How to Partition Mac Hard Drive using Disk Utility or Partition Manager Software

Many of you have different types of data stored on your Mac OS X. Haven’t you? For example, your personal collection of photos, videos, movies and many other important things. Now, main question is how do you able to manage all these important things altogether? Don’t you get confused when looking for a specific file in your system? Well, each person answers these questions quite differently from others. Do you know why? Actually, this is just because of the data storage scheme pre-exist on the HD. Well, no matter whichever scheme they follow, it would be best if the partition of your Mac OS X hard drive store different types of files on different volumes.
When it comes to partitioning a HD, Mac OS X leads the count because it facilitates partitioning its hard-drive into 16 different partitions. However, disk partitioning on Mac system is not as easier as it appears on Windows.
Besides, delving deep helps you make out that apart from making data storage better and access efficient, HD partitioning keeps the user data secure from each threat to the boot volume. Suppose, all of your data is stored on the Mac boot volume along with the main system files and your Mac OS X fails to boot all of a sudden, then you would no longer be able to regain your data, even if you reinstall your OS X. This is because reinstalling Mac OS X would overwrite the data already existing on your hard-drive. In contrast to this, partitioning your Mac hard-drive allows you save all of your important data separate from the system files, which keeps it protected from each threat to the boot volume.
Additionally, you can install multiple operating systems (i.e. Mac as well as Windows) on separate partitions of your Mac drive, which keep your Mac data accessible even if your Mac system fails to boot from the primary boot volume. In order to perform all partitioning related tasks, Mac partitioning tool is the major requirement. However, you can also use Disk Utility as the default partition manager Mac OS to perform these tasks.
Disk Utility as the Mac partition manager
Mac OS X has an inbuilt disk management tool – i.e., Disk Utility, which is easily able to format as well as partition the Mac HD. Therefore, no matter whether you are going to partition an external or internal hard drive, steps to partition Mac drive will not differ. To know how, you need to take the below mentioned steps:
(1) Formatting Mac Drive
You cannot use a complete brand new hard-drive on a system until you make it usable. This process is termed as formatting the HD. In order to make a hard-drive usable on Mac OS X, first you need to format it as Mac OS Extended (Journaled). For this, first you have to hook this hard drive to your Mac with a USB cable. After that, you need to follow these steps:
As you attach a brand new drive to your Mac system, Disk Insertion message pops up. On this message box, click initialize button to launch Disk Utility.
Step 1: In the left pane of Disk Utility, highlight this hard-drive and then simultaneously go to the Erase tab at the right.
Step 2: From the Format menu, choose Mac OS Extended.
Step 3: In the Name field, specify a name for this drive.
Step 4: In the end, click Erase button.

(2) Partitioning Mac Hard- Drive
Once disk formatting process is finished, a message will pop up to notify the same. After that, you can proceed to partition it. For this, take the following steps:
Step 1: With the external drive selected at the left, go to the Partition tab at the right.
Step 2: Herein, click Options button and choose GUID Partition Table (on your Intel-based Mac) in the window that opens.
(Important: Choosing GUID Partition Table for a drive enables Intel-based Macs boot from it.)
Step 3: After that, click OK button.
Step 4: Click the Volume Scheme drop-down menu and choose the number of partitions to create on this drive.
(The number of partitions you choose in Volume Scheme menu will slice this drive into its equal number of partitions.)
Step 5: now, select a partition in the graphical view and give a name, choose a Format, and type the Size for this beneath the Volume Information area.
Step 6: Likewise, format other partitions as in Step 5.
Step 7: When finished, click Apply button.
Use Mac Partition Manager Software:-
As you know, Mac OS X facilitates partitioning its hard drive both during and after its installation. You may find disk partitioning task a bit difficult, but you can perform it easily if you have a reliable partition manager Mac OS application.
Step 1: Install Mac partition manager software.
Step 2: Now, Go to the Applications and launch this app.
Step 3: Select the disk that your need to partition and select the total number of partitions to create.
Step 4: After this drive is partitioned, select one partition and format it with Mac file system.
Step 5: Similarly, format the other partitions as well.
Step 7: Finally, save the modification done so far.
Once finished, you can use these volumes for both saving data and installing Mac OS X. You can install Mac OS X on any of the partitions created as above. However, in case you need to install Windows, you need to format the selected volume as MS-DOS (FAT).
Final Conclusion:-As for now, you have made out how to perform partitioning tasks using Disk Utility as well as a partition manager software like Stellar Partition Manager. Therefore, based on your convenience, you can use the one you find best as per your suitability.

