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Formatting Your LaCie USB Key

You may use Disk Management (Windows) or Disk Utility (Mac) to format and partition your LaCie USB Key. Please note that formatting any storage device will delete all of its data. Therefore, LaCie highly recommends copying all data stored on your LaCie USB Key before creating new partitions. Do not forget to copy the LaCie software utilities bundled with your USB Key.

Important Info: Formatting and partitioning your LaCie storage device will delete all data stored on the existing volumes. LaCie highly recommends copying all data before using a formatting utility.

Optional Formatting and Partitioning

Please read this section carefully before formatting and partitioning your LaCie storage device.

About File System Formats

Windows Users

FAT 32: FAT is an acronym for File Allocation Table, which dates back to the beginnings of DOS programming. Originally, FAT was only 16 bits, but after the second release of Windows 95 it was upgraded to 32 bits, hence the name FAT 32. In theory, FAT 32 volume sizes can range from less than 1MB all the way to 2TB.

It is the native file system of Windows 98 and Windows Me, and is supported by Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. When FAT 32 is used with Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 however, volume size is limited to 32GB (by the Windows partition utility, i.e. Disk Manager), and the individual file size is limited to 4GB.

NTFS: This acronym stands for New Technology File System, and it is the native file system for Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista, and 7. NTFS offers several features that are not available with FAT 32: file compression, encryption, permissions, auditing, and mirroring drives. The minimum supported volume size for NTFS is 10MB with a maximum of 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 NT, 2000, XP, Vista, and 7. Earlier versions of Windows and 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 FAT 32.

Windows File System Formats
Use NTFS if:
…you will be using the storage device only with Windows XP, Vista, and 7 since performance will be enhances when compared to FAT 32. This file system is compatible in read-only mode with Mac OS 10.3 and higher.
Use FAT32 if:
…you will be using your storage device with both Windows and Mac computers. Maximum single file size is limited to 4GB.

 

Mac Users

You may customize the storage device by reformatting and/or partitioning it with separate file system formats. For optimal performance in Mac OS environments, format and partition the storage device as one large Mac OS Extended volume.

Mac OS Extended (HFS+): Mac OS Extended refers to the file system used by Mac OS X. HFS+ represents an optimization of the older HFS file system by using hard disk space more efficiently. With HFS+, you are no longer limited by block size.

MS-DOS File System (FAT 32): This is the Microsoft file system, more typically known as FAT 32. Use FAT 32 if you are going to be sharing your LaCie storage device between Mac and Window computers.

See the table below for a comparison between HFS+ and FAT 32 (MS-DOS).

Mac File System Formats
Use HFS+ if:
…you will be using the storage device on Macs only. Performance will be enhances when compared to FAT 32. HFS+ is NOT compatible with Windows OS.
Use FAT32 if:
…you will be using your storage device with both Windows and Mac computers. Maximum single file size is limited to 4GB.

 

Formatting Instructions

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

Caution: Formatting will erase 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.

Important Info: Formatting the LaCie partition will delete the included User Manual and utilities. Please copy all data, including documentation and software from LaCie, before formatting your storage device. User Manuals and select software may also be downloaded from www.lacie.com/support/.

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

 

Windows Users

Technical Note on volumes larger than 2TB: Windows XP 32-bit - This version of Windows will not recognize volumes larger than 2TB; Windows XP x64, Vista and 7 - All of these versions of Windows can recognize volumes greater than 2TB. However, disks must be converted to the GPT file system before partitions greater than 2TB can be created. To do this, go to Windows Disk Management and right-click on the disk. Select Convert to GPT. You may now create partitions greater than 2TB.

  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 2014 Last modified : Mar 01, 2013