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.

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Difference between Mac Drive Formatting and Drive Wiping

There is a difference between the Mac drive formatting and the drive wiping. Let us first understand why Mac drive formatting is needed. The reasons can be for the Clean System installation of Mac OS X on your new Mac drive. Another situation can be that the user wants to go for a larger drive, so that the movies that are downloaded need more space. But, the need for formatting starts with the use of a new drive.

Drive Formatting

It is easy to format a drive, but the decision to format a drive must be preceded with some planning for using the drive.

The formatting of the drive leads to erasing of all existing data. So, before the start of the process, the backup needs to be made. There are various ways to format an internal or external drive on Mac. These are using the Disk Utility, Mac OS X install DVD.

Disk Utility

The application Disk Utility is opened, after attaching the drive, if one wants to format an external or extra internal hard drive.

Some users also need to partition the drive, with one visible partition in Windows and another one is the Mac OS X boot partition. The GUID partitioning scheme is required by the Boot Camp. In order to partition or resize Mac partition, we need to use the partition tab in Disk Utility or the Boot Camp Assistant can also be used.

If one is using the hard drive only for Mac OS X, then a specific drive format needs to be selected. The selection of the drive format, then Mac OS (Extended Journaled) can be used. The option is FAT 32, when the drive is also accessed from the Windows.

Mac OS X Install DVD

For formatting the hard drive inside the Mac, the same procedure will be followed but the booting has to be done from the OS X, using the Install DVD or from another Mac. While using the Install DVD, start the install process head to the menu bar and then the Disk Utility is selected. Mac OS (Extended Journaled) is the format, which is recommended.

Drive Wiping

Drive Wiping arises under such circumstances, when there is need for replacement of the drive or even the computer, which has become obsolete and is no longer serving the same purpose, for which it was bought. However, before this is done, one need to be sure about any information not being gained from the trash. This is where; the drive wipe Mac software comes handy.

You may want to give away your computer, dispose it by selling or donate it and adequate amount of precautions has to be taken, so that it is ensured that the personal and confidential information is passed to another user. We need to make sure that the precious data on the hard drive is not being recoverable. In order, the data not recoverable beyond any practical ability, we need a wiping or an erasing utility. This utility can even overwrite every sector with binary 0s and 1s. There are certain software, which meet the Government security standards and can overwrite each sector for multiple numbers of times for ensuring added protection.

Hard drive wiping is complete erasure of the drive of all information. Formatting / deleting do not wipe all information from the hard drive. There need to be extra steps taken for wiping the hard drive completely. While deleting a partition or formatting a drive, the file system is deleted, thereby making the data invisible but the data is not completely gone. A suitable hardware or a file recovery program can lead to the recovery of the information.

The Data needs to be wiped securely for protection from Data Recovery. The overwriting of the data can permanently erase the files.

There are certain circumstances, when we want all these private information to be gone forever. We must remember to have a backup of the data, because when the disk is wiped out, there is no chance of getting the data back.

There are various ways of erasing the hard drive completely, but a data sanitization software can be a good viable option. There are two procedures, while using the CD/DVD or using the flash drive or other USB drives.

In case of the CD/DVD, the ISO image to the disc is burnt and then booting is done from the disc to run the program.

 drive wipe pic

While using the flash drive or the USB drive, the ISO image to the USB device need to be burnt and then booting is done from the USB drive for start-up.

The Data destruction program or the file shredder is the way data is overwritten on a hard drive or any other storage device and the means of doing it, is data sanitization.

There are professional software for permanently wiping unwanted and sensitive data from the Mac OS based hard drive. These software are equipped with powerful algorithms, which can ensure the permanent erasure of data, beyond the scope of any Data Recovery software. The important features are scheduling the wiping process or selecting of some of the files or folders, for the removal of the information. The software can also wipe temporary files like cookies, sessions and other internet files related to internet browsing information; it can also handle unwanted system traces, recent file histories. The software also allows removing the free spaces completely from where the data was deleted.

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Why is Backup necessary before Mac Drive Partitioning?

It is recommended by experts to back up the data before the partitioning of Mac drive is done. This is helpful in preparing the system preventing data loss, because of situations like power failure or the hard disk failure. There may be data loss because of the use of Professional software needed for partitioning of the Mac drive. There are many reasons for the partitioning of the hard drive. Partitions allow us to operate on multiple operating systems.

