9 Replies Latest reply: Mar 4, 2008 9:57 AM by BMC Racing
LukeD Level 4 Level 4 (3,115 points)
Could someone please provide me with the steps for formatting an external hard drive to the HFS Mac Extended Journaled format using Disk Utility?

Is there anything for which to be careful? How long would it take to format a 160 GB hard drive?

Thank you!

MacBook Pro 3.1, 2.4GHz, 2GB RAM, 160 GB HDD/MacBook 2.2GHz, 120GB/ThinkPad T42, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • MacDaddy2008 Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
    All you need to do is plug in the drive, open up Disk Utility, click on the drive, click the erase tab, select Mac OS Extended (Journaled) from the drop down, give the drive a name, and click Erase. Thats all you need to do! It only takes a few seconds to do a 160Gb Drive.
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (255,855 points)
    Extended Hard Drive Preparation

    1. Open Disk Utility in your Utilities folder. If you need to reformat your startup volume, then you must boot from your OS X Installer Disc. After the installer loads select your language and click on the Continue button. When the menu bar appears select Disk Utility from the Installer menu (Utilities menu for Tiger or Leopard.)

    2. After DU loads select your hard drive (this is the entry with the mfgr.'s ID and size) from the left side list. Note the SMART status of the drive in DU's status area. If it does not say "Verified" then the drive is failing or has failed and will need replacing. SMART info will not be reported on external drives. Otherwise, click on the Partition tab in the DU main window.

    3. Click on the Options button, set the partition scheme to GUID (only required for Intel Macs) then click on the OK button. Set the number of partitions from the dropdown menu (use 1 partition unless you wish to make more.) Set the format type to Mac OS Extended (Journaled.) Click on the Partition button and wait until the volume(s) mount on the Desktop.

    4. Select the volume you just created (this is the sub-entry under the drive entry) from the left side list. Click on the Erase tab in the DU main window.

    5. Set the format type to Mac OS Extended (Journaled.) Click on the Options button, check the button for Zero Data and click on OK to return to the Erase window.

    6. Click on the Erase button. The format process will take 30 minutes to several hours depending upon the drive size.

    Steps 4-6 are optional but should be used on a drive that has never been formatted before, if the format type is not Mac OS Extended, if the partition scheme has been changed, or if a different operating system (not OS X) has been installed on the drive.
  • LukeD Level 4 Level 4 (3,115 points)
    I thank you both very much!
  • LukeD Level 4 Level 4 (3,115 points)
    I have reformatted the drive, and I just have one more question.

    In Disk Utility, I had selected the disk and not the volume for reformatting.

    Now when I click the disk, it says that the disc is "Fat 32", but the new volume is "Mac Os Extended (Journaled)".

    Need I be concerned that Fat 32 comes up when the drive is first selected?

    Thank you.
  • LukeD Level 4 Level 4 (3,115 points)
    Here is what Apple says:

    To format a hard disk as HFS Extended
    Note: Formatting a hard drive will permanently erase all of the data on it. Formatting an external hard drive is usually something you'll do when it's brand new. If you want to format a drive that already contains data, be sure to back up the data to another drive beforehand.

    Connect your external hard drive to your computer.
    Open Disk Utility from the Utilities folder in Applications.
    Select the name of your hard disk in the left column of the Disk Utility window so that it's highlighted.
    Click Erase to show the formatting options pane.
    From the Volume Format menu, choose Mac OS Extended.
    Click Erase (in the lower-right corner).
    Note: USB 2.0 hard disks work best with iMovie when directly connected to your computer. Disks connected to an Airport Base Station are not supported with iMovie. USB 1.x disks are not supported with iMovie.

    Source: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=306143
  • LukeD Level 4 Level 4 (3,115 points)
    After having formatted the drive, I can say that Kappy's way is the best, and only, solution.
  • BMC Racing Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I've formatted (in WIN) two partitions on a external firewire hard drive - one a 32GB FAT 32 partition and the other a NTFS partition with the remaining space. I wanted to then reformat the NTFS partition to a MAC FS, but when I open Disk Utility and select that partition and then the "erase" tab, I cannot select a "Volume Format" (it's grey'd out) in the pull down menu.

    The FAT 32 partition shows up and I can select another file format in the Volume Format pull down menu.

    Your counsel is appreciated. Regards,
  • necronym Level 4 Level 4 (1,350 points)
    When formatting to FAT 32 or NTFS, the drive is partitioned as a Master Boot Device and will not allow you to reformat the current partition as a Mac OS HFS+ ( extended ). You can not use Disk Utility to Erase a FAT 32 or NTFS partition, it will fail and show an error.

    You have to open the partition tab, under Volume Scheme choose 1 partition, the options button is then available underneath the partition window, click options and choose either Apple Partition Map or GUID Partition Table (if you want the drive to be a bootable drive) and choose OK.

    Name your partition, select MAc OS Extended, then hit 'Apply'.

    Your FAT 32 or NTFS drive will now show as an HFS+ drive (Mac OS Extended)
  • BMC Racing Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for your speedy reply. Where can I find this:

    "You have to open the partition tab, under Volume Scheme choose 1 partition" as it's not in DU. Is there another application to use? I apologize for my experience. Best to you,