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How to format an unformatted drive using Windows

  1. Press the Windows Symbol + R keys to open the Run box.
  2. Type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter. The Disk Management window will open.
  3. You will receive an Initialize Disk prompt. Choose GPT and click OK.
  4. In the lower-half of the window, locate the disk from the list.
  5. Right-click in the Unallocated box and select New Simple Volume.
  6. Continue to click Next to accept the defaults.
  7. Change the File sytem to exFAT if you will be using the drive with both Windows & Mac. Otherwise, leave as NTFS. Click Finish.
  8. When the process is completed, the drive is identified with a drive letter and Healthy.You can now use the new drive.

How to erase and reformat an existing drive using Windows

  1. Press the Windows Symbol + R on your keyboard to open the Run box.
  2. Type diskpart, and press Enter. A command window will open.
  3. Type list disk and press Enter.
  4. Choose the drive by entering select disk x; for example "select disk 2" if it is listed as disk 2 (make sure to select the correct drive!). Press Enter.
  5. Type clean and press Enter.
  6. The drive's formatting will be removed. It will say "Successful" upon completion.
  7. Type convert gpt and press Enter.
  8. Type create part pri and press Enter.
  9. Type format fs=ntfs quick and press Enter.*
  10. Type assign and press Enter. It will say "Successful" upon completion.

Note: Select exFAT if you will be using the drive with both Windows & Mac.


How to format a drive using Mac OS

  1. Connect the drive to your computer.
  2. Open Disk Utility. (Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility).
  3. From the list on the left, click on the external drive (not the indented item underneath).
  4. Click the 'Erase' tab at the top of the Disk Utility window.
  5. Enter a name for the drive and select 'Mac OS Extended (Journaled)' or 'APFS' from the Format drop down menu.*
  6. Select 'GUID' from the Scheme drop down menu.
  7. Click the 'Erase' button. You will be presented with an 'Are you Sure' dialog. Confirm to complete the action.

Note: Select exFAT if you will be using the drive with both Windows & Mac.