please help a mac user format a hard drive using windows.
September 9, 2005 3:43 AM   Subscribe

please help a mac user format a hard drive using windows.

i'll try to keep this as short as possible.
i have an 80gb hard drive i want to use in an mp3 player (xclef hd-500).
i bought the mp3 player used, with a 40gb drive in it, and it works great. i had the 80gb drive formatted as fat32 ahead of time, but when i placed it in the player, the screen said "no partition". i e-mailed digmind tech support and their reply was that fat32 by itself isn't enough; i'm also to make it a primary partition and assign it a drive letter. so i copied all the files off the 80gb drive to reformat.
i have access to a pc right now, so i thought i'd format the drive using an external usb2 enclosure, but i can't get this pc to recognize the drive.
so my options as i see them are:
1. somehow install a driver on the pc so it can see the drive and format it using partition magic or something;
2. format the drive on my mac using a mac program;
3. format the drive on my mac using my virtual pc.
4. give in and have a pc tech do this for me.
help me find the right path! thanks.
posted by Silky Slim to Computers & Internet (2 answers total)
Put it in a PC. Run Fdisk.exe on it. Delete any existing partitions. Create a non-boot partition, set it as primary. Format the drive.

Seriously, just put it inside the PC as a slave. And make sure you're fdisking and formatting the right drive.

Also, as far as I know drive letters are assigned by the OS or drive interface. You can't "assign" a letter to the drive itself. If I switch my drives around, the letters switch as well. IE: Drive 1 is master, Drive 2 is slave, named C: and D: respectively. If I swap them so Drive 1 is slave and Drive 2 is Master, 2 becomes C:, and 1 becomes D:.
posted by loquacious at 3:54 AM on September 9, 2005

*Reads Xclef specs* Oh, duh, it's a 2.5" drive. You'll need an adapter to get it attached to a 3.5" S/ATA IDE ribbon.

I've always had issues with formatting actual HDs over USB. I have no idea why. Perhaps someone here can illuminate that, but it's likely it's just because I'm addicted to legacy hardware.

You could also stick the 2.5" drive in a laptop and boot to MS DOS on a floppy or CD with copies of FDISK.EXE and FORMAT.COM and quickly do it from there.
posted by loquacious at 4:00 AM on September 9, 2005

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