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Data Storage Apple

Apple File System in macOS High Sierra Won't Work With Fusion Drives (arstechnica.co.uk) 123

An anonymous reader shares a report: MacOS High Sierra will come out of beta and roll out to the public next week. If you have previously installed the beta version, you may need to take extra steps before installing the release so your Fusion Drive-toting machine doesn't experience any negative consequences. Apple announced that the new Apple File system (APFS) won't immediately support Fusion Drives and will only support systems with all-flash built-in storage in the initial release of High Sierra. Those who tested out the beta versions of macOS High Sierra had their Fusion Drives converted to the new APFS. However, support was removed from the most recent beta versions, and it isn't coming back with the public release of High Sierra. Apple provided a set of instructions to help those users convert their Fusion Drives back from APFS to the standard HFS+ format before installing the High Sierra update. The instructions include backing up data using Time Machine, creating a bootable installer, reformatting the machine using Disk Utility, and reinstalling the operating system update.
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Apple File System in macOS High Sierra Won't Work With Fusion Drives

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  • And this is news? (Score:1, Informative)

    by swimboy ( 30943 )

    Why is this even news? A feature in a beta version of software got cut for the GM. Happens all the time. Any idiot can read between the lines and understands that there's a bug in APFS for fusion drives, and rather than delay the release, Apple is just disabling it on fusion drives until a point update down the line.

    Nothing to see here. Move along.

    • Re:And this is news? (Score:5, Informative)

      by saloomy ( 2817221 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @12:53PM (#55225873)

      It is news because some people with Fusion Drives expected to be upgraded to the new release and the new filesystem, but now won't. They may be developers, integrators, or whatever, and this lets them know that APFS is delayed for their kit until later.

      • It is news because some people with Fusion Drives expected to be upgraded to the new release and the new filesystem, but now won't. They may be developers, integrators, or whatever, and this lets them know that APFS is delayed for their kit until later.

        Which is why you get what you deserve if you install a Beta on a "production" (or your personal) machine.

    • Re:And this is news? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Sherman Peabody ( 147565 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @12:56PM (#55225889)

      Apple's new operating system does not support a feature that they currently sell at a premium because they don't offer large flash drives. That's a significant failure on their part and affects many people who should read this article as advice not to upgrade.

      That's news.

      • by swimboy ( 30943 )

        Why wouldn't they upgrade? The old OS doesn't support APFS on fusion drives either. And it's not like Apple said "Buy this computer now, and get APFS on it later."

        • It's okay to upgrade. Just pray you were not one of the beta testers who 'upgraded' a drive that was not well backed up.

          • by yabos ( 719499 )
            Which is why they warn you to not use the beta on a production machine. If you don't listen and something goes wrong then it's your own fault.
          • It's okay to upgrade. Just pray you were not one of the beta testers who 'upgraded' a drive that was not well backed up.

            And if you are doing that without taking the drop-dead-simple step of making a Time Machine backup first, you deserve just EXACTLY what you get, sorry!

            • It's okay to upgrade. Just pray you were not one of the beta testers who 'upgraded' a drive that was not well backed up.

              And if you are doing that without taking the drop-dead-simple step of making a Time Machine backup first, you deserve just EXACTLY what you get, sorry!

              Be nice. Windows users don't even know what Time Machine does.

              • It's okay to upgrade. Just pray you were not one of the beta testers who 'upgraded' a drive that was not well backed up.

                And if you are doing that without taking the drop-dead-simple step of making a Time Machine backup first, you deserve just EXACTLY what you get, sorry!

                Then they shouldn't be commenting.

                Be nice. Windows users don't even know what Time Machine does.

              • It's okay to upgrade. Just pray you were not one of the beta testers who 'upgraded' a drive that was not well backed up.

                And if you are doing that without taking the drop-dead-simple step of making a Time Machine backup first, you deserve just EXACTLY what you get, sorry!

                Sorry, my response got eaten...

                If Windows users don't know what Time Machine does, they shouldn't be commenting here.

                Be nice. Windows users don't even know what Time Machine does.

                • Sorry, my response got eaten...

