MediaKit reports not enough space on device for requested operation

MediaKit reports not enough space on device for requested operation

I recently got hold of a Toshiba Canvio 3TB external hard disk drive and was trying to format it using Disk Utility. To my surprise, I encountered a rather weird error that mentioned MediaKit not having enough space to perform the operation. The exact error message being,

MediaKit reports not enough space on device for requested operation.

Though it initially felt like my brand new HDD was a waste now, the solve was not really rocket-science – rather pretty straightforward. So before I tell you how to fix this, let’s first try to understand what the error really meant?


What’s the cause?

This type of error is generally caused when your EFI partition is below 200 MB. Mac requires an EFI partition of at least 200 MB to perform any Disk Utility function on an HDD. If your drive came factory formatted in NTFS, chances are your EFI partition would be lesser as Windows can work with a minimum of 100 MB.

What is EFI partition you ask? Well, the EFI system partition (ESP) is a small partition formatted with FAT32, usually 100 MB, which stores the EFI boot loaders for the installed system and applications used by the firmware at startup.


So how to fix this?

Before we begin,

Please note that all data on the HDD will be lost. I do not take any responsibility whatsoever in the unlikely event that your HDD gets bricked. By following these instructions, you agree to take full responsibility for the consequences.

Alright, now let’s fire up Terminal to get the name of the HDD you are trying to fix. Type the command below to list down all drives. Look for the label “external, physical” and note its Identifier. In my case it’s disk2. Could be different for you.

diskutil list

Now let’s force unmount the disk (and all volumes on it) by typing in,

diskutil unmountDisk force disk2

And then write zeros to the boot sector by typing in,

sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/disk2 bs=1024 count=1024

You will be asked to enter your administrator password. Go ahead and do it. Note that entering a password in Terminal will cause your cursor not to move. Your input will be accepted anyway.

Finally, let’s go ahead and partition it. Again, in my case it’s disk2. Could be different for you. Type in,

diskutil partitionDisk disk2 GPT JHFS+ "Canvio" 0g

Where Canvio is what you want to name your HDD. This will also format your drive and make it ready for use.

That’s it, you are done! Do share your feedback/experience in the comment section below.

If for some reason, you are asked to enter your password again when performing basic functions on the HDD (like creating folders), unmount and then mount the disk again. That should resolve any issues.


      1. Thanks so much! I was worried I had done something irreversible and it was cool to get into the back end a bit

      2. This worked perfectly. Thanks for this! I’d like to point out that I had an issue trying to decide if the last bit was Og or 0g (a zero on my MacBook Pro looks differently. So I didn’t type a zero the 1st time and had to do it again to make sure that wasn’t the error I was making)

      3. Totally saved me too! Thought I had ruined my brand new $120 hard drive. Your advise worked like a charm, except now I have a drive called Canvio, because I didn’t read that part first, lol, but that is no problem at ALL! Thanks!

      4. Hi Priyank,

        When you write “Please note that all data on the HDD will be lost. I do not take any responsibility whatsoever in the unlikely event that your HDD gets bricked,” you mean the external hard drive I am trying to format, right? Is there any risk to losing data on my laptop itself? I am going round in circles: trying to make space on the laptop by moving data to the external WD. Can’t format it, so can’t move things, and don’t have another external drive to make a backup of the laptop! There is no data on the external WD-HDD, so I don’t mind if that get’s lost!

    1. Hi, i followed your step and it was successful. But looks like all my external drive has this issues and do i need to do this for all external drives? Then whats the point of DISK UTILITY? Please advise. Thank you so much

    2. Yep, LEGEND. Had managed to screw up internal drive by messing with windows, and couldn’t re-put OSX back on. Your guide worked like a charm. Thank you.

  1. You made my day. Don’t know how many people used your manual and are not able to say thanks. Thank you very much for your time and effort and sharing your knowledge with us 🙂

    Thumbs up – greets from Austria!

  2. You are AMAZING! I’m travelling and spent $200 on a HD that was beginning to feel useless. Hurrah! I can backup all my photos now thank you! <3

  3. Thank you so much, Priyank! Your clear and concise directions were so very easy to follow, and it worked for my 8TB Seagate. I was fearing I got a bad drive. Thanks to you, I don’t have to return a perfectly fine drive! I appreciate you writing this up for people who need help!!