Data backup can always help to overcome such adverse conditions like hard disk failure and virus infection, leading to a data loss scenario. The formatting of the hard drive or the creation of a new partition always requires a backup. The Disk Utility feature of Mac OS X actually helps in the creation of a new Mac disk partition on the hard drive, which is existing. However, a full system backup needs to be taken before this new partition is created. A full system backup includes documents, videos, images, audios and more. This system backup is to ensure that nothing goes wrong. There is the Time Machine option for taking a complete backup of the system. This is the backup server included with the Mac OS since OS X 10.5, for the current backup of all the important data. We can proceed with the partitioning, once this task is finished.

The file system for a Mac OS X is HFS +, which stores different types of metadata and data. The various attributes of data that are stored by this file system are permission and ownership, creation date and the access control list. A locally attached HFS + formatted volume, if we want to back up the system files only. But this HFS+ formatted destination volume is not required when the data other than the system files are being considered. Just like the hard drives in Windows are preformatted with the FAT32 file system, in case of Mac the GUID Partition Table Scheme (GPT) is used for hard drives, for the purpose of the booting up of the system. The partition scheme shows the analysis of the volumes in the hard disk. There is only one partition scheme for a hard drive but more than one volume.

The need for the backup leads to the use of the hard disk partition software being used along with backup utilities. We need to have an additional software for backup, in case the backup utility is not present.

One may delete the operating system, while resizing the partition. We need the backup for this reason. Another reason for the backup is the creation of the bootable rescue CD. If the operating system fails to boot, then this required for the booting up. There are some partition manager software, which comes equipped with features to aid in the creation of the boot rescue CD.

The partitioning process actually alters the way the data is stored on the drive. Anything can happen like dog tripping over the power cord or the unplugging of the Mac. We need to be prepared for the worst scenario and backup the data, before starting with anything else.

Sometimes the user may encounter the following error:

Error: Disk Utility can’t repair this disk. Back up as many of your files as possible, reformat the disk, and restore your backed-up files.

When we get this error, we try to repair the system, without the Time Machine or any appropriate backup system. With a proper backup in place, a good option is reinstallation. If there is no backup, then we need to repair/ recover by using a special software and then have at least a good backup.

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How to Resize Mac Boot Volume to Install More Applications

The boot volume on Mac OS X based computers is listed with the name Macintosh HD in the Disk Utility, in case you did not change it earlier. The name specifies that the particular volume contains Mac OS X installation and you must be careful while dealing with it. In odd situations, your Mac may not be able to boot from this drive and you have to either repair it or reboot it with Mac OS X bootable DVD.

Mac OS X lets you partition its hard drive into several volumes, aiming for storing different types of data in separate volumes. This enables you to keep your data organized and access with ease. Based on some practical scenarios, users often resize their Mac volumes when they need to enlarge or shrink them, based on their storage needs. However, what if you need to enlarge Mac boot volume, i.e. Macintosh HD? Can you resize Mac boot drive without having to fret over data loss or Mac boot failure? Intel-based Mac machines let you do this with Disk Utility or a reliable partition manager.

Why to Resize Boot Volume?

Well, this is a big question that why you would resize the boot volume of your Mac. However, you might be in need for installing more applications and the boot volume is lacking the required space. Alternatively, you may shrink the boot volume in order to enlarge a secondary volume that contains your personal stuff.

The usage of disk management tool (whether Disk Utility or an external partition manager) is your choice, I will cover resizing the scenario with both the tools.

Note: Before you begin with the task, I suggest booting from Recovery HD for Mac Lion, Mountain Lion, or Mavericks. Users of earlier versions of Mac can boot from Mac Bootable DVD.

Boot from Recovery HD

1.    Restart your Mac machine and hold down the Command + R keys right after you hear the startup tone.
2.    As you see the startup screen, leave the keys.
3.    Select Recovery HD when appears, and then click the arrow button pointing downwards.

Boot from Mac Bootable DVD

1.    Insert Mac Bootable DVD into the playing media and restart your Mac.
2.    Hold down the ‘C’ key to boot from the bootable DVD.
3.    Leave the key when you see the startup screen.
4.    In Mac OS X Utilities screen, select Disk Utility.

Using Disk Utility

1.    Highlight the hard drive containing Macintosh HD drive in the left pane, and then click the Partition tab in the right pane.
(In the Partition tab, you will see a graphical view of your Mac hard drive. The blue color in each partition indicates data, while white color indicates the free space.)
2.    Highlight the Macintosh HD volume and hold it from its bottom right corner and do the following:
◦    Drag the volume upwards to shrink it.
◦    Drag the volume downwards to enlarge it.
3.    With the desired changes done, click Apply button to save them.

