Partitioning my Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Matt Phoenix, Mar 13, 2006.

  1. Matt Phoenix macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    #1
    Okay, I know there have been threads made about partitioning a hard drive, but I couldn't find one that deals with my specific problem. I have a 250GB hard drive, which I originally planned to divide up into 3 partitions (one I could boot from if I need to, one for large media projects and important files, and one in the FAT32 format so I could transfer files from PC to Mac and vice versa). Using Disk Utility, I was able to make three partitions, all of which were FAT32, or all of which were HFS+ (which is what they are currently), but I am unable to find out how to make individual partitions different and not have them all be the same (like keep 2 as HFS+, but make the third one FAT32). How would I go about doing this?
     
  2. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #2
    I did that with an external drive.

    So using Disk Utility, you should be able to select the external drive, and click on the Partition tab. You can split the disk and specify the name, format and size of each partition. I think the default is HFS+ but you can select one of the partitions and set the disk format to FAT32. Clicking Partition will make the changes to the disk.
     
  3. iPhil macrumors 68040

    iPhil

    #3

    select one partition then select the format ... That's how my Disk utliity looks/works
     
  4. Matt Phoenix thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    #4
    Here are the options I am given:

    [​IMG]

    Of course, you can set the whole thing for a PC Partition scheme, but that will only allow you to choose between FAT32 and Free space for all the partitions, yet will not allow you to choose Apple Partitions for some and PC for others...unless I'm missing something.
     
  5. iPhil macrumors 68040

    iPhil

    #5
    i don't know why Mac isn't allowing to partition to 2 separate formats .. :confused:

    I checked that on my thumb drive in disk utility, same way.. weird .. :eek: :eek:

    someone might be able to trouble-shoot the problem more clearly than me :eek:
     
  6. Matt Phoenix thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 6, 2006
  7. mrichmon macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    #8
    The issue is that the PC (traditional windows x86) partition table format is different than the apple partition table format. Disk Utility does not give you any control over the partition table format as far as I know. The solution is to hook the drive up to a PC and allow the PC to create a partition table. You can also allow the PC to format the FAT partition if you like.

    Then, connect the drive to a Mac and alter the partition table and resize then reformat the partitions as you like with your preferred file systems.

    The end result will be a drive that has a PC format partition table with the defined partitions formated with HFS+ and/or FAT as you see fit.

    I assume the original poster is talking about doing all this to an external drive since it makes no sense to format an internal drive with any FAT partitions.
     
  8. Matt Phoenix thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 6, 2006
    #9
    Ah yea, this is going to be on an external hard drive. I forgot to mention that. :-x

    I shall try that out. Thanks a lot for all your help!
     
  9. Matt Phoenix thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    #10
    Okay, I followed that, and got to the point where you're supposed to mount the HFS+ partitions with the command given in #9, but I just get "hdid: attach failed - not recognized"
     
  10. mrichmon macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    #11
    You don't need to do all of it on the command line. The main thing is to connect the drive to a windows machine, use the windows disk manager to partition the drive.

    Connect the drive to a Mac. Click "No" or "Cancel" if OS X asks you if you want the drive to be set up by OS X. Open Disk Utility and partition then format the partitions as you want.

    Personally, I always format my FAT partitions under windows and format only my HFS+ partitions under OS X.
     
  11. mrichmon macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    #12
    I've poked around in Disk Utility and found that you can setup a pc partition scheme in Disk Utility.

    Connect your drive.
    Open Disk Utility and click on the drive that you want to partition.
    Select the "Partition" tab and click the "Options" button.
    From the drop-down list, select "PC Partition Scheme".
    Now specify the number and sizes of the partitions you want on the disk.

    Using the PC partition scheme you should be able to select the MS-DOS file system as the partition format.
     