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Save $400 on Stellar Mac Disk Utility

Stellar Drive Toolbox V4.0 is Disk Utility’s alternative for Mac OS X Yosemite, Mavericks, Mountain Lion, Lion and Snow Leopard. Combining 15 Mac tools in one, the original price of Toolbox software goes to $480. However, this holiday season brings in huge discount over Stellar Mac Drive Toolbox by slashing $411 and bringing its price to $69 only. Right, 15 best Mac software at $69. Amazing isn’t. But let’s first go through this software. Use this link to bring home Stellar Drive Toolbox.

Special Features of Stellar Drive Toolbox

Stellar Drive Toolbox

Innovative option to protect Mac OS X

Easily clean up your Mac


Keeps an eye on hard drive temperature

Choose from multiple scheduling settings


Speedup Mac Clean up Startup drive (Macintosh HD)


Cleanses logical Mac partitions


Grab free spaces easily Removes duplicate files
Uninstaller Drag-n-Drop to uninstall any app Uninstalls unused applications Removes Widgets from Mac Removes unneeded plugins
Drive Defrag


Removes fragmentation from Mac hard disk drives


Multiple defragmentation algorithms


Mac optimization


Defrag External drives
Smart Finder Path Finder for Mac


View file(s) path conveniently Perform various actions on files and folders Mac duplicate file finder
Volume Optimizer Repair corrupt Mac disks Repair damaged disk permissions Enable Journaling Repairs external drives including Time Machine
Drive Clone Clone entire Mac OS X Drive Imaging Back up Boot Camp Partition Create Boot Media
Shield Enable Mac Imaging


Recovers from saved image files
Data Encryptor Encrypt confidential data Multiple Encryption Algorithms
Wipe Wipe files


Wipe Macintosh Hard Drive Secure wipe Scheduling Wiping
Partition Manager Create new partitions Resize drive and partitions Remove Partitions Hide or Reveal partitions
Drive Monitor Manage & Monitor hard drive Monitor partitions Check bad sectors on hard drive Backup Mac drive
Benchmark Compare Mac hard drive performance View comparison results easily
Disk Editor Access hard drives file structure Perform editing on Mac file structure
Drive Initialize Initialize Mac hard drive

Enjoy this HOLIDAY SEASON with Stellar Drive Toolbox V4.0

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Why partitioning Mac hard drive is a good idea

Mac Hard drive partitioning – of course you’ve heard of it, but don’t really understand how to do it or even why. Your colleague has his personal Mac’s HDD partitioned and he has been doing that ever since he got his first PC. On discussing with him, he fills you in on the reasons that he thinks make it a good option. You’re intrigued and even consider doing it yourself. But when you read up about it, you find out that first you’ll need to erase your entire hard drive’s contents (there are software available that let you partition without having to erase it), it can lead to wastage of space and even adversely affect your hard drive’s performance. You’re back to square one.

If you find yourself stuck in one of such situations quite often and can’t decided whether to partition Mac or not, we’ve got some more food for thought for you. Relax! We won’t confuse you further; we’re here to help. Partitioning your Mac hard drive is actually a good idea and we can give you 5 good reasons why. Check them out and hopefully we’ll gear you up to take the plunge.

What does partitioning Mac hard drive mean?

Let’s just go through this quickly to clear any doubts that you may have. When you purchase a brand new Mac, it comes with one startup drive that could be a traditional platter based hard disk drive (HDD) or in a few cases, a solid-state disk (SSD). Named “Macintosh HDD” by default, this is where all your system files reside and where you can store additional data and continue to work from. While this arrangement is fine for most people, to reap some additional benefits, you can split up the storage space on the disk into sections and dedicate each one to a unique purpose. Doing so also helps keep your Mac more organized and keep your data structured. The sections that you create on the disk to logically divide the total space on it are called partitions and this process can be applied to any internal or external disk.


What do I gain out of partitioning?