                  If Windows users don't know what Time Machine does, they shouldn't be commenting here.

                  The big question for me is why on earth isn't there a backup utility like Time Machine for Windows baked right into the OS?

                  • Sorry, my response got eaten...

                    If Windows users don't know what Time Machine does, they shouldn't be commenting here.

                    The big question for me is why on earth isn't there a backup utility like Time Machine for Windows baked right into the OS?

                    Because Windows sucks?

                    Actually, Windows has had a backup utility called "NTBackup" for quite awhile, and then there's the Volume Snapshot Backup. But neither is as simple to setup nor administer as Time Machine. Not by a LONG shot.

                    • Because Windows sucks?

                      Actually, Windows has had a backup utility called "NTBackup" for quite awhile, and then there's the Volume Snapshot Backup. But neither is as simple to setup nor administer as Time Machine. Not by a LONG shot.

                      Did those back up applications as well? I had the first occasion to restore an entire volume from scratch from Time machine a few weeks ago, and it was flawless. Just haven't been able to figure why nothing like that made it to Windows.

                    • Because Windows sucks?

                      Actually, Windows has had a backup utility called "NTBackup" for quite awhile, and then there's the Volume Snapshot Backup. But neither is as simple to setup nor administer as Time Machine. Not by a LONG shot.

                      Did those back up applications as well? I had the first occasion to restore an entire volume from scratch from Time machine a few weeks ago, and it was flawless. Just haven't been able to figure why nothing like that made it to Windows.

                      Yeah, isn't that cool?!?

                      I have had two occasions to do it; both flawless. One was after replacing an HD in an early Intel iMac, and the other time was when replacing that iMac with a 2017 iMac running Sierra (from aTM backup from a Snow Leopard based machine). As I said, both were: Start Resore. Wait. Reboot. Done.

                      Windows just has never understood "usability". Never have, never will.

      • Apple's new operating system does not support a feature that they currently sell at a premium because they don't offer large flash drives. That's a significant failure on their part and affects many people who should read this article as advice not to upgrade.

        That's news.

        Oh, shut the FUCK up! You have NO idea what you are blathering about; but ARE the reason Slashdot ran a story about a problem with a BETA Installer Script on a BETA OS Version, FFS!

      • Works fine on my 2TB flash drive. Not sure what you're talking about.

      • by HuguesT ( 84078 )

        1- Nobody sells large flash drives at a consumer-friendly price point.
        2- OS X allows a smaller flash drive and a larger HDD to appear as a single drive, where the flash drive acts as a large cache. They offer this feature for free.

        You can pair any two drives you want [lifewire.com] in this way. I'm not sure where you get the premium idea.

    • It's news because the OS / filesystem cares is incompatible with a storage device because it has flash cache baked in.

      WTF kind of sense does that make? The OS / filesystem shouldn't know or care!

      In the PC world, hybrid drives, or "SSHD"s, are completely abstracted away. They're just another fucking storage device and the firmware tries to speed some shit up on its own.

      Apparently for the Mac world, this isn't the case.

      • by swimboy ( 30943 )

        No, that's not the case. Fusion drives are not hybrid drives. While the OS presents a single drive to the end user, a fusion drive is two separately addressable drives to the lowest levels of the operating system. Apple figured that the OS could do a better job of optimizing what data went on the SSD than drive firmware could, since it would know *what* the data was, not just how often or recently it was accessed.

      • It's news because the OS / filesystem cares is incompatible with a storage device because it has flash cache baked in.

        WTF kind of sense does that make? The OS / filesystem shouldn't know or care!

        In the PC world, hybrid drives, or "SSHD"s, are completely abstracted away. They're just another fucking storage device and the firmware tries to speed some shit up on its own.

        Apparently for the Mac world, this isn't the case.

        If you had bothered to watch the Keynote a few years ago, when the Fusion Drive concept was introduced, you would already know that, unlike idiot Windows and idiot Linux, macOS knows what to do with the Fusion Drive, and the OS makes intelligent decisions, based on usage, as to what data is moved to the Flash portion, and what data is kept/moved on the spinning-rust portion, of the drive. This results in MUCH better performance overall.

