How to format a USB Mac drive in Windows

So, I “officially” moved from Mac to Windows and got myself a Surface Pro 3 (wonderful machine), more on my move to the Surface Pro 3 in another post, though.

Today I had a challenge to reformat my external USB drive, which is Mac formatted. Windows was able to see the drive and under “Devices” even listed it. However, it did not show up in the File Explorer.

Here are the steps to format the drive.

  • Open a Command Prompt as Administrator (Win + X and A)
  • Type “diskpart.exe”
  • Type “list disk” (You should see the drive listed there now)
  • Select the drive with “select drive (number)” (enter the number of your USB drive from the list)
  • Make sure you use the USB drive with “detail disk”
  • Now issue a “clean disk” (this will wipe out any data on the disk, so make double sure that you are using the right disk!!!!)
  • Then do “create partition primary” (this will create a primary partition (I just need one)
  • Type “active” (this will make the partition bootable (optional))
  • Format the disk with “format fs=NTFS quick” (You can also use exFAT or FAT32)
  • In order to show the drive simple type “assign” (you should see Windows telling you that you have a new drive or simply check the File Explorer)
  • Type “exit” to quit diskpart

All done. Your drive is now available to play with.