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  1. A New File System;
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  4. Choosing the Right Format for Your External Hard Drive.

Show more. FAQ Frequently Asked Questions About Portable External Hard Drives Whether you're sharing music files with a friend, bringing important business documents to a client, or storing vacation photos, you'll find a convenient companion in a portable hard drive. What is a portable external hard drive?

BEST Portable External HARD DRIVES for MAC and PC

What should I consider when choosing a portable hard drive? Rotation Speed Rotation speed affects how fast the hard drive reads and writes data.

The Best External Hard Drives for Mac in 12222

Size and Weight Size and weight are important to consider if you're often on the go with your hard drive. Enclosure Do you toss things into your bag, backpack, or purse without much thought? Drive Interface Most portable hard drives feature a USB interface, offering easy plug-and-play capability with your computer. You can resize the partitions by clicking the line between the partitions and dragging it up or down to increase or decrease the capacity of one or the other side. Click on whichever partition segment you want to format as FAT Type a name for that partition in the Name field and choose the FAT32 option from the Format drop-down menu.

Once everything is arranged as you want it, click apply. A progress bar will appear at the bottom right of the window as Disk Utility creates the requested partitions. Once it finishes creating them, you can move the drive between Macs and Windows PCs, and move files back and forth easily. Open the Disk Management utility.

Alternatively, press the Start button and start typing partitions. Find the drive you'd like to format; in my case, it was Disk 5. Right-click the unallocated segment in the next field over, select New Simple Volume , and click Next when the wizard launches. Change the value in the Simple Volume size field to 32,MB or less--it needs to be under 32GB, to satisfy the format's file limit.

How to Format Your External Hard Drive

Assign a drive letter, and click Next. Formatting the partition. Choose the drive letter to be assigned and click Next. Select FAT32 from the File System drop down menu, label the volume however you like, check the box next to Perform a quick format , and click Next. The resulting window tells you that you have successfully completed creating the volume. Click Finish and you're ready to go.