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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

Step 1

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

Step 2

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

Step 3

Click "Disk Management" from the left navigation pane.

Step 4

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

Step 5

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

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

Step 1

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

Step 2

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

Step 3

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

Step 4

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

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

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