The format dates back to , and was made by Microsoft to provide some of the cross-platform compatibility of the older FAT32 format without the file and partition size limitations.
There are nearly as many ways to format a disk as ways to skin a cat. Each has …
But formatting a drive with ExFAT offers one huge advantage: Sure, you could read a Mac formatted drive on Windows or read a Windows formatted drive on a Mac , but both solutions either cost money or are unstable. So despite the disadvantages, ExFAT is your best option for cross-platform hard drives. To be clear, you can use capital letters in file names either way.
Case Sensitivity mostly determines whether the file system sees capital letters as different. The file system sees the file names as identical, even if they look different to you.
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Macs used case sensitivity at the file system by default in the 90s, but changed when Mac OS X launched. Enabling case sensitivity could break some Mac apps, but anyone with a file system that dates back to the s could potentially lose files without case sensitivity enabled. The main downside is that forgetting the encryption key means losing access to your files. Do not encrypt a drive unless you can remember the key, or unless you have somewhere secure to store it. If your disk doesn't appear in Disk Utility, disconnect all nonessential devices from your Mac.
If the disk is external, leave it connected, but make sure that it's turned on and connected directly to your Mac using a good cable. Then restart your Mac and try again. You can erase a disk or a volume on that disk at any time, including in circumstances such as these:.
Disk Utility for macOS Sierra: Erase a volume using Disk Utility
Are you formatting the disk that came built into your Mac? Are you about to install macOS High Sierra or later on the disk? If you need to erase your disk before installing High Sierra or later for the first time on that disk, choose Mac OS Extended Journaled. Are you preparing a Time Machine backup disk or bootable installer? Will you be using the disk with another Mac? Disk Utility tries to detect the type of storage and show the appropriate format in the Format menu. How to erase a disk for Mac Use Disk Utility to erase format a hard disk, flash drive, or other storage device for Mac.
How to erase a disk Disk Utility can erase disks, add volumes, check disks for errors, and more. If you want to keep things simple, just select a disk, click on the "erase" tab and you can create a volume that uses the entire disk with a few mouse clicks.
How to Format a Drive with GUID for macOS High Sierra, Mojave Installation
If your needs are more complex, select the "partition" tab. There, you can divide the disk into several partitions. The advantage of having multiple partitions is that if one fails, the others may be unaffected.
The downside is that you need to think about the size of the different partitions and keep track of which files go where. And copying files from one partition to another is slow, even slower than copying from one disk to another. Keep in mind that disk access is fastest on the outside of the disk, where the first partition is located.
Mac 101: Format choices for USB flash drives
Whether you decide to partition the disk or not, the "options" button lets you set the type of "partition scheme" for the disk. There are three choices:. However, this isn't your only choice. Depending on the partition scheme, these are the file systems Mac OS