How to Partition an External or Internal Hard Drive in OS X

Partitioning your hard drive can be a daunting and daunting task. However, once you understand how this process works, it’s a lot less intimidating. So why would you want to partition the drive?

Back in college, like many other students, I had a MacBook Pro for its ease of use and minimalist aesthetic. I don’t think about the fact that some of the apps I need for school aren’t Mac compatible. That’s when I thought about partitioning my drive so I could run Windows on my Mac.

Also, I have an external hard drive that I also want to be able to use with both OS X and Windows. In this article, I will walk you through the steps to partition the internal and external hard drives on a Mac.

Before you begin, you should make sure to back up your entire Mac using Time Machine. Even if you don’t screw anything up, chances are the operating system will malfunction and break your system.

External drive partition

If you have a large external hard drive, you can easily partition it so that the entire drive is used. I’m using a 1.5 TB external drive with my Mac, but have never really used more than 1/4 of the space.

Here’s how I ended up partitioning my drive instead, which makes it much more useful:

  • 33%: Mac (Extra Storage) – 500GB
  • 33%: Mac (Time Machine Backup) – 500GB
  • 33%: Windows (Additional storage and Backup can go on the same partition) – 500GB

As you can see, each partition can have its own file format. If you have an even larger drive, you can create even more partitions for other operating systems like Linux, etc.

To partition the drive, go to Spotlight at the top of your MacBook Screen (Notification Bar) and type Disk Utility.

On the left side, navigate to the tab that says OUTSIDE.

Navigate to Outside

Yours will look a little different than mine. Under Outside on the left hand side you should have one hard drive instead of 3 (I have partitioned already). Navigate to that external hard drive and partition according to your needs.

NOTE: If your external hard drive is not formatted for Mac, you may need to first Initialization it and then Erase it. It is very easy:

  • In the external tab on the left side, select the drive you want to use.
  • Then choose Erase options at the top
  • Once there, give it a name and format it as Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
  • Give Mechanismyou can choose from GUIDE, MBR or Apple. If you’re only using the drive for storage, it doesn’t really matter which drive you choose. However, if you plan to boot from the drive, you should choose the MBR for Windows and Linux and the GUID for OS X. If you plan to use the drive for Boot Camp, you should also choose the GUID.
Erase "NO NAME" disk, select Mac OS Extended (Journaled)

Note that you can also click Security Options and choose from different security levels. By default, OS X will use the fastest method, which does not securely erase the drive. If you move the slider to Most Secure, it will meet the DOD standard to erase data by overwriting it 7 times. This will prevent anyone or any software from recovering any previously recorded data from the drive.

Default security options are set to Fastest

OS X may ask you if you want to use the drive for Time Machine backups, but you should choose Decide later unless you want to use the entire drive for backups. Now you are ready to partition the external drive!

To the top where the options are: First Aid, Partition, Erase, Restore, Mount, etc. Select Bulkhead and create partitions based on your specific needs. In my case I chose 500 GB size, which is one third of the drive.

Create a 500 GB partition

Choose how you want the drive to be partitioned (see my percentage again, since that’s what I used in the screenshot here), select Application, and then click Bulkhead. After that, it will take a few minutes to partition, so be patient!

Partition window after successful operation

When it’s done, you’ll see a green check mark next to your drive and it will say Successful surgery. Now choose Accomplished and you are done with the first partition.

To partition the rest of the space, click Untitled and Partition

Now to partition the rest of the space you will click Untitled Below Outside and then click Bulkhead again.

Select the name and format of the partition

Name the partition, choose a size, and choose a format. Since this will be for Windows memory, I chose MS-DOS (FAT). You can also choose exFAT if you like as it is compatible with both Windows and Mac.

Partition internal drive

Partitioning the internal hard drive is quite similar in terms of the procedure you must follow, but there is a slight difference in how it is implemented.

Since you have OS X installed on your internal drive, when you click Bulkhead and choose a size, you’ll notice that you can’t create a partition smaller than the already used space on the drive.

Partition information for internal drives

My internal drive used 359GB of space, so when I entered 200GB it automatically changed to 359GB and gave a message saying that the first drive could not be erased and could not be split because of the remaining space. The result will be too big. small.

So if you want to create an additional partition, the first thing is to create one that will include OS X and give you some extra space to install programs etc… I named it Macintosh HD and created a 500GB partition. That means the partition where OS X is installed has about 140 GB of space for additional data.

We are basically just shrinking the original partition, the partition that has taken up the entire drive into a smaller partition. Then we will partition the free space as we want.

500 GB internal drive partition

As you can see, I created 500GB root partition instead of 1TB which frees up 500GB on disk to create other partitions. For external hard drives, after the partition has been created, click Untitledbut this time under internal title and click Bulkhead.

That’s basically all it takes to partition a drive in OS X. Hope that works for you. Interesting!

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