Formatting your External Portable Drive.

When you buy an external drive it is often listed as windows compatible or for use on a Mac. We have been conditioned to buying items this way, but in reality they are the same hardware. How it’s formatted is the difference.
So what if you use a PC at home and a Mac at work? Are you limited to dropbox and online file sharing? No.. you can format your portable drive to work on both a PC and Mac.
#####******READ THIS*****########

Formatting a disk will ERASE ALL on that disk. So either be sure you don’t want anything on that portable drive, or start with a new drive. I take no responsibility for your actions, I am simply providing the information on how you could format your drive.


Ok- so now that we agree you are responsible for your actions, here’s what you can do if you need to use your drive on both a PC and a Mac. To do this you can either format the drive on a Mac or on a PC, you do not need to format the drive on both.

On a PC.. .whoa.. what are you doing with a PC?  Professionals use Mac… reboot, just buy Mac goodies from Apple store. Simple solution.

Kidding.. my home built PC will destroy a Mac for performance… for equivalent dollars spent.

1. Formatting from PC, open the start menu and select Disk Management

2. Choose the disk you wish to format – In this case Disk 6 – Right Click, and choose New Simple Volume
(If the Disk has previously been formatted you will not have this option, skip to step 6 and choose Format)

3. Follow the onscreen prompt.

4. If desired choose the size of volume you want. (I’m choosing a single volume)

5. Assign a drive letter ( I chose P: for portable)

6. Choose exFAT as File System type, label your drive, and check the quick format box.

7. Remember as mentioned above, formatting and partitioning the drive will ERASE ALL DATA that is on the drive.

8. Some time will pass as the drive formats, if all went well Disk 6 will now show as a Healthy (Primary Partition) with your assigned drive letter.

Formatting on a Mac is just as simple.
1. Select Go-> Utilities

2.In Utilities, select and open Disk Utility.

3. select the Drive, then click on Partition on the right-side area.

4. In the Partition area, click under Partition Layout and select 1 Partition. Then, click on Options.
insert a name for the drive, and click on Format. From the drop-down, select ExFAT.
When done, click on Apply.

5. As above REMEMBER formatting and partitioning the drive will ERASE ALL DATA that is on the drive. If you are ok with that, click on Partition.

The Drive will now format, and you will have a portable drive that you can use on both PC and Mac.