Users may receive the error message:
“Partition failed with the error: POSIX reports: The operation couldn’t be completed. Cannot allocate memory.”
when attempting to erase and format or partition external hard drives under Mac OS X 10.6.x (Snow Leopard).
Evidence suggests that this issue stems from a problem with Mac OS X 10.6.x’s framework, which has been blamed for a number of other issues including stalling mouse/keyboard input and more.
If your external hard drive (and your Mac) has a FireWire interface, try connecting it via that interface, then performing the format or partition operation.
Alternatively, if you have a Boot Camp installation on your computer, try booting into Windows then initializing the drive.
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the original editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.