  12. Matt Phoenix thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 6, 2006
    #13
    If I do this, then I'm unable to select HFS+ Partitions, as it seems you can only select PC or Apple after you click on a hard drive. Disk Utility will only allow you to pick from a variety of Apple formats for all the partitions, or use MS-DOS/Free Space for all of them. There seems to be no option to mix and match, even if the hard drive is formatted on the PC.
     
  13. mrichmon macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 17, 2003
    #14
    In that case, hook the drive up to a PC and create all the partitions you need. Format any MS-DOS partitions while the drive is still connected to the windows machine. Then connect the drive to a Mac and format the remaining partitions you created using HFS+.
     
  14. Matt Phoenix thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 6, 2006
    #15
    Damnit! I tried it yet again, and created a FAT32 partition using my PC, leaving the rest of the hard drive blank. I then used Disk Utility and added 2 more partitions. I even tried locking the FAT32 partition for editing, while formatting the other two as HFS+. However, the FAT32 partition was also formatted to HFS+. Bah!
     
  15. mrichmon macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 17, 2003
    #16
    In this case, use the PC to create 3 partitions and format one of them to be your FAT32 partition. Then connect the drive to a Mac and only format the other two partitions. That is, don't change the partition layout under OS X.
     
  16. Matt Phoenix thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 6, 2006
    #17
    Okay, then if I do that and don't change the partition format under Mac OS X, what do I use to format the unformated partitions? If you say DiskUtility, where am I looking exactly? I mean the Partition section seems to be the only section that will allow you to format a disk.
     
  17. mrichmon macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 17, 2003
    #18
    If I recall correctly, the additional partitions showed up on the desktop for me as unformated drives and I could right click to format. Alternatively, I know that I have used Disk Utility to format the partitions by clicking on the partition I want to format in the tree view on the left of the window. Then select the "Erase" tab and specify the Volume format.

    Hope this helps.
     
  18. virus1 macrumors 65816

    virus1

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2004
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    LOST
    #19
    hold on. back to the root of the problem.

    WHY ARE YOU USING A PC?

    problem solved.
     
  19. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #20
    Because in order to create partitions with multiple formats, e.g., HFS+ and FAT32, one needs to use a PC first to partition the disk and format one (or more) of the partitions as FAT32 and then attach it to the Mac to formar the other as HFS+.

    As noted previously, you should be using the Erase tab to format the other partitions as HFS+, not the Partition tab.
     
  20. straightup macrumors newbie

    straightup

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    #21
    This is exactly the same problem I am having. I cannot figure out any earthly way to format my 250GB external USB hard drive so it has FAT and HFS+ partitions. I've been trying various ideas for literally four days now, including many of the options outlined here.

    Did anyone ever have success with this?
     
  21. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #22
  22. mrichmon macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    #23
    Yes. It is easiest to do using OS X 10.4.6 since there are some additional options available in Disk Utility. Connect the disk to the Mac and open Disk Utility. Use the partition tab to create a "Master Boot Record" partition table on the disk (the partition type is found under the "Options" button).

    Partition the drive and specify the formats that you want the partitions to have.

    With earlier versions of OS X, you need to first connect the drive to a Windows machine and use Disk Management to create the FAT32 partition(s) you want on the drive. Then connect the drive to a Mac and use Disk Utility to create your HFS+ partition in the remaining free space on the disk.
     
  23. j3tang macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #24

    I think virus1 was just being sarcastic about using the PC .. probably what he meant was why format to FAT so that you can use it on the PC if you shouldn't be using the PC in the first place :p

    Anyways, if you want your PC to have access to your external drive formatted to HFS .. you could alternatively use a software called MacDrive on the PC, which would let the winbloze machine read the Mac formatted drive.

    But obviously this would work only for a PC prepared or expecting to use the external drive, so if you suddenly brought the external to a PC friend's place, they'd have trouble unless they went and installed the MacDrive software on the spot.
     
  24. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #25
    If anyone on this thread is ADC member and can reproduce the steps, it would be worth filing a bug report with Apple.
     

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