In 2016, Apple introduced its own APFS file system for use on all flash drives, but many users experience problems with this format. For example, when you try to install the latest macOS on a new external SSD drive to speed up your computer.
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The essence of the problem
So, when purchasing an SSD or other drive, the user sometimes needs to format it in the APFS format, which is necessary, in particular, to install macOS on an external drive.
Namely, when installing macOS, the selected drive is not active,
while the system indicates an error:
This drive does not use the GUID Partition Table (GPT) scheme.
It also talks about the possibility of changing the partition scheme using Disk utility, although in practice this method will not work …
If you connect a new SSD drive, open the application Disk utility and press the button EraseTo select the APFS format and format the disk, to your surprise you will not find the desired APFS in the list of available formats.
However, if you right-click on the connected SSD, you will find that necessary item “Convert to APFS …”.
But, unfortunately, it will not work in your case either – during the conversion process an error occurs with the signature: “GUID Partition Table (GPT) partitioning scheme required”.
This means that formatting the file system requires changing the format standard for the layout of partition tables on disk. It sounds complicated, but in reality everything is somewhat simpler – you need to convert the standard MBR (Master Boot Record), which is the basis for most drives, in a more modern GPT (aka GUID or (GUID Partition Table)), which will be perceived by the APFS file system.
Other tools Disk utility also will not be able to help to resolve this issue.
So you need to find another way to convert the partition table schema and file system format.
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How to convert MBR to GUID (GPT) on Mac
The MBR standard was developed back in the 80s of the last century and has a number of drawbacks, such as: data vulnerability (information about partitions is stored in a single copy on the boot sector), restriction on the number of partitions, storage capacity, etc. The more modern GPT standard (GUID) removes these restrictions and stores several copies of partition information, which ensures better data security. In the near future, GPT will completely replace the obsolete MBR format, but right now the latter is still the industry standard and is used by almost all drive manufacturers.
MacOS installer recommends using standard tools to convert MBR to GPT Disk utility, however, in fact the utility does not always offer to perform a similar operation. Therefore, you have to use third-party software, in our case – this is a program Paragon Hard Disk Manager for Mac, which has a 10 day free trial. So.
1. Download Paragon Hard Disk Manager for Mac applications from the official site and install.
If during installation the message appears:
“System extension is blocked”,
open System settingsgo to section Protection and safety, click on the lock icon in the lower left corner and enter your account password.
This action unlocks the button. Allow, click to continue installing the application.
2. Open the Paragon Hard Disk Manager for Mac application, select the required drive in the list and click the right mouse button on it.
In the first line of the menu we find the desired function: Convert to GPT.
3. Press the button Apply Operations in the upper right corner of the program window.
4. Confirm by pressing the button. To apply and wait until the process ends.
5. Open the application Disk utility on a Mac.
6. Select the required SSD drive in the list of connected drives and click Erase.
As you can see, when you try to format the format you are looking for – APFS, it finally appeared.
7. Select APFS format and click Erase – external SSD will be formatted in APFS, besides an error “This drive does not use the GUID Partition Table Schema (GPT)” will no longer appear.
Thus, we first change the system for recording partition information from the legacy MBR standard to the modern GPT, and only then format the drive using the APFS file system.