This morning I experienced a dilemma where I could literally break every Apple product I have ever owned.  Let’s start from the beginning.  I gave my 500GB external hard drive to my girlfriend since she was running out of space.  She was using an iMac so of course the external hard drive was formatted for a Mac.  She need more space so I had to give her my 1TB external (we basically swapped).  Upon receiving back my 500gb external, I realized I could not use it yet until I reformat it.  I went through the basic steps but apparently, Apple had put in a security where it’s a “GPT Protective Partition.”  I was furious and had to Google for half an hour to figure out how to solve my issue.  So here it is.  Credit goes to Paul Gu for his easy to follow procedures.

1) Go to Start > Run (Windows Vista and 7: type in “run“)

2) Type in “cmd

3) Type in “DiskPart

4) Type in “List Disk” to display all the disks on the machine.  Figure out which hard drive number is corresponding to your external hard drive (Ex – mine was 1)

5) Type in “Select Disk Number” (Replace “Number” with actual number corresponding to your drive.  i.e. mine would be “select disk 1“)

5) Use “clean” command to remove GPT disk from the current in-focus disk by zeroing sectors.

Now your hard drive is ready to be reformatted.

6) Right click on “My Computer” and go down to “Manage

7) Under “Storage,” Click on “Disk Management” on the left side.

8) Right click on the disk info and choose “Initialize Disk

9) Once that is done, you can go to eHow for easy step by step instructions to reformat your hard drive.