What do I do if I need to format my USB stick or SD card?

USB flash drives and SD cards are easy and reliable to use, but what happens if your playback device (be it a projector, TV, computer, media player, etc.) does not recognize the drive at all? You may need to format your storage device before it will work properly.

So, what does it mean to format? Basically, your storage device's format or “file system” is a language it uses to communicate with other devices. All of your devices need to speak the same language to work together.

AtmosFX recommends using either NTFS or FAT32 format. FAT32 is also known as "MS-DOS (FAT)" on Mac. Both formats work with AtmosFX devices, and are common on many other devices. If you're using a non-AtmosFX device, you should consult your user manual or contact the manufacturer. Keep in mind that these formats do not support files larger than 4 GB or drives larger than 32 GB.

IMPORTANT: Back-up your files before formatting, as this process will erase all content off of your storage device.

METHOD 1: Windows Computers

  • Step 1 - Connect the storage device to your computer and wait for your computer to detect the device. 
  • Step 2 - Open the Windows "file explorer" from the Start menu, or by pressing the Windows key + E. This window displays all of your connected drives in the left side panel.
  • Step 3 - Locate your storage device in the left side panel and right click on it. 
  • Step 4 - Select "Format" from the pop-up menu to open the formatting tool.
  • Step 5 - Select your Format from the "File system" menu (NTFS or FAT32). Do not adjust the other settings. You may pick a new name or "Volume label" for your drive.
  • Step 6 - Click on "Start" to begin the formatting process, then click "OK" in the pop-up window. Remember, all the data on your storage device will be deleted.

METHOD 2: Mac OS X Computers

  • Step 1 - Connect the storage device to your computer and wait for your computer to detect the device.
  • Step 2 - Use the keyboard command  Shift + ⌘ + U to open the "Disk Utility".
  • Step 3 - You will see a list of your connected drives in the left frame of Disk Utility. Select your storage device. Make absolutely sure you select the right one!
  • Step 4 - Select the "Erase" tab to open the formatting tool.
  • Step 5 - Select the format "MS-DOS (FAT)" from the format options menu. You may also name your storage device.
  • Step 6 - Click on "Erase..." and then click "OK" in the pop-up window to begin the formatting process.  Remember, all the data on your storage device will be deleted.

  

Mac OS X users may need to take an additional step to use their digital downloads on an external storage device. 

For more information, please check out this article about Mac computers and “dot underbar" files.

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