Tuesday, September 24, 2013

How Disk Utility Can Manage Mac Drive

"As compared to a non-partitioned hard drive, data storage on a hard drive having several partitions is much better, more efficient, and unambiguous. Mac OS X includes all such features by making its hard drive available for partitioning in desired number of volumes."

Have you tried partitioning your Mac drive on your own? Well, if you have not, then you may not find this task straightforward. Partitioning Mac drive not only makes data storage efficient, but also makes it easily accessible whenever you need it. Based on the requirements, one can slice his Mac drive into 16 partitions (max.). However, you must have a reliable Mac partition manager application to get this task accomplished without any failure. Alternatively, you can use Mac inbuilt Disk Utility as well to partition Mac drive.
How Disk Utility Can Manage Mac Drive

Why to partition Mac drive

Partitioning Mac drive is not as easy as that on Windows; however, it is recommended to go for it because (in addition to what is mentioned above) it not only lets you store different types of data separately, but also facilitates installing multiple operating systems (i.e. Mac as well as Windows) on separate partitions.

  • By storing different types of data (such as movies, pictures, songs, Mac apps, and more) separately, you can make data storage better, unproblematic, and hence, more efficient. For example, if you want to watch a movie, then you can directly open the partition containing movies. You do not have to search for it throughout the Mac drive. Besides, it allows you keep your data arranged category wise.
  • Partitioning Mac drive keeps your data secure as compared to when it is not partitioned. To know how, suppose that your Mac drive has the only partition (i.e. Macintosh HD) or saying it is not partitioned would be more precise. Apart from the system files, it contains your personal as well as professional data. In case your Mac suffers from a disaster, you would have to reinstall the Mac that causes huge amount of data loss. Conversely, if your Mac data is stored on different partitions separate from the system files, any issue with Mac OS X cannot harm it at all.
  • In case your Mac has multiple partitions, you can use one of these partitions to install another operating system (i.e. Windows or Mac). Multi boot makes your Mac data accessible even if one of these operating systems is crashed or unable to boot.

Partitioning Mac drive with Mac partition manager

Mac OS X allows partitioning its hard drive into several partitions during as well as after its installation. For this, you should have a reliable Mac partition manager application installed on your Mac, which makes partitioning unsophisticated, even though it is not.

To begin, launch partition manager application and select the disk that you need to partition. Select the number of partitions you want to create on your Mac drive. Once these partitions are created, format them with Mac file system individually, and then save them. After that, you can use these volumes to save data or even for installing Mac OS X. In case you want to install Windows on either of these partitions, before that, you will have to format that volume with Windows file system (i.e. FAT or NTFS), whichever is facilitated.

Partitioning Mac drive with Disk Utility

Mac inbuilt Disk Utility is a complete disk management tool that features formatting, partitioning, resizing, repairing, imaging, and cloning Mac disks. To know how, you must go through the process discussed below:

Formatting Mac Drive

Formatting a hard drive refers to two completely different mechanisms, one is the process of deleting all data collectively and quickly, whereas the other is to make a hard drive able to allow performing data read/write operations on it. Both of these processes share same name, though. However, both refer to completely different processes. Since we need to partition Mac drive, we would apparently discuss the latter one.

Important: In case you need to format a new hard drive, you need to connect it to your Mac. Conversely, you can directly start partitioning your Mac drive, as it is already formatted for Mac.

To format a new drive, launch Disk Utility and select it among the drives listed at the left. With this drive selected, go to the Erase tab at the right. Here, in the Format menu, choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) and specify a Name for this drive, and then click Erase button to start formatting.

Partitioning Mac Drive

Once this drive is formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled), you can start partitioning it. Before this, with the same drive selected, go to the Partition tab at the right and click Options button. In this window, select GUID Partition Table (on your Intel-based Mac) and click OK button.

Remember: You cannot partition Mac drive on a PowerPC-based Mac system after installing Mac, as it uses Apple Partition Map as the Partition Map Scheme.

In the Volume Scheme dropdown menu, choose the number of partitions you want to create on your Mac. The number of partitions you choose through this menu will slice your Mac drive into its equal number of partitions. Select a partition and set its properties (Name, Format, and Size) beneath the Volume Information area. Now, repeat this step for other Mac volumes as well. When finished, click Apply button to save them.

Resizing Mac Volumes

(a) Once you partition Mac drive and save your data, you may anytime need to enlarge one or more of these partitions. For this, you will either use the free space (if available) or shrink other volumes to create free space, and then enlarge the required volumes. For this, launch Disk Utility, select Mac drive in its left pane and go to the Partition tab at the right. In the graphical view of this drive, hold a volume from its bottom boundary and drag it upwards to shrink it. Likewise, shrink other volumes having free space (if required). Now, to enlarge a volume, hold its bottom boundary and drag it downwards to enlarge it. When finished, click Apply button to save the changes made so far.

(b) In case you need to resize the boot volume on your Mac drive, you must meet the following criterion:

Boot volume on your Mac is the primary volume that you cannot (though you can, it can be risky) modify while booting from it. Therefore, you need some other bootable media (i.e. Recovery HD or Mac OS X boot disc). In reality, if you are running Mac OS X Lion or Mountain Lion, then boot from Recovery HD, whereas for earlier versions of Mac (i.e. earlier than Mac OS 10.7 Lion) boot disc is required.

Booting from Recovery HD

Go to Apple menu and choose Restart in the context menu. When booting, hold down the Command + R keys or the Option key right after you hear Mac startup tone. After that, release these keys when gray screen appears. When displayed, between Macintosh HD and Recovery HD choose Recovery HD to boot from, and then launch Disk Utility.

Booting from Mac OS X boot Disc

Insert Mac OS X boot disc and restart your Mac. Right after you hear Mac startup tone, hold down the C key to boot from the inserted disc. When gray screen appears, release the C key. In the Mac OS X boot window, select a preferred language and click Next button. Now, launch Disk Utility in Mac OS X Utilities screen.

In Disk Utility, select Mac drive in the left pane and simultaneously go to the Partition tab at the right. Here, in the graphical view of the hard drive, select Mac boot volume (i.e. the volume named as Macintosh HD) and drag it upwards by holding its bottom boundary or the bottom-right corner to shrink it. Alternatively, to enlarge boot volume, drag it downwards by holding its bottom boundary or the bottom-right corner. When you are finished with resizing Mac boot volume, click Apply button to save the changes. Exit Disk Utility and all other opened windows, and then restart the Mac normally. Make sure you eject the boot disc. After booting normally, verify the changes you have made.

Repairing Mac Disk and the associated Permissions

Each Mac volume has a set of particular permissions associated with it, which limit the user-access to these volumes. Sometimes, you face difficulties when accessing one or more Mac volumes, which can be due to corruption in the permissions of those volumes.

Disk Utility in Mac OS X facilitates repairing the permissions associated to the Mac volumes. For this, you need to launch Disk Utility, select the inaccessible volume in its left pane, and then click Repair Disk Permissions button in the First Aid tab (default tab) at the right. In case you are unable to install some applications or facing any permission related error when installing any app, you need to repair disk permissions of the Mac boot volume after booting in Recovery HD or Mac boot disc.

Author Bio:
Jyoti Roy is a Mac user and she loves to write posts on various Mac utilities like Mac partition Manager, defrag Mac, speed Up Mac, backup utility in Mac etc..She wants to explore her knowledge with tech people over internet.
Posted By: Stuart Prada

How Disk Utility Can Manage Mac Drive


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