Discussion:
Converting to APFS
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Robert Peirce
2017-10-13 22:14:20 UTC
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My MBP has an SSD so it will automatically get changed to APFS when I
upgrade to High Sierra. So what should I do with my other drives? I
have backup drives, data drives, etc., all of which can be accessed by
the MBP as well as other computers, like my Mini. Do I need to convert
them? How do I do that and what happens if I don't?

I use SupperDuper! to backup both the MBP and the Mini to different
partitions on the same RAID array. I also backup my data drives to the
same system.

I'm told APFS is better so it seems like it would make sense to convert
everything, but I don't even know if that is possible or how to do it!
nospam
2017-10-13 22:22:24 UTC
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Post by Robert Peirce
My MBP has an SSD so it will automatically get changed to APFS when I
upgrade to High Sierra. So what should I do with my other drives?
nothing.
Post by Robert Peirce
I have backup drives, data drives, etc., all of which can be accessed by
the MBP as well as other computers, like my Mini. Do I need to convert
them? How do I do that and what happens if I don't?
no need and it's better if you don't.
Post by Robert Peirce
I use SupperDuper! to backup both the MBP and the Mini to different
partitions on the same RAID array. I also backup my data drives to the
same system.
superduper does not yet support apfs.
carbon copy cloner does.
Robert Peirce
2017-10-14 13:26:52 UTC
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Post by nospam
Post by Robert Peirce
I have backup drives, data drives, etc., all of which can be accessed by
the MBP as well as other computers, like my Mini. Do I need to convert
them? How do I do that and what happens if I don't?
no need and it's better if you don't.
I'm ok with no need but why is i better?
Post by nospam
superduper does not yet support apfs.
I'm tracking SD!'s blog to stay on top of this. Since I have an SSD
drive and no choice on APFS, I am waiting to upgrade until I know it
will work.
Your Name
2017-10-14 20:35:31 UTC
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Post by Robert Peirce
Post by nospam
Post by Robert Peirce
I have backup drives, data drives, etc., all of which can be accessed by
the MBP as well as other computers, like my Mini. Do I need to convert
them? How do I do that and what happens if I don't?
no need and it's better if you don't.
I'm ok with no need but why is i better?
Post by nospam
superduper does not yet support apfs.
I'm tracking SD!'s blog to stay on top of this. Since I have an SSD
drive and no choice on APFS, I am waiting to upgrade until I know it
will work.
There is a choice, but it's a bit of a muck-about to do it compared to
Apple simply having the option in the installer's GUI, as it should
have been. :-\
Your Name
2017-10-14 20:43:24 UTC
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Post by Your Name
Post by Robert Peirce
Post by nospam
Post by Robert Peirce
I have backup drives, data drives, etc., all of which can be accessed by
the MBP as well as other computers, like my Mini. Do I need to convert
them? How do I do that and what happens if I don't?
no need and it's better if you don't.
I'm ok with no need but why is i better?
Post by nospam
superduper does not yet support apfs.
I'm tracking SD!'s blog to stay on top of this. Since I have an SSD
drive and no choice on APFS, I am waiting to upgrade until I know it
will work.
There is a choice, but it's a bit of a muck-about to do it compared to
Apple simply having the option in the installer's GUI, as it should
have been. :-\
Sorry, I forgot to paste in the links.

For either an udpate install or a completely fresh install, there's
TonyMacx86.com's guide "Avoid APFS conversion on High Sierra update or
fresh install".
<https://www.tonymacx86.com/threads/guide-avoid-apfs-conversion-on-high-sierra-update-or-fresh-install.232855/>


A MacRumors.com forum topic also has the same information for an update install
<https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/can-you-install-high-sierra-and-not-convert-to-apfs.2069134/>
Robert Peirce
2017-10-15 15:32:59 UTC
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Post by Your Name
There is a choice, but it's a bit of a muck-about to do it compared to
Apple simply having the option in the installer's GUI, as it should have
been.  :-\
Unless I am missing something these do not apply to SSD drives. It
appears to confirm that if you have an SSD drive you will be converted
to APFS.

