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Formatting and Partitioning

Standard LaCie storage devices will prompt you to run LaCie Setup Assistant when they are first connected to a computer (Windows or Mac). LaCie Setup Assistant helps you to quickly format the storage device according to your needs.

Read the information below carefully if you:

  • Abort LaCie Setup Assistant while it is formatting.
  • Wish to reformat your storage device after LaCie Setup Assistant has successfully completed.
  • Own a LaCie storage device that does not feature Setup Assistant (for example, select LaCie USB keys or RAID devices).

About File System Formats

Mac Users

Mac OS Extended (HFS+): Compatible with Mac only. Mac OS Extended refers to the file system used by Mac OS X.

exFAT: Compatible with Mac and Windows. exFAT is used as an alternative to FAT32 since it does not share the same limitations. It is therefore an excellent cross-platform file system.

FAT32: Compatible with Mac and Windows. A FAT32 partition can reach 2TB when formatted on a Mac. The individual file size is limited to 4GB. FAT32 is not recommended due to limited performance.

Mac File System Formats
Use HFS+ if:
…you will be using the storage device on Macs only.
Use exFAT if:
…you will be using your storage device with both Windows and Mac computers.
Use FAT32 if:
…you will be using your storage device with Windows and Mac computers, and at least one of these computers is incompatible with exFAT.

Windows Users

exFAT: Compatible with Mac and Windows. exFAT is used as an alternative to FAT32 since it does not share the same limitations. It is therefore an excellent cross-platform file system.

FAT32: Compatible with Mac and Windows. A FAT32 partition can reach up to 32GB when formatted with Windows. The individual file size is limited to 4GB. FAT32 is not recommended due to limited performance.

NTFS: Compatible with Windows and Mac (Mac requires third-party drivers for write access.). The native file system for Windows. NTFS offers several features that are not available with FAT32: file compression, encryption, permissions, auditing, and mirroring drives. The maximum volume size is 2TB when initialized in the MBR format. The more recent GPT format does not assign limits to file or partition sizes. Volumes created in NTFS are native read and write for Windows. Earlier versions of Mac OS X 10.5 or higher may read and write to the NTFS partitions with the help of third-party drivers.

 

See the table below for a comparison of NTFS and FAT32.

Windows File System Formats
Use NTFS if:
…you will be using the storage device only with Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 since performance is enhanced when compared to exFAT or FAT32. This file system is compatible in read-only mode with Mac.
Use exFAT if:
…you will be using your storage device with both Windows and Mac computers.
Use FAT32 if:
…you will be using your storage device with Windows and Mac computers, and at least one of these computers is incompatible with exFAT.

 

Formatting Instructions

The steps listed below can help you to format and partition a storage device. For more information on choosing the optimal file format, refer to About File System Formats above.

Caution: Formatting erases everything on the storage device. LaCie highly recommends that you back up all data on your storage device before performing the steps below. LaCie is not responsible for any data lost due to formatting, partitioning, or using a LaCie storage device.

Note: Refer to your operating system's documentation for more information on reformatting and partitioning your storage device.

Windows Users

  1. Make sure the storage device is connected to and mounted on the computer.
  2. Right-click on Computer and choose Manage. From the Manage window select Disk Management.
  3. From the list of storage devices in the middle of the Disk Management window, locate your LaCie device.
  4. By default, a partition is already created on the device with LaCie software utilities. Follow your operating system instructions to reset the existing partition.
  5. To create a new partition, select New Simple Volume. Follow the on-screen instructions when the New Simple Volume Wizard appears.

 

Mac Users

  1. Make sure the storage device is connected to and mounted on the computer.
  2. Select Utilities from the Go menu in the Finder menu bar.
  3. In the Utilities folder, double-click Disk Utility.

    Disk Utility will display the message Select a disk, volume, or image. All connected storage devices, partitions, or disk images will be displayed in this column. Storage devices in this column may have multiple listings. The top name is the name of the physical device's manufacturer, and includes the formatted capacity.

  4. Select the storage device in the left-hand column.
  5. Click the Erase tab.
  6. Choose a format from the drop-down window. See About File System Formats for more information on choosing a file format.
  7. Give the volume a name.
  8. Click Erase… and confirm your selection in the popup window.
© LaCie 2022 Last modified : Mar 01, 2013