How to partition an external SSD

Warning: All data currently stored on your Crucial X8 portable SSD will be deleted when you create partitions. Back up any files you want to save in another location before following these steps.

Here are step-by-step instructions for how to partition an external SSD on either a PC or a Mac computer. We’ll be using our Crucial X8 portable SSD. The PC instructions will be listed first.

Scroll down to see the step-by-step instructions for Mac.

Portable SSDs, including the Crucial X8, are a convenient and compact way for you to take your important files wherever they need to go. However, there’s a way to make your X8 even more useful: partitioning.

These instructions show how to split your Crucial X8 portable into two partitions, effectively turning it into two storage drives. In this example, one partition will be used to back up data, and the other for transferring files. However, you can format your Crucial X8 into any number of drives.

If you’re unsure about any of the technical jargon, check out the Crucial SSD glossary. For more SSD resources, go to Crucial.com for step-by-step guides on how to install an internal SSD and how to use a portable SSD as a boot drive.

How to partition an external SSD on a PC

Step 1: Connect the Crucial X8 SSD to your computer

Use the USB-C cable that came with the X8 to connect the X8 to the USB port. If you have a USB-A port instead, connect the USB-A adapter to the cable and use it to connect.

Step 2: Select the Crucial X8

Click on the Start menu. Type in “create and format hard disk partition.”

Step 3: Select the X8

“Crucial X8” volume should appear as an option. Right click on it and select “Delete volume,” then confirm that you want to delete it.

Step 4: Create the first partition

An unallocated space will replace where “Crucial X8” was in the list of storage locations. To create your first partition, right click on that unallocated space and select “New simple volume.”

Follow the new simple volume wizard, then click next.

Step 5: Select a size for the new storage location

Choose the amount of storage space you want to allocate to the new partition. For example, if you want to split a 1TB X8 Crucial SSD into two equal partitions, choose 500GB.

Step 6: Assign a volume letter to the new storage location

The list of storage locations will show the letters assigned to each drive (C, D, etc.). Assign the new partition a letter not already assigned elsewhere.

Step 7: Select a filesystem

NTFS is a good option for a backup drive. Next, create a volume name (such as Crucial X8 backup.)

Step 8: Create second partition

There will still be unallocated space on the X8 external SSD. Click on it and repeat the previous steps to assign a letter, name (such as X8-transfers), and filetype to the volume.

Step 9: Complete and check

Click Finish. You should be able to safe files to either storage location.

How to partition an external SSD on a Mac

Step 1: Connect the Crucial X8 SSD to your computer

If your Mac has a USB-C port, use the cable that came with your X8 to connect the device to the computer. If your machine has a USB-A port instead, use connect the USB-A adapter and cable that came with the X8 to connect to it.

Use the USB-C cable that came with the X8 to connect the X8 to the USB port. If you have a USB-A port instead, connect the USB-A adapter to the cable and use it instead.

Step 2: Open Disk Utility

Using Finder, go to applications, then utilities, then open Disk Utility.

Step 3: Create the first partition

Select Drive, then select the “create partition” option.

Step 4: Name the new partition

Create a name for the new storage location (such as X8 Backup).

Step 5: Select a filesystem type

Select a filesystem type from the options (APFS works well for backing up files).

Step 6: Select a size for the new storage location

Choose the amount of storage space you want to allocate to the new partition. For example, if you want to split a 1TB X8 Crucial SSD into two equal partitions, choose 500GB.

Step 7: Create the second partition

Click the plus sign (+) to create the second partition.

Step 8: Set up your second partition

Repeat previous steps to name (such as Crucial X8 transfers), size, and create a filesystem type for the second partition. (exFAT works well as a read/write filesystem type and is compatible with both Mac and PC.)

Step 9: Complete

Hit “Apply” when prompted. After, a warning will alert you that all current files will be deleted from the X8. Select “Partition.” Two storage locations (in this case, Crucial X8 backup and Crucial X8 transfers) will appear on the desktop.

Conclusion

Hopefully this guide will help you set up your Crucial X8 portable SSD and get the most out of your device.

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