I'm currently using a mac with 3 bootable partitions (multiboot). MacOS, Ubuntu and Arch-Linux.

I can switch between the operating systems using rEFInd

I mostly only use Arch-Linux but only gave it 30GB / 256GB when I created it. Now, I'm unable to update Arch because I don't have enough space left.

As far as I know, Mac stores the boot menu on the disk itself and has been afraid of messing with the disk too much because I don't want to end up bricking the macbook like I've done 2 times in the past. Changing the disk did not work, and I got a new one warranty.

Here is a screenshot from that (Question was removed)

This is my plan

  1. Clone the partition to a 32GB USB Flash drive using Clonezilla
  2. Delete all partitions except MacOS
  3. Create a new partition with 128 GB
  4. Boot to Clonezilla again, and clone from USB to partition (This is the part I'm worried about)
  5. I would imagine I would need to extend the partition aswell after the cloning.

Are there any risk of overwriting the boot or bricking the Macbook?

  • Is brick defined as you have to wipe the drive and reinstall?
    – bmike
    Commented May 25, 2019 at 16:56
  • @bmike No. I mean that it is impossible to reinstall or get the mac working at all. See my two screenshots
    – Typewar
    Commented May 25, 2019 at 19:03

1 Answer 1


Certainly it is not safe (in my opinion) to resize without deleting the partition, which is the core part of your plan.

Clone the partition to a 32GB USB Flash drive using Clonezilla

I personally would clone from OSX to a Sata external drive.

So your plan appears okay, alebit I would do it differently: if you are happy consigning an operating system to USB. I think you have omitted one important point: to make sure you have a full Timemachine backup before deleting all other partitions except your Mac OSX. If your accidentally trash you Mac compartment, it is easily restored.

Timemachine is essential for this operation. If you don't have a TM backup, simply click Apple icon->System Preferences->Timemachine, then assign your backup disk. The backup will take hours for the first time, but is quick thereafter. It will only backup your OSX.

Resizing without deleting a disk iPartition could perform resizing without deleting a disk, but its unsafe (definitely not recommended). If anything goes wrong my experience was you lose your entire harddrive. So yes you can do a resize without "bricking" (deleting) your Linux, personally I wouldn't risk it. You definitely need all drives backedup to do this. Note the company that does iPartition is no longer trading but the app is available free from July. However it does not work with Mojave (10.13 and below).

I don't know Clonezilla, but have used CCC (Carbon Copy cloner) which is good, but I think you pay for it now. I presume Clonzilla is free.

I would do point 4. differently.

  • Once you have cloned the disk you can use Go->Utilities->DiskUtilities and "Restore" option to clone the Linux versions back onto their respective disks.
  • DiskUtilities use to have a cloning option (as well as a Restore option), I assume its still there somewhere, perhaps when you login via Recovery mode it 'appears'.
  • Ok, so bricking the macbook should be fairly easy to avoid in this case. Are there any program/service you would recommend for doing full disk backup? I'm guessing something created by apple would be the best. I have a 12 TB "NAS" running linux (debian) which could be a good option for this
    – Typewar
    Commented May 25, 2019 at 12:43
  • Hi, all Mac's have 'Timemachine', you just plug in your external Sata (or whatever backup disk), go to System Preferwnces->Timemachine and assign the external disk. It will then automatically create a backup (providing it's turned on). It will take a while first time (hours). Most Mac users will use Timemachine as their routine backup device for day to day work.
    – user322985
    Commented May 25, 2019 at 14:33
  • If you are just cloning then any external drive, just ensure you can boot from it afterwards. In the past I've just used Diskutilities for successful cloning, but I'm not certain with 10.13/10.14, it's changed a bit.
    – user322985
    Commented May 25, 2019 at 14:38
  • 1
    Michael G Thank you! I will check it out later :)
    – Typewar
    Commented May 25, 2019 at 15:20
  • Ok, so it seemed like macOS's Timemachine software only performed backup of the MacOS partition. Not the arch and ubuntu partitions
    – Typewar
    Commented May 28, 2019 at 17:30

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