A lot actually! As already mentioned, a cleaner, more organized Mac definitely means a healthier Mac. Keeping the data structured means better protecting it from vulnerabilities. The more isolated crucial or a particular kind of data is, the better in some cases.

Moreover, consider the following solid advantages of Mac hard drive partitioning:

It can help you use multiple operating systems on the Mac

This is the most common reason most people partition their Macs – to use boot camp. If you wish to use both Windows and Mac on one machine, a dedicated boot camp partition allows you to do so easily. Using Boot Camp Assistant (built into OS X 10.5 Leopard and later versions), you can create a special partition on your Mac that’s dedicated to your Windows installation. However, to use this utility you’ll have to make sure there are only 2 partitions on your hard disk, one for OS X and one for Windows. Boot Camp Assistant doesn’t work on already partitioned disks. There are other software available (like Open Disk Utility) that help you create more than 2 partitions on your Mac hard drive in case you wish to go further and create a third partition for Linux.

It enables you to switch between multiple OS X versions

If you have an Intel-based iMac (early model) that’s capable of running multiple OS X versions like Leopard, or Snow Leopard, you can create multiple partitions on your hard drive and dedicate one to each. That way you can use more than one OS X versions on one Mac. To switch between them (say, for testing purposes or to use some specific app or software that runs on a particular OS X version), just open the System Preferences -> Startup Disk pane, select the partition you want and then Restart the Mac. You’ll boot to the selected OS.

It allows sharing the iPhoto library between 2 or more user accounts on the same Mac

As per Apple’s suggestion, if you wish to share one iPhoto library between 2 or more user accounts on the same Mac, one way to do that is to move it to a volume where ownership is ignored. Of course, the other volume shouldn’t be the startup volume although it could be an external disk or another partition of your hard disk.

It helps repair disk problems

Having a second partition is also justified when it comes to running a repair program like Disk Utility from a volume other than the damaged one. To run such a repair program on a volume that develops errors, you need another volume that could be an external hard disk, a bootable DVD or another partition that includes a bootable copy of OS X and some repair utilities. Such a volume can serve as the boot-up volume in case the original startup volume is in a crisis.

It enables better backup management

When it comes to backing up, what better place to store it than another partition on your internal hard disk. Well, actually the best place to store it would be in an external disk and at a different location but you could have at least one copy of the backup within immediate reach if your startup volume fails. Plus a partitioned hard drive also gives you an option to store one copy of the bootable volume on one partition and use the other for versioned backups.

To sum it up

Convinced yet? We’re hoping you are! Mac hard drive partitioning could turn out to be great for you if you keep all the basics in mind and have backups of all your data. Data stored on different partitions is more secure, more organized and better managed.

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How to add More Space in one Mac Volume by Deleting Other

Even though disk partitioning is not a major concern on Mac, it becomes quite difficult to partition disk when it contains important data. In fact, the task is termed as repartitioning Mac drive.

Partitioning Mac drive, though, is not as easy as that of Windows’. However, it is yet recommended because it facilitates storing different types of data separately. Besides, it facilitates installing multiple operating systems (i.e. Mac as well as Windows) on separate partitions of your Mac drive. Well, following are its additional advantages:

Since partitioning your Mac drive makes multiple partitions available, by storing different types of data (viz. movies, pictures, songs, apps, and professional documents) on separate partitions, you make data storage efficient. Besides, it makes looking for a specific file quite easier. Suppose, you are looking for a particular audio file, though you can search it in the Finder, easy and efficient storage format helps you find it quickly.

Additionally, partitioning your Mac drive makes your data quite secure, as it keeps your data apart from the boot volume. Suppose, if your Mac drive has only one partition (i.e. the boot volume, Macintosh HD), it is evident that all your data is stored on the boot volume along with the system files. In this case, as long as your Mac is running, you can easily access your data. However, you would no longer be able to access your data in case your Mac fails to boot. In contrast, having multiple partitions allows you store your data separate from the boot volume, thereby avoiding all threats to your data.

As an additional feature, having multiple partitions on your Mac drive allows you multi boot your Mac system. Suppose, your Mac drive has multiple partitions, one of which you can use to install another operating system (i.e. Windows or Mac) on it. In case your Mac system fails to boot from the primary partition, you can boot it from the secondary boot volume. In this way, it makes your data accessible. Meanwhile, you can repair the primary boot volume or even reinstall Mac OS X on it.