  4. You totally saved me! Thank you for setting it all out so clearly – was so easy to follow! You are a legend and a life saver! 🙂

  5. THANKS A LOT!! I was scared that the HDD I’d bought didn’t work at all. But you saved me! Thanks

  6. I am always a little nervous about following online instructions for something like this, but it worked perfectly and simply for two different external HDs that I needed to use. Thank you so much! I haven’t found any other instructions as simple and effective as these and I would have been in a real bind without this.

  7. OMG!!! I’ve been prowling around the internet trying to fix my screw up and BAM!!! It was as easy as you outlined!! You’re a lifesaver!!! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you 🙂

  8. This was great thank you, I had tried another thread similar that did not work. Thank you so much, saved me from have to call WD.

  9. Priyank,

    THANK YOU!!!

    The instructions for reformatting that came with my new WD HDDs were totally frustrating and ultimately useless–leading me to all sorts of error messages. This took me a different, much simpler, route.

    Great explanation, and it was helpful to have screenshots to ensure I was doing the right thing. 🙂

    Thanks, again!


  10. Thank you so much Priyank! Your explanation and step-by-step guide with pictures worked perfectly! Saved so much time by following your advice. Thanks again!

  11. Hi Priyank,
    This is great. I just bought a WD Elements 2 TB to be used for backups of my Mac. The instructions told me to format the disk using Mac OS Extended (journaled). When I tried it, I got the same error as you did. I googled it and initially did not find a solution. Went back to the shop, got some rude treatment and basically was told I was an idiot and that it all would work if I did it properly. So in the end I went home, got of course the same error message and did some more googling. I found your solution and it works perfectly. So thanks a million.

  12. Excellent article, easy to follow. Solved the problem for me.

    Only note is that you might mention how entering the password in Terminal works; I had a brief panic when it was rejected, twice. (I guess I was mis-typing, but tough to tell with the cursor not moving.) Still, an invaluable aid.

    Thank you very much.

  13. Not all heroes wear capes.

    Priyank….you’re my hero.

    This worked on my fresh-out-of-the-box WD SSD My Passport 512GB with my 2016 MacBook (High Sierra 10.13.1 Beta (17B25c)), FYI.

  14. I would not have been able to back up my Mac without your instructions. Thank you so much for this and for making your instructions clear and easy to follow, much appreciated!

  15. Thanks Priyank, I just purchased a 3TD external drive that failed on everything I did in Disk Utility. I watched YouTube videos and read multiple forms with no help.
    Then I found your article and “BINGO” my brand new drive now works.
    You’re a saviour!

  16. This 100% worked. Never touched terminal in my life before, but this is an easy and quick solution. Thanks!

  17. You are my hero! I had tried everything I could think of to fix my drive after stupidly letting my Nvidia Shield format it. I honestly thought it was ruined until by sheer fluke I found this page and thought I may as well give it one last shot. Thank you ever so much!

  18. Hi Priyank,
    Thank you so much for this. It really works.
    However, I had run into some issues (due to my stupidity), wondering if u can see the email I had sent to you.

  19. Like everybody above says – you’re a lifesaver! Brand new external drive completely useless, total Disk Utility failure — but these simple steps fixed it instantly! Thank you so much!!!

  20. Hi Priyank, thanks for the info. Just one clarification: what password am I supposed to use? Is there a way to recover it? Thanks

  21. Bought a WD 2TB Elements and couldn’t format it with my mac (ver 10.13) but you guide helps me with that. I wish i could give you a hug! / Alex Sweden

  22. Thank You Very Much. The entire web couldn’t help me with this but you did, so frustrating even though i just got the HardDrive to spend 2 hours trying to format it because Apple is useless. Thanks again!

  23. I was converting a brand new Western Digital Elements 4TB from ExtFAT to HFS+ using macOS 10.13’s Disk Utility. It failed mid-process (I don’t recall the error) and bricked the device.

    This really saved me. Thanks for the helpful article!