However, it seems to be the case that other drives do not have to
convert, although I still don't know what the benefit is of not converting.

I don't know what a fusion drive is but I don't think I have any.
Jolly Roger
2017-10-15 15:51:42 UTC
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Post by Robert Peirce
I don't know what a fusion drive is but I don't think I have any.
<https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202574>
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Robert Peirce
2017-10-15 15:55:03 UTC
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Post by Robert Peirce
However, it seems to be the case that other drives do not have to
convert, although I still don't know what the benefit is of not converting.
After a little more research I finally found that a drive can be
converted to APFS with no problem but can only be erased and reformatted
to go back. If you have sufficient backups that isn't an issue.

I also found computers running High Sierra with APFS can't talk to older
releases still using HPFS+ but can talk to computers running High Sierra
with HPFS+. I'm not sure that is an issue for me since I normally would
upgrade all my computers.

I have two MBPs with SSDs and a Mini with a standard hard disk.

Are those the only reasons not to convert?
Your Name
2017-10-15 20:22:08 UTC
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Post by Robert Peirce
Post by Robert Peirce
However, it seems to be the case that other drives do not have to
convert, although I still don't know what the benefit is of not converting.
After a little more research I finally found that a drive can be
converted to APFS with no problem but can only be erased and
reformatted to go back. If you have sufficient backups that isn't an
issue.
I also found computers running High Sierra with APFS can't talk to
older releases still using HPFS+ but can talk to computers running High
Sierra with HPFS+. I'm not sure that is an issue for me since I
normally would upgrade all my computers.
I have two MBPs with SSDs and a Mini with a standard hard disk.
Are those the only reasons not to convert?
There are apps that have issues with the crappy new APFS and/or High
Sierra. MacRumors.com has a forum topic has an extensive and
continually updated list of the apps that do and do not work at
<https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/macos-high-sierra-10-13-works-does-not-work-thread.2048660/>
nospam
2017-10-15 20:27:08 UTC
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Post by Your Name
There are apps that have issues with the crappy new APFS and/or High
Sierra.
almost none. mostly disk utilities such as diskwarrior, which should
not be surprising since it repairs hfs+, not apfs.
Your Name
2017-10-15 20:19:49 UTC
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Post by Robert Peirce
Post by Your Name
There is a choice, but it's a bit of a muck-about to do it compared to
Apple simply having the option in the installer's GUI, as it should
have been.  :-\
Unless I am missing something these do not apply to SSD drives. It
appears to confirm that if you have an SSD drive you will be converted
to APFS.
Only the boot SSD drive is auto-converted to crappy APFS by the High
Sierra installer. The links I gave in a follow-up post have a way
around that using a Terminal command so that your drive does not get
converted when installing High Sierra. It's an option built into the
installer, but due to Apple's own decisions there is no GUI access to
that option.
Post by Robert Peirce
However, it seems to be the case that other drives do not have to
convert, although I still don't know what the benefit is of not converting.
Apple has (currently) pulled the plug on being able to convert hard
drives, and by extension Fusion drives. It was possible in the beta
test versions of High Sierra, but Apple decided that the issues
outweigh the supposed benefits at the moment. Reportedly they are
still working on it and it may return in in a later High Sierra update
or subsequent version Mac OS X.
Post by Robert Peirce
I don't know what a fusion drive is but I don't think I have any.
A "Fusion drive" is an Apple term for a normal hard drive with an added
SSD, all in the same enclosure, that appears to Mac OS X to be a single
drive. You can make your own using a separate hard drive and SSD.
Either way it gives you the supposed advantages of both - lots of
storage space with fast access to often-used data (including booting),
but ignoring the fact that SSD has a built-in obselence factor, unlike
a hard drive.
nospam
2017-10-15 20:27:07 UTC
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Post by Your Name
Post by Robert Peirce
I don't know what a fusion drive is but I don't think I have any.
A "Fusion drive" is an Apple term for a normal hard drive with an added
SSD, all in the same enclosure, that appears to Mac OS X to be a single
drive. You can make your own using a separate hard drive and SSD.
Either way it gives you the supposed advantages of both - lots of
storage space with fast access to often-used data (including booting),
but ignoring the fact that SSD has a built-in obselence factor, unlike
a hard drive.
nonsense. hds are more likely to fail sooner than an ssd because they
have moving parts. ssds are *very* reliable and *very* fast.
Huge
2017-10-15 21:12:25 UTC
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On 2017-10-15, Your Name <***@YourISP.com> wrote:

[39 lines snipped]
Post by Your Name
but ignoring the fact that SSD has a built-in obselence factor, unlike
a hard drive.
Not this shit again.
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Your Name
2017-10-16 00:32:25 UTC
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Post by Huge
[39 lines snipped]
Post by Your Name
but ignoring the fact that SSD has a built-in obselence factor, unlike
a hard drive.
Not this shit again.
From SanDisk, one of the makers of the things ...

"Due to the characteristics of NAND flash, SSDs have
a finite lifetime dictated by the number of write
operations known as program/erase (P/E) cycles NAND
flash can endure."

<https://itblog.sandisk.com/ssd-endurance-speeds-feeds-needs/>


A hard drive does not have any such in-built lifespan issue. Some hard
drives last decades with no problems (I'm still using the same hard
drive that shipped in may now-dead PowerMac G3 nearly 20 years ago -
the drive now lives in an external USB enclosure). Some of course do
have issues a lot earlier, especially newer drives partly thanks to
rushed designs of drives and computers / enclosures, and the ever
increasing capacity on the same physical disk size.
nospam
2017-10-16 00:59:27 UTC
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Post by Your Name
Post by Huge
Post by Your Name
but ignoring the fact that SSD has a built-in obselence factor, unlike
a hard drive.
Not this shit again.
From SanDisk, one of the makers of the things ...
"Due to the characteristics of NAND flash, SSDs have
a finite lifetime dictated by the number of write
operations known as program/erase (P/E) cycles NAND
flash can endure."
<https://itblog.sandisk.com/ssd-endurance-speeds-feeds-needs/>
A hard drive does not have any such in-built lifespan issue.
yes it most certainly does have a built-in lifespan issue.

nothing lasts forever, including people.
Post by Your Name
Some hard
drives last decades with no problems (I'm still using the same hard
drive that shipped in may now-dead PowerMac G3 nearly 20 years ago -
the drive now lives in an external USB enclosure).
that's *extremely* unusual.

most hard drives won't last anywhere near that long, typically 3-5
years.
Post by Your Name
Some of course do
have issues a lot earlier, especially newer drives partly thanks to
rushed designs of drives and computers / enclosures, and the ever
increasing capacity on the same physical disk size.
nonsense.
Leonard Blaisdell
2017-10-16 01:59:16 UTC
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Post by Your Name
From SanDisk, one of the makers of the things ...
"Due to the characteristics of NAND flash, SSDs have
a finite lifetime dictated by the number of write
operations known as program/erase (P/E) cycles NAND
flash can endure."
<https://itblog.sandisk.com/ssd-endurance-speeds-feeds-needs/>
A hard drive does not have any such in-built lifespan issue. Some hard
drives last decades with no problems (I'm still using the same hard
drive that shipped in may now-dead PowerMac G3 nearly 20 years ago -
the drive now lives in an external USB enclosure). Some of course do
have issues a lot earlier, especially newer drives partly thanks to
rushed designs of drives and computers / enclosures, and the ever
increasing capacity on the same physical disk size.
We will all start worrying about your fears when large quantities of
SSDs start to fail en masse. It will make the news. So far, so good and
with a decent backup plan, so what? SSD benefits far exceed your
worries.
Here's a just googled article from 2015
<http://techreport.com/review/27909/the-ssd-endurance-experiment-theyre-
all-dead> that allays my fears. I honestly don't know if techreport is
a reputable link, but it supports my thesis, so there you go.