Partitioning Mac drive – Disk Utility as the Mac partition manager

As mentioned earlier, data storage on a hard drive having multiple partitions is much better and more efficient as compared to a hard drive having only a single partition. Well, in order to help you out, Mac OS X allows partitioning its hard drive into a number of volumes. Besides, in case you need to delete Mac partition, you can go for it anytime. However, have you tried partitioning your Mac drive on your own? Well, if not yet, then you may not find yourself confident enough to delete the required partition.

You may wonder that why one would need to delete any of his Mac partitions, but the need actually arises. Suppose, your Mac has 5 partitions (including the boot partition) having data stored on them. You suddenly notice that the volume containing your personal collection of movies is overfilled. Now, since you need to enlarge this volume, you can either shrink or delete any of the secondary volumes. For this, you need a professional Mac partition manager or you can do it using Disk Utility as well.

Case I: Shrinking Mac volume to enlarge the overfilled volume

Disk Utility is the Mac inbuilt disk management tool, which allows you format, partition, erase, image, clone, and repair Mac disk easily. Well, in order to enlarge one Mac volume, you need to have required amount of free space, which you need to trim from other secondary volumes. In this regard, following are the steps you need to take:

Step1: Launch Disk Utility (follow Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility).

Step2: In the left pane of Disk Utility, select your Mac drive and go to the Partitions tab at the right.

(In the graphical view of your Mac drive, you see that each volume contains two colors, where one is white and other is blue. As per the color scheme, the blue color in the partition denoted the data, whereas the white color denoted the free space.)

Step3: Now, select the volume that you wish to trim the free space from.

Step4: Hold the volume from its bottom-right corner and drag it upwards to shrink it.

Step5: Likewise, you can shrink other volumes if you need more free space.

Step6: When required amount of free space is available, hold the target volume from it bottom-right corner and drag it downwards to enlarge it.

Step7: Finally, click Apply button


Case II: Deleting a volume to enlarge the overfilled volume

Well, you can also delete one or more Mac volumes if they are empty or contain useless data. Following are the steps that you need to take to delete Mac volume:

Step1: Follow the Step1 and Step2 as discussed above.

Step2: In the graphical view of your Mac drive, select the volume that you want to delete

(Make sure you select the correct volume, as deleting the wrong volume will lead to data loss.)

Step3: With the target volume selected, click the delete (-) button that is given beneath the graphical view of your Mac drive.

(Deleting this volume create the free space on your Mac drive.)

Step4: Now, follow the Step6 and Step7 as discussed in the previous section.

Step5: Exit Disk Utility.

Well, apart from Disk Utility, you can also use a commercial Mac partition manager to perform these tasks automatically. Besides, make sure the one you choose is reliable.

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Resize Mac Drive with Partition Manager

When you buy a Mac machine, you incorporate entire professional and personal work within it. To be prolific while using Mac, it is very important to manage hard drives & partitions without any data loss risks. Though, Macs generally provides various tools to optimize the hard drive partitions, still due to various shortcomings and lack of expertise, users face critical issues while managing Mac hard drive partitions.

To overcome all the issues related to Mac partitions, Stellar have launched an application named as ‘Stellar Partition Manager’. Describing this software is as simple as anything, it creates, format, delete and resize Mac partitions. Moreover, user can manage its Boot Camp partition with this software only. It is amongst few Mac partition manager software that can perform variety of tasks on Macintosh HD & NTFS hard drives.

Here are some of the salient features of the software that user must

Creating New Partitions from free spaces

This software creates new partitions (HFS, FAT, NTFS & EXFAT) and but also manages the scattered free space on the drive and unites or shifts the existing partitions so that a new partition can be created. This module is quite fast and due to its simple interface it is even easy to run.

Delete Partition Module

As stated above, this software creates new partitions and also let user comfortably delete an old or unwanted partition on hard drive to create free spaces. This unique quality to develop new partition from available free spaces is missing in Mac’s Disk Utility. You just require a bootable media created using Stellar Partition Manager and perform the task in fewer steps.

