How to Use a G-Drive Mini With a Mac

Written by don fulcrum
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How to Use a G-Drive Mini With a Mac
The G-Drive Mini has USB and FireWire. (usb image by Edsweb from

A G-Drive Mini should work fine with a Mac, if it is formatted properly. If you purchased the drive from a Mac dealer, the drive may be Mac OS X-ready out of the box. If the drive is formatted for PC use, Mac computers running OS X include an easy-to-use application called Disk Utility that can be used to reformat the drive.

Skill level:


    Check the Current Format

  1. 1

    Attach the G-Drive Mini to a USB or FireWire port on the Mac, making sure no other drives are connected. Make sure the G-Drive Mini is switched "On." In a few seconds, the G-Drive Mini's drive icon will likely appear on the desktop. If not, check the USB or FireWire connection.

  2. 2

    Highlight the G-Drive Mini's icon on the desktop by single-clicking it.

  3. 3

    Choose "Get Info" under the File menu, then click the small triangle next to "General."

  4. 4

    Check the format row for "Mac OS Extended" or "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)." If this is displayed, the drive should be ready to use. If "NTFS" or some other format is displayed, you can reformat the drive as explained in the next section. Reformatting will erase the data on the drive including any software.

    To Reformat a Drive for Mac OS X

  1. 1

    Attach the G-Drive Mini to a USB or FireWire port on the Mac, making sure no other drives are connected. Make sure the G-Drive Mini is switched "On."

  2. 2

    Select "Utilities" under the Go menu, then the "Disk Utility" application.

  3. 3

    Highlight the drive you want to format in the left column by single-clicking it. In this case, it is the G-Drive Mini drive. Drives are just above their partitions and are flush left in the column. If the G-Drive Mini drive is not showing, check the USB or FireWire connection.

  4. 4

    Choose the "Erase" tab out of the several tabs at the top of the Disk Utility window. One of the tabs should be a Partition tab. If you do not see it, check Step 3 again; you may have the partition/volume highlighted instead of the actual drive.

  5. 5

    Choose "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" in the format pull-down menu in the middle of the window. Name the partition in the Name area.

  6. 6

    Check to be sure the correct drive is highlighted, then click the "Erase" button at the bottom-right. Read the pop-up warning. Click "Erase" in the pop-up window to erase and format the drive.

  7. 7

    Wait for the drive's partition icon to show up on the Desktop. You can rename it if you want by single-clicking the name and typing a new one.

Tips and warnings

  • Programs such as Macdrive can open Apple formatted drives on a PC. Otherwise you can format a drive's partition as MS-DOS (FAT) using Disk Utility for dual use on a Mac or PC. Some software may not work properly with MS-DOS format. Using MS-DOS is only recommended for a storage or transport drive.
  • You can check a drive partition's format in Disk Utility by highlighting the partition on the left. The format should be displayed in the information at the bottom of the Disk Utility window.
  • Drives generally show up on the Desktop when mounted, however, the Finder preferences may be set otherwise. Check under the General tab in the Finder preferences to see if "External drives" are check marked to display.
  • Newer Intel based Macs require a GUID partition map for the start-up/boot drive. However, older PPC Macs require Apple Partitian Map for the boot drive. Check with Apple support if you wish to format a drive to be used as the system/boot drive.
  • Check the Help menu in Disk Utility when additional information is needed.
  • Formatting a drive erases the data. If you have data stored on a drive you wish to format, you must back it up to another drive beforehand.

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