  24. I bought a Samsung SSD 850 Evo from best buy because of the excellent reviews I read. Before buying it I watch videos on you tube and ask Samsung support questions and just to make the story short nothing work as I was expecting. Samsung support was useless and best buy at least they try to help with no luck. I was about to return the unit for a second time and for good and try a different brand, until and finally came up with your solution and it Worked Like a Charm!! I am an IT person but this was time consuming and very frustrating.
    Thanks a lot Priyank you’re the man!!!

  25. As one if the other comments stated… You are a legend, after many trail and errors and following a few guides this one was by far tje clearest a’d most efficient. Thanks!

  26. Hi Priyank,

    I purchased 500GB SSD and i been looking to format it and got the error ! Your post helped me a lot and saved me a lot time… Thank you so much really

  27. Dear Priyank, I have a macbook pro with 3 partitions. I clean installed Sierra on partitions 1 replacing El Capitan. Then some of my apps didn’t work on Sierra and I decided to restore El Capitan from a Timemachine external backup. But I got exactly the same “MediaKit reports not enough space on device for requested operation” message and I can’t erase my partition 1. I have tried several terminal instructions as well as partially yours, but with no success at all. I temporarily have installed Sierra on partition 2 to have access to all my data on partition 3 and find a solution for how to erase and reformat my partition 1. I do have access to this partition, but just can’t erase and reformat it.
    Do you have any solutions on internal partition disks with MediaKit message? I sincerely appreciate your reply in advance.

    1. Hi Axll, I’m afraid but this article deals only with external HDDs. I’ve personally never tried this method on an internal drive. Let us all know, if it works for you.

      1. Priyank, I’ve not come up with a solution yet. It’s supposed to be done thru Windows and bootcamp which I don’t have it on my system. As soon as I could create EFI boot partition on my internal Mac HDD, I will let you know the procedure.
        BTW, do NOT delete the EFI boot partition (209 MB) on your internal partitions ever. Because you will not be able to erase and reformat them again, if ever needed.

      2. Hi Priyank, it took me a couple of days searching online and doing a lot of trial and errors to get the 209MB EFI partition back to my internal 500Gb ssd. I tried as many terminal commands as possible with and without bootable USB thumb, but had no success. Anyways, this is my final narrow down solutions of this experiment:
        There are 2 easy alternatives for this issue. The first solution deals with using of the Boot Camp (find this on utube). But since I don’t need the Boot Camp, I didn’t even try this.

        My final solution takes a few hours and is very straightforward:

        1. I backed up all the data on my internal drives to an external hard drive. I also made an up to date Time Machine backup of my primary OS X partition to restore it later on; so I didn’t have to install the applications all over again.
        2. I had a bootable USB thumb (an EL Capitan or Sierra installation USB will do the job). You need this because we are going to erase the whole internal disk in the next step.
        3. Boot with USB thumb. Open the Disk utility and select the “main” internal disk. Then choose “Erase” from the top options. On the pop up window, give a name to your disk, choose OS X Extended (Journaled) and Guild partition map. Finally click the “Erase” button and voila. The disk is formatted having the 209MB EFI partition back. If you choose any partitions of the internal disk here, you can’t erase it and you will get the famous Mediakit error due to the lack of EFI partition.

        You can partition the internal disk right here with Disk Utility due to your needs.
        I suggest to make at least 2 partitions: a small 60 to 70 GB dedicated exclusively to OS X (if you are a gaming fan, make it larger). This makes the Time Machine backup of the partition quite fast. The rest goes to personal data and archive that I make a backup of them separately on external drive.

  28. As a Windows and Linux user, I am often perplexed on how difficult it can be to get something to work on OS X , like formatting a thumb drive. Thanks for your tip since it allowed me to build a High Sierra boot drive for upgrading my son’s Mac-Mini to an SSD.

  29. phantastic – clear, brief, solution oriented

    maybe worth to mention in the explanation (just to edit for idiots like me) to pay attention to disk numbers. you disk in question was 2, others might be 1 or whatever. like the comment to change the disk name.

    many many thanks!

      1. Actually might be helpful to use “diskX” in the commands so people don’t accidentally copy a return line and fire off the command accidentally!

