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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

OS 10.5 - partitioning hd and restructuring directories

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Member Since: May 23, 2009
Posts: 10
sszdkruk is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: MacBook

sszdkruk is offline
A little background before I get to my question...

I'm a fairly new mac user. I purchased a new macbook in Feb. '09, and although I have been using OS X 10.5.8 for about 8 months now, I still consider myself a novice user. I don't get as much time on it as I would like as my wife and kid seem to use it all the time. So, what little time I've had over the last 8 months, I've been spending learning various aspects of the OS as well as certain applications. Anyway, I believe I'm ready to do something I've been wanting to do for a while but didn't feel comfortable until I learned more.

I would like to restructure my internal hard drive without destroying what's already on it. By “restructure”, I mean more than simply repartitioning. Partitioning is only half of it, which I believe I can do with the Disk Utility (by the way, I've already created a WinXP partition using bootcamp back in April). I would like separate partitions for user accounts, applications, data, swap space, etc. After partitioning I would then like to set up mount points to these partitions in such a way that the OS plays nicely with them. I've read a little on this subject but am still a little hazy on how to do this reliably. Most of what I've found is related to much older versions of OS X, so I'm thinking there might be better ways to do some of this. Also, I'm completely comfortable using a command line (or “terminal”) window if necessary as I've been using various versions of unix (Sun Solaris, SGI, etc.) for quite a number of years. I'm no system administrator by any stretch, but from a users perspective I consider myself fairly decent at unix.

When I say I want the mount points to “play nicely” with the OS, here are some of my concerns...

1.Once I create a partition for my applications, can I simply copy the applications directory from the OS partition to the new applications partition? In other words, will the apps work after I do this?
2.Once I create a users partition, how do I get the OS to recognize it as the area where the users accounts are located?

These are the types of concerns I have. I'm sure there are other issues I haven't even thought of yet, but I'm sure there are people out there that have done this type of thing before, and probably without rebuilding the whole system from scratch.

What I would really like is some link that may have a set of instructions that would go through this type of process and speak of the issues that may arise and how to solve them.

Any advice or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
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As far as I know, there is no way to partition your harddrive (not in bootcamp)
without erasing everything that's on it.

I suggest that if you have an external, to back-up your internal.

1) Some do, some don't. It's not recommendable to do it that way.
It would be better to just open the DMG and intall from there.
2) I'm not sure, but just naming them a certain way would be enough.

Sorry, I don't have that link you requested, but someone more experienced than I am will surely come along.

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Member Since: May 23, 2009
Posts: 10
sszdkruk is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: MacBook

sszdkruk is offline
Originally Posted by Sur3Mac View Post
As far as I know, there is no way to partition your harddrive (not in bootcamp)
without erasing everything that's on it.
I don't believe that's true. diskutil can "non-destructively" resize a volume and optionally specify new partitions in the freed space. That's straight from the diskutil man page.
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Member Since: Sep 04, 2009
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I know you could do it in Windows with partition magic re sizing the volumes it would keep the data in tact, have not tried that on a mac tho...
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