Can't remove unused partition - need the space

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by T Coma, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. T Coma, Apr 9, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2017

    T Coma macrumors regular

    T Coma

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2015
    Location:
    People's Republic of Chicago
    #1
    I created a partition on a 2009 MBP to test out El Capitan a while ago, and it worked fine, so I upgraded the boot drive from the OS that was running at the time to El Capitan.

    Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 5.26.14 PM.png


    That left an unused partition on the SSD. I have erased the smaller partition and tried to delete it via Disk Utility, but without success. The remainder of the HD has since filled up and I would like to reclaim that partition space back to the boot drive. You can see here that the " - " minus button is inexplicably greyed out and thus I cannot remove this partition, nor can I resize it without creating yet another partition. I find it hard to believe that Apple does not allow for removing unneeded partitions. Any help?


    Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 5.26.39 PM.png
     
  2. alex.houston macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2016
    Location:
    Indiana
    #2
    Try going into recovery mode (boot while holding cmd-R) and use disk utility from there.
     
  3. T Coma thread starter macrumors regular

    T Coma

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2015
    Location:
    People's Republic of Chicago
    #3
    Thanks for the suggestion, but no such luck. The " - " minus button was not greyed out this time, but here is the result after I clicked the partition in question and hit the minus button.

    IMG_0029.jpg

    BTW, no "Enable Journaling" command under the "File" menu.
     
  4. alex.houston macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2016
    Location:
    Indiana
    #4
    While in recovery mode, chose "Delete Me" partition, then chose erase tab and erase partition with "Mac OS X Extended (Journaled)" option selected. Then try again to remove the partition.
     
  5. T Coma thread starter macrumors regular

    T Coma

    Joined:
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    Location:
    People's Republic of Chicago
    #5
    Yep - tried that a few times actually. No dice. It's looking like my only option is a nuke & pave. Hopefully my CCC or Time Machine backup works!

    IMG_0030.jpg
     
  6. alex.houston macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2016
    Location:
    Indiana
  7. T Coma thread starter macrumors regular

    T Coma

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2015
    Location:
    People's Republic of Chicago
    #7
    Yes. I haven't had any luck finding solutions from Apple or anywhere else. I was hoping to avoid the full reinstall, but apparently Apple thinks that is preferable to giving us mere mortals the power to manage their own hard drives, even though we used to be able to do so...
     
  8. alex.houston macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2016
    Location:
    Indiana
    #8
    Well that sucks. Before reinstalling, make sure SSD drive is OK. In your about this mac > system information > system report it should say "S.M.A.R.T. status: Verified" for your SSD drive.
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    What WILL work:

    1. Back up the partition you want to save to another drive using CarbonCopyCloner (or SuperDuper).
    2. Boot from the cloned backup
    3. Open Disk Utility and "aim it" at the internal drive
    4. Re-initialize the internal drive to ONE partition
    5. RE-CLONE from the cloned backup to the internal drive.
    5a. IF you used CCC, it will also "clone back over" the recovery partition, as well.
     
  10. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #10
    This may also be a quirk or limitation of Disk Utility. It does not always give you a complete picture of your drive, as it hides certain partitions from you. Try using this Terminal command to get an overview of the drive's partitions. Maybe it can be deleted from there.
    Code:
    diskutil list

    If you like, you can post the result here.
     
  11. T Coma thread starter macrumors regular

    T Coma

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2015
    Location:
    People's Republic of Chicago
    #11
    Yeah that was the first thing I checked - no errors, and SMART is verified. In my search around MR and the internet in general, I found quite a few similar situations, but with no simple fix; this is just an example of the reduced functionality of Disk Utility that so many have complained about, I guess. There are apparently some 3rd party software solutions to restoring the previously accessible functions, but I was trying to avoid the additional cost for a likely one-time use.

    In other words, nuke & pave, as mentioned. That was always an option, but I was looking for a way to manage the partitions, like Disk Utility once could do.

    I did that too, and there seemed to be nothing out of order. So after adding up the time I spent searching for an easy (and previously existing) solution, I guess it would have been faster just to swap in a bigger SSD, which I happened to have recently switched out of my iMac. Lucky for me, I guess (actually for my SO): she gets back the missing 66GB plus and additional 260GB.

    Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 4.13.49 PM.png

    Ok, so the l suppose my lesson is: don't spend too much time trying to do it the easy way. Also, don't expect Apple to keep it easy to DIY.

    Anybody need a 240GB SSD? :D
     

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