Format External Hard Drive Mac – Instructions

I had a recent customer that was running out of hard drive space on their Macintosh computer. They wanted to hook up an external hard drive, so that they could transfer files and free up disk space. Here is their initial request:

Running out of memory on my Macbook Pro because I am importing a large number of videos. How to use my external hard drive for storage. I have tried deleting current large storage items.

I have an external drive and want to use this to store movies and photos.

I think what they meant to say was that they were running out of disk space. As a computer technician you learn also to interpret statements that may not be one hundred percent accurate. Anyways, here is my response to their request.

You will need to format your external hard drive so that your MAC can access it first, if you have not done so already. I did NOT need to remotely connect into their Macintosh computer and format the drive myself. This customer was able to figure it out on their own.

Perhaps, they just did NOT realize that it needed to get formatted first. When formatting an external hard drive you are just basically preparing it for use on that specific operating system. A computer operating system will NOT be able to read and write from a hard drive, until it is formatted.

This customer had purchased a Lacie external hard drive. Here are some quick instructions for formatting an external hard drive in Macintosh operating system. First you want to hook up your external hard drive and make sure it is mounted.

You can hook up your external hard drive and then boot into Macintosh operating system. You want to use the “Finder”. Select “Go” and then “Utilities”. Choose “Disk Utility”.

In Disk Utility, select the hard drive you want to format. Make certain that you select the correct external hard drive. You do NOT want to accidentally format your hard drive that has Macintosh operating system installed on.

Click on the “Erase” tab from the top menu. Under the “Volume Format” drop down menu, you want to choose “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)”. Type in a name for your external hard drive.

Finally, click on the “Erase…” button down below. Congratulations, you have successfully formatted your external hard drive. Now you should be able to read and write data from/to this external hard drive.