Format a WD drive on MacOS


A friend of mine recommended WD drive My Passport (4TB) for me because I need one. The current one (SeaGate) is not stable, sometime it is not recognizable. I suspect it is due to the cable. Anyway I need more space for my massive data so I grabbed WD My Passport Ultra Metal Edition.

NTFS vs. Mac OS Extended (Journaled)

I use Windows at work, MacOS and sometimes Linux (CentOS) at home. Everything went smooth, I copied to backup 50+ GB of data in about 20 minutes.

The problem happened couple of minutes ago. I couldn’t copy files from my Mac to WD drive. I immediately recognize that is because the WD drive is formatted as NTFS by default. I reviewed the manual and it recommended user (me) to reformat WD drive before using on Mac. It did the same following this tutorial with no doubt and got this error. I tried couple of times and also tried it on another Mac machine and they led to same destination.

WD Drive Format

In my opinion, WD should update their how-to document or at least remove this one.

Get WD Drive My Passport back to work

I gave Support a call and it was out of their working hours unfortunately. At the time I am writing this article, I think I can call them at other zone which is in working hours. Anyway, I searched for solutions and here’s what I tried.

# First run
diskutil list

# To get the name to the disk you’re trying to format. The below commands assume this is “disk1”, but replace “disk1” with the correct disk if it’s something different.
# Now unmount the disk:
diskutil unmountDisk force disk1

# and then write zeros to the boot sector:
sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/disk1 bs=1024 count=1024

# Finally attempt to partition it again:
diskutil partitionDisk disk1 GPT JHFS+ “My External HD” 0g



About Author

A QA guy who is trying to learn some dev's skills as well as English by blogging his development notes in English. Hey, please let me know if you see any spelling mistake or I should write things in another better way.