  30. Thank you Priyank! I have formatted drives for MacOS several times and have never run into this problem. Looking for solutions, I found similar instructions elsewhere, but got stuck on the “enter password” portion, thinking that I was at that point assigning a password to the drive I was trying to format or trying to guess at a password that I most certainly did not know. It did not dawn on me that my admin password would be required, and when reading in your post that that’s the one it needed my mind went racing “wait! Which hard drive am I erasing? I don’t want to erase my system hard drive!!!”

    Your “go ahead and do it” helped me realize that I was getting all worked up over nothing. (Had the message popped up via Disk Utility, that would not have startled me. It was the unfamiliar territory of working in Terminal that had me on edge.)

    Anyway, a calm reread of your simple, clear, and specific instructions did the trick. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and expertise! You saved the day!

  31. Thanks Priyank, as you can see from the comments, you have made this very easy. I wish I had found your site about 2 hrs ago.



  32. Thanks bro. Thought my new 4tb WD hard drive was a brick but you saved it. Way easier than using Apple’s stupid Disk Util app too.

  33. Amazing, thank you! I was convinced the WD Elements drives I bought were bricked… but it turns out they both had exactly the same issue… very suspicious!

  34. I never get on to leave comments. I appreciate the time and well thought out tutorial here man. Windows user here frustrated with my wife’s MAC making me feel like an idiot. You made my day!

  35. Priyank,
    Thank you so much for this simple, yet effective fix!!! I was able to walk my wife, non-techie, thought this process step by step to correct a HDD she needed for her editing. I am in Los Angeles, and she is sitting in Seattle. Thank you again for saving us hours of stress, and quite possibly several trips to various computer stores to buy a new hard drive.


  36. I wanted to let you know you saved my butt with a brand new seagate drive. I’ve been reacquainting myself with using terminal more and you’ve blown my mind. Thank you Priank, you’re a lifesaver

  37. Your article is worth of money. Seriously, it’s such a good and simple to follow. You should charge for it 🙂 Very well written and as seen here, it helps a lot of people. I looked for solution to my new My Passport and it took hours to understand. I finally got to your article, so simple, and it works. Thank you so much! Your rock!

    Greetings from Estonia!

  38. Many thanks Priyank.

    Very clear and concise instructions, very easy to follow.

    Worked like a dream for me!

  39. Priyank – Thanks very much. You just saved me a trip back to the store to return a Seagate backup drive that my Mac wouldn’t initialize. These instructions worked exactly as you said they would.


  40. Thank you very much this work for me and so easy to do, was ready to throw the HDD out the window before this. Top Man Priyank

  41. Priyank,

    I don’t know how to thank you. I purchased the Seagate Backukp Plus Slim 4TB that just went on sale at Costco and brought it home today. My iMac is brand new and running High Sierra. I knew that I didn’t want to install the Seagate suggested Promise technology drive in order to make this drive readable by Mac and PC, so I ran Disk Utility with the assumption that I would be able to format it as a Mac drive.

    After a very frustrating half hour of failure, I ran a Google search and found your post. While going into Terminal make a person at my computer knowledge level a bit nervous, your instructions were so clear that within no time at all the drive was formatted correctly and I was ready to roll.

    People like me are very lucky to have people like you performing this kind of public service. It is greatly appreciated.

  42. Thank you Priyank! This solved a problem I was having with several recently purchased drives.

    For anyone else who wanders here from the web, I purchased several Seagate 4TB drives (ST4000DM004) from Amazon. When plugging all of them into a Mac I was greeted with an error saying “”The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer.” If I pressed “initialize” to launch Disk Utility, the disk would not appear in the list of drives so I was even unable to format it using Disk Utility.

    Following your instructions allowed me to quickly & Easily format these drives! Thank you!

  43. I need to add my name to this list of gratefuls. Thank you, Priyank, for your article. It helped me reformat my new Seagate HD.

  44. OH MY GOSH thank you so much!! i know nothing about code and stuff like that, and technology always stops working around me. Bestbuy was gonna charge me $40 for this thing that took 2 mins! Would never have been able to do it without these instructions! Thank you!!!

  45. Thank you. Perfect instructions. Finally a person that knows what he is talking about. I appreciate you sharing you knowledge.