Note: Disk Utility causes wastage of free space if you shrink a volume. Besides, you cannot enlarge any of the volumes even if you have free space available on the hard drive.

Using Partition Manager

A number of professional tools to manage partitions on Mac are available on the Internet. However, you must be very careful while choosing one out of them, as an inefficient partition manager may cause data loss while resizing a volume. With the partition manager downloaded from the Internet, select your Mac partition and specify a new size for this volume.

A professional partition manager enables you use the free space available on the hard drive and enlarge the required volumes. Therefore, I suggest using a professional partition manager to avoid wastage of free space as well as for efficient partitioning.

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In Brief – “Making Efficient Utilization of Your Mac Drive”

Hard drives nowadays are available with very large storage capacities (such as 500 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB, and more), enabling massive amounts of data storage. Based on the requirements, you may partition such a drive into multiple volumes, which is aimed at implementing an efficient storage format. A reliable Mac partition manager is the key requirement to get this task completed successfully. Although Disk Utility is used for partitioning Mac drive, it does not show up the free space or unallocated space left on the hard drive. This causes wastage of free space. A similar event of free space wastage occurs when you delete one or more partitions, aiming for enlarging the boot volume’s size or creating a new volume, but the freed up space does not appear in Disk Utility.

On hard drives with large storage capacities, we create partitions with required amounts of space and often leave free space for a later use. In such cases, Disk Utility, under Partition tab, shows up only the partitioned space, while the unallocated space does not appear. Consequently, you no longer be able to utilize the unallocated space for further storage.

Optimizing Free Spaces Left on the Hard Drive

When you create partitions on your Mac hard drive, you sometimes leave some unallocated space for using it later. However, Disk Utility does not let you go for it. In fact, you no longer can see this space under the Partition tab of Disk Utility, which indeed is wastage of free space. On the other hand, many external Mac partitioning tools available in the market are more efficient, and they show up this drive space as well as allow using it. With this space, you can either create new volumes or enlarge one or more out of the existing ones.

Some efficient Mac partition managers even let you merge the free spaces available in fractions on the hard drive. Such an efficient utilization of the free space not only enables you make efficient utilization of the unallocated drive space, but it also makes you optimize your data storage format.

Creating New Partitions with Optimized Space

After optimizing the free spaces left on your Mac drive with an efficient Mac partition manager, you may create one or more new partitions on your Mac and use it as a backup drive or for any other purpose, such as for installing another OS. Based on your requirements, the secondary OS can be either Mac OS X or Windows.

You most likely know that Mac OS X allows having Windows installed in a separate volume on its hard drive. However, installing Windows on Mac is not as simple as it is on a PC. Multi boot systems are quite reliable and keep your data accessible, even when one of the boot volumes fails or crashes. In such scenarios, you can simply boot into your Mac from secondary boot volume and get access to your crucial files.

Need for a Reliable Partition Manager

For partitioning Mac drive and creating a new volume with unallocated space, the major requirement is for a reliable Mac partition manager, aiming at efficient and trouble free partitioning. In case the free space available is not sufficient for installing a new OS, you may resize other secondary volumes, and then enlarge the newly created boot volume.
For a reliable Mac partition manager, you may explore the web and download the one that best suits your requirements. However, make sure the software is authorized and get the information like what others have to say about it. Do go through the software user manual to have a formal idea of intended process.

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Why Taking Data Backup is Important before Partitioning of Mac Drive

You must have taken data backup at least once in your lifetime while working on Windows based systems. For anyone working regularly on a windows based system, taking data backup is a routine process, for the safety and integrity of the data. Data backup is always considered to be a safe and reliable option to overcome the adverse conditions like hard drives failure or virus infection, which leads to data loss.  In addition, if you are formatting your hard drive or creating a partition of it, you need to take the data backup before that.
Data backup can be taken manually, however, in many of the systems coming today; this option is integrated as an automatic option. That means the system is configured to take a timely backup of the system. In addition, you can configure your own settings as well. The automatic mechanism of taking data backup might be different on systems based on different operating systems.

Consider a scenario, where you are working on Mac OS X, and you need to create a new partition on your existing hard drive. This can be easily done by using the inbuilt Disk Utility feature of the Mac OS X. However, you need to take a full system backup before doing that. A full system backup might include documents, images, audios, videos, and more. A system backup ensures that you have the backup of the entire data in case anything goes wrong.  You can make use of the Time Machine option to take a complete backup of the system. Once done, you can go ahead with the process of partitioning the hard drive.

