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Formatting your drive for both Mac and Windows using ex-FAT

Formatting your drive for both Mac and Windows using ex-FAT

Windows (Scroll down for Mac Instructions)


After connecting your drive to your computer, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Start Button

  2. Right Click on “Computer”

  3. Left-click “Manage,” Then select “Disk Management” in Computer Management.

  4. Identify the Disk Number for your drive, in the example it is listed as Disk 2, however the drive may be listed as Disk 1, Disk 2, Disk 3, etc. Disk 0 is usually reserved for your OS drive C:

  5. Once you have verified the disk number for your drive, go to the Start menu and type CMD in the Search box.

    Click the CMD program to launch the Command Prompt.

  6. In the Command prompt window, type DISKPART, and then press Enter on your keyboard.

  7. In the DISKPART window, type Select disk #, where # is the number of the disk in Disk Management. In the example it is Disk 2. Then press Enter on your keyboard.

  8. The window will confirm that the disk number you have input is now the selected disk.

    *The next portion of this step will erase the selected drive without confirmation. Please be sure that you have selected the right Disk number*

    Type Clean and press enter to erase the Mac partitioning from the drive.

  9. Click the X button to close the Diskpart window.

  10. In Disk Management the disk will show as Not Initialized, with the partition showing as Unallocated.

  11. Right-click on the Disk Number and select Initialize Disk

  12. In the Initialize Disk window, the disk to be initialized will be selected. Choose the appropriate partition style for your drive. GPT (GUID Partition Table) is required for drives over 2TB in capacity. In the example, the disk being formatted is only 500GB, so MBR (Master Boot Record) will be used. Click OK to complete Disk Initialization.

  13. The disk will now show as Online. Right-Click the now “Unallocated” partition and click New Simple Volume.

  14. Click “Next” on the New Simple Volume Wizard

  15. The Volume Size will be set to maximum by default, Click Next

  16. The Drive letter can be adjusted to whatever letter you would like, in the example, it has been set to Q. Click Next to continue.

  17. Change the “File system” to exFAT, and then change the “Volume Label” to whatever you would like, it has been changed to G-Drive in the example below. Verify that “Perform a quick format” is checked, and then click Next.

  18. Verify that the settings are correct, and then click Finish to begin the format of your drive.

  19. Shortly after clicking Finish, the formatting will complete, and the drive will show in Disk Management, as well as in Computer and be ready to use.




  1. Connect your drive to your computer, and then open Finder to access Disk Utility. Disk Utility is Located in Macintosh HD>Applications>Utilities>Disk Utility
  2. Select your drive from the left-hand side of the Disk Utility. Then click the Erase tab in the right-hand pane of the Disk Utility window.
  3. Change the format dropdown to ExFAT; and in the name field, change the title of the drive. In the example it has been changed to G-Drive.
  4. Click the “Erase…” button, and then confirm the Erase in the notification that pops up. This will reformat your drive and it will show in Finder and on your desktop. Your drive is now ready to use on both Mac and PC.

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Article ID: 141 Article Created: 07-26-2013 19:08 PMLast Modified: 11-18-2014 19:46 PM

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