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:
- Type-in a Name
- Select Format as Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
- 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:
- Attach the hard drive to your Mac and click the Initialize button on the Disk Insertion message
- 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
- 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.