Mac users format an external hard drive before handing over to another person to erase existing data. But accessory manufacturers tend to craft accessories or peripherals gravitating towards Windows because a vast majority of external hard drives come preformatted for Windows.
Sometimes, preparing an external drive for backups or copying items onto it also entails total obliteration of data. You also have to format before setting up a new external hard drive to stash your Aperture Library. Most external hard drives are pre-formatted as FAT 32. Although it’s compatible with Mac OS X, it’s not suitable for Aperture.
If you encounter this scenario, read on to implement full compatibility with your Mac.
MS-DOS FAT or FAT32 on some versions allows you to format a hard drive compatible with Windows or Mac. It pales in comparison to new file systems hitting the market with file support sizes of more than 4GB. FAT32 cannot transfer files beyond the 4GB limit.
ExFAT surpasses the 4GB capacity supported by MS-DOS FAT systems. Even better, this hard drive is compatible with both Windows and Mac. It can write on both computer systems.
APPS, Apple’s newly-created file system was incubated along with the High Sierra upgrade. It became the default format for internal drives or newer external hard drives dedicated for Mac. The APPS boasts better efficiency, reliability, and allows you to encrypt to shield data for your computer. However, it’s not compatible with older generations of macOS, Windows, and Linux.
Apple out-crowded this file format with the launch of High Sierra in 2017. For pre-High Sierra Macs, it has MacOS Extended (Journaled) as the default. Alternatively, MacOS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted) to thwart unauthorized access to a lost or misplaced drive. MacOS Extended (Case-sensitive, Journaled, Encrypted) works for file names with capital letters.
NTFS acts as Windows’ default file system. MacOS reads NTFS but it doesn’t write to it. However, third-party tools for compatibility exist in the market.
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Your external FireWire and USB hard drive comes in handy to stack referenced images, Aperture Library, or Vaults. Setting up the external hard drive properly renders efficient performance. From Finder, select Go> Utilities to launch the /Applications/Utilities folder.
Open Disk Utility and click on the icon for the external hard drive on the left of the sidebar. Hit the Erase tab on the top of the window. Select the corresponding file system in the Volume Format menu. Type the name for the external hard drive in the Name field. Tap the Erase button.
You may want to format the drive to duplicate files between a Mac and a PC. Simply follow the detailed steps in Part III of this article with ExFAT as the file system format.
Time Machine comports with HFS+ or MAC OS Extended. Don’t try formatting the drive for Time Machine with APFS. Time Machine can’t synchronize with APFS.
With the steps outlined above, you can have a freshly formatted hard drive to thwart any efforts to retrieve data with third-party applications.
Besides, you can format a drive in exFAT to make it readable to Windows and Mac. It allows you to read and write anything across the platforms. The file formats compatible with your Mac depending on the version of the computer. Mac users who switch systems should refer to the fast, easy steps for a format that reads and writes both systems. Use them for a hard-disk you carry around frequently or devices with different systems. Using Disk Utility reformats in the wink of an eye.
Whether it’s Aperture Library or the formatting of an external hard drive for massive files, the possibilities are limitless. File system formats available in Disk Utility on Mac broaden the horizons of compatibility.
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