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Question: Can't partition (option greyed out) External HDD on Mac OS X El Capitan

Hi guys,


Scoured the net for an existing solution to this problem, but to no avail.


I'm attempting to partition a 500gb external HDD to run bootcamp, but whenever I go into Disk Utility, the option to partition the drive is greyed out.


I've previously erased and formatted to Mac OS X Journaled, so there's nothing on it, but still the partition option isn't available (see screenshot).


Any help is majorly appreciated. Thanks in advance!User uploaded file

MacBook Pro

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Answer:
Answer:

Issue the following Terminal's command


diskutil erasedisk hfs+ External GPT /dev/disk2

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Nov 15, 2015 6:29 AM in response to Alberto Ravasio In response to Alberto Ravasio

Alberto wrote:


Issue the following Terminal's command


diskutil erasedisk hfs+ External GPT /dev/disk2

Alberto! You are the man. It's now renamed Seagate Portable (as opposed to my personalised name beforehand) and shows its own partition named simply "External," but that appears to have solved the issue as partition is now an option when highlighting the HDD.


Thank you so much, sir.


All the best,

Tom

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Nov 15, 2015 1:58 AM in response to sundy_1 In response to sundy_1

This has gotten even stranger. When I took the screenshot, it was showing the hard-drive as empty, but now that I look at the above screenshot, it's not only saying there's content on the drive, but it's apparently still MS-DOS (completely altered screenshot)!? This is even though when I open the HDD in Finder, there is definitely nothing on it.


Please help.

Nov 15, 2015 1:58 AM

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Nov 15, 2015 2:13 AM in response to bigschwabbel In response to bigschwabbel

Hi bigschwabbel,


I've already erased through Mac OS X Journaled. When I look at it on my Mac, it then tells me it's empty. Like the second post said^^, it's showing on this forum screenshot there's apparently still content there, which isn't the case. I've restarted Disk Utility numerous times, but nada.


Thanks for the quick response.

Nov 15, 2015 2:13 AM

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Nov 15, 2015 3:13 AM in response to sundy_1 In response to sundy_1

sundy_1 wrote:


Hi guys,


Scoured the net for an existing solution to this problem, but to no avail.


I'm attempting to partition a 500gb external HDD to run bootcamp, but whenever I go into Disk Utility, the option to partition the drive is greyed out.


I've previously erased and formatted to Mac OS X Journaled, so there's nothing on it, but still the partition option isn't available (see screenshot).


Any help is majorly appreciated. Thanks in advance!User uploaded file


This drive has been formatted as FAT (MS-DOS), for Microsoft. You have to erase it, to give it a new partition table. (GUID for OS X Journaled)


Leo

Nov 15, 2015 3:13 AM

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Nov 15, 2015 5:59 AM in response to Leopardus In response to Leopardus

Any help is majorly appreciated. Thanks in advance!User uploaded file


This drive has been formatted as FAT (MS-DOS), for Microsoft. You have to erase it, to give it a new partition table. (GUID for OS X Journaled)


Leo


Hey Leo,


Thanks for the reply. I know the screenshot reads MS-DOS, but I have in fact already erased as OS X Journaled, hence the confusion as to why the screenshot that appears on this forum appears different (really strange). Here's what I got when I took your advice in running through terminal:

User uploaded file

Hope that helps and thanks in advance!


Tom

Nov 15, 2015 5:59 AM

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Nov 15, 2015 6:28 AM in response to sundy_1 In response to sundy_1

Your terminal output indicates that it has not been formatted correctly for HFS+


Make sure that you select the GUID partition and not the MBR which is for FAT. Thereafter your disk should be formatted correctly for HFS+


Leo

Nov 15, 2015 6:28 AM

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Question marked as Helpful

Nov 15, 2015 6:29 AM in response to Alberto Ravasio In response to Alberto Ravasio

Alberto wrote:


Issue the following Terminal's command


diskutil erasedisk hfs+ External GPT /dev/disk2

Alberto! You are the man. It's now renamed Seagate Portable (as opposed to my personalised name beforehand) and shows its own partition named simply "External," but that appears to have solved the issue as partition is now an option when highlighting the HDD.


Thank you so much, sir.


All the best,

Tom

Nov 15, 2015 6:29 AM

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Jan 23, 2016 12:12 AM in response to sundy_1 In response to sundy_1

Thank you so much and I wish I had found your answer yesterday! I spent so much time before finding your solution that worked. After following your instructions and pressing partition from the main listing of my hard drive in disk utilities, I got a message saying I needed to click the external option of my hard drive (which was the listing under the main hard drive) "file" and "enable journaling." After doing that the partition option was no longer greyed out and I was able to successfully partition the drive.

Jan 23, 2016 12:12 AM

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Mar 27, 2016 9:00 AM in response to sundy_1 In response to sundy_1

Hi guys, sorry for highjacking the post, but since the problem was already solved, I thought you wouldn't mind.


I had the same problem and used the command posted here on terminal, but still can't partition my external HDD. When I run diskutil list on my terminal, this is what I get now, after using the proposed hfs+ command:


Last login: Sun Mar 27 12:28:21 on ttys000

MacBook-Air:~ TT$ diskutil list

/dev/disk0 (internal, physical):

#: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER

0: GUID_partition_scheme *121.3 GB disk0

1: EFI EFI 209.7 MB disk0s1

2: Apple_CoreStorage Macintosh HD 120.5 GB disk0s2

3: Apple_Boot Recovery HD 650.0 MB disk0s3

/dev/disk1 (internal, virtual):

#: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER

0: Apple_HFS Macintosh HD +120.1 GB disk1

Logical Volume on disk0s2

DE906773-3685-4883-A1E5-A0D123646512

Unencrypted

/dev/disk2 (external, physical):

#: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER

0: GUID_partition_scheme *1.0 TB disk2

1: EFI EFI 209.7 MB disk2s1

2: Microsoft Basic Data TT 999.9 GB disk2s2

MacBook-Air:~ TT$

Partition button is still greyed out. Any suggestions?

Thanks

Mar 27, 2016 9:00 AM

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Sep 13, 2016 4:53 AM in response to Alberto Ravasio In response to Alberto Ravasio

This command deletes all of your data on your external hard drive if there's still content on it. So what I did was I used this, then I downloaded Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery - instant download link <http://download.stellarinfo.com/StellarPhoenixMacDataRecovery.dmg.zip>. Run a scan and recover all the data that was on it 🙂🙂 so now you have a hard drive compatible with mac and windows, and still has all your files.

Sep 13, 2016 4:53 AM

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Question: Can't partition (option greyed out) External HDD on Mac OS X El Capitan