Option to Resizes Boot Camp partitions & NTFS drives

Just like good partition manager software, Stellar Partition Manager also includes resizing options for both Boot Camp partition and Macintosh HD. It is capable of resizing FAT and NTFS partitions. Just connect NTFS formatted drive on your Mac machine and resize the partitions as per requirement. It is actually a great help for those users who use OS X and Windows together on their Mac system.

Roll back

This is a useful feature that lets you to undo your last selection. Roll back can take all your actions back that you have performed but later decided not to proceed further.

Other Features

Except these basic features this software also offers many other options to make your work easy and efficient such as hide / reveal partitions. Additionally, you can also perform batch operations to keep your data out from data loss.

Pricing Information

Stellar Partition Manager is available for both Single & Multiple users. To manage Mac partitions on a single Mac you need to register for one software key. To manage you office or business Macs you may prefer to have more licenses. Jump to Licensing information page.


Overall it is a good product to be considered by a Mac user who is looking for a simple and secured way to manage his Mac partitions. This software includes all the required options that make it a good suite of modules that works correctly and could do meet all the expectations of users.

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Stellar Releases Stellar Partition Manager V3.0 for Mac

Stellar Data Recovery® is one of the leading data recovery software provider company in the world. Today, company has launched version 3 of its much awaited software “Stellar Partition Manager”. Stellar Partition Manager allows the users to perform basic partitioning tasks such as resizing, creating, deleting, formatting and hiding a partition. Some of its major features are:-

  • A Complete partition utility software
  • It creates new partitions on the Mac hard drive
  • It resizes partition that disk utility fails to utilize
  • It delete, resize, the existing partitions
  • It perform the batch operations in order to prevent the risk of data loss
  • This version supports resizing of NTFS & Boot Camp partitions

It is all-in-one Mac utility software that plans all partition operations to ensure the safety of data and also enable the user to roll back any unwanted changes before taking the final action.

Pricing & Availability:

‘Stellar Partition Manager V3.0’ is available free to download and users can perform basic operations like creating, deleting, partition formatting, roll back before taking the final actions.

Stellar Partition Manager V3.0’ is available free as a try before buy software from here. Once you try the free version, you can buy it from here. Priced at just $39.  French, German and Dutch versions available.

About Stellar Data Recovery:

Stellar Data Recovery, established in 1993, is amongst the market leaders in the field of data recovery products and services, and catering to more than 1, 100, 000 satisfied customers in 137 countries. Having direct presence in USA, Europe, and Asia, Stellar is the most trusted name in safely recovering lost or inaccessible data from different storage media.

For more information Visit:

Contact Information:
For more information about the product features and purchase options:
Voice : +1 877-778-6087
Website Address:

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Mac Partition Manager vs Disk utility Mac

Mac is equipped with an in-built partition manager and disk management tool named Disk Utility. It facilitates a wide verity of features to perform multiple disk and disk volume-related tasks, such as backup, verify disk integrity, repair, formatting, partitioning, erasing, and cloning disks, etc. Most of the users use this module on Mac in order to complete multiple actions. However, there are some other tools too that can help to manage the Mac efficiently and also include some additional modules that disk utility doesn’t equip with.

Stellar Partition Manager is included with all the features of disk utility with some additional ones that make it better and preferred partition manager software. Let’s discuss about both the partition managers and compare both of them on a Mac OS X.

Drive Partition with Disk Utility

Disk utility is a very efficient and easy to use module on OS X, which reduces the complexity of disk management. You can easily create, remove, repartition or resize the Mac drives whenever needed, while keeping the data safe. However, in order to perform the resizing process on a partition with disk utility, you need to empty the next volume in the disk.

At times, you need to enlarge your boot volume if it is running out of space. You can do it with Disk Utility. To initiate the process, you need to delete the partition that comes next to the boot volume or any other partition on the disk and then move the partition’s end point into the freed space. However, disk utility doesn’t allow you to enlarge the last partition on a disk. Resizing the boot volumes with Disk Utility is not always a good idea as if something went wrong, then it may result data loss. Therefore, make sure that you have backed up complete hard drive using Time Machine or any other backup service you prefer before you begin.

This volume enlargement process could be more complex as Disk Utility does not list the free space along with other partitions under the Partition tab. After successful enlargement of required boot drive, if the enlarged partition doesn’t use the complete space from the deleted volume, you can use the remained space to create a new partition in the unused space.

