You buy an external hard drive for you Mac. You want to format it for the Mac (Mac OS Extended (journaled)).
So you fire up Disk Utility to reformat. Choose erase, click go, and get “File system formatter failed.” shot back at you.
The drive, like most, is set to FAT-32. This means you can’t just erase it because, like a bad ex-roommate, FAT-32 leaves all sorts of gross stuff everywhere.
You need to re-partition the drive. Sound tough? It isn’t.
1) You need to click on the actual drive in the menu on the left
2) Then choose partition from the menu on the top
3) Choose “1 Partition” (assuming that’s what you want)
4) click “apply”
That’s it. You can rename the drive in Disk Utility, or by clicking on the new drive on the desktop and then hitting return.