Formatting WD My Passport slim 1TB

Hi, I connected the hard drive to my MAC and tried to use but it wouldn’t let me use it it so after reading the manual instructions I formatted the hard drive for MAC use. The problem is when I tried to copy and paste a movie on to the drive, if its over 4GB, I get the following error message:

‘The item “12 Years A Slave.mkv” can’t be copied because it is too large for the volume’s format’

Meaning I cannot use the hard drive as it was intended to watch movies, how can I fix this please? Does it need formatting again? and will I be able to use the hard drive plugged into my smart tv if its been formatted to MAC? The current format partition set up is MAC OS Extended (journaled) if this helps - the only other options for formatting are Ec PAT, free space or MAC OS Extended (case sensitive, journaled).

Please help as I am new to this!!!



Hi Rachel,

  Its wierd that you’re getting the error since the mac hfs+ file system supports file sizes much greater than 4GB. ( reference). Could you please check that you didn’t inadvertently format the drive with FAT or FAT32 type file system? you should be able to see the partition info in the disk utility in mac or windows partition manager in windows. you could post a screenshot so it may help others debug the error.

Can you try other file, less than 4GB but greater than 3.2GB. (because technically the FAT32 limit is 3.2GB not 4GB). If it works for this file, maybe there’s something else going on.


by the way, most smart TVs won’t recognize the hfs+ mac partition. You will have to create a second partition, and use FAT32 or NTFS (modern windows file system type) for it. 

by the way, even though macs by default can only read NTFS, you can easily install ntfs-3g for read/write capability in mac os. in that way, your harddrive will work for both windows and mac, and hopefully the smart tv

Hi Thanks yes I check and I have film saved that is 3.89GB so it can’t be that problem, how can I sort the format as you mentioned so that I can use the hard on TV and MAC please - can you please give me instructions on how to do it?

I have just reformatted using the same instructions and it is now letting me add bigger files but I am still not sure now whether it will work on my Smart TV, can you please tell me how I can make it both Windows and MAC compatible as I have just read that you can use ExPat but this will limit the size of each individual file to 4Gb which is part of my initial problem :frowning:

cool. atleast 1 problem is cleared.

for using on a smart TV, you’ll need a FAT or FAT32 partition. USe the disk utility to split your harddrive into multiple partitions. Create a second partition and format it using FAT32. That should be recognized on your TV. If you need detailed instructions, google it.

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thanks this is all sorted now, formatted the partition for Ex Pat option on MAC making it usable for Windows and MAC.

On a Mac, my Passport mounts and I can see past backups BUT it can no longer be seen from time machine as a backup drive?

time machine needs a hfs+ partition only, AFAIK.