How to format an external drive on MAC OS

21 November 2011 | In Tips | 4,9 thousand views | By

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Neste artigo mostro aos usuários recém chegados ao mundo Mac como é simples a formatação de um HD externo using the Mac OS X (version 10.6.8).

Before leaving for a formatting your external HD, Remember that if there are any files that you want to save do so now! Because the formatting will erase the entire contents of HD.


Some information that is necessary to enable you to format your external HD with more tranquillity.

There are Disk utility 5 formatting types:

  • Mac OS extended (Journaling)
  • Mac OS Extended
  • Mac OS Extended (Case sensitive, Journaling)
  • Mac OS Extended (Case sensitive)
  • MS-DOS (FAT)

Fat32 is a format Windows and the HFS was developed by Apple for use on Mac. A hard disk Fat32 formatting can be used both in the computers Mac and Windows, but the HFS hard drives may be used only for Mac.

Remember that the maximum possible size for a file on a FAT32 volume is 4 GB. Video applications, large databases and some other softwares easily excedem este limite. In the case of external HD which will format, He will work with files larger than 4 GB, soon, This option cannot be used.

Can I use any of two formats with Time Machine?

Time Machine works only with HFS hard disk format. If you want to use the external hard drive with Time Machine, It must be HFS format. The most common format of a Time Machine backup disk is Mac OS Extended format, but the Time Machine is also compatible with Mac OS Extended format (Case sensitive, Journaling) and XSan.

If the disk is partitioned with the master boot record partition (MBR), It is possible that some partitions are not available for use with Time Machine. The types of GUID Partition Table partition (GPT) or Apple partition map (APM) are recommended.

As our external HD will work with files larger than 4 GB and at first will not be used for Time Machine, We at formats it into Mac OS extended (Case sensitive, Journaling), so you can work with large files and can still, If you want to, use it in the Time Machine.

If by chance you are going to install another OS or will use your disk only for Time Machine, format your HD on Mac Os extended (Journaling).

In Ivaiporã-PR, Computer engineer, Workgroup Administrator Tips in General. Passionate about technology and Informatics.

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