Most external hard drives are pre-formatted to work with Windows computers, but this severely limits their functionality on a Mac. If your new external drive is formatted for Windows, you'll be able to read from it but you won't be able to write to it. You can format it to the proper file system using Disk Utility. This is fine for new drives, but if you're trying to use an older drive that already has files on it, you'll need to save them before you start formatting.
Select the hard drive from the left menu.
You'll see a list of all of your connected drives in this menu. Select your new external drive from the list. If you don't see your drive here, see the next section. Click the "Erase" button at the top of the Disk Utility window.
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This will start the drive formatting process. This will erase everything on the hard drive, so make sure any important data has been backed up. If the drive is in Windows format, you can still copy the files you want to save to your Mac before formatting it. This format is compatible with Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux, allowing you to move your hard drive easily between systems. Click "Erase" to format the drive with the selected format.
This is irreversible, and will erase all data that is currently on the drive. The time the format takes will vary depending on the size of the drive. Try your newly-formatted drive. Once the drive has been formatted properly, it will appear on your desktop. Double-click it to open it, and you should be able to add file to it and remove files from it. Ensure the drive is properly connected. Make sure that all of the cables are properly connected to the drive and to the Mac. If a cable has come lose, the drive will not appear.
Make sure the drive has enough power. Some external drives require a separate power connection. You may need to get dual USB cable. This cable has a single USB plug on one end that goes into the external drive, and then splits into two plugs that both get inserted into your Mac.
Restart your Mac. Oftentimes, there are problems with your Mac or hard drive that can be fixed with a simple power cycle. Shut your computer down completely from the Apple menu, and then turn it back on with the Power button. There's a good chance that the drive you connected will appear after restarting. Try different cables and ports.
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Run First Aid on the drive. Disk Utility includes some drive repair functions that can get a malfunctioning drive working again. Open Disk Utility from the Utilities folder. Select your drive and click the "First Aid" button. Click "Run" to begin scanning the drive for errors. Allow the utility to fix any errors it finds. Generally, 1 TB and 2 TB Samsung M3 are available that deliver handy portable storage for important files and documents. It is compatible with USB 3.
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If there is already a partition there but you wish to start fresh you can delete the current partition and treat the entire drive as empty space. Each computer will only be able to access its appropriately-formatted partition, though disk management software should be able to see the other partition as well if needed. Should you decide at some point that you no longer want an exFAT or dual-partitioned drive , you can reformat the external drive for use by Windows or macOS at a later date.
If there are multiple partitions on the drive then you should probably delete them to avoid accidentally formatting only one of the partitions instead of the entire drive. Even if there's only a single exFAT partition on the drive , make sure that you back up any files or programs that the drive contains since reformatting will erase everything contained on the drive. While there are ways to recover f iles and data after a format, these are not always percent effective and data may be damaged, corrupted or lost completely.
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When you reformat the drive, it will be similar to the process of installing the file system with which you previously formatted the drive. Connect the drive to the computer you wish to use it with and format it in the appropriate file system to meet your needs. Of course, if you're moving from a dual-partitioned drive to a drive with a single partition on it then you could choose to format the drive with exFAT instead.