As someone who creates USB flash drives regularly, I’m often asked about Mac 101: Format Options for USB flash drives. When I hear this question, my answer is always the same – you’ll want to know what the format is that’s used on your computer before you even think about writing any data to it. This article will walk you through the basic formatting process for the majority of Mac drives, so that you can go ahead and save yourself some time when formatting.
The first option for those who would like to format their USB flash drives is to use the built-in “FAT” file format. If you’ve never had to format a USB drive before, this might feel kind of strange at first – but if you remember your earlier computer science classes, then you’ll understand what’s going on. Simply open up the “Safe Mode” version of your Mac OS, by going to “Mac OS Extended Administration”, then double-clicking the “orage” icon. From there, you can choose the drive and click “Guide”. The only problem with this option is that if you have multiple USB drives, then you have to physically remove all of them before you can get to the “Gerry” drive which holds all of your data.
After you’ve turned off the secure mode, you can then go ahead and select the files you want to format. Normally, you’ll see two drive selection boxes – one for the normal partition, and one for the E: , F: and G: drives. You can click on each of these partitions to name them, then click on “Mount”, and on” Keeper”. After you click through this whole process, it’ll be time to select” reversible” to turn the drive into a “read/write” device.
Now, if you’d prefer to format a specific partition instead of a logical drive, then you can do so. To do this, you need to highlight the partition you want to format, and then click on “Properties”. Once you’ve done this, you’ll see a selection box. Click on “OK”. This will open the partitioning properties dialog box. In the partitioning properties dialog box, you’ll see two tabs: “devices” and “partitions”.
Click on” parted”, then in the “Linux System partition” drop down menu, select “New Partition”. You’ll be prompted to select the partition letter, filesystem type (FAT, FAT32 or NTFS), size (in kilobytes), and filesystem layout. Once you’ve done all of this, you can then click on “finish” to put the partition into place. You’ll have to reboot your computer for it to take effect.
There’s also the method that doesn’t involve any software at all. It’s one that I use on a regular basis. If you’re not familiar with it, then let me explain. To select “My Computer”, then in the “Control Panel” area, click on the “etooth Devices” icon.
Click “select new drive”, and then browse to the location of your USB flash drives. When you see the drive under the “disk devices” section, click on it. A folder will be displayed, and you can click on the “add drive name” icon to add the drive to your computer. When you’ve done all of this, you’ll be able to connect the drives to your computers through the same procedure as when you connected them to your computer in the past.
The one different option for formatting these devices is the use of a Windows program. Some programs are created specifically for the Mac, and others are meant for use on PCs that support the USB formatting. Unless you need such a program, I suggest you follow the steps above. If you do need such a program, then go to the Google search engine and find one that is Mac-compatible and download it.