Mac based systems use an HFS+ files system to store different types of data and metadata. Such a file system defines various attributes of data including creation date, permission and ownership, access control lists, etc. In order to backup only system files of OS X, a locally-attached HFS+ formatted volume is required. However, for the data other than the system files, it is not required to have a HFS+ formatted destination volume.
In case of the hard drives present in the Windows based system, most of them are pre-formatted using FAT32 file system. Whereas in case of Mac, GUID Partition Table (GPT) scheme is used by the hard drives to boot the system. You can view the partition schemes with the help of the hard drive icons present. The partition scheme helps you to analyze the volumes defined in the hard disk. A hard disk may have more than one volume; however, there is only one partition scheme for a hard drive. A partition is a process of creating multiple volumes on the hard drive. In order to format a hard drive and create a Mac disk partition using the HFS+ file system, you need to follow the below mentioned steps.

1.    Start Disk Utility.
2.    From the list of the hard drives in the left side, choose a hard drive to be portioned.
Note: The information in the left pane includes the name, size, and vendor name associated with the hard drive.
3.    Select ‘Partition’ tab.
4.    A menu pops up.
5.    From the “Volume Scheme” choose “1 Partition”.
6.    Choose GUID Partition Table, from the “Options” button. This can be done from the bottom of the partitions table.
7.    Click “OK”.
8.    Give a suitable name for this backup volume.
9.    Specify the format as “Mac OS Extended “.
10.    Click “Apply”.

In this way, you can format the hard drive and create a Mac disk partition using the HFS+ file system.

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The Easiest Way to Manage Partitions on Your Mac Mavericks

When it comes to create a new partition on your Mac, you may not be able to create one because Disk Utility does not let you doing it. In fact, Disk Utility fails to show the free space available on your Mac hard drive in the graphical view under the Partition tab. However, you can certainly add a new partition on your Mac by resizing a secondary volume containing required amount of free space. Well, doing this demands you being proficient in performing disk management tasks with Disk Utility.

Even though Disk Utility is able to let you create Mac disk partition successfully, many users do not prefer using it for disk management since they find this tool quite complex to practice. You may see all such users practicing sort of Mac partition manager. Well, people have their own preferences for things; you cannot bother them for their deeds. Anyway, many users still prefer using Disk Utility. For all such users, I mention here the steps to create a new partition on Mac hard drive:

Note: As mentioned already, you need to resize a secondary partition to create another one with the space freed up. Well, the same requires an Intel-based Mac.

1.    Launch Disk Utility on your Mac.
(Go to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility)
2.    Highlight your Mac hard drive (shown above the volume Macintosh HD) in the left pane, and then go to the Partition tab in the right pane.
3.    In the graphical view of your Mac hard drive, highlight the volume containing free space to the maximum amount.
(The blue region in every volume indicates data stored in it, while the free space is indicated as white region.)
4.    Hold the bottom right corner of the particular volume, and then drag it upwards to shrink.
(You see the freed up space right below that volume)
5.    With that volume still highlighted, click the plus (+) button below the graphical view of this drive to create a new partition that uses the available space.
6.    Give this volume a Name, Format, and Size under Volume Information area, and then click the Apply button to save the changes done.

Using Stellar Partition Manager  2

Stellar Partition Manager is a smart partition manager for Mac OS X based computers. The software lets you create, format, manage, hide/reveal Mac volumes keeping the data intact. Well, as you need to create a new partition on your Mac hard drive, the software allows you to utilize the available free space, while Disk Utility does not let you doing it. Moreover, you can resize more than one volumes to create free space that is shown as a single large block. Following are the steps that you need to follow to create Mac disk partition with Stellar Partition Manager:

1.    Run Stellar Partition Manager and highlight the hard drive in the left pane.
2.    Click Add option in the toolbar and do the following:
◦    Specify Volume Name
◦    Specify Volume Size by dragging the slider
◦    Select Partition Type
3.    Click OK button to add the task ‘create new partition’ to the ‘Task to do’ list.
4.    Click Start button to execute the added tasks.

In case the Mac hard drive has not free space, you need to resize one or more volumes to create it. See how to resize Mac volumes to create free space:

1.    In the left pane of Stellar Partition Manager, highlight the Mac hard drive.
2.    In the middle pane, select the volume that you need to resize.
3.    This adds the task to trim that volume to the ‘Task to do’ list. Click Start button to execute these tasks.

Once you have the required space as free, put the steps discussed earlier into practice to create a new volume on the Mac hard drive.

