How to Reformat a WD External Hard Drive

by Art Corvelay

Western Digital external hard drives are useful for storing and backing up files. However, you may have run into a problem trying to use your Western Digital hard drive with multiple operating systems. This is because you must format the drive with a specific file system before using it with a computer, and Windows and Mac computers run on different file systems. The only solution to making your hard drive compatible with a different operating system is to reformat the drive. This, however, erases all of the data on the drive.

Reformatting Your Western Digital in Windows

1

Plug your Western Digital external hard drive into your computer using the USB cable that came with drive.

2

Open the Computer Management utility by clicking "Start," "Control Panel," "System and Security," "Administrative Tools" and "Computer Management."

3

Click "Disk Management" from the left navigation pane.

4

Right-click the Western Digital drive and select "Format."

5

Select a"NTFS" from the "File System" drop-down menu. This is the file system that is compatible with your Windows computer.

6

Click the "Start" button at the bottom of the dialog box and the Western Digital hard drive is reformatted.

Reformatting Your Western Digital On a Mac

1

Plug your Western Digital external hard drive into your computer using the USB cable that came with drive.

2

Open Disk Utility, which is located in "Applications" and then "Utilities."

3

Click the Western Digital Drive from the left pane and then click the "Erase" tab at the top of the dialog box.

4

Click the "Format" drop-down menu and select "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)."

5

Click the "Erase" button in the lower-right corner and the Western Digital drive is reformatted for use with your Mac.

About the Author

Art Corvelay is a freelance writer for demand studios who has been writing and editing for five years. He holds a Ph.D. in technical communication and teaches courses in writing and editing at the university level.