In the same way a fresh install of your OS can solve most issues, reformatting your hard drive is a critical step in troubleshooting problems. Just be sure your data is backed up with an online backup service , such as Backblaze , beforehand read our Backblaze review. File systems are what operating systems use to store data on a storage device.
Alternatively, you could dump the data on your drive to a cloud storage service , such as Sync. Formatting a hard drive on Windows is a simple affair, especially if you leave everything as default.
Before getting to those, you have to find the hard drive you want to format by following these steps. Windows will then open the formatting wizard. Though we went over the settings, the best thing to do is probably to leave them on their defaults. Formatting, and dealing with hard drive-related matters in general, is easy in macOS.
Unlike Windows, macOS gives you the tools to format, partition, restore and repair your hard drive from a single screen that can be found in your utilities. The formatting process is simple, with Apple going as far as including step-by-step instruction above the options. The only thing you may need to pay attention to is the security options. By default, macOS formats your drive the same way that a quick format does on Windows, meaning the file structure is erased, but the binary data is still there.
You can fully erase the data by using the security options. For all intents and purposes, your data is erased.
You can write new data to the drive, and your OS will show that all the space is available. Essentially, those tools allow people to bypass the structure of the OS and piece together the files using the binary data. As we said, the hard drive always needs to be filled with binary data. Though the built-in utilities on Windows and macOS help in parts, a hacker could reverse engineer the process to find the data on the drive.
There are few options to fully remove data. Why do you need to format your 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. For instructions on how to format your hard drive on a Mac, please reference the following links: How to format a drive in Mac OS Note: If it does not you will need to right-click and delete the volume first.
If the external hard drive is pre formatted for Mac, Disk Management will list 3 partitions and you will not be able to delete the "Health EFI System Partition " because it's a protected partition. Please see here the instructions.
If you want to insure full Mac compatibility of a new external hard drive or flash disk, you'll want to format the drive to the Mac OS Extended. Or it might be that you bought a drive to use with your Mac only to discovered it is pre-formatted for Windows. Fortunately Disk Utility, built right.
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The good news is, it's not FAT32 or nothing. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Perhaps you are selling you Mac and you want to completely erase it so that nobody can access your date. It's not a huge issue, but FAT32 is less efficient at storing files. Typically, data must be overwritten on the disk or it can be recovered using recovery software. Select a format. Dorothy Swayne says:.
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