My Passport external HD isn't working when I plug it in

When I plug in external HD it tells me I have to format it- I don’t want to do this- what can I do so I wont looe all my pictures moved to the external HD??

Two points here:

  1. This is the forum for the WIRELESS drive not regular external drives. You may have posted in the wrong forum.

  2. I have a hunch your computer is a Mac, but you did not buy a drive that the box says is specifically for a Mac (one that is formatted for a Mac), but instead the drive you bought does not specifically say it is for a Mac, therefore you bought the drive made for a Windows PC (which says it is compatible with a Mac) which means, as your error message says, “You need to format it” (for a Mac).

But since this likely is not the case, because you obviously have pictures and files on it, so perhaps you have the right drive for a Mac, you first used it on a Mac, but now want to use it on a PC. Or, it could be vice versa. In any event, this cannot be done (using drive on both platforms) unless the drive was formatted a special way (called exFAT).

Am I correct about this in any way?

Don’t do any formatting until you respond, and until I, or another user, helps clear this up and gets back to you.

Hi glad you got back to me! I need help and am panicking - I have a external drive not wireless -you are right… But I have a PC not a Mac- toshiba laptop

Kristen Sager


You have posted this problem in two different forum topics, in this incorrect forum, and another incorrect forum. Please do a better job of keeping track of your posts so you can respond to them. BTW, one form post was sufficient.

Anyway, this is what I replied in the other forum ;see if this helps:

Idea #2 for you:

Are you sure it is saying it needs to be formatted, but instead it is saying it needs to be scanned? If so, these are not the same thing. If it is saying the drive needs to be scanned it means the drive can’t be read properly and needs for Windows to fix it.

So, If message says drive needs to be scanned then answer yes, and scan it.

But if it really says it needs to be formatted, answer NO.
And, if you answer no, then turn your PC completely off and when the noise stops and when completely off, remove the drive for 10-15 seconds and then re-attach drive and turn PC back on. Sometimes gadgets just need to be turned off and then back on to clear problems. Let’s hope so in this case. Let me know the results, please.