Mac on your Mac.Then, restart your Mac.
- 2. Connect the external hard drive to your Mac and launch this software.
- 3. Find Disk Management in its main menu and click on it.
- 4. Locate the volume you want to reformat, select it, and then click on Erase to NTFS.
What to do if you can’t format the external hard drive on Mac?
Usually, to format the external hard drive as FAT32 or exFAT, you are advised to do this on a Mac computer via Disk Utility. But if you have formatted the external hard drive under the Windows system, it would cause some inconvenience. You can't add or re-partition volumes of the external hard drive again on Mac. In this case, your only choice is to backup your files and reformat the whole disk.
How to partition an external hard drive for Mac and Windows PC?
Except for having the whole external hard drive formatted, you can also split this disk with two partitions. One is formatted with the file system that is compatible with macOS, another partition is compatible with Windows conversely. By this means, you can use all the advantages each format has on the respective system.
Warning: Still, you need to back up files on this drive before you begin to create two separate partitions to work for Mac and Windows PC.
For some Mac models, the partition option would be greyed out in Disk Utility. So, we suggest that it's better to use a PC to partition an external hard drive for macOS and Windows. Here are the steps to partition an external hard drive for Mac and Windows PC, which is a little tricky.
Step 1: Connect the external hard drive to your PC and then launch Disk Management.
Step 2: Check if the external hard drive is initialized or not.
If the drive is not initialized, you need to initialize the external hard drive with Master Boot Record (MBR). Then you can create two new partitions. You need to format one of them as NTFS for Windows use and format the other as your wish.
If the external hard drive is initialized, you need to right-click the disk to check if it's an MBR external hard drive.
- If you see Convert to GPT Disk in the context menu, be it greyed out or lighted, it’s an MBR hard drive. Then you can create two or more partitions. And you need to prepare one partition for NTFS file system, and reformat with any file system.
- If you see Convert to MBR Disk in the menu, it's an GPT hard drive. In this case, you need first backup files, delete the existing partitions, then click the Convert to MBR Disk button. Then, you can create two new partitions. You need to format one partition as NTFS for Windows use, and then format the other randomly.
Step 3: Up to now, there should be at least two partitions on the external hard drive. And one of them (the NTFS one) is ready for Windows use. Then, you need to safely remove the external hard drive and plug it into a Mac.
Step 4: Open Disk Utility and select the other partition (not the NTFS one) under the name of your external hard drive.
Step 5: Click Erase on the top, choose Mac OS Extended format when it asks, and chose Erase to finish.
Up to now, the external hard drive will have two partitions. One is HFS+ formatted for Mac, and the other is NTFS formatted for Windows.
By creating two separate partitions, you can use this external hard drive on both Mac and Windows. You won't be able to write to the Mac partition from your Windows computer, and vice versa. Thus, it's a good solution for people who need to swap between two operating systems but with separate work.
Best External Hard Drive For Mac And Pc Interchangeable Monitor
Make external hard drives compatible with Mac and PC without formatting
Many famous external hard drives like Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Touch and WD My Passport are pre-formatted with NTFS. However, the NTFS file system is a hassle for users who need to use the same external hard drive on both Mac and Windows. The external hard drive is not letting you add files if you use an NTFS external HDD on Mac. It will be read-only and you can't write to this drive normally in this case.
Many users don't know this and use the external hard drive directly. And when they want to reformat the hard drive to use it interchangeably, only to find that files on the drive are erased as well.
Then, can you solve external hard drive read-only without formatting?
Definitely! If you want to use NTFS formatted external hard drives on Mac, software like iBoysoft NTFS for Mac that might be helpful.
iBoysoft NTFS for Mac - professional NTFS driver for Mac
iBoysoft NTFS for Mac is a professional NTFS for Mac software, which can automatically mount NTFS drives in read-write mode on Mac. It supports macOS Big Sur 11/Catalina 10.15/Mojave 10.14/High Sierra 10.13.
With this useful tool, you'll have full access to NTFS drives on Mac and make your external hard drive interchangeable between Macs and PCs without formatting. Also, you can mount and unmount NTFS drives from the Mac menu bar with advanced and optimized options.
What's more, iBoysoft NTFS for Mac is also a handy tool to manage NTFS external drives. You can use it to easily mount, unmount, repair, erase NTFS external hard drives, USB flash drives, SD cards, memory cards, CF cards, pen drives, etc. on Mac.
Best External Hard Drive For Mac And Pc Interchangeable Windows 7
Tutorial to mount NTFS external hard drive on macOS with read-write mode with iBoysoft NTFS for Mac
- 1. Free download, install, and launch iBoysoft NTFS for Mac on your computer.
- 2. Connect your NTFS external hard drive to Mac, and iBoysoft NTFS for Mac will automatically mount it.
- 3. Write to NTFS external hard drive after the disk has been mounted in read-write mode successfully.
If you want to use HFS+ or APFS formatted external hard drives on Windows, you can also attempt to install HFS+ for Windows software or APFS for Windows software on your PC to get read and write access to this external hard drive.
Best External Hard Drive For Mac And Pc Interchangeable Monitors
To sum up, it is easy to format an external hard drive for both Mac and Windows PC. You can either choose to format the whole disk as exFAT/FAT, or you can create two separate partitions of HFS+ and NTFS if you prefer. But compared with formatting, an NTFS for Mac driver like iBoysoft NTFS for Mac is a better and feasible solution.