        • I'm not a fanboy. Why would I waste my time watching an hour long ad for Apple's shit?
          And clearly, the results are shit don't work.

          • I'm not a fanboy. Why would I waste my time watching an hour long ad for Apple's shit?
            And clearly, the results are shit don't work.

            Then why do you feel compelled to comment?

            Shit DOES work; there are ZERO horror stories coming from the Public Beta. Apple is just hedging their bets.

        • by HuguesT ( 84078 )

          Nobody outside of Apple really knows what the fusion drive mechanism does because Apple does not open-source the technology. What you wrote is basically straight from Apple's marketing department. We know that they are very good, this does not mean the technology is that great. Early reports were saying that the tech was basically on par with SSHD (a HDD + some amount of Flash as cache) or a bit better, but not a game changer [anandtech.com].

          The closest open-source equivalent would be the ZFS filesystem, which offers sever [ixsystems.com]

        • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

          Except that was a piss poor engineering choice. This mess goes to prove it. They took a device that was designed to be a black box and messed that up.

          They shot their own foot with that nonsense.

          They overcomplicated a situation that didn't need to be.

    • Why is this even news? A feature in a beta version of software got cut for the GM. Happens all the time. Any idiot can read between the lines and understands that there's a bug in APFS for fusion drives, and rather than delay the release, Apple is just disabling it on fusion drives until a point update down the line.

      Nothing to see here. Move along.

      It's "news" because anything that can POSSIBLY be "spun" to be negative IN ANY WAY about Apple is grist for the click-mill that is Slashdot.

      • Nerds have always hated Apple. At least, since Apple designed an explicitly anti-nerd computer called the Macintosh.

        Those of who were into computers at the time (nerds) remember how condescending Jobs was about it. They killed the Apple 2 about the same time, which was a nerdy open system for the most part.

        Other than a smallish minority, we hate fucking Apple here. I have dealt with conescending-while-clueless Mac users since the mid 80's. This is not the space for those people.

        It is never going to change.

  • fusion drive a hard disk drive with a NAND flash storage. this has been around for nearly a decade and exists in MAC as a cost savings measure at the expense of performance and is best suited toward mac customers as the moniker is far more critical to them than any demonstrable value.
    • I have a Mac with a 3 TB Fusion drive; it's from 2013. It is a virtual disk with two physical volumes, one electronic, one rotating magnetic media. It automatically migrates frequently used files to the electronic media, and less frequently used files to the rotating magnetic media. It works great; my Mac boots quickly; apps start quickly. I have a decent amount of storage for videos, pictures, and audio at the same time. I don't view it as a way to "cheap out" but rather a clever bit of engineering th
      • How is that fusion drive any better than just having a smaller, primary SSD and a large secondary spinning platter disk?
        • by jeremyp ( 130771 )

          Because the most frequently used files are put on the SSD automatically. It's a little known technique called "caching". You might be surprised to find out that the processor in your computer does something similar with respect to RAM.

        • It is better than two separate drives because data is moved to the better suited drive automatically at a 128KB block level, not at a file level.

          Typically, all the directory structures will be on the SSD drive, all the parts of the operating system that you actually use. If you have a huge iTunes library, it is likely that most music files are on the slower hard drive, while the portions of those files containing album art that are displayed a lot are on the SSD drive.

          You don't waste time moving files
        • How is that fusion drive any better than just having a smaller, primary SSD and a large secondary spinning platter disk?

          Because the OS manages all this behind the scenes, transparent to the user. The user sees it as one Drive. This allows stuff like the "Applications" Folder to actually have some Applications on the Flash portion, and others on the spinning-rust portion (and maybe that mix will even change over time, as the system watches usage profiles), but to the User, ALL the Applications are in "One Place".

          Actually, it's fairly clever.

          • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

            > Because the OS manages all this behind the scenes

            Since this is an Apple black box they don't have to do any strange shenanigans with standard hardware. They don't have to "hack" the fusion drive. They can just use two drives as one.

            This is trivial because they control both the hardware and software. They don't have to engage in any hacks.