Resize with Stellar Partition Manager

Stellar Partition Manager provides you a reliable way to manage your partitions without involving any risk of data loss. It will reduce all the complexities and make it easy for you to manage hard drive partitioning on Mac. This professional partition manager software lists all the available drives attached to the concerned Mac machine, you can select any drive from the list and manage its respective volumes with powerful modules. When you run the Stellar Partition Manager, you will be able to see the graphical structure of the selected drive with free and occupied spaces in the middle pane of the main window, where the right pane will show all the drive information.

The middle pane of the software is used to choose a volume from its bottom right corner, and drag the space either upwards or downwards to shrink and enlarge the size respectively.

Additionally, Stellar Partition Manager also includes multiple other powerful modules, such as deleting, hiding, formatting, and revealing, and rolling back the changes done in previous step. The rollback feature allows you to revert to a previous state of a volume, in case you have performed it accidentally. In addition, this tool also allows you to protect or hide your important files or partitions from anyone, who you do not want to see them.


Stellar Partition Manager and Disk Utility, both are equipped with multiple common features like formatting, partition, resizing, and deleting Mac volumes, which make them equally well, but still Stellar Partition Manager has some additional features like hiding/revealing a volume for data security, which makes it a better tool than Disk Utility.

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How to Resolve POSIX Error during partitioning & Formatting USB drive in Mac?

Usually, Mac operations do not create issues unless there is some unavoidable circumstances do not appear. People who use Mac systems in their daily life routine, might have faced different unknown errors while partitioning or formatting Mac hard drive, external drive or a USB flash media. Here, in this article you will get to know about such errors that you may come across while performing different operation in Mac hard drives using Disk Utility.


Image Source: CNET

For Example, if you are trying to partitionand format various Mac based USB hard drives, and suddenly you have encountered an error message ‘Disk Erase failed with the error: POSIX reports: The operation couldn’t be completed. Cannot allocate memory‘ and your work stopped in mid. Basically such type of problem is not common in all types of disks. These errors are more specific for the USB chipsets and firmware versions or settings in certain drive enclosures. Except this, there could be multiple errors that your Mac system could have been affected by concerning POSIX error. Most of the people think that this error might have resolved by replacing drives, swapping or wiping drives, replacing memory modules, installing OS, etc. and get confused again when the same issue replicates.


Whenever you encounter a POSIX error message while working over Disk Utility, the first thing you should do is to check whether your system boots up or not. If yes, then verify whether it copies and pastes files over System Disk. However, if not, then try to boot up your system from external OS drive and when your internal system drive is mounted, try the same process of coping and pasting again for your internal drive.

In case you are unable to write on disk or disk taking long time to boot, then there is a high possibility that the actual problem is specifically for USB connections such as: the SATA cable or SATA cable assembly in the portables.

Therefore, check USB connections to troubleshoot such issues, specifically those ones, which are connected with drives and change SATA (assembly) cable connections before concluding that the system Drive is failed. Now, check whether they are able to properly format through those connections. If by using another alternative connection, your drive starts working normally and you are able to format it, it means that the problem is with Disk Utility itself. The disk utility is not able to manage specific partition setups over the USB connection.

If your problem is to overcome the default partition scheme or formatting issues over USB connections while using Disk Utility, try to use terminal commands as an alternatives option, where initially you have to format the drive, after that it will become accessible via Disk Utility again.

You have to find out the disk identifier for the attached USB drive before running these commands. In order to do this, run Disk Utility and choose the drive device itself. Now, select the ‘info’ button and note the name of the ‘Disk Identifier’ field.

‘diskutil’ command

Enter the ‘diskutil’ command in the Terminal to format the drive. Now, replace the ‘NAME’ with your desired name of the drive, and ‘IDENTIFIER’ with the drive’s ID found in Disk Utility:

diskutil eraseVolume HFS+ NAME IDENTIFIER

‘fdisk’ command

This is an alternative command to the “diskutil” command is ‘fdisk’, which is used to create partitions and set up the drive. Like the diskutil command, here also you need to replace the IDENTIFIER portion with the ID found in Disk Utility:

fdisk -a hfs /dev/IDENTIFIER

With the use of these above mentioned commands try to manage the drive again in the Disk Utility.

