I’ve just got a new hard drive but my Mac won’t accept it as boot drive unless it’s formatted in a macOS readable format - it’s simply not readable by the volatile system (which is what’s run if no OS is found). I’ve ordered a USB to SATA cable to format the drive from another Mac, but can I format the drive, as OS X extended journaled, in Windows?

tl:dr --> How do I format (or partition) a clean SSD as OS X Extended (Journaled), as opposed to exFAT etc., from a PC?

  • You need to partition it as GPT using Disk Utilities when you are installing macOS. – Allan Nov 19 '17 at 23:04
  • First off: what do you mean GPT? Secondly: are you saying that there is no way to do this via windows? – Hazza_ob Nov 19 '17 at 23:31
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    Windows doesn't support HFS+ or APFS. If you have the macOS installer, you need to partition it as GPT and then format it as either HFS+ (Sierra or older) or APFS (High Sierra). You can do all of this from macOS installation via Utilities (look at the top menu bar). – Allan Nov 19 '17 at 23:35
  • unfortunately you cannot do this all from the macOS installation - the disk just doesn’t show up if it’s brand-new. Don’t ask me why as I don’t know. – Hazza_ob Nov 25 '17 at 2:30

Windows is able to write data to create a HFS+ disk.

Edit: The aim was to produce a disk in Windows that can be read as a boot drive by the volatile OS X system- this works and thus is a valid solution

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    The information at that link is incorrect. The steps they describe create a partition with an Apple-specific partition type, but they do not format the drive as any file system. – duskwuff -inactive- Nov 20 '17 at 4:43
  • It doesn’t necessarily matter; as soon as it’s visible by the volatile OS X system, we can erase, format and install the OS onto the drive – Hazza_ob Nov 25 '17 at 2:34
  • If you're following this to format a Network drive to APFS, you won't be able to do the conversion from HFS to APFS, as Apple has dropped support through their Disk Utility. – Michael Jan 9 at 3:00

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