How to Partition an External Hard Drive for Time Machine?

Time machine is a built-in utility provided to Mac users for backing up important data to prevent from any kind of mis happening. It is easy to configure a time machine capsule for taking the backup on regular basis. moreover, schedule can be set for data backup process.

Backups have always been a great help in overcoming various data loss situations in various operating systems including Mac. Backup is a simple process of copying a data at a secured location for future access. However, with Mac OS X, there comes an internal utility called the 'Time Machine', which eases the process of creating a backup. Such backup is required to be stored in a safe location. An external storage device could be a good place to take a backup. External storage devices are available with different capacity. However, you need to have just the space equal to the size of the data being backed up.

In cases where the size of the external hard drives is much more than the size of the backup, it is not necessary to dedicate entire space for the Time Machine backups. Rather, you can configure the space on the external hard drive to be used for saving the backup as well as for your other personal data.

You can easily configure an external hard drive by partitioning it into two parts. The first part can be used exclusively for Time Machine backups, whereas, the other part can be used for other file storage.

The Basic operation of partitioning is as simple as splitting any other internal hard drive. However, you need to follow the below mentioned steps, to ensure everything happens properly.

Any Mac system with Time Machine feature.
Any external hard drive with a huge space. The external hard drive could be pre-formatted for OS X or you can format it to make Mac compatible. You can do this by making use of the 'Disk Utility' feature of Mac.

1.Launch Disk Utility from /Applications/Utilities/.

2.Select the external hard drive listed in the left pane of this utility.

3.Choose the 'Partition' tab as shown below.

4.From the 'Partition Layout' option, select '2 Partitions'. This would split the external drive into two equal parts. However, you can have your own size of each partition.

5.From the 'Partition Information' option, give desired names to the created partitions. You can also specify the desired size for each partition in the 'Size' field. Alternatively, you can also drag the boxes below the 'Partition Layout' section to adjust the partition size. In this way, you can configure each partition, one at a time.

6. Click 'Apply'.

7.Click 'Partition' when asked, to confirm the changes.

Note: The total time taken to partition an external hard drive depends upon the total capacity of the disk.

In this way, you can partition Mac based hard drives and any external drives attached to the Mac system.

Once the partition is created, you can configure the Time Machine to backup your data to a specific partition on the external hard drive. For this, you need to follow the below mentioned steps.

1.From the Apple menu, go to the 'System Preferences' and choose 'Time Machine'.
2.Click the 'Select Disk' button to populate the list.
3.From the list, choose the 'Time Machine Backup' partition.
4.Confirm the selection by choosing 'Use Backup Disk'.
5.This would allow the Time Machine to take the backup for the first time.

Note: In case of the first backup with the Time Machine, the process would take little more time.

Finally, you will have a partition serving as a backup drive. However, you can distinguish that drive with a normal drive by identifying the icons used for both of them. The Time Machine partition will have a green logo with a backup logo, whereas, a normal file storage partition will have a standard orange external drive icon.

mac drive partition


No responses found. Be the first to comment...

  • Do not include your name, "with regards" etc in the comment. Write detailed comment, relevant to the topic.
  • No HTML formatting and links to other web sites are allowed.
  • This is a strictly moderated site. Absolutely no spam allowed.
  • Name: