How to Format a Western Digital My Passport to Mac & PC

Reformatting a Western Digital My Passport hard drive to function well on Windows and Macintosh systems is neither time-consuming nor technologically demanding. Back up all important information on the drive before beginning; any data left on the drive will be destroyed during the reformatting process. For the most desirable results when reformatting on Windows systems, use Western Digital's Formatting Utility. Due to a system limitation, Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Vista can only create 32GB FAT32 partitions, regardless of the drive’s capacity.

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Step

Connect the Western Digital My Passport hard drive to the computer. Power on both devices.

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Plug the drive in.
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Launch Disk Utility.

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Click the Finder, open the "Applications" folder, open the "Utilities" folder and choose "Disk Utility."

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Select the WD Passport drive.

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Select the drive you wish to reformat.

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Go to the Erase tab.

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Click "Erase," and pull down the Format menu. Choose "FAT32." Enter a hard drive name, if desired.

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Proceed to formatting.

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Click "Erase." A confirmation screen opens, stating that all information on the drive will be lost if erased. Click "Erase." Once completed, the erased drive will function on both Windows and Macintosh systems.

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Download the Western Digital FAT32 Formatting Utility.

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Download and install the Western Digital FAT32 Formatting Utility.

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Plug the drive in.

Step

Connect the Western Digital My Passport hard drive to the computer. Power on both devices.

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Launch the Formatting Utility.

Step

Open the FAT32 Formatting Utility and select the desired external hard drive. Ensure that "Restore Factory Original FAT32 Partition" is selected.

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Proceed to formatting.

Step

Click "Start." A warning message opens, stating that all data on the drive will be destroyed. Click "OK" to continue. Click "Yes"' to navigate through the prompts.