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Partitioning the Mac Drive is Helpful in Keeping Data Organized

Partitioning the Mac drive is all the way advantageous for you. For instance, you can store different types of data in separate volumes, which helps you keep them organized as a whole. You do not have to go through all the volumes while looking for a file particular type, as you can directly go the particular volume containing all such files and locate the required one. Apart from this, you will notice some hidden advantages of partitioning the Mac drive in this post.

Introduction to Hard Drive Partition

The term ‘partitioning’, with reference to the hard drives, refers to splitting the drive space into numerous volumes of different sizes as per the requirements. For instance, you can create 20GB volume to store photos, 40GB to store songs, and around 100GB to store your personal collection of movies, and 50GB to store the apps.

Well, no matter how much disk space you allocate to store your personal stuff because such things have variable sizes. However, you must allocate at least 100GB of disk space to the boot volume, as it stores system files as well as the applications you install on your Mac. In fact, the more the number of apps installed on your Mac, the lesser is the free space left in the boot volume. You cannot reduce the sizes of the system files, but you can surely minimize the used space in the boot volume by minimizing the number on installed apps.

How Partitioning is Beneficial?

Mac drive partitioning is beneficial for you from every single aspect as compared to a hard drive with only one volume that stores the OS files and user data together. Suppose your Mac has only one volume, namely Macintosh HD (i.e. the boot volume) that stores all your data along with the system files. In such a situation, any issue causing system failure will lead to data loss. In contrast, having multiple volumes enables you store your data separately in multiple volumes in an organized as well as a secure way, as issues like Mac boot failure or boot volume corruption would not affect your data. You simply have to reinstall the OS X and then you can access the data with no issue left.

Another major benefit of having multiple volumes on the Mac drive is that you can go for multi boot. In other words, you can use one of the volumes to install another operating system. In this way, you will be able to boot your Mac machine from two different operating systems and access your data even if the system fails to boot from one of the boot volumes. Since Mac OS X allows installing Windows in a blank volume, you can also go for it using the Boot Camp Assistant.

Partitioning Mac Drive

Based on the requirements, you can partition the Mac drive into numerous volumes (up to 16) and all that you need to perform this job is a reliable partition manager for Mac. For this, you can download one tool online that best suits your requirements. Alternatively, you may also prefer Disk Utility to perform this job. With Disk Utility, as the default partition manager, see how you can partition the Mac drive into a number of volumes:

Note: To partition the internal hard drive, you must boot the Mac machine from a secondary bootable media, as the process includes resizing the Macintosh HD – the Mac boot volume, which might be fatal and lead to data loss.

  • Boot Mac from Recovery HD and launch Disk Utility.

(Restart the Mac, and then hold down the ‘Command + R’ keys until the Apple logo appears. After a while, you should see the menu bar and Mac OS X Utilities window from which you need to launch Disk Utility.)

  • In the left pane of Disk Utility, highlight the hard drives.

(You should see the hard drive in the left pane above the volume Macintosh HD. In case more than one hard drives are attached to your Mac, you can recognize the primary one from its manufacturer’s name as its name.)

  • With the right drive selected at the left, click the Partition tab at the right.

(Remember, you can resize your Mac drive only if it is Intel-based Mac, which means that PowerPC-based Mac machine do not allow resizing the Mac drive once the OS is installed on it.)

  • In the Partition tab, click the Volume Scheme drop down menu and choose how many volumes you want to create.

(This will automatically divide the hard drive into the number of volumes you choose. However, each of the volumes will be of similar size.)

  • Select one partition in the graphical structure of the hard drive and provide the following details under Volume Information area:
  1. Type-in a Name
  2. Select Format as Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
  3. Specify the Size (in GBs) to resize the volume accordingly
  • Now, repeat step 5 for other volumes as well
  • Click the Apply button when done with the job
  • Exit Disk Utility and restart the Mac normally

With this, you are done partitioning the Mac drive into required number of volumes.
Likewise, you can partition an external USB drive for backup purpose and can install Mac OS X on any of the volumes of that drive. See how you can partition a brand new external USB drive on your Mac:

  1. Attach the hard drive to your Mac and click the Initialize button on the Disk Insertion message
  2. This launches Disk Utility, and then you need to choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) in the Format drop down menu and type-in a name in the Name field under Erase tab
  3. After that, click the Erase button to start formatting this drive

Once the drive formatting is done successfully, execute the process (i.e. step 2 – step 8) discusses above. Instead of Disk Utility, you may also use a commercial partition manager for Mac and perform the job in reliable manner. However, make sure the partition manager is reliable and efficient for the task.

