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  1. #1
    Partitioning external HDs
    AUZambo's Avatar
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    Partitioning external HDs
    I have a 500 GB external that currently has a lot of pictures and videos saved on it because they wouldn't fit on my internal.

    I would like to use the free space on that external to do a carbon copy of my internal.

    Is it possible to partition a certain amount of space on the external to do this without erasing the existing data on it?

  2. #2
    Partitioning external HDs
    bobtomay's Avatar
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    Personally, I wouldn't even try it unless you care nothing about any of those pics and videos. For $60-70, you can get another 500GB drive to create the clone and backup those pics/videos which you currently do not have backed up.

    Better yet, for $100 or less you can get a 1 - 1.5 TB drive.


    Edit: this just boils down to the same advice - don't play with partitionng a drive that contains data until that drive is backed up. Stuff happens.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  3. #3
    Partitioning external HDs
    AUZambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
    Personally, I wouldn't even try it unless you care nothing about any of those pics and videos. For $60-70, you can get another 500GB drive to create the clone and backup those pics/videos which you currently do not have backed up.

    Better yet, for $100 or less you can get a 1 - 1.5 TB drive.


    Edit: this just boils down to the same advice - don't play with partitionng a drive that contains data until that drive is backed up. Stuff happens.
    That's where I'm leaning. The only problem is that I believe I'm on the verge of hard drive failure and I want to back up as soon as possible. I can go my normal route and simply copy and paste my important documents, images, movies, etc. to the external to save those, but I'd ultimately like to make a bootable copy should I need to put in a new drive.

    The problem with ordering a new hard drive is right now I'm not 100% sure we have the extra money to get one right now because I have to renew my license plates this month (**** DMV!), and even if I can go ahead and buy them I'd have to wait for it to be delivered. Oh well...such is the life of a computer owner.

    I was hoping you could safely partition a used hard drive...but I was anticipating the answer you gave.

  4. #4
    Partitioning external HDs
    bobtomay's Avatar
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    Disk Utility is suppose to be able to safely re-size partitions without data loss, but I've never done it.

    However, all of those other utilities that can do the same which I have used time and again without issue, I've seen them on the rare occasion of 'something' happening to cause data loss.

    Don't know if DU will only re-size HFS partitions or any format - a google would probably answer that.

    If your external is formatted as HFS, and you feel the internal is about to die, I'd probably try a Time Machine back up instead of resizing and doing a clone. A TM backup can be written to a drive with other data on it - but it has to be HFS.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  5. #5
    Partitioning external HDs
    AUZambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
    Disk Utility is suppose to be able to safely re-size partitions without data loss, but I've never done it.

    However, all of those other utilities that can do the same which I have used time and again without issue, I've seen them on the rare occasion of 'something' happening to cause data loss.

    Don't know if DU will only re-size HFS partitions or any format - a google would probably answer that.

    If your external is formatted as HFS, and you feel the internal is about to die, I'd probably try a Time Machine back up instead of resizing and doing a clone. A TM backup can be written to a drive with other data on it - but it has to be HFS.
    Ahhh...that's good to know. I'm only familiar with the Carbon Copy Cloner program since I just used it a few months ago when I upgraded the hard drive (I think the new HD is defective). A few quick questions about time machine and I'll do the rest of my research on google/youtube.

    1. Does time machine back up software? I have Adobe CS3 installed on my computer, but I don't have the installation disk. I don't want to lose this program!

    2. Will time machine create a bootable copy of my hard drive?

    The advantage to CCC is that if I DO have to replace the hard drive, I will have an exact copy of it on the external that I could then copy onto the new internal (whenever I get one). I'm hoping time machine will do the same.

  6. #6
    Partitioning external HDs
    bobtomay's Avatar
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    1. Yes, it backs up everything. I have seen folks say they have restored everything without issue, and I've heard you may need your discs to reinstall some apps - like MS Office and the CS suite - so I'm not sure. Maybe someone else can chime in here.

    2. Nope - TM backup is not bootable - it requires you to reinstall the OS and import from the backup. (I use SuperDuper! instead of CCC.)

    (Guess maybe I should do a TM restore myself to experiment sometime.)
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  7. #7
    Partitioning external HDs

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    Not that I'm recommending it...but I did exactly what the OP was inquiring...partition with data already on the drive and was successful...I partitioned using Mac HFS - Journaled and did a clone with CCC...worked for me...but I was ok with potential data loss...at the time. ( To clarify, I re-partitioned an existing drive...perhaps not the exact same..)

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