When you sit down to do a partition of your hard drive, you are basically separating your storage space into different entities. Since physically, your hard drive is just one, it can be counted as a sort of organizational work for your computer. Partitioning your hard drive is good for your system since it allows you to keep a set of files separately from others. Partitioning is a useful tool for every computer user and it isn’t a difficult task either.
Partitioning in Mac can be done by Disk Utility which is an application that comes along with Mac operating system. What makes Disk utility the best choice is not just that it is free but also owing to a graphical interface that makes it convenient for the user, straightforward and pretty easy to use. Moreover the Disk Utility version present with OS 10.5 brings us many convenient features such as adding, deleting and resizing hard drive partitions without the need for erase the hard drive first. Addition of Disk Utility to El Capitan makes it the all purpose application in order to manage hard drives on Mac.
When you partition a storage device, it divides it into individual partitions which later occur as volumes in the system. If you need to do the partition in order to install multiple operation system, you would require partitioning the disk. For this, you can use Boot Camp Assistant if you are partitioning your internal disk for installing Windows.
How to add volume without deleting existing data
- Open Disk Utility. Go to sidebar, select the ‘device’ and click on the ‘Partition Button’.
- Click ‘Add’. This will allow the Disk Utility to create 2 volumes. It will let one of the volumes retain all the data while the other would be empty. (In case the original volume contains less than half of the data, then disk utility partitions the drive into 2 volumes of equal data. However, in case the original volume has too much data, then disk utility partitions in such a way that one of the volume is smaller than the other.)
- In the pie chart, click each of the volume and rename it.
- You can increase or decrease the size using the divider or simply enter it.
- Click the format pop menu to select the format for each volume.
- Click ‘apply’. In case you want to view the step by step process, click ‘show details’.
- After the task if finished, click ‘Done’.
Once this is done, you can see the newly created volumes both on the disk utility sidebar as well as the finder sidebar.
How to enlarge volume
This option can be used when you have multiple volumes and you find that one of the volumes is running out of space. You can increase the storage of that particular volume without losing data. To enlarge, delete the volume that comes after it on the device. Now use the freed space to move and point of the volume that you want to enlarge.
- Go to ‘sidebar’. Choose the volume you want to enlarge. Click on ‘Partition’.
- Select the volume you want to remove from the pie chart on the left side.
- Click ‘apply’. This will allow that particular volume to be deleted and add that remaining volume to the previous volume.
- Click ‘done’.
Erasing and repartitioning your device
Use this when you wish to erase all volumes and create new ones.
- Go to ‘sidebar’. Choose the volume you want to erase. Click on ‘erase’. The device that contains your start-up volume won’t be deleted.
- Rename the Initial volume.
- Choose format for the initial partition from the Map pop-up menu. Use an 11 character or less, name for MS-DOS and ExFAT partitions.
- Click Erase> Done
Partitioning your hard drive may cause loss of data. In case, you don’t have a back up there may be chances that you end up losing all of your data. That is why, creating a backup should be your first step before doing the partitioning, for those who have lost data or partitions in their Mac can use a third party software in order to attempt recovery of your data.