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How to Remove Free Space Blocks and Partition Mac Drives Efficiently?

The need for removal of the free space blocks, while partitioning a Mac drive may occur due to the following situation. When the inbuilt Disk Utility for Mac fails, then the need arises to use professional Partition Managing Software, which knows how to partition mac drive, along with removal of free space blocks and which takes care of the issues, not resolved by Disk Utility.


There are two partitions on the Mac drive, which were made with the Disk Utility. If the user has a router, which has NAS option and that do not support a partition. There is need to remove partition kept as a backup and to create one single partition. But, the user faces the error:

this partition can’t be modified.”

He is unable to delete or resize this partition


This error condition will arise when The Mac was of type MBR and not GUID


The user needs to check on this and if the type is MBR, the resizing option cannot take place. If the Time Machine Encryption is turned on, then File Menu in Disk Utility can unlock the partition.

If nothing works out to resolve such a situation then, the way left out is the formatting of such MBR Partitions.

However, there are some tools or professional software, which converts, without any such situation of data loss. The resizing can be done, only by reformatting the partition to GUID. This will lead to erasure of the data residing there.

There are other situations like shrinking the Mac OS X partition, so that the personal files of the user are all stored separately from the OS files. Another situation is the expansion of the boot volume of the Mac for the purpose of adding more free spaces or installation of more programs. This will be required for the improved performance levels. So, the resizing is often needed for a partitioning or repartitioning type of task.

Disk Utility, is an in-built facility with Mac, which can easily resize the partitions. It can also delete, format or create partitions. The Mounted volumes can also be resized and there is an increase or decrease of free space. This is called “Live Partitioning”.

resize mac partition

Disk Utility with Mac OS X 10.5 and later, will allow the resizing, without any need to even erase the data residing on the Mac drive.

Live partitioning can also pose a risk in the form of Data Loss. The process of resizing of the partition with Disk Utility is very much streamlined and if one-step is missed somewhere, a data loss situation will arise and the user will compromise with the valuable data that generally resides in the Mac.

If there is need for the increase a volume size, then the partition below the volume need to be deleted. So, there will be a creation of data loss situation. However, a resizing or expansion will not lead to losing any data on the disk volume.

Now, format and partition Mac can be a problem, when Disk Utility is used for partitioning. This will be due to limitation of Disk Utility to partition properly, when there are free space blocks on the Mac drive.

Partitioning can always be a problem, when the data resides on the partition. So far Macs are concerned the resizing option for the Intel based Macs makes this task absolutely easy. However, there is a certain limit for resizing of the partition.

Resizing is often required and Disk Utility will achieve this for the user. The partition fails to be extended, when there is no free space existing between this partition and the consecutive partition. We have also discussed that Disk Utility fails in the resizing of the MBR partition.

There is sometimes the need for enlargement of the boot volume, for meeting the objective of installing more applications. Although Intel based Mac allows this to be done very easily. However, issues get created, when the user attempts this in Disk Utility. In fact, Disk Utility will not list the free space along with other partitions.

If these types of situations arise, then what is needed is the help of a professional software. This will enable the user in the resizing of the partition. The overall free space on the Mac drive is utilised for either the shrinking or the expansion of the Mac partition. The resizing of the MBR type of partition is also made possible with this software.

The software will have options like Shift and Resize, when the partitions can be moved or there are additions of a number of free spaces, for the creation of a new partition. If some unused partition exists on the hard drive, then a new partition can be formed, after formatting of deleting the older ones.

Another good feature of the Partition Managing software is that it will always show the free space, where the existing Mac volume was deleted.

The software generally offers safety and privacy to the users, by hiding and revealing the partitions. The software also offers additional features like formatting the Mac drive. This situation will be encountered when the partition becomes absolutely corrupt and is unusable or the partition need to be organized, with the erasure of the data, so that all the unwanted files are removed from the partition. The partition then can regain a reusable condition.

Posted in Format and partition Mac, Mac partition, partition mac, resize mac partition | Leave a comment