            Two drives would allow them to better optimize the entire process both for performance and cost.

      • Outside of Apple circles, that's called a SSHD - solid state hard drive. It does not give the best of both types of media.
        • It's great for speeding up small, frequently-accessed files. Like the files needed to boot the OS or start a program. Hard drives suck at reading or writing these - typically 0.75 to 1.5 MB/s. A small SSD can typically read these at around 10-30 MB/s. This is the only thing it speeds up.
        • It doesn't do anything for large files because the NAND cache is too small to hold large files
        • I only recommend SSHDs if you have a laptop (which typically use 5400 RPM drives)

          And when Fusion Drives were introduced, that's exactly what Apple was using as a default in their laptops.

          Oh, and what one computer-type is Apple's most popular?

        • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

          Outside of Apple circles, that's called a SSHD - solid state hard drive. It does not give the best of both types of media.

          No, Fusion drive is not SSHD. SSHD is what Seagate does and provides a NAND flash cache with a 1TB or so spinning drive.

          Fusion Drive is a MacOS X feature that combines an SSD and an HDD together into one volume. In typical shipped configurations, it was a 128GB Samsung 840/850 Pro combined with a standard spinning rust hard drive. It is integrated into the OS X volume manager, and if yo

        • by HuguesT ( 84078 )

          This is not quite correct. For a start, the Apple 3TB fusion drive comes paired with a 128GB SSD. This is much larger than the 8GB cache of typical SSHD, which takes care of your slow read performance. Second according to Apple, their system is not just a cache, it "intelligently" stores most used as well as most recent data and applications. As such it is closer to a tiered access solution than a cache.

          Yes you can do something similar with a HD + a SSD, but AFAIK not trivially. The Intel SSD SRT caching so

    • Technical demonstration for the non-haters: Fusion drive is a combination of a hard drive and an SSD. It hasn't been around for nearly a decade, but was introduced in late 2012. The technology is not available on a MAC (Media Access Controller) but on various Macintosh computers. It combines the speed of an SSD drive with the huge size of large hard drive. It is very much appreciated by many customers as they are very good at getting the best value for money and allows for example huge collections of video
    • fusion drive a hard disk drive with a NAND flash storage. this has been around for nearly a decade and exists in MAC as a cost savings measure at the expense of performance and is best suited toward mac customers as the moniker is far more critical to them than any demonstrable value.

      The Hate is strong in this one!

      You, sir, are both ignorant AND idiotic. Fusion Drives are a PERFORMANCE-centric improvement, NOT a "Cost-Savings Measure".

      So suck it, moron.

      • Fusion Drives are a PERFORMANCE-centric improvement, NOT a "Cost-Savings Measure".

        You know what performs even better? SSDs. But they are expensive.

        So suck it, moron.

        If you ever finish sucking the Apple cock, maybe someone else could have a go.

        • Fusion Drives are a PERFORMANCE-centric improvement, NOT a "Cost-Savings Measure".

          You know what performs even better? SSDs. But they are expensive.

          So suck it, moron.

          If you ever finish sucking the Apple cock, maybe someone else could have a go.

          1. SSD's were REALLY expensive (and "wearout" was a real concern) five or so years ago, when Apple came up with the idea of Fusion Drives (and the OS support that makes it work well). Fusion Drives were a way to get the Boot-Performance improvements (primarily) of an SSD, while still allowing for a large overall storage, and without concerns for wearout for often-updated data.

          2. Are you volunteering for cocksucking duties? 'Cause I've got one right here for ya...

          • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

            > 1. SSD's were REALLY expensive (and "wearout" was a real concern) five or so years ago, when Apple came up with the idea of Fusion Drives

            You have a part that you are unsure about so of course the logical thing is to pair it with a more reliable component. You should be pretty much expecting the combined item to fail in short order.

            Doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

            Since when is Apple a "cheap skate" brand. I have a laptop with hybrid drive that's nearly 5 years old. I was tempted to go SSD but I'm a te

  • Delivering an half-baked new file system.

