Partitioning HFS external HD?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by LoneWolf121188, Apr 26, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    I have a 2TB external HD that I have my time machine backup on. My backups use less than 500GB, and I'd like to split the drive in half, to have a 1TB HFS+ partition for Time Machine, and a 1TB NTFS partition to back up my Windows desktop. Any way I can do this non destructively, either in windows or OS X?
  2. macrumors 65816


    Mar 17, 2007
    No clue on the windows but if the drive is GPT partitioned then in OSX you can use Disk Utility to resize the existing partition then create new partition to format. If MBR partitioned then you could use something like a Knoppix live cd/dvd that contains Qtparted to do the same.
  3. macrumors 603

    Feb 20, 2009
    You should be able to do this with Disk Utility.

    I would like to make a suggestion:

    You might consider partitioning the drive into _three_ pieces.

    Use one for your T.M. backup.

    Use another for NTFS.

    Partition the 3rd P to Mac OS extended, and use CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to create a bootable backup on it. If you do this, you will have an instantly bootable copy of your OS, apps, and accounts "close-at-hand". No need to do a T.M. restore in an emergency, just boot from your cloned backup and you'll be up-and-running again within two minutes. If you ever get into a "can't boot from internal drive" situation, just switch-boot to get back up, and then you can attempt a repair from your cloned backup.

    If you do this, I also suggest you make the CCC backup partition the FIRST partition on the backup drive. T.M. can be the second, NTFS the third.
  4. macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    I wouldn't partition it. I would bend the Windows partition to read/write to that drive instead like MacDrive. I use this software and works great and have no problem for over two years now.
  5. macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    Sorry, but I'm not sure I agree with that recommendation - because each PC you go to would require the 3rd party software. In that instance I recommend ExFat formatting, both OSs can read/write without issues (so can Linux, which is important to some).

    For this instance, I think creating double partitions is always a good idea, using disk utility to split it will work fine (you just need to use windows to format the NTFS side of things, VMs can do so) - another option to consider would be to create a spare disk image (expandable, in allocated disk space) that only uses as much space as you set it - handy for TM implementations where you don't want to use the entire size of the disk.

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