Use Disk Utility to Format USB Flash Drive on Mac. The simplest way to format a disk in Mac OS is to simply use the Disk Utility since it is the Mac’s built in disk maintenance tool. To format USB drive on Mac using this method, all you need to do is plug in the USB device into your Mac and select it from the Disk Utility’s sidebar menu. Well then, how to format USB drive to FAT32/NTFS/exFAT/EXT 2,3,4/HFS+ if you have the need. Don't worry, the following part will show you the solution for Windows and Mac OS users. The process for formatting a drive is different depending on the system you’re using. Let’s see how to format USB drive on a Windows PC first. Format USB drive.
The way you format your USB drive determines the speed of your Rekordbox export and if your drive is recognized by DJ controllers and CDJs like the CDJ 2000.
So, choosing the right settings is crucial for convenience and compatibility.
In this article I’ll dive into the right settings and how to format your USB drive for Mac and Windows the right way.
Can CDJs read exFAT / NTFS?
No, CDJs can’t!
They only read FAT32 and HFS+.
Which format is best and step-by-step format instructions you can read in this article.
Best format for CDJ USB
The Pioneer CDJ machines support three types of file system formats:
• Microsoft FAT
• Microsoft FAT32
• Apple HFS+
Below you can find my recommended file system, pros and cons of each file system.
Later in this article I will give you step-by-step instructions to format your USB drive on Mac and Windows the right way.
You probably noticed that the supported standards are replaced by newer more reliable ones with less (storage) limitations.
FAT32 is replaced by NTFS in 1993, HFS+ is replaced by APFS in 2017.
I can only guess to why Pioneer choose to support these older standards instead of the newer standards, probably licensing issues.
For now, we have to work with the limitations.
Formatting USB drive on Mac for Rekordbox
- Make sure Rekordbox is closed!
- Insert the USB drive
- Start “Disk Utility” by pressing Command+Spacebar and type “disk”, select the first item in the list or press Enter.
- Select the USB drive in the drive list on the left. Make sure you select the drive, not the partition below (otherwise you will miss vital setting later).
- Click on “Erase” (translation: format) at the top of the screen.
- The Erasewindow will appear.
- Choose a name for you dive in Name
- Format: select “OS X Extended Journaled” for HFS+ or “MS DOS FAT”
If you choose FAT, you only can use 32GB of your drive if your drive is larger than 32 GB.
- Scheme: select “Master Boot Record”. IMPORTANT!! (you will miss this option if you selected the partition instead of the drive in the previous step).
- Now click on the “Erase” button below the formatting options.
- Wait a few seconds, your drive is now being formatted.
- Click “Done” and close the Disk Utility.
- You drive is now ready to use in Rekordbox.
Formatting USB drive on Windows for Rekordbox
We can’t format drives larger than 32GB with the Windows built-in tools.
So we need third party software called “Fat32 Format” (download: http://www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/index.htm?guiformat.htm )
We can also format smaller drives with Fat32 Format, so this is the method I’m going to use for this tutorial.
- Before we start, make sure Rekordbox is closed
- Insert your USB drive
- Make sure all your Explorer windows are closed, otherwise you can’t format the drive
- Start Fat32 Format
- Select the drive letterof your USB drive. NEVER choose C:
- Select allocation size: 4096
- choose a name for your USB drive in “Volume label”
- Click Start
- Select OK
- Your drive is being formatted, this takes a few seconds
- Your drive is now finished formatting
- select Close
If you want to know how to export tracks from Rekordbox to USB read this article.
If you are serious about Djing and want take it to the next level, check out my CDJ 2000 course or my Rekordbox course.
How to format and create a USB drive or pen drive that is compatible with Windows 10, 8, 7 or Mac or Linux.
A file system is a method and structure of data used by an operating system, called Windows, Linux or Mac OS, for reading media files such as disks, removable drives, etc.
Types of File Systems
It is vital that we are aware that each developer implements a series of file systems for their operating system, for example, we have the following:
- HFS +
- MS-DOS (FAT)
- APFS (Present in the new edition of macOS High Sierra)
Each system manages its file system and in this way, USB drive with NTFS can only be recognized in Windows environments but not in Linux or macOS environments, even if it is accepted in macOS we can not make changes to it.
At this point, another question arises, what type of file system to use that is compatible with these three operating systems?
In technical terms, it has been recommended that the file system of the USB drives be FAT32 thanks to the fact that it is an old file system and that it has evolved to FAT32 at present, but there is a format that is much better regarding security, reliability, and compatibility: exFAT.
Let’s see in detail what is and what covers each of these file systems.
This format is one of the most compatible, but due to its useful life, it has been in force since the 90s, it has a series of limitations that can affect the pace of updates we are experiencing today.
Being a format with so much active time is compatible with virtually any operating system.
As mentioned, it has its limitations such as the inability to host files larger than 4 GB or that partitions with this file system cannot have more than 8 TB capacity.
exFAT is in a way a more modern and dynamic FAT32 which was developed in 2006 and is present in most modern operating systems.
By default, all traditional operating systems, Windows, Linux or Mac OS are compatible with exFAT, and its use is highly recommended for external drives, such as USB devices or external drives, thanks to its simplicity and multiple features.
Now we will analyze a little more in detail the fields of action where these two file systems are compatible to know which is the best option to choose.
This is the first fundamental field since if the USB device formatted with FAT23 or exFAT is not compatible with the device where it has to be connected it will be impossible for it to be recognized and to access its contents.
In this field, we can say that FAT32 has an advantage over exFAT because, being an old file system, it is compatible with all operating systems and devices such as game consoles, Smart TV, multimedia players and others.
ExFAT, although it is currently compatible with more than 95% of the devices on the market, can still find individual limitations in some Linux distros or Android devices.
Format Usb On Mac For Windows Ntfs
In some Linux distros the exFAT file system will not be recognized immediately, so we must install the several utilities by executing the following line:
Then update the packages running the line:
Reading & Writing Speed
Another of the pillars in a file system is the ability with which this can access the content and read or write it since this depends on optimal performance which is a highly required value today. Undoubtedly in this regard exFAT outperforms FAT32 to be a much more recent technology which is compatible with USB 3.0 which can have a transfer rate up to 5 Gbps.
In the previous graphic of flexense we can see the performance of exFAT on FAT32, and in the following link we will be able to look in detail multiple operations carried out by this software developer called Flexsense
How To Format Usb On Mac For Windows
Size of Supported Files
Undoubtedly on this field wins exFAT because, as we mentioned above, FAT32 only allows files with a maximum capacity of 4 GB in partitions that do not exceed 8 TB of storage while exFAT is virtually unlimited in this aspect to support 16ZB files.
How To Format a USB drive with exFAT
Starting from the detail that exFAT is the most practical and functional file system, unless we are not going to use files of more than 4 GB, this is the process of formatting the USB drives with exFAT.
It will first be necessary to install the exFAT tools by executing the following command, as we have mentioned before:
Later we run the fdisk -l line to list the active disks in the system.
There we will locate the USB drive which has the extension /dev/sd** (Replace the ** with the indicated number)
Once the USB disk is identified, we will execute the following syntax:
As we understand, we have the freedom to select the best file system for our USB drives to have the best capacity and performance.