Mac erase external hard drive

However, it also increases the time it takes to format the drive quite considerably.

3 Ways to Securely Wipe an External Hard Drive Clean on Mac

You can download CleanMyMac X for free here. Which should you choose? The main reason for formatting a USB drive as Fat32 on a Mac is that you want to be able to use the drive on a Windows PC, as well as a Mac — perhaps to transfer files between the two machines. You may also be preparing the drive for use as, say, a storage device for a media player or to record TV programmes on a TV with a USB port.

The fact that Fat32 can be read from and written to on both Mac and Windows makes it very versatile. However, there is a significant limitation — individual files have a maximum size of 4GB. There is a solution, however, exFAT. If you look for a quick and easy way to manage your drives, try using CleanMyDrive 2.

With its help, you can drag-and-drop files directly to any drive, clean hidden junk from external drives, and check disk stats. All the drives will be at hand in the menu bar, so you can get to see types of drives you have and manage them easily.


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There are a couple of things you should keep in mind, however. The first is that when you format and disk, you will erase all the data currently on it.

How to Securely Erase Data from Your Mac and External Drives

If you are unable to mount the drive, whether it's a hard drive or solid state drive, tools like Disk Utility won't help you. You might think that if you can't access it, neither will someone else.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. While a dumpster diver won't go through the trouble of repairing the drive, someone with more time, deeper pockets and more motivation certainly can. Hard drive platters can be extracted from the drive enclosure and read out using specialized equipment. Professional data recovery companies can extract data from drives that were under water for long periods of time—or even in a serious fire.

How to Format an External Drive in OS X

Smashing a hard drive with a sledgehammer or baseball bat is strangely satisfying too, but unless you open the enclosure to make sure the platters or chips are pulverized, even a few well-placed hits may not be enough to destroy your data. Of course, there is also a health hazard with debris flying around.


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  4. So take precaution with this fun, albeit super destructive, method to securely erase data. A professional service that uses hard drive shredders is a safer and probably more effective option. That said, if you think you can do better than this , or if a professional service is not in your budget, or if you simply believe smashing it with a hammer is more satisfying, have at it!

    How to Erase and Format a Hard Drive

    Just make sure you take the necessary safety precautions. Either way, with these methods you can be sure your data does not end up in the wrong hands. The last option hammer time is what IRS administrators used — for details and time saving tips just ask retired, bonus award winner Lois Lerner. Follow IntegoSecurity. The Mac Security Blog. You can also find it in the Utilities folder of your Applications folder.

    From the sidebar in Disk Utility, select the disk or volume to erase.

    Never miss out

    Disk Utility shows a compatible format by default. Click Erase to begin erasing. Quit Disk Utility when done.


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    5. You received a message that your disk isn't readable by this computer. The macOS installer doesn't see your disk or can't install on it. For example, the installer might say that your disk isn't formatted correctly, isn't using a GUID partition scheme, contains a newer version of the operating system, or can't be used to start up your computer. Identify the current format If you want to know which format is currently in use, use any of these methods: Select the volume in the Disk Utility sidebar, then check the information on the right.

      The File System column on the right shows the format of each volume.