Mac disk utility partition scheme

Most pre-formatted drives are set up for Windows PCs. Though some companies sell Mac-formatted drives, and charge extra for the "feature.

How to Manage Disks and Volumes with OS X’s Disk Utility

Connect the drive, select it in Disk Utility, and click the Erase button in the toolbar. This is how you prepare to erase and format a USB flash drive.

OS X - Boot to the Recovery Partition in Lion/Mountain Lion

In that case, choose Master Boot Record for the Scheme. You may want to divide a drive into more than one partition. When you do this, each partition is a volume, and each volume shows up as a separate drive on your Mac. You may want to do this to have two versions of OS X; for example, one in the first partition, another in a second partition. Or you may want to do it to sequester data: media files on one partition, other files on the second partition. To partition a drive, select it in Disk Utility, and then click Partition in the toolbar.

Disk Utility shows the drive's space as a pie chart. If you want to adjust their sizes, you can do so by dragging the circles dividing the partitions, or by typing a size into the Size field. When you click Apply, Disk Utility erases the drive did you back it up first?


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OS X has a feature called FileVault, which is a form of full-disk encryption. You can turn it on from the Security pane of System Preferences, but only for your startup volume.

Disk Utility for macOS Sierra: Partition a physical disk using Disk Utility

With Disk Utility, you can create an encrypted volume on any drive. To do this, you need to erase your volume, as I explained earlier in this article. You'll be prompted for a password before Disk Utility erases the drive; make sure to remember it, because you won't be able to access the drive without it.

If you've already got drives formatted and want to encrypt them, you can do this, but not with Disk Utility. Select a volume in the Finder, right-click, and choose Encrypt [volume name].

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You'll be prompted for a password, as when you erase a drive in Disk Utility. The volume, and all its data, will be encrypted. Click on "Disk Utility" to launch it. Look in the list on the left side of the Disk Utility interface for the name of the drive you want to partition, and click on the applicable listing. Note that drive names appear flush left in the list, with the names of their partitions indented below them in alphabetical order.

Add a volume to a device without erasing existing data

Even a drive you format as one unified piece of storage space contains a partition equal in size to the addressable size of the mechanism. Click on the "Partition" tab at the top of the Disk Utility interface. If you clicked on a partition name instead of a volume name in the list, the tab won't appear.

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Click on the listing for each partition in the Volume Scheme list and enter a name, format and size. To alter partition sizes interactively, drag the dividers between them in the Volume Scheme list up or down. Subdivide an existing drive partition to reallocate its space without losing the data already on it.

This procedure divides the existing partition in half, unless it's more than half full.

Resize Partitions in Mac OS X with Disk Utility

In that case, Disk Utility divides the partition unequally, with one portion sized to hold existing data and the other created from the rest of the partition space. Click on the "Apply" button to set up your drive with the partitioning scheme you created. Once Disk Utility finishes creating them, your partitions' names appear in the list on the left side of the Disk Utility interface. Elizabeth Mott has been a writer since Mott has extensive experience writing advertising copy for everything from kitchen appliances and financial services to education and tourism.