leo
Your Name
2017-10-16 06:06:36 UTC
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Post by Leonard Blaisdell
Post by Your Name
From SanDisk, one of the makers of the things ...
"Due to the characteristics of NAND flash, SSDs have
a finite lifetime dictated by the number of write
operations known as program/erase (P/E) cycles NAND
flash can endure."
<https://itblog.sandisk.com/ssd-endurance-speeds-feeds-needs/>
A hard drive does not have any such in-built lifespan issue. Some hard
drives last decades with no problems (I'm still using the same hard
drive that shipped in may now-dead PowerMac G3 nearly 20 years ago -
the drive now lives in an external USB enclosure). Some of course do
have issues a lot earlier, especially newer drives partly thanks to
rushed designs of drives and computers / enclosures, and the ever
increasing capacity on the same physical disk size.
We will all start worrying about your fears when large quantities of
SSDs start to fail en masse. It will make the news. So far, so good and
with a decent backup plan, so what? SSD benefits far exceed your
worries.
Here's a just googled article from 2015
<http://techreport.com/review/27909/the-ssd-endurance-experiment-theyre-
all-dead> that allays my fears. I honestly don't know if techreport is
a reputable link, but it supports my thesis, so there you go.
There won't be any "en masse" failure because the write cycles will be
different for every user, operating system, and app usage ... but an
SSD will definitely all fail at some point since they do have a limited
write cycle.

Although, if you're using two (or more) SSDs as a mirrored RAID array,
then the likelihood is that both will fail at virtually the same time
since they will be writing the same data at basically the same time and
use up their write cycles at the same time.


Hard drives do not have any such problem. Like any of man-made product,
they can of course suffer some form of mechanical failure, but that's a
different issue entirely - it's not a "built-in obselesence", it's
simple wear 'n' tear or production issues. Some drives can fail within
seconds while others can last decades, under the same level of usage.
Leonard Blaisdell
2017-10-16 06:41:59 UTC
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Post by Your Name
Hard drives do not have any such problem. Like any of man-made product,
they can of course suffer some form of mechanical failure, but that's a
different issue entirely - it's not a "built-in obselesence", it's
simple wear 'n' tear or production issues. Some drives can fail within
seconds while others can last decades, under the same level of usage.
So MTBF says that the best made HD can last indefinitely, regardless of
its weaknesses, whereas a SSD has a finite lifecycle but functions far
better within its lifetime. There may be a allegory hidden within our
arguments. Where's Grimm when you need him?

leo
Your Name
2017-10-16 06:44:54 UTC
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Post by Leonard Blaisdell
Post by Your Name
Hard drives do not have any such problem. Like any of man-made product,
they can of course suffer some form of mechanical failure, but that's a
different issue entirely - it's not a "built-in obselesence", it's
simple wear 'n' tear or production issues. Some drives can fail within
seconds while others can last decades, under the same level of usage.
So MTBF says that the best made HD can last indefinitely, regardless of
its weaknesses, whereas a SSD has a finite lifecycle but functions far
better within its lifetime. There may be a allegory hidden within our
arguments. Where's Grimm when you need him?
The only real "weakness" of a hard drive is the data access speed ...
personally I couldn't care less if it takes a couple of extar
microseconds to read a file or a few more seconds to boot the computer,
but apparently for the terminally impatient generation it is a massive
problem. :-\
Leonard Blaisdell
2017-10-16 07:19:26 UTC
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Post by Your Name
The only real "weakness" of a hard drive is the data access speed ...
personally I couldn't care less if it takes a couple of extar
microseconds to read a file or a few more seconds to boot the computer,
but apparently for the terminally impatient generation it is a massive
problem. :-\
I'm 71 and spend the majority of my time in a La-Z-Boy. I don't have
much patience waiting for needlessly slow computer tasks. If you ain't
like me, wait and see ;-)

leo
Your Name
2017-10-16 21:13:46 UTC
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Post by Leonard Blaisdell
Post by Your Name
The only real "weakness" of a hard drive is the data access speed ...
personally I couldn't care less if it takes a couple of extar
microseconds to read a file or a few more seconds to boot the computer,
but apparently for the terminally impatient generation it is a massive
problem. :-\
I'm 71 and spend the majority of my time in a La-Z-Boy. I don't have
much patience waiting for needlessly slow computer tasks. If you ain't
like me, wait and see ;-)
You also have to add in the fact that SSDs cost more for less storage.
So an added personal choice is that I'd rather have a cheaper, bigger
capacity drive that could potentially last "forever" than buy an
over-priced, small capacity drive that *will* fail after X number of
write cycles.

