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Western Digital My Passport Drive. USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive.

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My Passport lost recognition with 2013 MacBook Air?

My wife has a 2013 Macbook Air. She just bought a newer Macbook and a new WD 1 TB My Passport external hard drive, WDBYVG0010BBK-WESN, so she could back up all her information and transfer it to the new laptop.

When she first plugged it in to her older Mac, it was recognized to be installed. But then it prompted her and asked what she wanted to back her computer up to...she intended to select the Passport but instead it somehow erased it and it no longer appears on her laptop. She has tried restarting the computer, uninstalling it, etc. but nothing is working. We hooked it up to my older Windows 7 laptop which seems to at least recognize it so not sure what's going on.

Any help would be appreciated!

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What is your OS versions? Need to know both systems.

When you access the drive do you see any files?

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Thanks @danj for the reply! Her older Mac says its Mac OS High Sierra version 10.13.6. We haven't even opened her newer Macbook but I just looked it up online and it says it is macOS Monterey 12.

Regarding the second question, she does not see any files now. However, when she originally plugged it in for the first time, a file popped up with installation information she said.

She is thinking the issue is stemming from her Mac backup time machine that somehow removed/erased the external hard drive she said?


@bd3616 - Both the OS’s you have are compatible from the drives format. Sierra and older used GUID/HFS+ Vs from High Sierra and newer which uses GUID/APFS.

So that removes that issue. It sounds like you haven’t even opened the box yet for your new system🤗

So we are just stuck in backing up the older system still then.

With the drive connected go to About This Mac > Storage you should see both drives, it may take a bit of time for the OS to calculate the space used on both drives. Are you able to see the drive this way and can you see file allocation on the external drive?


@danj . When I go to About this Mac, then Storage.....it only shows Macintosh HD and not the external hard drive.

Under some menu screen called "NTFS for Mac Menu" it shows both but the external hard drive is grayed out and doesn't have a green circle next to it like the Macintosh HD does.


@bd3616 - Bingo! This drive is setup with NTFS for Windows which is why your system can’t access it.

So… Within Disk Utility you should be able to delete the current NTFS partition. Then create a GUID/APFS volume. That should do it!


@danj. Thank you! So I'll be honest, most of that went over my head. Any way you can help me step by step? I'm kinda lost.


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