Resizing Time Machine partition

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by TheElf, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. TheElf macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2012
    I'm sure this is a question that has been asked many times, though I couldn't find a reply that put my mind completely to rest. Sorry if it seems trivial or blindingly obvious. I have found myself going round in circles in my research and would appreciate someone's advice!

    I am partitioning a new external hard drive for use with:

    1) Time Machine
    2) Media storage
    and 3)A Carbon Copy Cloner (or perhaps SuperDuper!) clone of my 128GB internal SSD.

    Of this 128GB (actually 121GB, according to Disk Utility), I'm currently using about 55GB, so intend to allow 250GB for Time Machine Backups.

    I am aware that one is unable to resize the final partition of a drive using Disk Utility, so intend for the clone to reside here - since its maximum size (128GB) is fixed.

    Thus, I will have approximately 620GB remaining for general media storage.

    My partition scheme would then be as follows:
    250GB Time Machine
    620GB Storage
    128GB Clone

    Do you think 250GB will be adequate for Time Machine in my situation? Will it be possible to enlarge the Time Machine partition (the first partition on the drive) in the future, if ever required? I would rather make the second (storage) partition as large as possible for now, than allow Time Machine a lot of extra space which may well go unused. (My current TM drive has a 500GB partition with only 56GB used.)

    My understanding is that this would not possible without erasing the second partition. Am I correct?

    TL;DR: Is it possible to enlarge a disk partition without erasing the partition below it?

    Many thanks in advance.
  2. Weaselboy macrumors Core


    Jan 23, 2005
    Looks like a good plan to me and the 250GB is more than enough for your TM storage. But no, if the TM partition is first, you will not be able to enlarge it without removing the second partition.
  3. TheElf thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2012
    Thanks Weaselboy. Is there any reasonable method by which partitions (with data on them) can be resized; or is it an impossible task without a second drive?

    Will the order of partitions make any discernible difference?
  4. Weaselboy macrumors Core


    Jan 23, 2005
    You can resize partitions in OS X without losing data, but the issue is you need free space beneath the partition to expand into. You can kind of get the idea in the animation on this page.

    So in your example, you would need to remove the partition below the 250GB TM one, then expand it... then put the second one back at a smaller size.

    Yes, to do that you would need to move the data off partition two, but not the TM partition one.

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