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 Post subject: Add a partition?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:12 am 
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Disk Utility gives me the impression I'm able to add a partition to a drive already being used. Here's what I'm thinking:

The drive in question (with 323.79 GB of available space) is an external USB drive, currently holding a bootable clone of what had been my Mac mini under 10.8.5. (That environment was also last backed up to a separate Time Machine volume on 11/24, just before the initial update to Sierra.)

I'm considering adding a partition to that external USB drive that would become a bootable clone of the mini now under 10.12.1.

I'm hesitant to just overwrite the 10.8.5 clone with a 10.12.1 clone, and I haven't yet felt confident enough to begin overwriting previous Time Machine backups, either. Am I being too cautious for no reason? And, even if I am, being able to boot into an earlier environment is not such a bad thing, yes?

So my question is: with the available free space, am I indeed able to simply add another partition to the drive holding the 10.8.5 clone?

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I am a proud Aspie. I wonder about and see things in a very literal, logical and pragmatic manner. Thus:
"The only spin that is of any real value is that which follows the rinse cycle."

MacMini 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 16 GB RAM, OS 10.12.3


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 Post subject: Re: Add a partition?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:53 am 
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Partitioning is always dangerous. How big is the current partition you want to clone?

They've really messed up Disk Utility of late, so I'd use iPartition if I were going to do it... or another drive.

I don't think you're being over cautious.


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 Post subject: Re: Add a partition?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:57 am 
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I suspect since you've only got 9GB left over that there won't be sufficient space to partition the disk that far. There's generally a high water mark that's substantially lower than the amount of free space that you can't resize a disk past. I don't know how diskutil figures out where this mark is when resizing.

I concur that resizing a disk is a dangerous operation. Anything goes wrong and you lose the data on the partition you're shrinking (or expanding). On the plus side the new disk utility does seem to perform resizes faster than the old disk utility, though their reliance on it when setting up a disk from scratch can be quite... annoying...


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 Post subject: Re: Add a partition?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:18 pm 
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I think the responses to my initial post came as I was editing the post with updated information:

The target drive has 323.79 GB of available space (now that I've emptied the trash), and the contents of the new partition will be 168.47 GB (plus whatever the OS uses). So there appears to be plenty of room.

It was the Sierra version of Disk Utility that seemed OK with resizing; in that it didn't tell me it was unable to do it.

I'm currently defragging and optimizing the target drive (I've got a small fan on it to keep it cool) to consolidate all the free space.

And I have the last Time Machine backup made just before the update to 10.12.1, too (the same time the target drive clone had been updated) so, barring any mechanical issues, I'm hoping I'll be OK.

_________________
I am a proud Aspie. I wonder about and see things in a very literal, logical and pragmatic manner. Thus:
"The only spin that is of any real value is that which follows the rinse cycle."

MacMini 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 16 GB RAM, OS 10.12.3


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 Post subject: Re: Add a partition?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:53 pm 
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OK, the new partition should be a very minimum of 200 GB, not ideal as far as free space, but acceptable as a backup/emergency boot volume.


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 Post subject: Re: Add a partition?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:04 pm 
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Well, with just shy of 324 GB available, I could make it... what, 250 or 275 GB. Come to think of it, it's a 500 GB drive, so 250 would be half. Would that be better?

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I am a proud Aspie. I wonder about and see things in a very literal, logical and pragmatic manner. Thus:
"The only spin that is of any real value is that which follows the rinse cycle."

MacMini 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 16 GB RAM, OS 10.12.3


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 Post subject: Re: Add a partition?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:55 pm 
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Just to add my 2 cents worth.
I've done this successfully lots of times on externals - 1 or 2TB in size (even 500GB) - with no trouble - though I do hold my breathe when it seems to be erasing everything when it unmounts all the partitions and then remounts the new ones. (I have some externals with up to 7 partitions - don't ask...)

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 Post subject: Re: Add a partition?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:03 pm 
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250 may work, you do need to leave a bit more free space to boot the other/higher OS X if need be.

Glad you chipped in Mrs H! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Add a partition?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:08 pm 
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BDAqua wrote:
...Glad you chipped in Mrs H! :)


I try to when I can, but usually I'm on the receiving end of information here. Happy New Year btw!

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 Post subject: Re: Add a partition?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 3:09 pm 
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I bought iPartition and very easily added the new partition to the external drive, onto which Carbon Copy Cloner then made a bootable copy of my new internal drive (including the Recovery partition).

Then, on another drive, iPartition then easily deleted a no longer needed partition, and expanded one of the other partitions (my Time Machine backups) to use that space.

That's what I call productivity.

Now, I can boot from the internal (Sierra) drive, or from the Sierra clone, or from the clone of the previous OS, Mountain Lion.

_________________
I am a proud Aspie. I wonder about and see things in a very literal, logical and pragmatic manner. Thus:
"The only spin that is of any real value is that which follows the rinse cycle."

MacMini 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 16 GB RAM, OS 10.12.3


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 Post subject: Re: Add a partition?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 6:39 pm 
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Thanks for the report Mike, great to hear. :)


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