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Partitioning Mac drive in a safe way

Among a slew of hardware components embedded in Mac, hard drive is an integral component that facilitates data storage. Based on the size of the hard drive, a massive amount of data can be stored to it. To avoid data untidiness, partitioning Mac drive is a wise decision, as it keeps your data protected against likely threats.

Partitioning Mac drive is a general issue, which becomes complicated when the user is not aware of the way it is done. More precisely, the one who does not know how to partition or repartition Mac drive may lose his data lost in case of repartitioning. However, you must admit that partitioning a hard drive on Mac is quite sophisticated as compared to that on Windows. In order to avoid data loss or a like situation, many of you do not even try partitioning your Mac drive and store all your data to the Mac boot volume (i.e. Macintosh HD). Since boot volume of your Mac drive contains system files (i.e. Mac OS X files and installed applications), it not safe to save your precious data to this volume.

At this point, some of the Mac users may ask that why it is not safe to save data to the boot volume? Well, storing data to the Mac boot volume is not in your favor, as you would not be able to access it if your Mac fails to boot. In such a situation, you cannot even opt for rebooting your Mac since it requires you to format the boot volume first. On the other hand, a hard drive having several volumes is far away from any such threat, as even Mac failure cannot affect your data at all.

Is partitioning Mac drive advantageous
Partitioning Mac drive is advantageous for you as well as for your Mac system; to know how, go through the following:

Suppose your Mac drive has only one partition (i.e. the boot volume, Macintosh HD) having all your data along with the system files stored on it. Besides, the secondary drive you have is partitioned into several volumes; one of these is the boot volume. Corruption of the boot volume of your Mac drive causes Mac data inaccessibility, whereas the same issue on the secondary drive does not affect the data stored on it at all, even if you format its boot volume to reinstall Mac OS X.

Besides, it must be known to you that partitioning Mac drive not only facilitates storing different types of data (such as pictures, videos, applications, and more) on separate Mac volumes, but also allows you to go for multi-boot. This means that you can install multiple operating systems (i.e. both Mac and Windows) on separate volumes of your Mac drive. Therefore, if you are using Mac OS X Lion and want Mountain Lion to be installed on a separate volume, partitioning Mac drive is what you need to go for. However, if you want a Windows operating system to be installed on a separate volume of your Mac drive, then you have to use Mac inbuilt Boot Camp Assistant tool for this. By having multiple operating systems installed on your Mac drive, you can access your data even if one of these fails to boot.

How to partition a new hard drive on Mac
You might be using a spare hard drive (internal or external, mainly external) to save the backup copies of all crucial files of yours. For this, instead of storing all data on a common partition as well as to avoid data untidiness, you should split this hard drive space into multiple partitions. Even though you must have a Mac partition manager app to get this done, you can also use Mac inbuilt Disk Utility as the default Mac disk partition manager.

For this, you need to follow the steps discussed underneath:
1. Hook up the secondary hard drive to your Mac.
2. When Disk Insertion message pops up, click Initialize button on it
(When you click Initialize button that is given on the Disk Insertion message box, Disk Utility is launched automatically)
3. In Disk Utility, select this drive at the left and go to the Erase tab at the right.
4. Herein, click Format dropdown menu and choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled).
5. Specify a Name for this disk, and then
6. Click Erase button to format this drive.
Once disk formatting is finished, continue with the following steps to partition it:
7. When this hard drive is selected at the left, go to the partition tab at the right
8. Click Options button and choose GUID Partition Table on your Intel-based Mac or Apple Partition Map on your PowerPC-based Mac, and then click OK button.
9.  After that, click Volume Scheme dropdown menu and select the number of partitions you want to have to this disk.
10. Select one volume in the graphical view of this hard drive and give it a Name, choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) as its Format, and specify its Size beneath the Volume Information area
11. Now, repeat step no. 10 for other newly created volumes
12. When finished with the step no. 11, click Apply button to save these partitions

Based on both the size of the hard drive and the number of partitions to be created on it, time elapsed in saving these partitions may vary. Once these partitions are saved, a message pops up to notify the same to you. After that, you can also use any of these partitions to install Mac OS X.

On the other hand, if you need to repartition your Mac drive, you need to boot with a secondary bootable media (i.e. Boot Mac Lion or Mountain Lion with Recovery HD, and for earlier versions, boot with Mac OS X install disc). If you have free space available on your Mac drive, then you can use it to create a new volume. Otherwise, you will have to resize one or more other volumes to create free space.

In case, if you are not comfortable with Disk Utility to partition Mac drive, you can also use a Mac disk partition manager for the same. However, do not use any app without having its proper knowledge.

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