As a brand new Mac user this might be my naivety or an issue with the OS. I bought a new Macbook Pro today and wish to partition the disk to allow Windows to be installed and Linux too. I was advised in the shop that this was straightforward using the Disk Utility tool. However, when I attempt to create a second partition, I am presented with the following:

Partition failed with the error: This Core Storage operation is not allowed on a sparse logical volume group.

Having scanned around for similar articles I see that this is a common problem when people have installed Yosemite on a SECONDARY partition. In other words they already had a partition.

I also found that disk encryption may be an issue. So I checked File Vault under Security and Privacy. This tells me that File Vault is turned on for the disk Macintosh HD. So I try to correct this but I'm advised that Encryption paused and that I should Connect power adapter to resume encryption. And of course when I connect the power adapter this has no effect.

After 20 years on Windows I thought this would be different: a perfect operating system was my dream. Please advise how to proceed, I'm stumped!

PS here's a dump of the diskutil output:

diskutil cs list

CoreStorage logical volume groups (1 found)
+-- Logical Volume Group 9E0A5132-A88C-446E-9B9C-E965476720A9
    Name:         Macintosh HD
    Status:       Online
    Size:         499418034176 B (499.4 GB)
    Free Space:   0 B (0 B)
    +-< Physical Volume 5F094D20-ED5A-4B42-AEC0-8D8C8BE6305D
    |   ----------------------------------------------------
    |   Index:    0
    |   Disk:     disk0s2
    |   Status:   Online
    |   Size:     499418034176 B (499.4 GB)
    +-> Logical Volume Family 656C2707-25A9-4166-AAF9-A35C650C6DC4
        Encryption Status:       Unlocked
        Encryption Type:         AES-XTS
        Conversion Status:       Converting
        Conversion Direction:    forward
        Has Encrypted Extents:   Yes
        Fully Secure:            No
        Passphrase Required:     Yes
        +-> Logical Volume F227F884-C081-4AC8-8230-3FCF7E1F43A4
            Disk:                  disk1
            Status:                Online
            Size (Total):          499099238400 B (499.1 GB)
            Conversion Progress:   Paused
            Revertible:            No
            LV Name:               Macintosh HD
            Volume Name:           Macintosh HD
            Content Hint:          Apple_HFS
  • You do not use Disk Utility, Run Bootcamp Assistant and try to partition the disk for Windows. – Ruskes Nov 24 '14 at 23:46
  • Windows doesn't allow more than 4 partitions. If you want to keep your recovery partition you won't be able to install linux additionally without breaking Windows. The 4 partitions in use: EFI, Mac, Mac recovery, Windows – klanomath Nov 25 '14 at 9:04
  • Thanks for your comments. I accept that only 4 partitions are allowed and that Bootcamp Assistant would be a good solution but the disk is encrypting (paused until I plug in the power, apparently!!). This is a common issue, see this thread: forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1741742 Tomorrow I will visit the Apple shop where I purchased and ask them to correct the issue or they are giving me a refund. – Matt Weller Nov 27 '14 at 1:28

I had the same issue. It worked once the encryption was complete. My encryption resumed as soon as I plugged in my computer.


The Mac would only have a single partition devoted to OSX (actually there are also hidden partition). You cannot modify the partition while it is in use by OSX.

You should restart in recovery mode, and you can then modify the partitions.

I have never used Bootcamp, so @Buscar's suggestion may work, but it is easier to use diskutil to make a partition for Linux etc.

  • With the caveat that adding a partition manually with Disk Utility after adding a boot camp partition and installing Windows will make Windows non-bootable. – Steve Chambers Nov 28 '14 at 16:14

klanomath's answer is correct (and should probably be made an answer and not a comment) You already have three partitions on your computer: The EFI partition, the Mac recovery Partition and the main Mac filesystem (usually labeled Macintosh HD).

Boot Camp will resize the Mac partition and create a Windows partition, that part is easy as the Boot Camp app walks you through the whole procedure, all you need is an 8GB (minimum size) USB flash drive (regular USB drive will work too) for the installation media and a Windows install disk ISO file.

If after installing Windows with Boot Camp you then boot into the recovery partition and use disk utility to add a partition for Linux, Windows will no longer be bootable as it only supports 4 partitions.

There may be a way to do this but I am unaware of it, possibly a Linux forum can help. But if you have plenty of memory I would consider putting both Windows and Linux in a VM using one of the three products available for the Mac: Parallels (commercial), VMware (commercial), Virtualbox (freeware).

  • I will attempt this after visiting the Apple store to correct the FileVault issue. I have 16GB RAM so perhaps the Virtualbox route is the way forward. I'll update/accept tomorrow when I'm able to run Bootcamp Asst. – Matt Weller Nov 27 '14 at 1:32

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