  46. Adding a big “Thank You!” to the many already here. I had an NTFS external drive that macOS refused to re-format. A few terminal commands later and it’s working perfectly.

  47. Another big “Thank You!” I had an external NTFS drive that wouldn’t format in Disk Utility. A few terminal commands later and it was right as rain.

  48. Hey Priyank,

    Thank you SO much. I’ve never tried to use the Terminal on my Mac before. Too scared. But I just did, and now I have a working 4TB Toshiba Canvio backup drive. You rock!

  49. Ha! You saved me so much time and aggravation — thanks!!! BTW I followed these instructions on a new external Seagate 5TB on a MacBook Pro running High Sierra. Should these instructions be any different on High Sierra? I recall that High Sierra has a new file system format but I don’t know whether that is just for the internal SSD. Thanks!!!

    1. Great question, Art. I haven’t exactly tried this method on High Sierra. However, I don’t see a reason why it should not work. I guess someone has reported it working on High Sierra as well. Read through the comments.

  50. Priyank, I’m piling onto all the thank-yous with everyone else: THANK YOU! Your instructions are clear, you clarify and detail what’s happening. Strangely, if drive makers just partition their drives with the extra 100MB of boot space, we wouldn’t every-single-one-of-us need to go through this hassle (needless to say all those people who called in to their customer service reps as well)!

  51. Thank you sir,
    I have been browsing the internet for 3dAys now with no luck.

    I bought a Samsung SSD 850 Evo from best buy because of the excellent reviews I read. Even my wife’s PC would not manage to format properly.

    Thank you thank you

  52. Superstar – this worked for me – saved me going and replacing what appeared to be a bricked disk – thank you!

  53. Well done! Just had to do this for my new WD Passport 2TB – couldn’t get Drive Utility to work with it until you helped out here!

  54. Right now I am pretty unhappy at WD for giving me a Windows formatted drive without any instructions or assistance for reformatting as a Mac drive. But I am VERY THANKFUL for you and your generosity and knowledge that you share with us. Solved a big problem for me.

  55. Sorry, this didn’t help me Priyank. I’ve bought a new 2TB HDD, which has thrown “Mediakit reports not enough space on device for requested operation” while I try to erase. I’ve faced similar issue with a couple of pen drives in the past, being a rookie on Mac, I’ve tried erasing into other formats(like Mac Journaled, etc.) and finally to ExFAT. They worked. Similarly, I formatted my 2TB HDD to Mac Journaled as the first step of mine, and then I followed ‘what has been mentioned in this article’ as the second step, my OS(High Sierra) doesn’t even read the 2TB HDD now. Apart from internal SSD of Mac, it show two partitions now : a) disk3s1 of 32Kb and a b) disk3s2(Flash player) of 19.9Mb; both of type ‘Not mounted’. It’d be really great if you can take it personal, and help me with this? Many Thanks in advance, mate.

    1. Hi Prasad, few questions.
      1. You mentioned that you formatted the HDD to Mac Journaled. Did it complete?
      2. When you view the HDD using Disk Utility, does it give you the “Mount” option upon drive selection?
      3. Can you try redoing the entire process again, ensuring you enter the correct disk name?

  56. You full-on saved the day! Thank you, Pryiank. I’m not sure why this isn’t part of Disk Utility’s erase process, but I’m so thankful you’re picking up the slack with this one!

    One item of note – after the process finished (at least on macOS 10.13.1), macOS recognized the disk, however I noticed I could not create a folder without needing to re-enter my password. This is, I’m assuming, because the process that originally mounted it was not technically “me” (being it was the “super user” through terminal). I unmounted the disk, removed and re-plugged in to the USB port, and then macOS allowed me to create a folder as “me” without asking for a password. Not sure if this is helpful to mention, but wanted to just in case!

    Again, THANK YOU!!

  57. I have a similar suggestion as did charles. I know you mentioned it in the article, but remember that people without Terminal experience may robotically copy and paste your commands. I did change the disk number for the initial commands (as you did suggest), but forgot to do so on the last command and ended up reformatting the wrong drive! At least I had it backed up and only lost some time.

