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How to format your drive

 

A drive can be used on any type of computer - PC or Mac. But in order for the computer and drive to talk to one another, the drive has to be formatted. This article explains about file systems and provides instruction to format a drive on Windows and Mac. 

Newer Seagate and LaCie branded external drives come preformatted exFAT, some older drives are formatted for PCs, some for Macs, and some of them have special utilities allowing them to work between both without formatting. 

It’s important to choose the file system that suits your need. If you want to optimize performance, it’s best to format the drive using the computer’s native file system. If you need to use your drive on both Mac and PC then it’s best to format exFAT. If you are not sure which one is best for you the File System Format Comparisions highlights the main difference between file systems.  

Seagate internal drives must be formatted before use. Drives that will be bootable are formatted during the process of installing the operating system (ie, Windows or macOS). 

If you have a drive that is formatted for a different type of computer or a drive that is not preformatted, you will need to format the drive before you can use it. Also, drives that will be used for storage need to be formatted.  

WARNING! Formatting erases all data on the drive. So, if you are formatting a drive that has already been used, be sure to copy any files you will ever want to see again onto a computer or backup drive. 

 

For instructions on how to format a drive, please click on the link of your computer’s Operating System:

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Windows

Windows 10 Click here
Windows 8 and 8.1
Windows 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mac

macOS 10.15   Catalina Click here
macOS 10.14   Mojave 
macOS 10.13   High Sierra
macOS 10.12   Sierra
macOS 10.11   El Capitan
 
macOS 10.10 Yosemite  Click here
macOS 10.9 Mavericks 
macOS 10.8 Mountain Lion 
macOS 10.7 Lion 
macOS 10.6 Snow Leopard