On my Windows server machine I have a 1TB drive I want to partition down the middle, one half NTFS and the other HFS+. I don't necessarily need to be able to write or even read the HFS+ partition from within Windows (although I have already installed some drivers to read HFS which do work well), its more just to be used as a dumping ground for the household Macbook backups etc.

I read somewhere that "GParted" can do this but I wanted confirmation / advice on any alternatives before diving in. I also read somewhere that I would need to create the HFS partition first and then format the remaining space as NTFS?


GParted can do part of this.

Firstly, defrag your drive and check to see that the end of the drive is free of files.

Next boot into a bootable GParted disk. This runs a simple Linux GUI. Now resize the partition downwards to make room for the new one. Then create your new partition.

The bit that GParted will not do is the formatting. For that, you boot into OSX and complete the job.

If you don't defrag first, you may find that you don't have as much room to resize the disk as you might have thought. Especially if the disk has been in use for a while. This is due to fragmentation of the files on the disk. Indeed a heavily used Windows NTFS partition may be a complete "mess" with chunks of files all over the place. This is rarely an issue to newer versions of Windows, indeed some think Windows may run faster this way! But it may stop you clearing space to do the partition resize.

If you don't have a Mac OS to hand to format the partition, you could spend money on TransMac but a free way would be to get a bootable Linux CD, Ubuntu should work. I believe the Ubutuntu can format Mac partitions. If Not, SUSE have a bootable Linux builder that would allow you to include the hfsutils package.

  • Thanks, however I do not have any way of booting to OSX as the HD is in a Windows server machine so really need a Windows based utility (or a LiveCD of somesorts). – Jonny Wright Jan 21 '13 at 20:58
  • apt-get install hfsutils hfsprogs and then GParted can format as HFS/HFS+. – Karan Jan 21 '13 at 21:01
  • Yes, indeed, a Linux boot disk goes to the rescue ;) Alternatively, you could spend US$48 on TransMac – Julian Knight Jan 21 '13 at 21:04
  • Yeah, a Ubuntu LiveCD will do, although you can add HFS support to GParted's own Debian-based LiveCD as well. – Karan Jan 22 '13 at 23:20

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