Uniti Star: format drive before ripping CDs?

My external hard drive has music files on it that I play and I want to use it to also store ripped CDs.

Before I rip them, it asks if I want to format the drive. If I do this, will it erase everything on it?

Yes it will erase everything on it if you reformat the drive.

I suggest you copy the current content of your external drive a computer, then reformat the drive.
Then you may copy your existing music from your computer to the “Downloads” folder on the external drive once you’ve started ripping your CDs on the Star.