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Quick Tip: Partition a hard drive using Disk Utility

Mac OS X makes it incredibly easy to partition external hard drives into multiple “drives.” Creating partitions on a drive means you can see multiple “drives” from OS X, but they’re all contained on the same hard drive. It’s convenient for separating data or allowing you to store both SuperDuper! and Time Machine backups on the same hard drive, but it’s important to note that if the drive goes bad, you will possibly lose everything on both partitions.

To get started, launch the Disk Utility app (It’s under Applications/Utilities). Then, select the drive that you want to partition and click the Partition tab.

Creating a disk partition in OS X

In the Partition tab, click the dropdown box under Partition Layout. In this menu, you can choose how many partitions you want.

Creating a disk partition in OS X

Once you select the number of partitions, you can click in each one to name it and decide how much space to give it. You can also use the drag bar in the Partition Layout to resize them. Once you are finished, hit Apply. Please note that the existing drive will be erased prior to making the partition!

If you need help backing up your Mac, we’ve got a great guide that covers all the ins-and-outs of local and cloud-based backups.

We have more Quick Tips right here.