How to format your hard drive
A hard drive can be used on any type of computer - PC or Mac. But in order for the computer and drive to talk to one another, the drive has to be formatted. This article explains.
Seagate external drives come preformatted, some for PCs, some for Macs, and some of them have special utilities allowing them to work between both without formatting.
Seagate internal drives must be formatted before use. Drives that will be bootable are formatted during the process of installing the operating system (ie, Windows or MacOS).
Drives that will be used for storage can be formatted according to the instructions below.
Or, if you have a drive that is formatted for a different type of computer or a drive that is not preformatted, you will need to format the drive before you can use it.
Warning! Formatting erases all data on the drive. So if you are formatting a drive that has already been used, be sure to copy any files you will ever want to see again onto a computer or backup drive.
Formatting your drive in Windows
- To open the Disk Management press and hold the Windows key () + ( R )
- Type compmgmt.msc
- If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
- In the pane on the left, under Storage, click Disk Management.
- If the drive is secondary storage you may be prompted to initialize the disk first.
Note: MBR for drives under 2TB and GPT for drives over 2TB
Note: If it does not you will need to right-click and delete the volume first
- The drive should say unallocated
See more information at the Microsoft Support Knowledge Base.
- Right-click and select new simple volume
- Click next 3 times
- Type the name of the drive in “Volume Label”
- Make sure quick format is selected
- Click next then finished
Formatting your drive in MacOS
Note: Use MBR (Master Boot Record) rather than GUID Partition type if reformatting a GoFlex Satellite drive.
- Open Disk Utility
- Applications>Utilities>Disk Utility
- Select the Seagate drive on the left that shows the capacity
- Select the Partition tab on the right hand side of the Disk Utility Window
- Select Partition Layout and select 1 partition
- Next to name you will see untitled 1 where you can name the drive. This will be the name shown when the drive mounts.
- Change Format to Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
- Select Options.
- Click on the GUID Partition Table radio button.
Note: When Volumes are created, Time Machine may open, asking if you would like to use the volume for backups. You may choose to continue with Time Machine setup, or cancel.
- Click OK. Select other options as desired (e.g., Volume Name, Format, etc).
- Click Apply. The Partition Disk screen opens.
- Select Partition. At this point, the volume dismounts from the desktop and the drive is partitioned and formatted.
- When finished, select the Disk Utility from the Apple menu and choose Quit Disk Utility.
Did this article answer your question?