Partitioning a Mac hard drive

Discussion in 'Mac Desktops' started by John Emmas, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. John Emmas

    John Emmas New Member

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    I'm thinking about buying a Mac Mini or Mac Pro. Either way, I'll probably opt for a 1TB SSD. I'm assuming that (when it first turns up) the entire drive will be formatted as a single boot partition but eventually I'd like to partition the drive - maybe so I can dual boot with Windows and maybe with some extra space available to use as a dedicated data partition. So a couple of questions if I may...

    1) When I last partitioned a drive it was for a Windows machine and IIRC there was a limit of only 4 x partitions (one of which could be an extended partition). I thinks this partitioning scheme was called MBR (Master Boot Record). Is MBR still used by modern computers or has it been replaced by something else now?

    2) What's a good software package for partitioning and managing a Mac hard drive? Can Boot Camp do that for me or would I be better off buying something specialized?
     
    John Emmas, Jan 12, 2019
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  2. John Emmas

    Lufbrarunner New Member

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    If you want a windows partition, Boot Camp will do that for you.
    You can partition your Mac drive with disk utility. The formatting will depend on the age of your Mac, Mojave will format the drives to APFS.
    APFS volumes share storage space within a container, occupying a single partition. Adding and deleting APFS volumes is faster and simpler than editing a partition map.
     
    Lufbrarunner, Jan 12, 2019
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  3. John Emmas

    John Emmas New Member

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    Thanks for the quick response, Lufbrarunner

    What would be the deal with APFS and Windows? I'm guessing Windows won't recognize APFS volumes? (or from past experience, maybe it'll be able to read them but not write to them?)

    Ideally I'd need a data partition which both OS's can read & write (last time I did this, FAT32 was the only type that was acceptable to both OS's)
     
    John Emmas, Jan 12, 2019
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  4. John Emmas

    honestone New Member

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    Regarding "Windows" formats, at least for Flash Drives, I can format them, via Disk Utility, either as MS-DOS (FAT), aka FAT32, or ExFAT. This might help:

    "If you need to transfer files larger than 4 GBbetween Macs and PCs: Use exFAT. In all other cases: UseMS-DOS (FAT), aka FAT32."

    I know that whenever I want to use a Flash Drive on our Samsung 65" Smart TV, the drive must be formatted as ExFAT. Yet, previously I wanted to give some movies to a friend, who had a LG TV, and for that one, only MS-DOS (FAT), ie, FAT32, worked.

    And to make it more challenging, we recently purchased 2 Roku 4661R Streaming devices, and each one has a USB port. For that, here is what it says regarding the format of Flash Drives:

    "USB drives may be formatted with different file systems. Roku Media Player supports drives that are formatted with the FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, EXT2, EXT3, and HFS+ file systems"

    So, most likely, APFS would not be acceptable with that Roku player.

    This should help you, especially in regards to Boot Camp:

    https://support.apple.com/guide/disk-utility/format-a-disk-for-windows-computers-dskutl1010/mac

    I assume that is applicable, even if you use Mojave.
     
    honestone, Jan 12, 2019
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  5. John Emmas

    John Emmas New Member

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    Thanks guys - I'm getting the impression that MBR and APFS are maybe incompatible - i.e. previously, I could have a drive configured as MBR and have 1 partition as HFS+ and another as FAT32 and another as NTFS or whatever. But what's the deal with APFS? If I have an MBR configuration, can one of the partitions be APFS (or would it be better to have them on different drives - one APFS and the other MBR)?
     
    John Emmas, Jan 13, 2019
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  6. John Emmas

    Lufbrarunner New Member

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    You can still create partitions on an APFS drive, in fact Boot Camp will do this for you, The partition will be outside of the APFS container, inside the APFS container you can create separate volumes. you could also create another partition for Data outside of the APFS container and format it to suit windows. This can all be done with Disk Utility.
     
    Lufbrarunner, Jan 13, 2019
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  7. John Emmas

    John Emmas New Member

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    Thanks Lufbrarunner, What worried me is that Windows (AFAIK) expects the disk scheme to be MBR. So would the disk scheme still be MBR but with one of the partitions formatted for APFS?

    This would be similar to older Macs - where the disk scheme was MBR but with the Mac partition formatted as HFS+.
     
    John Emmas, Jan 13, 2019
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  8. John Emmas

    Lufbrarunner New Member

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    Lufbrarunner, Jan 13, 2019
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  9. John Emmas

    honestone New Member

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    Even though I don't need a Windows partition on any of my SSDs, this is still a somewhat confusing scenario. I have 3 external Samsung SSDs: two of them are 512 gig 850 Pro models, and one is a 500 gig 860 EVO model. Given that I am using Mojave, the initial Erase and Format for each of those SSDs, via the Mojave version of Disk Utility, formats them as APFS (that is the simplest APFS "version" that I chose):

    https://support.apple.com/guide/dis...e-in-disk-utility-dsku19ed921c/18.0/mac/10.14

    For the 2 840 Pros, I have 3 partitions. Two of those partitions are used for my SuperDuper! backups for each of my Macs, and the third partition contains various "data" files: Photos, Movies, TV Series, etc. For the 860 EVO, it currently contains tow partitions, and they are the final High Sierra SuperDuper! backups (needed to have them, as Tech Tool Pro does not yet have a "full" Mojave version available). Eventually I will want to use the EVO SSD for other purposes.

    Now, there is this:

    https://support.apple.com/guide/disk-utility/partition-a-physical-disk-dskutl14027/18.0/mac/10.14

    Note that it says "If you’re partitioning your internal physical disk because you want to install Windows, use Boot Camp Assistant.".

    What those links do not cover is if you want to have a "Windows" data partition. That seem so be what you want.
     
    honestone, Jan 13, 2019
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  10. John Emmas

    Lufbrarunner New Member

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    Although you can create an exfat partition on the internal drive it will not be visible to the boot camped windows OS.
    Using an external drive works well, I did this when I needed to boot to a windows partition to run photoshop. All my photos were on an exfat formatted drive and could be accessed by both OS's.
     
    Lufbrarunner, Jan 13, 2019
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  11. John Emmas

    honestone New Member

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    If you plan on purchasing an external drive, the Samsung 860 EVO 500 gig SSD is an excellent choice. I recently purchased one, and it is a pleasure to use. It has had numerous excellent reviews. Also, here in the US, it has recently been on sale at Amazon for as low as $68, definitely a super price.
     
    honestone, Jan 14, 2019
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