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How do I reformat ntsf drive for use w/ Mac Mini?

316 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Feb 1, 2013 1:08 PM by JBHaber RSS
JBHaber Calculating status...
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Feb 1, 2013 10:20 AM

I am about to start the migration from my old Windows 7 desktop to my brand new Mac Mini. (Can't wait to ditch Windows!)


I'd like to use some existing USB external hard drives w/ the new Mac. I would like to have read/write access, so simply plugging them in and reading the data won't do. I do have one drive that can be totally reformatted without loosing important data, so please don't worry about advising me to back up my data first. I understand that.


But I was told by the Apple Store person that I would have to format the drive from the Windows computer as a FAT 32 drive. And then it work on the Mac. But I've also read somewhere that the format for Macs is now HFS.


Any help would be appreciated!



Mac mini (Late 2012), iOS 6.1
  • VikingOSX Level 5 Level 5 (4,675 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 1, 2013 11:25 AM (in response to JBHaber)

    The native file format for Apple computers is HFS+ Journaled. The other formatting that permits interoperability with Windows machines is FAT-32. Disk Utility in Mac OS X can mount, partition, and format external drives in FAT 32 format. These drives simply mount to the OS X desktop, with visible folders/files accessible as read/write.


    The NTFS drive format is exclusive to Microsoft. Although OS X loads an NTFS-3g driver at boot time, it offers read-only support. Although I can mount an NTFS drive to my desktop, I haven't been able to access its contents. That may be an administrative step I simply haven't bothered to correct. Disk Utility on OS X will have nothing to do with NTFS drives. There are third-party NTFS products that offer read/write access. Because a device driver is installed in OS X to provide extended functionality, future updates from Apple may render it inoperable (without vendor driver updates).


    I would get everything off of NTFS drives to FAT-32 drives while still on the Windows platform. Then reformat the NTFS device(s) to either FAT-32 or HFS+ Journaled. Time Machine requires the latter formatting.

  • Eustace Mendis Level 7 Level 7 (24,570 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 1, 2013 11:55 AM (in response to JBHaber)

    Can I connect the NTSF drive to my Mac and reformat it as HFS+ Journaled using Disk Utility on OS X?



  • VikingOSX Level 5 Level 5 (4,675 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 1, 2013 11:55 AM (in response to JBHaber)

    I believe that Disk Utility will see the NTFS drive and offer you the option to partition it as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) which is HFS+. You would need to click on the options button under the partition stack and choose GUID as the partition table if the disk was to be exclusively used with Mac, whether bootable or otherwise.


    I am wondering about her knowledge level too.


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