How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask MacTechTrainer Your Own Question

MacTechTrainer, Sr. Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 1700
Experience:  Apple Certified Desktop & Portables Technician, A+, Cross-Platform (Mac/PC) Tech - for over 14 Years
Type Your Mac Question Here...
MacTechTrainer is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

hello, i bought a western digitalXXXXX i connected

Customer Question

hello, i bought a western digitalXXXXX i connected it to my mac and it doesn?t recognize it. i know there is power to it because the hard drive lights up.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  MacTechTrainer replied 7 years ago.
Hello, and thank you for asking your question,
I am Sr. Mac Tech Support Specialist, TD, glad to assist you.

The reason your Mac does not recognize the WD 230GB hard drive is because the drive has most likely come formatted in MS-DOS (Fat 32) format.
In order for the WD to be readable on your Mac, you will need to format the drive as a Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format.

Here is what you will need to do:

• Connect your WD 320 to your Mac
• From the Finder menu bar, click on Go
• From the drop-down menu, select Utilities
• Within the Utilities folder, select Disk Utility and open it
• Depending on if you have Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger or Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard,
the processes for formatting a hard drive are the same, with the exception
of the slight change in the interface of Disk Utility with the release of Leopard.

• When you open Disk Utility, this is what your window will look like
(screen shot taken from Leopard system)


• Looking on the left side window, make sure you see your hard drive.
If you cannot, check to make sure it is turned on and USB (or Firewire if
that is the connection) is seated fully in the respective port).

If the hard drive is still not displaying in the left side window in Disk Utility.
turn off the hard drive, reconnect it in a different port of same connection
and try again. (If this does not work, stop here and reply back to me)

If you do see the new Hard drive in the left side window,
Click on the Partition tab from within the right side window.
• this is where you are going to format the hard drive from the MS-DOS format
into the MS OS Extended (Journaled) format, that will make the drive
readable on your Mac.

To continue with the erasing and partitioning of your drive, I have taken the liberty
adding a link below which provides an excellent step by step detail for changing
the MS-DOS format of an HD in the Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger or 10.5 Leopard platforms.

Formatting external hard drive to Mac OS Extended (Journaled)

If you have any more questions, regarding your technical issue, please feel free to reply to this post as I am always ready to assist. Thanks !


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
thanks for the reply. i opened the disc utility and the hard drive does not appear in the left portion. i do not see it.
Expert:  MacTechTrainer replied 7 years ago.
Appreciate your quick reply.

Which model of Western Digital HD do you have for the 320GB,
Passport or My Book?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
its a passport. i have 2. one 320 and a 120.
Expert:  MacTechTrainer replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for the detail.

Now that I know that you have the Passport series, these HDs are fairly easy to install because these drives are usually preformatted by Western Digital in the HFS+(Journaled) format for Mac OS X.

If your drive via the supplied USB cable plugs into your Mac and does not mount to the Desktop displaying the Passport icon, this may be a hardware issue.

I went to Western Digital regarding this issue and this is what I found they as the manufacturer recommend.
Formatting WD Drive to Mac OS Format

The steps they provide are near to exactly what I provided you before so please view the link above.

Now, if even this step does not work, and you have again, verified that the hard drive is on and USB is plugged into your Mac's USB port. Let me know, I have anotherfew steps I want to try with you, before we get to the point of considering this a hardware issue.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX posted.


Related Mac Questions