    So to make it closer to idiot-proof, maybe just add a comment to double-check the disk number, especially for that final command!

    Thanks so much for your great help with this. I too thought my WD 2TB Elements drive would need to be returned to Amazon, but your article saved me a great deal of trouble.

    Now if only I could keep myself from making more trouble!

  58. After OS High Sierra upgrade, my USB drivers were not writeable any more because of NTFS format. Using your way of format disk were very straight forward. Thank you so much.

  59. Thank you so much. That was perfect.

    Why would people sell hard disks like this? Why don’t they just make it work for Mac and PC?

    Strange humans are.

  60. It’s 2:05 am . I have been Working on this since about two this afternoon until I came to your article I fixed it thanks

  61. You’re awesome. Really appreciate you taking the time to post this very easy to follow tutorial. Thank you very much!

  62. Thank you so much for posting this, Priyank! You saved me a lot of time and headache. 🙂 Happy 2018!

  63. Priyank! Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge with people like me, who are not much computer literate 😉 I really appreciete your effort 🙂

    Have a great day 🙂

  64. I couldn’t even get past the first step on the previous tutorial I tried. Yours on the other hand was super easy to follow, especially since my hard drive was also disk2 ?

  65. Amazing! never used terminal or code before…..just got a new 4TB WD hardrive and encountered same issues…..googled loads and nothing then came across your post and boom its sorted!! Mind Blown!!! Thanks for your post!!!

  66. Wow. this truly is amazing stuff! I had to be careful typing the correct orders but this does the job perfectly.
    Thank you so much ! best wishes to you in 2018!!!

  67. It worked perfectly. I commend you on your precise and clear instructions. You made my day and started my new year with a success story.


  68. My Gawd, you’re a life saver!

    I was going mental over this.. You fixed this in two minutes..

    A Legend!

  69. I just bought a brand new WD Elements 3TB HDD and this method worked like a charm! Now i have a bit more confidence in using terminal, too! Thank you very much!

  70. THANK YOU!!!! I purchased a WD My Passport Ultra and couldn’t use it until I found this post. Saved me from returning this back to Amazon!!

  71. Priyank

    I’ve never used a command line before, but your instructions were SO CLEAR and easy and, best –they worked! Thanks so much for posting!


  72. Im so thankful i wanna cry!
    I am in no way savy enough to work command prompt… especially on mac… never done it before , was scared of screwing up.. but i just saved my 6TB brand new external hard drive!! Because of you!! I cannot thank you enough! ❤️
    Worked for beginners!

  73. You’re a lifesaver! I just bought a Seagate 6T hard drive and I was tearing my hair out. Your solution worked! Thanks.

  74. Thank you so much for this tutorial! I was stumped when I got the error message and immediately thought I had done something wrong. Thanks to you I was able to fix it without asking the men in my life.

  75. Fantastic!!!!
    2nd time its happened to me.
    first time I returned HDD under warranty (as it was new)
    Did a little (more) googling the 2nd time…..
    Thank You 🙂

  76. Life Saver!!! I ordered 2 8T Seagate externals and both had the same error. I assumed they had gotten thrown around during transit and damaged but decided to look the error up to see if it was something I could fix. I’m as far from computer savvy as you can possibly imagine.

    Luckily I happened onto your website with the perfect fix. Thank you! Thank you! You made it ridiculously easy.


  77. Thankfully the world has clever and generous people like you! Excellent explanation, the first time for me using Terminal couldn’t have gone smoother!

  78. Hello Priyank,
    How to thank you enough? You saved my new HDD, thank you very much!
    I was about to throw them away…

  79. That worked perfectly on the first try.
    You’re instructions were very easy to follow, both conceptually and visually (your page is not cluttered).

  80. Thank YOU. From out of the gate I was on a wild goose chase to figure out how to format this for my Mac. Your article at least helped me save a lot of frustration and time in the end. Thanks for explaining what everything means too, I think I saw similar threads before, but the writers were experienced and had the assumption that the reader would know what all the terminology means.

    Thanks a lot… : )

  81. Wow! Thank you very much! I just got a 6T Seagate from Costco, trying to re-format with Disk Utility, dead. Then I followed your instruction, and it’s back. Thanks again!

