Need to format brand new USB hard drive, or not?

Started Dec 29, 2012 | Discussions
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andrzej bialuski Senior Member • Posts: 2,655
Need to format brand new USB hard drive, or not?

Up until I never have formatted any new external USB HD before starting to use it.  Just plugged it into my Imac and started using it with factory formatting.

My question is: should I format it first or just go ahead and start using it with the default factory formatting?

The new drive is a Seagate USB3, 3 TB.

thanks in advance

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BobVell
BobVell Regular Member • Posts: 137
Re: Need to format brand new USB hard drive, or not?
1

andrzej bialuski wrote:

Up until I never have formatted any new external USB HD before starting to use it. Just plugged it into my Imac and started using it with factory formatting.

My question is: should I format it first or just go ahead and start using it with the default factory formatting?

The new drive is a Seagate USB3, 3 TB.

thanks in advance

-- hide signature --

I always format new external drives.  It may not be necessary, but it takes almost no effort.

Depending on the manufacturer, there may be partitions that rob you of some space, there may be a bunch of software/crapware that you don't need, they may have messed up (I recall on the Windows side of things some drives shipping with malware). So, for 1 minutes, I get the drive how I want with only what I want on it.

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andrzej bialuski OP Senior Member • Posts: 2,655
Re: Need to format brand new USB hard drive, or not?

Thanks for the reply, Bob.

When formatting for Mac OS (as I've done it only once before), what settings do you recommend??

BobVell wrote:

andrzej bialuski wrote:

Up until I never have formatted any new external USB HD before starting to use it. Just plugged it into my Imac and started using it with factory formatting.

My question is: should I format it first or just go ahead and start using it with the default factory formatting?

The new drive is a Seagate USB3, 3 TB.

thanks in advance

-- hide signature --

I always format new external drives. It may not be necessary, but it takes almost no effort.

Depending on the manufacturer, there may be partitions that rob you of some space, there may be a bunch of software/crapware that you don't need, they may have messed up (I recall on the Windows side of things some drives shipping with malware). So, for 1 minutes, I get the drive how I want with only what I want on it.

-- hide signature --
Howard Moftich Veteran Member • Posts: 7,894
Re: Need to format brand new USB hard drive, or not?

It depends.

98% of those USB drives that you'll buy are formatted for PC's.  If they are formatted in FAT or exFAT, then the Mac can read/write to them but they aren't in a Mac native format.  If you're going to use this drive exclusively on a Mac, then go into Disk Utility and reformat it and that can also get rid of any preloaded autorun crapware the mfgr installed

andrzej bialuski OP Senior Member • Posts: 2,655
Re: Need to format brand new USB hard drive, or not?

I ACTUALLY INTEND TO USE IT ONLY ON A MAC.  I have two options though:  Journaled or Journaled Encrypted.

Which one do I choose?

Thanks

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BobVell
BobVell Regular Member • Posts: 137
Re: Need to format brand new USB hard drive, or not?

andrzej bialuski wrote:

I ACTUALLY INTEND TO USE IT ONLY ON A MAC. I have two options though: Journaled or Journaled Encrypted.

Which one do I choose?

Thanks

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I happen to use encrypted now because the hardware is sufficiently fast that you don't notice the on-the-fly encrypting and decrypting. It isn't that I have anything particularly sensitive on the drives; on the other hand, if someone broke into my house and stole my drives, I'd rather that they didn't have access to everything.

So, encryption is up to you. If you do encrypt, make sure you absolutely, positively do not forget the password!

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graybalanced Veteran Member • Posts: 4,896
Re: Need to format brand new USB hard drive, or not?

andrzej bialuski wrote:

I ACTUALLY INTEND TO USE IT ONLY ON A MAC. I have two options though: Journaled or Journaled Encrypted.

Which one do I choose?

I use Journaled Encrypted because the password encryption means if someone steals them, the personal data on them is not at risk of being exposed.

However, I use Journaled for any drives that must also be used with my Macs that are not upgraded to Mountain Lion yet, because full disk encryption is so new that a Mac running an OS X older than Mountain Lion has no way of reading that drive.

noirdesir Forum Pro • Posts: 12,536
Full Disk Encryption was introduced with Lion (not Mountain Lion)

graybalanced wrote:

However, I use Journaled for any drives that must also be used with my Macs that are not upgraded to Mountain Lion yet, because full disk encryption is so new that a Mac running an OS X older than Mountain Lion has no way of reading that drive.

And as far as I know, the full disk encryption is compatible between the two OSes.

Howard Moftich Veteran Member • Posts: 7,894
Re: Full Disk Encryption was introduced with Lion (not Mountain Lion)

I personally dont care for encrypted disks from a recovery or backup perspective and how much data really needs to be encrypted.

I've used 'Knox' by the same people who make 1passwd and it works well to make an encrypted image/folder

(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 2,308
Re: Full Disk Encryption was introduced with Lion (not Mountain Lion)

Howard Moftich wrote:

I personally dont care for encrypted disks from a recovery or backup perspective and how much data really needs to be encrypted.

I've used 'Knox' by the same people who make 1passwd and it works well to make an encrypted image/folder

Just curious... why would you use that when Mountain Lion offers FileVault full disk encryption as part of the OS?

Knuckles 79 Forum Member • Posts: 69
Re: Need to format brand new USB hard drive, or not?

andrzej bialuski wrote:

Up until I never have formatted any new external USB HD before starting to use it. Just plugged it into my Imac and started using it with factory formatting.

My question is: should I format it first or just go ahead and start using it with the default factory formatting?

The new drive is a Seagate USB3, 3 TB.

thanks in advance

-- hide signature --

I always format new hard drives, but that is just me.  Many years ago, viruses were being loaded into new external hard drives, and formatting them eliminates the possibility of infecting your computer.

That of course a few years ago, and I am sure that is very rare now, but better to be safe than sorry.

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"Knuckles"

probert500 Senior Member • Posts: 1,332
Re: Need to format brand new USB hard drive, or not?

If you're using it as a boot drive be sure to select guid partition scheme.

Also if you leave it in fat32 you will be limited in the file sizes you can load.  If you're doing video this could be an issue.

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