I recently ordered Western Digital My PassPort Essential. I will get it by tomorrow evening.

It comes pre-formatted using NTFS file-type.

I need to format it, to be used with My MacBook Pro (i.e., I will be using with OS X only). I don't have Windows/Linux system at my place, and I don't have any intention to be using with Windows/Linux in future.

Should I format it using HFS+ or HFS+ Journaled or something else? Why?

1 Answer 1


The standard for Lion is GUID partition scheme with one volume HFS+ Journaled.

The journaling is preferred since the filesystem can be checked in moments when the system reboots rather than running an exhaustive fcsk each time the drive is unmounted cleanly.

You don't want a case sensitive file system as some programs are not ready for dealing with fiLe.txt being different than file.txt - you'll need extra time for testing / finding bugs if you work on a filesystem that's different than the majority.

You can refer to another question on when GUID/GPT might be better than APM: When is the GUID partition table (GPT) preferred over Apple partition map (APM) for external drives?

  • Is there any standard for Snow Leopard? I have old White MacBook which is running SL 10.6.8.
    – I-M-JM
    Apr 25, 2012 at 17:33
  • Same standard for 10.5, 10.6 and 10.7. Avoid FileVault on Lion if you need Snow Leopard or older OS to access the drive.
    – bmike
    Apr 25, 2012 at 17:34
  • What is prime difference between different partition scheme?
    – I-M-JM
    Apr 25, 2012 at 17:41
  • Wikipedia has all the details. On the mac end - APM is bootable on most older hardware and GUID on most newer hardware.
    – bmike
    Apr 26, 2012 at 18:20

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