Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Applications > Partitioning error when using Disk Utility

Partitioning error when using Disk Utility
Thread Tools
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Seattle, WA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 14, 2011, 08:15 PM
To better facilitate backups, I have decided to create a dedicated partition on my external hard drive for Time Machine to use. This is a 300GB disk (don't laugh) with 116 GB of music on it (mostly in the iTunes library) plus some other original AIFF files. Disk Utility reports that there is 163 GB of free space on it. When I try to create a partition of about 100GB (or even 75) it gives me the "Partition failed with the error: No space left on device". I get this even if I just try to resize the original partition. I tried rebuilding the directory with Disk Warrior and it didn't help. If I give it a small enough partition to try- say 25 GB or so- it will work. Much above that though, and it always gives me the "No space" error.

I should mention that this disc, without any partition, was used for a while as the Time Machine backup disc. I don't remember why we stopped backing up, but I think it had something to do with running out of space.

I told Time Machine to use the (unpartitioned) disc once again as the backup disc, and it started backing up to it. I stopped it before it got too far.

Could there be files on there that I can't see that are taking up space? I did the "Erase free space" thing in Disk Utility but that didn't seem to clear out any more space. Like I said, it reports that there is 163 GB of available space.

I need to be able to Time Machine the startup drive so that I can install Snow Leopard and also re-do the Boot Camp thing so I can re-install Windows XP, as my wife will have a need to use the dark side for work starting next week. I'm trying not to spend any money, so getting another drive isn't really an option and neither is getting another partitioning utility, as they seem to run about $40-$50 dollars or so, and I can't be sure that they will work either.

Any ideas on this?


( Last edited by ValVashon; Jan 14, 2011 at 08:16 PM. Reason: removed extraneous letter from title)
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: San Jose, CA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 14, 2011, 08:45 PM
The only way to guarantee that adding a partition will work on a drive that has stuff on it already is to completely wipe the drive first, partition, and then put the stuff back on. Believe me, I've tried and wiping was the only way. It probably can't partition the drive because of file fragmentation. The small partition works because it can find a contiguous block of space that small. Erase free space doesn't fix fragmentation.

I'm not sure why you don't just buy an extra Passport USB drive and use that solely for backups. That will save a lot of hassle:

Newegg.com - Computer Hardware,Hard Drives,External Hard Drives,240GB - 320GB,320GB,USB 2.0

Celebrating 10 years and 4000 posts on MacNN!
Thread Tools
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:09 AM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,