1

I have a 2TB external hard drive which I formatted to HFS to store Mac backups since 2014. I also made a 200GB exFAT partition so that it would work with Windows. So currently there is 1.8GB HFS partition with about 1.1TB data on it and an almost full 200GB exFAT partition.

I am planning to convert the entire drive to exFAT as I will not be using Mac in the future.

How do I convert the HFS partition to exFAT without erasing the data ?

I do not have access to another hard drive due to current Covid lockdown. I am not too confident about my internet connection, so 1TB upload/download to cloud seems difficult to do. If any file is corrupt, it is quite possible that the whole copy process will fail.

Are any other options available ?

1

How do I convert the HFS partition to exFAT without erasing the data ?

You can't. You'll need to temporarily store the data elsewhere, format the disk as you want, and then copy it back.

1TB upload/download to cloud seems difficult to do

A decent backup service should be able to automatically resume where it left off, so a potential interruption or disconnect part way through shouldn't lose too much time...

Integrity checks should also be part of a backup service's offering, and depnding on your choice, it could be something that you have more insight into, or can do yourself.

Are any other options available?

Aside from A) offload to other local storage, or B) offload to cloud storage?

Unfortunately not, sorry. If you want to keep the data, you must offload it before formatting the disk.

If your data compresses well, or is already partially backed-up elsewhere, then you could potentially reduce the required temporary storage capacity.


It's also with noting that an external hard disk from 2014 (now ~6 years old) might not be the most reliable going forwards - have you considered purchasing a new external disk as part of the "ongoing maintenance" of your system instead of repurposing it? It could become a backup disk.

  • 1
    Thanks ! The hard drive is actually new, I just copied old data on it. It was a pretty painful process back then due to random copy failures, hence I am hesitant to do it again. But it looks like I don't have any other option. – haley_comet Apr 23 '20 at 17:59
1

..1.8GB HFS partition with about 1.1TB data on it and an almost full 200GB exFAT partition.

1) Shrink the HFS partition down 600GB, and expand the exFAT by 600 GB.
2) Move 600 GB of files from HFS to exFAT.

3) Repeat lines 1 and 2 above.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.