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How can I format a USB hard drive in the Mac OS X OS?

Posted on 2011-02-15
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How can I format a USB hard drive in the Mac OS X OS?
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Question by:Knowledgeable
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7 Comments
 
LVL 11

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by:
gmbaxter earned 336 total points
ID: 34898668
Finder, go Applications, Utilities, Disk Utility

Select your disk, select the erase tab and choose your format.
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by:Mac2010
Mac2010 earned 1000 total points
ID: 34898773
In addition to the advice above:
Format the disk in HFS+ format. 'Journaled' is not necessary, but you can choose to enable that anyway.
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by:Mac2010
Mac2010 earned 1000 total points
ID: 34898793
P.S. Format in FAT instead of HFS+ if you want to share the USB drive with Windows users.
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Author Comment

by:Knowledgeable
ID: 34898919
This new 3 TB USB hard drive will be used only on this Mac OS X Server and will store the Mac backups.

It will never be disconnected or connected to a Windows computer.

What is the best file system to use when I format this USB hard drive?
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Assisted Solution

by:nxnw
nxnw earned 332 total points
ID: 34898961
For your purpose, HFS+ Journaled
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LVL 7

Assisted Solution

by:marook
marook earned 332 total points
ID: 34905226
And a note: If you use HFS, then ALWAYS use the Journal!!!
Saying it's 'not nesseary' is a huge understatement!

Journaling makes sure there is a track record of what's about to happen on the disk, and if something goes wrong, the drive can continue with the operations next time it's connected.

In this case you have an external USB drive, so Journaling is VERY important!

With that said:
1: USB is Slooooowwwwww   !!!! Consider yourself warned.
2: 3TB - is that a single drive, or a RAID enclosure? (via USB??)

Just keep note, that singledrive backup's fail hard a s well.. backups should be on a mirrored (or better) system, or moved to tape.
(if you care just a bit about your data - but you like to take backup, so it sounds like it..)

Best,
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LVL 8

Assisted Solution

by:Mac2010
Mac2010 earned 1000 total points
ID: 34905966
I typically don't use journaled for USB flash drives, since it is supposed to be faster and create more free space. On a backup drive or any daily used hard drive journaled should be enabled. This is what Apple recommends: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht2355

@Knowledgeable: I agree with what marook writes about a single drive back up. If you use this disk with Time Machine, I suggest you should get a second disk with a different tool for a weekly backup on that second disk (and store it in a safe place). Keep in mind hard disks can be damaged by fluctuations in your power line (I know of a few cases).
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