Even if both types of drive consistently failed, it's cheaper and
requires less of them for the same storage capacity to keep replacing
hard drives than SSDs.
nospam
2017-10-16 22:21:03 UTC
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Post by Your Name
You also have to add in the fact that SSDs cost more for less storage.
they're also *much* faster.

Huge
2017-10-16 08:48:11 UTC
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Post by Your Name
Post by Huge
[39 lines snipped]
Post by Your Name
but ignoring the fact that SSD has a built-in obselence factor, unlike
a hard drive.
Not this shit again.
From SanDisk, one of the makers of the things ...
"Due to the characteristics of NAND flash, SSDs have
a finite lifetime dictated by the number of write
operations known as program/erase (P/E) cycles NAND
flash can endure."
<https://itblog.sandisk.com/ssd-endurance-speeds-feeds-needs/>
Indeed. And you'll be dead long before it becomes a issue.
--
Today is Prickle-Prickle, the 70th day of Bureaucracy in the YOLD 3183
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.
Neill Massello
2017-10-16 18:29:07 UTC
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Post by Your Name
A hard drive does not have any such in-built lifespan issue.
True, but in cases of frequent reads but few writes, SSDs could well
outlast HDDs, which rack up wear and tear from writes *and* reads as
well as from just spinning. As a practical matter, the probability that
any storage device will fail rises with longer use and more calendar
age. Within the time span that most devices are kept in service, the
greater potential write life of an HDD doesn't make much difference.
Huge
2017-10-16 20:57:02 UTC
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Post by Your Name
A hard drive does not have any such in-built lifespan issue.
True,
False.

https://www.backblaze.com/blog/hard-drive-failure-rates-q1-2017/
--
Today is Prickle-Prickle, the 70th day of Bureaucracy in the YOLD 3183
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.
David Empson
2017-10-15 19:28:00 UTC
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Post by Robert Peirce
Post by nospam
Post by Robert Peirce
I have backup drives, data drives, etc., all of which can be accessed by
the MBP as well as other computers, like my Mini. Do I need to convert
them? How do I do that and what happens if I don't?
no need and it's better if you don't.
I'm ok with no need but why is i better?
Some reasons to avoid APFS on external drives:

- APFS volumes won't be accessible if connected to a Mac booted into an
older major OS version.

- You cannot use APFS on Time Machine backup drives. They must continue
to use HFS+.

- The manual "Convert to APFS" feature in Disk Utility doesn't work on
bootable drives.

The High Sierra installer can convert bootable drives to APFS (for the
target volume of the install), but only does that for drives it
recognises as an SSD, mostly limited to internal drives.

Working around that (e.g. by installing High Sierra to an APFS-formatted
hard drive) seems dubious if Apple isn't ready to use APFS on internal
hard drives.

- Third party low level disk utilities don't yet support APFS, and can't
until Apple publishes technical details.

As for "no need":

- High Sierra fully supports HFS+ so there is no reason to convert to
APFS "just because".

- Files can be copied between APFS and HFS+ volumes using Finder, or
opened and saved directly on either file system.

- Backup utilties like SD/CCC can create bootable backups of APFS
volumes on HFS+ volumes.

For general data storage on hard drives, the only reasons to prefer APFS
would be if you want to use features that are unique to APFS, e.g. a
wider Unicode character set in filenames, clones, free space sharing
between volumes in the same container.
Post by Robert Peirce
Post by nospam
superduper does not yet support apfs.
I'm tracking SD!'s blog to stay on top of this. Since I have an SSD
drive and no choice on APFS, I am waiting to upgrade until I know it
will work.
Also look at the Carbon Copy Cloner blog for some useful information.

https://bombich.com/blog
--
David Empson
***@actrix.gen.nz
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