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Many Verbatim hard drive models with a FireWire interface come “Mac formatted” – pre-formatted for immediate use with Apple Macintosh computers running Mac OS. They are formatted as HFS+, the preferred format when using the drive exclusively with Mac OS computers.
If you plan to use a Mac-formatted hard drive only with computers running Mac OS, you can leave it formatted as it comes from the factory. However, if you plan to use your hard drive with computers running Windows, or with both Mac OS and Windows computers, you should reformat your Verbatim hard drive before saving data to it. Generally, for use with both Mac OS and Windows you should format to FAT32, and for use strictly with Windows you should format to NTFS. More information about these two format types is given below.
FAT32 is compatible with the following Windows operating systems: Windows 98, Windows 98 SE, Windows Me, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista. FAT32 can also be read by Apple Macintosh computers running Mac OS.
Limitations: Maximum file size is limited to 4GB. Furthermore, using the formatting tools included with Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Vista users will not be able to create partition sizes larger than 32GB (though they can access these larger partitions). This limitation does not apply to other supported operating systems. Furthermore, Verbatim provides a FAT32 format utility (see further below for download instructions) that eliminates the 32GB partition limitation.
FAT32 is a good choice if you’ll be using your Verbatim hard drive with older computers running Windows 98, Windows 98 SE, or Windows Me, or if you’ll be using it with both Windows and Mac OS computers.
NTFS is compatible with the following Windows operating systems: Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Vista. NTFS usually results in higher performance than FAT32, and will permit users to create partition sizes larger than 32GB, and file sizes larger than 4TB.
Limitations: NTFS is not compatible with Windows 98, Windows 98 SE, Windows Me, or Apple Macintosh computers running Mac OS.
NTFS is a good choice if you will be using your Verbatim hard drive only with one or more computers running Windows XP, Windows 2000 or Windows Vista. This is also a good choice if you plan to store files larger than 4TB, such as digital video files.
Formatting to FAT32
Click here to download the Verbatim FAT32 format utility. Save the file to your computer at a location that can easily be remembered. After the file has finished downloading, close all internet browser windows and browse to the location of the file.
Double click on the SMDK_FAT32.zip file. Now click on “File” and then “Extract All”.
Continue through the extraction wizard to finish extracting the file to your computer. Once the extraction wizard is complete you should now see the file “SmartDisk_FAT32_Tool.exe” available to you.
Now follow these steps to format your drive:
1) Connect your drive to your computer using either a USB or FireWire connection.
2) Double-click on the “SmartDisk_FAT32_Tool.exe” file to launch the utility. The window below will appear.
3) Now select the drive you want to format from the drop down box at the top of the screen.
4) Enter a Volume Label name (text string up to 11 characters). You can change this name later if you wish after formatting is complete.
5) Press the “Format Drive” button to initiate formatting. You will be asked to confirm this action. Once the format is complete a message will appear under the Status section that says “Your drive has successfully been formatted”.
6) When formatting is complete, close the utility and perform a Safe Removal of the drive.
Formatting to NTFS
You can format to NTFS using tools included in your Windows operating system. Though your Windows documentation gives more complete instructions, a brief summary for NTFS formatting steps is included below. The steps will be somewhat different depending on whether you are using Vista, or the older Windows versions (Windows 2000 and Windows XP).
Formatting to NTFS using Vista
To start have the unit plugged in to your USB or FireWire port, depending on the model you have.
1. Right click on the Computer icon on your desktop or under the Start menu. Then select Manage.
2. Once you have clicked ‘Manage’ the computer management screen should appear. Select Storage and then click on Disk Management.
1. To start have the unit plugged in to your USB or FireWire port, depending on the model you have.
2. Open the Windows Disk Management utility as follows:
a. Click on the Start menu, then click Settings, and then click Control Panel.
b. Double-click on Administrative Tools, and then double-click on Computer Management.
c. In the Storage sub-directory, click on Disk Management.
3. The Write Signature and Upgrade Disk Wizard will start if this was a Mac formatted drive. This Wizard might not show up, this is normal, proceed to step 4.
a. Click Next to continue the Wizard.
b. Select the Verbatim hard drive from the list using the checkbox.
c. Click Next to continue.
d. Click Finish to write the signature to the hard drive.
4. The hard drive will be listed without a drive letter, and show as "unallocated."
5. To create a partition, right click once on the unallocated area of the hard drive box, and click on Create Partition.
6. The Create Partition Wizard will start.
a. Click Next to continue the Wizard.
b. Choose Primary or Extended Partition (Primary is recommended), then click Next.
c. Enter the amount of disk space to be allocated (the partition size) The default is the maximum available disk space (recommended). Click Next..
d. Assign a drive letter or path (the default letter is recommended), then click Next.
e. Select the file system to format the disk (NTFS), verify the settings, then click Next.
f. Verify the settings, and then click Finish to begin formatting the hard drive.
7. When formatting has finished, the hard drive will display the volume name, the drive letter, the size of the partition (in GB), the file system used, and a healthy status.
The hard drive is now available to use. Be sure to review the instructions that accompanied your product for procedures for safely connecting and disconnecting your Verbatim hard drive.
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