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Partition mac external hard drive

Add a volume to an APFS container

Partitioning your hard drive can be a frustrating and daunting task. So why would you want to partition a drive?

Partition External Drive

Back when I was in college, like many other students, I had a MacBook Pro for ease of use and its minimalist aesthetic. That is when I thought about partitioning my drive so that I could run Windows on Mac. Before you start, you should make sure to backup your entire Mac computer using Time Machine. If you have a large external hard drive, you can easily partition it so that the entire drive gets utilized.

Add a volume to a device formatted as Mac OS Extended, MS-DOS (FAT), or ExFAT

I was using a 1. As you can see, each partition can have its own file format.

Mac OS X El Capitan: Partitioning A Hard Drive

If you have an even larger drive, you can create even more partitions for other operating systems like Linux, etc. Yours will look a little bit different than mine. Under the External heading on the left hand side, you should have one hard drive instead of 3 I have already partitioned mine. Navigate to that external hard drive and partition it according to your needs.

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

If your external hard drive is not formatted for the Mac operating system, you may first need to Initialize it and then Erase it. Note that you can also click on Security Options and choose from different levels of security. By default, OS X will use the fastest method, which not does securely erase the drive. If you move the slider to Most Secure, it will meet the DOD standard for erasing data by overwriting the data 7 times. This will prevent anyone or any software from recovering any previously written data from the drive.


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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 the backups. Go to the top where it has the options: Select Partition and create the partitions based on your specific needs.

How to Partition an External or Internal Hard Drive in OS X – Switching To Mac

In my case, I chose a size of GB, which is one-third of the drive. After this, it will take a few minutes to partition, so be patient! Open Disk Utility for me. APFS Case-sensitive: Uses the Apple File System format and is case-sensitive to file and folder names. Uses the Apple File System format, is case-sensitive to file and folder names, and encrypts the partition. Reserve Size: The optional reserve size ensures that the amount of storage will remain available for this volume.

Select the device in the sidebar, then click the Partition button.


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Internal storage devices appear below the Internal section in the sidebar. External devices appear below the External section in the sidebar.


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When you select a volume that already has data on it, the pie chart shows a shaded area representing the amount of data on the volume and an unshaded area representing the amount of free space available for another volume. Disk Utility also reports whether the volume can be removed or resized. If you see a small volume with an asterisk, the partition is smaller than can be represented at the correct scale in the chart.

How to share an external hard drive between Mac and Windows

Click the Add button. Mac OS Extended Journaled: Uses the Mac format, requires a password, and encrypts the partition. Uses the Mac format and is case-sensitive to file and folder names.