Want to do a fresh system install of Mac OS X on your Mac? Or you just need a larger drive to hold all the movies you’re been downloading? You may change your existing drive with faster 7200 rpm SATA II or a Solid State Disc (SSD)… No matter what the reason, before you can use a blank hard drive, you’ll need to format it first.
Formatting a drive is easy, but you do need to make some decisions ahead of time based on how you plan to use the drive. For example will your drive be used only in a Mac? Or if your drive is going to be used for storage, will you need to connect from Windows? Mac? Linux? All worlds?
To keep things simple, we’ll walk you through the process of formatting a drive so that you can use it for storage and access your files, no matter what operating system you’re using.
Be aware that formatting your drive will erase **all** your existing data. Make sure you’ve backed up any existing files on the drive before you format.
Remember, formatting a drive erases all the data on your Mac, so make sure you back up all your files before you begin.
Using Disk Utility in Mac OS X
To format an external or an extra internal hard drive on your Mac, just attach (or install) the drive and open the application “Disk Utility.” It’s in your Applications > Utilities folder. Select your new hard drive in the menu on the left, then choose the Erase tab in the main window.
Some users prefer to partition their drive, with one partition visible as the C: drive in Windows, and the other being the Mac OS X boot partition. Boot Camp requires that the disk use the GUID partitioning scheme. You can use the Boot Camp Assistant to partition the drive, or do so from Disk Utility’s Partition tab.
Now select a drive format. If you’re using the hard drive exclusively with Mac OS X, we recommend Mac OS Extended (Journaled). If you’ll be accessing the drive from Windows as well, select FAT32.
Once you’ve selected a format, click the erase button and wait a few minutes for the drive to finish formatting.
Using the Mac OS X install DVD
If you’d like to format the system hard drive inside your Mac, the procedure is the same, but you’ll need to boot your Mac from an OS X install DVD or another Mac. If you’re using the install DVD, before you start the install process head to the menu bar and select the Disk Utility application. Once Disk Utility opens the process is the same as explained above, but be sure to choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled), which is the recommended drive format for OS X.
Your hard drive is the last mechanical bottleneck slowing down your PC. Spinning platter drives are already being replaced by solid state drives (SSD) and flash drives.
3rd Party Utilities
Some other programs like Disc Warrior are also good software for formating, rescue or repair old or new hardiscs. You may have look Mac OS X Applications post about Alsoft DiskWarrior v4.2.