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How Do I Format the WD Hard Drive To Prevent Retrieval Issues?

I just got a Western Digital external hard-drive that I want to copy files to (I use TimeMachine on another external drive). Since I’ve updated my Mac to Big Sur (11.6) do I want to format the WD hard drive to APFS (Case-sensitive, encrypted) or shall I pick Mac OS Extended (Case-sensitive, Journaled)?

In case it matters, I will be copying over regular documents, photos and movies – not all of which will be permanently captured in TimeMachine.

I want to format the WD hard-drive correctly so that I don’t run into any retrieval issues down the road.
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lucia

Comments: 7 Responses to “How Do I Format the WD Hard Drive To Prevent Retrieval Issues?”

    1 year ago

    APFS is the current modern way to do it. The advantage of macOS Extended is that older Macs will be able to read the contents too. Not sure if that is important to you.

    Personally, I just use APFS now. But there is no problem if you want to use macOS Extended. Either one is fine.

    lucia
    1 year ago

    awesome - thanks so much!

    Phil Goldenberg
    1 year ago

    Hello,

    Using this exact example, my experience was that as soon as I ran the first TimeMachine backup, it updated the APFS volume to Read Only. I got around this by just creating a second volume to the original APFS volume. I can now use the WD external drive (My Passport Ultra for Mac) for both TimeMachine on the original volume, and other file backups to the second volume.

    Gary, what is the best method now for encrypting both volumes? Using encryption option from start?

    Thanks, Phil

    1 year ago

    Phil: Encrypting from the start is how I have always done it. Not sure what you are doing here but I would recommend not using your Time Machine drive for anything else at all. Let Time Machine manage the drive. Otherwise, there could be trouble.

    Kathy
    5 months ago

    Hi Gary, I notice that on Amazon that many external SSD/HDD companies recommend installing their software & or drivers for their drives. I know Time Machine allows encryption without added software. Is it possible to run these drives without the company's recommended software? Also, I'm not sure which HDD would be best to use with TM as many Mac blogs talk about drives not recognized by disc utility or not mounting at all. Suggestions would be wonderful. Thanks for all you do!!

    5 months ago

    Kathy: I would not install any special software that comes with the drives. Any standard drive should work on a Mac. See my Recommendations page (link on the right) for what I use.

    Kathy
    5 months ago

    Thanks so much Gary.

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