add HFS partition to NTFS ext hdd?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by oYx, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. oYx macrumors regular

    Sep 2, 2007
    i have a 500 gb external hdd formatted as NTFS, and it unfortunately holds 300+ gb of data.

    i need to add a HFS partition as some apps i use need to write to HFS.

    is there a way to add a HFS partition to the external hdd?

    if it matters, the hdd enclosure does firewire 400 and 800, usb 2 and e-sata.
  2. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    if you have leopard you can add an HFS+ partition on the fly which means it wont reformat the whole volume.

    if you dont have leopard then try ipartition and add an HFS+ partition.
  3. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Hmm, can that be done to a FAT32 drive as well?
  4. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003

    I tried this, and it didn't work.

    stipulations of Leopard's Disk Utility on-the-fly repartitioning appear to be pretty limiting:

    seems to need the root partition you're splitting from to be HFS+

    I couldn't get it to create a new partition on my external drive because the original format isn't HFS+ and, since I have 300GB of files on the FAT32 drive and don't have a machine with that much storage free to off-load it for a while, (not to mention I need to access that 300GB on both my Mac and my PC), I can't add an HFS+ partition for, in my case, iMovie 08.

    Since 1.5 hours of DV fills up my entire macbook hard drive and causes spontaneous crashes, using iMovie 08 is no longer an option for me, since it won't work with anything but HFS+.

    It's another Leo feature I was really looking forward to that ended up not working at all.
  5. oYx thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 2, 2007
    i'm moving as much data as possible out of the ext hdd now.

    think i will probably try to add a FAT32 partition using windows, and see if leopard would convert the FAT32 to HFS+.

  6. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Sep 22, 2006
    You can make one partition FAT32 and the other NTFS, then erase the fat32 partition with diskutility as HFS+. Leaving the partition meant to be HFS blank may or may not work, but making it fat32 should definitely work. Its possible since Im doing it right now, it was just a long time ago so I cant remember if I made it fat32 first.
  7. oYx thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 2, 2007
    good news

    i used Gparted and tested it on an usb thumb drive. formatted it to NTFS, and shrunk it down. created a FAT32 partition out of the remaining space, booted into leopard and had disk utility turn the FAT32 partition into HFS+.

    when mounted, they appear as two volumes in leopard.

    i've tried the FAT32 partition with the apps that couldn't write to NTFS and they still don't work. converted it to HFS+ and all's good.

    applied the steps above to my hdd (not before backing up almost everything except for the less important stuff) and shrunk the NTFS partition to 400 GB. created a FAT32 partition out of the remaining space. the resize and partition creation took about an hour and was all in one job, though i didn't time it. back to leopard, and disk utility did its thing.

    after the HFS+ partition is created, the NTFS volume name turned into "disk2s1", and i panicked a little thinking that it wiped off the NTFS partition as well. however, the original volume name still shows on the desktop.

    although i backed up the important stuff, losing the 60 GB worth of stuff would not be fun. if unlike me, you have the space available, you should back up everything.

    anyway, when i opened up the NTFS volume in leopard, the files appear intact. tried running the files and they worked fine.

    hope this helps others.

    edit: the above post got to it earlier than me! but yes, do create a FAT32 partition for leopard to erase and convert.
  8. oYx thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 2, 2007
    GParted maintains your data during a resize, so you can shrink your FAT32 partition and create another FAT32 partition for disk utility to convert to HFS+ to.

    the only caveat about GParted is that it doesn't seem to detect my firewire 800 connected ext hdd. but it was simple to just switch to using my ext hdd's usb connection instead.

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