  82. Legend!! Worked for me.
    Initially I had a command not found error. However, I was booted from a USB install disk so didnt need the Sudo command at the beginning.
    Worked perfectly after that!

  83. Hi Priyank,

    Thanks for this article, I’m hoping I can use it to solve a problem with an external drive my MBP (high sierra) no longer mounts properly.

    One question – I’m sorry if this has been asked already but you have a lot of comments and didn’t address this topic in your article:

    Q: At the partition step:
    $ diskutil partitionDisk disk2 GPT JHFS+ “Canvio” 0g

    Will this wipe (erase contents) of the said external drive? That is not an option for me…


  84. Hello.
    I tried this and it worked but it formatted my external HD MAC OS EXTENDED JOURNAL and I need it to be EXFAT.
    Any input on that?
    Thank you.

  85. What a nice job, THANK YOU SO MUCH, you just saved my life I was taking forever to fix that because I was taking mad long in a wrong way, appreciate that!!!

  86. THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH!! Read/watched about a million things and tried most of them…nothing worked but THIS worked first try! Thanks so so much!!

  87. Just wanted to add my thanks to all the others. I thought this was a drive problem, so I returned it and bought another one!

    Why are Western Digital and Seagate not giving your solution via their support sites? It mystifies me that they simply say ‘erase the disk and reformat using Disk Utility’.

    Anyway, thank you – I am very grateful

  88. Very helpful indeed.

    Thanks to your post I was able to remotely help a non-computer-savy relative who had this problem with a 1TB Western Digital drive by walking him through this and texting each line to type to let him use the new drive.

    Thanks for the very easy to follow steps, they work, and they are appreciated.

  89. Sir, you are the best!! Thank you so much for this! I just bought a WD Elements 1TB and i was nearly crying cause i had this issue!

  90. Thank you thank you!! This is wonderful! Worked exactly as you said it would, unlike the other methods I was able to find.

  91. Thank you SO much! I’ve been fighting for two days trying to get real support from WD on how to fix this problem with a brand new external drive. Your instructions were super clear and easy to follow. You’re a hero. 🙂

  92. Your instructions worked perfectly to sort out the problem with my new 3TB Canvio and my iMac – but it is a problem that should never have been allowed to happen in the first place. If Toshiba don’t have the technology to provide a drive that works out of the box on any system, the least they could do is to provide clear instructions like you did.

    Many thanks!


  93. Priank!

    Thank you so so much! It was extremely frustrating to not find answers through the WD site regarding this issue.

    I am curious and maybe you can explain, why there is no simpler way besides using Terminal as a work around?

    Thanks again!

  94. Used this on my WD Elements 2TB drive and it worked great. I also posted a trouble ticket with WD and I’m waiting to see what their solution might be. Clearly WD needs to fix their instructions for formatting.

  95. Thanks a lot Priyank! I guess you can see how useful is your guide by looking at the number of people who are thankful in the comments! 😀

  96. Thank you! I had found other similar instructions, but those started after you were already in Terminal, and I didn’t know how to enter the commands (didn’t know about terminal). Thank you for starting at the beginning!

  97. Worked perfectly! So easy. Don’t understand why Apple couldn’t help anyone of us with this simple thing. Thanks!

  98. Hi Priyank, I’ve encountered this same problem. So just to be clear: if I wanted to RE-FORMAT my external hard disk (a brand new Seagate Backup Plus 4TB) on my Macbook, to be able to use across BOTH Macs and PCs (exFAT), all I have to do is follow these steps, and then format (erase) it afterwards using Disk Utility? Cheers in advance for the help!

  99. You’re my hero. Thank you so much. I was ready to throw the external drive out the window and now I don’t have to:)

  100. Allow me to add my thanks to the well-deserved list here.
    I had already returned one external drive thinking it was faulty. So when the replacement arrived and the exact same thing happened, I knew it was me, not them. 🙂 I typed in the error code on the mighty Google and bingo! Your insightful and easy to follow instructions of awesomeness saved me from a night of ranting and raving about something that took less than 5 minutes to fix.


