- Posted by Haroun Arif
- On January 16, 2019
There is a fairly simple answer to your question: Run a separate Operating System on your computer by splitting your Mac hard drive! You can get your partition done easily all because of the integrated disk utility. Don’t know how to? This blog will guide you through the process. But, prior to the process, you must learn all about it. This article presents the absolute information that you need regarding Mac hard drive partition covering several details.
What is a Disk Partition?
Splitting your Mac, essentially, means that you partition your hard drive into different operational systems. It is possible to process two different operating systems on a single device such as Windows and MacOS or different versions of MacOS such as Mojave and High Serra. However, it is necessary to take note that splitting your hard drive also parts the available hard drive storage spaces. Each split eats up a portion of your available storage. But, if you fall short on storage space on the hard drive, we highly suggest you don’t proceed with partitioning. In such a case, an external hard drive arrives to rescue.
Why Should you Partition your Mac Hard Drive?
There are multiple reasons which trigger you to execute a hard drive partition on the Mac hard drive. Conventionally, the most obvious and common reason was to isolate the system files from the volume which stores data. However, nowadays, MacOS stores data in the Home Folder, or in iCloud and hence, it is not much of a common phenomenon.
You split a drive for running several operating systems or even the same OS in both drives. And this is how the Boot camp functions, splitting the drive and enabling you to install Windows on the second partition. However, another reason to split is to use Time Machine to protect and back the boot partition to a different one on the single disk. To accomplish this, Time Machine must be twice the volume size that you desire to back up. This gives you lesser space as compared to half the total space.
Two Easy Methods to Partition your Mac Device
You can split your system’s hard drive quite easily and efficiently as well. There are multiple methods to achieve the split up. We have mentioned two of the easiest ways to accomplish the partition. And follow the directions and steps accurately for that.
Partition your Mac by employing Boot Camp
You can incorporate Boot Camp to split it up! Here’s how. Run the Boot Camp assistant and adhere to the successive instructions to split the drive and install a separate OS. For this, you require 40GB of free space, at least. However, do not eliminate a partition that the Boot Camp Assistant makes employing disk utility.
Partition your Mac using Disk Utility
Prior to beginning with it, you must back up the drive you aim to partition. For this, you may employ Time Machine or can simply clone it. Consider the worst situation that you can, perhaps, lose the data that the drive stashes at the time when you attempt to split it. However, a bootable clone has the ability to have you running. And once you’ve cloned or backed up the drive data, you are ready to boot by restarting your Mac system with the clone connected in as well as chosen as the Startup Disk inside System Preferences. Now, you are prepared to begin the procedure of developing a new partition. Follow the steps carefully:
- Firstly, you must unplug the disk which bears the clone. Then, you should restart the system as normal.
- Once Mac restarts, you must press Command + Space and begin typing Disk Utility. You can also locate the application in Utilities which is in the Applications folder. Then, launch Disk utility.
- When the new window appears, select Mac’s drive, ensuring to click the drive avoiding the volume beneath. There appear two tabs under the toolbar namely First Aid and another being Partition. From there, click Partition.
- After that, select the Plus or Add button that is under the Partition layout to attach another partition to the disk. You then observe the layout alteration to present the additional partition. Now, you can transform the size of the split-ups by dragging and pulling the line that divides them into up and down. However, after you alter and modify their sizes, you must click the fresh partition that you created and give it a name in the Name box.
- Once you determine the sizes and named them as well, click Apply to save and finalize all the changes.
However, you can also click Revert in case you change your mind or if you plan to start all over again.
- Thus, Mac’s main drive parts into two volumes with the fresh and new counterpart empty. This enables you to install a separate Operating System.
However, you can also resize the split-ups at any moment by employing the very process which you executed to build the new partition. But, in place of clicking the Add button, just pull and drag the partition bar either up or down. The extent to which you are capable to resize relies on the data stashed on each member.
When you are done with creating a new and fresh partition, you are free to establish and install any Operating System solely by double-clicking on the image of the disk. Choose the fresh partition as installation location. You can easily get it done by just following through the instructions.
What are the Dangers or Risks of Partitioning a Mac?
The main risk that deploys fear is the data loss. Hence, you must protect your data as mentioned above in this article. Either back them up or clone your disk prior to beginning with the process.
How to Resize the Partitions?
You can alter the sizes of the partitions via Disk Utility as instructed above. Using Disk Utility, you can extend and even shrink the sizes, which also depends on the free space available on your system. However, to change it, just click on the split-up section from Disk Utilities and select the Add or Minus button to modify sizes. If you plan to eliminate the partition so that you can re-allocate the free space to your initial and main drive, then you must click on the partition and then select Erase. And for this, you need all your data backed up. That said, once you delete the data, click on the split-up once again and then click the Minus button. This enables you to re-allocate the space on your disk to your primary drive.
However, if you plan to extend the partition, you must ensure that you have sufficient space on your primary drive to adjust to the number of partitions. For that to happen, simply hit the Add symbol/button to enlarge the size of the split-up. Now, once you create the changes, the Mac device will take some time to save and apply all the alterations. When complete, you will be prompted Operation Successful.
Alternative Way to Partition a Mac
If you desire to stick to the single main drive, there are other methods that assist you to run a separate version of MacOS safely. One way demands you to install the Operating System that you’d like on your system on an external hard drive. Either that or on a USB stick. You can quickly boot it in two ways. One, by marking it as the Startup Disk under System Preferences. And two, by pressing down and holding the Option key whilst startup and choosing it at the moment when prompted.
We hope this article was successful in covering all aspects of the splitting of the Mac HDD or hard drive. It must serve you appropriately if you follow the steps with care. However, if any doubt or query reagrding the Mac HDD or SSD partition persists, you must contact the experts without further delay.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I partition a Mac hard drive for Windows?
You must connect the drive to the Mac and then, launch the Disk Utility. Back up your data before beginning the process. In Disk Utility, you can choose your Mac’s drive. Click or tap the Partition tab. And then, click the Add button below to create a new partition.
How do I alter Mac’s partition scheme?
In the folder of Applications, launch Utilities, and then, double-click on the Disk Utility. Then, in the left column, click the drive which you desire to split. After that, select the partition tab.
How do I merge split-ups on a Mac?
In order to combine two partitions, you must launch Disk Utility on the Mac system. On the left portion, there exists a list of drives that your iMac can see. Select the drive that possesses the partitions that you want to combine.
Can I partition a hard drive with two separate formats?
Yes, you can employ the Disk Utility to split-up the portable HDD into separate ones. This enables you to format one in the format of Mac. You can resort to a FAT format but not NTFS.
How to split-up an external HDD on Mac?
You must right-click on the Windows volume to bring the options and choose Format. Then, you can employ your external HDD with both Windows and Mac OS X. But, note that the Mac is able to write to the OS X partition. All this while, your PC can only write to the Windows format of NTFS.