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How to remove the uninitialized asterisk partition on external hard drive?

I want to completely format my external hard drive with Mac OS Extended on Mac but there's a stubborn uninitialized asterisk partition that has zero KB and won't go away. I've tried remove it by increasing the size of another partition, erasing it, running First Aid, mounting and unmounting it but nothing works. Here's the description about the partition: "This volume has Zero KB used space. Its minimum size is Zero KB. This volume can’t be resized." Please let me know how to get rid of this partition for good!!

Best Answered by

iBoysoft author Jenny Zeng

Jenny Zeng

Answered on Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Don't worry! The asterisk partition you see after formatting your drive in Mac OS Extended on Mac is likely the EFI System Partition (ESP) created by the operating system to store files necessary for booting your Mac.

You can open Terminal and run the following command to verify whether it's the ESP.

diskutil list

Check the type name of the asterisk partition. If it's labeled as EFI, you shouldn't delete it, as it's an essential part of file systems like Mac OS Extended (HFS+) and APFS, which a startup disk is formatted in. When you turn on your Mac, the firmware (EFI) will look for the boot loader on this partition, which then loads the operating system. Without this partition, your Mac can't boot up.

Since it's a feature of native macOS systems, you will see this EFI System Partition on internal and external drives formatted in Mac OS Extended or APFS.


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