How To Set Up a Windows Drives For Your Mac

How To Set Up a Windows Drives For Your Mac

Mike Cave
Oct 5, 2011

Most of us soon realize one internal drive isn't enough. Whether it be for extra storage for photos, music, and the myriad of data we accumulate or simply for backup purposes, an additional drive is becoming standard issue. For years PC users have had cheaper basic options while Mac users are victim to a bit of premium price gouging. Here's how to circumvent the premium and setup a "For Windows" drive for use with your Mac in a few easy steps...

Over the past few years there have been multiple hard drives released that promise to work with OSX out of the box, yet unfortunately they are usually pricer than their Windows compatible counterparts. In truth, any hard drive can work on a Mac with a little know-how.

Research about how to format a drive for a Mac and Disk Utility will undoubtably be the first option suggested. In our experience, that process is hit-or-miss and can ultimately cause problems when there is custom software installed by the manufacturer. Here's a trick using Terminal to save you money and headaches (and we promise, it isn't hard despite the command line instructions).

How to Format a PC Hard Drive for Your Mac:

1: Plug-in the disk you want to format.
2: Go to Applications->Utilities->Disk Utility.
3: Right click on the disk you want to format and select "information" from the pop-up menu

4: Take note of the disk identifier name and then quit Disk Utility.
5: Go to Applications->Utilities->Terminal.

6: Type the following line but substitute "disk1" with the disk identifier you took note of previously in Disk Utility: diskutil eraseDisk HFS+ newdisk disk1.
7: Hit Enter and voila! In a minute or two you'll have a brand new Mac formatted disk ready to plug in and use.
8: Enjoy your savings!

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