  101. Thanks, you’ve just saved my life.

    The only thing, I would explain a little more each command and it meaning so people that is looking to format their disk to a different type can do it on the way.
    As well I would add color to the “variable” (the name of the disk), so people know that that’s the part that they should write different depending on their disk name.

    Thank you very much!

  102. Wow, thank you so much for posting this! who knows how long it would have taken for me to send my glyph drive back to the manufacturer and get fixed, let alone how much it would have costed!

  103. Thanks for the excellent solution provided. I had wasted 2 days trying to solve this issue. It hardly took 5 minutes to solve by following your suggested commands.

  104. Thank you for this! Easily fixed all my problems in 2 minutes. Searched sooo much for a solution! Thank you thank you thank you!! 🙂

  105. Saved my life tonight! I was so worried my purchase had been a waste, but then I came upon your instructions, which were much easier to understand than others online. Thank you so much!

  106. I have just sorted out two Western Digital My Passports, before I upgrade from 10.10. to 10.11 and maybe even 10.12, using this advice. Wonderful, Priyank Sharma!

  107. Where would be without people like you? I started regretting buying this 4TB external drive for Timemachine backups but you saved the day! Thank you very much!

  108. Worked like a charm! Saved my Seagate 3TB drive! These instructions were very easy to follow, thank you so much!

  109. Priyank I am truly amazed by how ‘to the point ‘ you article is and how it solves the problem in such easy steps.
    I went through a lot of tuts and videos before landing onto it. You deserve a lot credit for this and please create a donate option on this page so that people can at least credit you a bit in their way. I would have certainly paid for this solution.

  110. I spent two days and multiple websites trying to reformat my hard drive -and after hours and hours of loading to say it failed. I almost decided to return it, then I found this site.

    This was the most helpful and clear set of instructions and it actually worked instantly!


  111. I am so computer illiterate and had tried so many ways to rectify the problem but yours was the only one I actually understood PLUS it worked! I was so focused on following your instructions to a “T”, I even named my disk Canvio! LOL, thanks for the help!

  112. I was reluctant to touch the terminal but after reading the comments of successess I went ahead and it worked perfectly. Thank you

  113. Thanks Priyank Sharma, your Blog came up from no where and helped me reformat my WD harddrive so easily. Thanks a bunch. Where did you learn all this?

    1. I’m happy it did, Joseph. I had faced a similar issue as well, which made me look for a solution on various forums, discussing with peers and trying to understand a solve. 🙂

  114. You nailed it to say the least.!
    What apple geniouses cannot explain you did it in a clear and fast way
    Apple doesn’t want or don’t know how to help people on this. I visited so many offcial apple’s forum. Nobody got a clue on this.
    From Argentina, Thanks a lot!

  115. Thank you SO MUCH. You saved me. I’m surprised Western Digital doesn’t think that some of its hard drive buyers might be Mac Users!

  116. I would just like to say thank you so much, I followed this after a few hours of getting nowhere and it worked within minutes. Now I can start to get my new drive set up for iTunes and all my new content.

  117. THANK YOU!!! I thought my disk was lost. This solution has correctly reformatted it. A very clear and good explanation of a common problem for Mac users.

  118. Hai Priyank. I tried to follow your solution, but received this message in Terminal:

    WARNING: Improper use of the sudo command could lead to data loss
    or the deletion of important system files. Please double-check your
    typing when using sudo. Type “man sudo” for more information.

    To proceed, enter your password, or type Ctrl-C to abort.

    dd: /dev/Finec1: Operation not supported

    So its seems I am not allowed tot format this ex HD?

    1. Hello Robin. First of all, the warning is precise. You will end up losing any data in the drive for sure. Secondly, looks like either you do not have Admin rights, or the command you entered has a syntax error. I would suggest you to try once again ensuring the commands are exactly as mentioned in the article.

  119. Priyank! Ditto to everything said by everyone else on this site, this was an AMAZING and super quick solution. Thank you so much!

  120. Clear and precise instructions.
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
    This is what COMMUNITY is about.

  121. You are the best!!! I had exactly the same problem with my canvio ready 3 TB. Without you detailed manual I would never be able to solve this problem. Thank you very much! You deserve only the best. Once more time thank you!!!