Partitioning Hard Disk in a Mac Mini

Author: Sarath Chandrika


This cool solution describes the procedure to partition hard disk in a Mac Mini system that already has an OS installed. The procedure to partition the disk varies depending on whether you are a root user or a non-root user.

Accessing Disk Utility When you are a Root User

When you are a root user, the Disk Utility in the utilities list of applications is fully operational and all options are available for you. If you are a root user, select Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility, then use the partition option.

Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility

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Continue with 5.Partitioning the Hard Disk By Using the Disk Utility

Accessing Disk Utility When you are a Non-Root User

If you are a non-root user ( or for some reason could not enabled root login), you might not be able to use the partition facility. The options in the partition tab will be disabled.

Utility options disabled!!

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The following steps describe the procedure to partition Mac Mini when you are a no- root user:


Mac OS install DVD

Accessing the Disk Utility

  1. Insert the DVD into the CD/DVD drive (Mac Minis have the ability to read normal CDs and DVDs).

    Install CD/DVD detected

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  • Proceed with the installation. (Do not worry. The installation procedure is used only to partition the disk. The actual installation would not start).

    This reboots the system.

  • When the system reboots, it starts the installer wizard. Select the language when prompted and pretend as if you are going to install the OS

    Language selection

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  • The next window displays the Utilities option. Select Disk Utility from the drop-down list..

    Disk Utility from Utilities drop-down

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  • Continue with 5.Partitioning the Hard Disk By Using the Disk Utility

    Partition details

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Partitioning the Hard Disk By Using the Disk Utility

In the Disk Utility window, the left pane lists all the existing partitions. Partition can be done on an already existing partition(if there is one) or on the complete hard disk volume. Follow the procedure given below to partition the hard disk.:

  1. In the Disk Utility window, select a partition or the hard disk volume in the right pane by clicking the volume. The add/delete ( /-) option gets enabled.

  • Click the Add( ) option to partition the selected volume.

  • Select the new partition to display the name, fomat, and size of the new partition in the volume information section.

  • You can also partition the disk volume by selecting the desired number of partitions.

    But, if you want to partition the disk by using this option, and you forget to select the number of partition, then it completely erases the existing primary partition once you click Apply.

    Choose partition count

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  • After you have selected the number of partition, a screen similar to the one below is displayed.

    Number of partitions

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    In the above screen, the entire disk volume is partitioned.

  • To configure the Volume information for a partition, select each of the partition. Selecting a partition displays the information pertaining to that partition. You can change the size of a partition by dragging the border between partitions or by typing in the size.

    Note: Check the free space before you decide the size of partitions. Older versions of MAC OS (versions before Snow Leopard) occupy approximately 12GB to 15GB just for the OS. Snow Leopard takes only half of that!!

  • Specify a name and the format for the partition.

    A meaningful name always helps. Default format could be ‘MAC OS Extended (Journaled)'.

    The best part of Disk Utility is that you can play partition-partition-apply till you quit from the utility. The Revert option is always available to retreat, if the partitioning is not done as desired. But once you click Apply and close Disk Utility, you can NOT revert the changes. So make sure that before you quit from the utility, you either got what you wanted or everything what you just did is undone.

  • Verify the information provided by you, then click Apply.

    Quit Installer Wizard

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  • When you have completed partitioning the disk (this might take 10 to 15 minutes), close the utility window and quit the install wizard.

  • When prompted to restart, do not restart. Select Startup Disk.

    Prompt to restart

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  • Select the (primary) partition that contains the bootable OS and proceed to restart. After the system restarts, the disk utility displays the new partitions.

    Startup Disk

    Click to view.


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