  • by MikeDataLink ( 536925 ) <mike&murraynet,net> on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @12:59PM (#55225917) Homepage Journal

    That's what happens when you join a beta. The vendor learns things, fixes bugs, delays features, and makes changes.

    I mean seriously. Not trying to be a troll. How is this news?

    • That's what happens when you join a beta. The vendor learns things, fixes bugs, delays features, and makes changes.

      I mean seriously. Not trying to be a troll. How is this news?

      It's as much news as the rest of the drivel that is considered news. Stick around, I'm sure something will come down the fire hose and re-affirm your beliefs.

    • Depends on how you interpret it.

      "APFS has issues with Fusion Drives": News.
      "OMFG! Apple is gonna make their beta testers reformat their drives! WTF, Apple, not supporting their own drives!": Not News.

      I gotta admit, I was kind of curious what APFS did with Fusion drives...

      • Depends on how you interpret it.

        "APFS has issues with Fusion Drives": News.
        "OMFG! Apple is gonna make their beta testers reformat their drives! WTF, Apple, not supporting their own drives!": Not News.

        I gotta admit, I was kind of curious what APFS did with Fusion drives...

        Obviously nothing TOO bad; because those people were happily running APFS-formatted Fusion Drives in the Beta.

        I believe it's just because Apple does not want to roll-out APFS support on any drive that has a spinning-rust component. Not because of anything "bad"; but because the Performance Optimizations have so far been concentrated on SSD/Flash performance.

        Spinning-Rust optimizations will come later, probably with either a Point release in High Sierra, or the next major macOS release.

    • That's what happens when you join a beta. The vendor learns things, fixes bugs, delays features, and makes changes.

      I mean seriously. Not trying to be a troll. How is this news?

      Because Apple News = Clickbait for Apple-Haters...

      • I wouldn't call it click-bait. Anything concerning Apple has been a wankfest for years. This is a wank-around session like all Apple topics on Slashdot. You should know, because you are one of the head clowns.

        All news about Apple products is entertainment. I watched most of the presenation last Tuesday because it sounded like it would be entertaining. It definitely WAS. Watching the guys rush through the Applephone 8 presentation so they could obsolete the thing with it's next gen replacement, all in one

  • Fusion drive (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Geoffrey.landis ( 926948 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @01:42PM (#55226183) Homepage

    Having read a lot of 1950s and 1960s science fiction, I can confidently say that the usual fusion drive is operated by an engineer with a slide rule, not by a computer of any kind.

  • by JoeyRox ( 2711699 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @01:48PM (#55226231)
    You don't provide device support with a filesystem in a beta and then remove it in the GA release unless something significant was found wrong with it. Like fundamentally wrong with it rather than just a collection of bugs. If I was a beta tester with a fusion drive I would be rather worried now about the state of my data.
    • by OnceWas ( 187243 )

      Agreed. Also worrisome is that Time Machine won't back up to drives that have been upgraded to APFS.

      • Agreed. Also worrisome is that Time Machine won't back up to drives that have been upgraded to APFS.

        Wrong.

        Early versions of High Sierra Beta had issues with Time Machine and APFS Volumes; but those appear to be fixed.

        Otherwise, why would Apple's Instructions for REVERTING a Fusion Drive from APFS to HFS+ Start like this:

        "Apple provided a set of instructions to help those users convert their Fusion Drives back from APFS to the standard HFS+ format before installing the High Sierra update. The instructions include backing up data using Time Machine,"

        • by _merlin ( 160982 )

          He said "wont back up to drives that have been upgraded to APFS" not "won't back up from drives that have been upgraded to APFS". Nothing implies that you can use Time Machine to back up to an APFS volume.

          • He said "wont back up to drives that have been upgraded to APFS" not "won't back up from drives that have been upgraded to APFS". Nothing implies that you can use Time Machine to back up to an APFS volume.

            Learn to read.

        • by OnceWas ( 187243 )

          Nice try.

          As of the current macOS beta, you will get the following message is Time Machine tries to backup to an AFPS drive:

          "Time Machine couldn’t complete the backup. The backup disk is not in Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format, which is required."

          You can use Time Machine restore TO an AFPS drive, but you can not back up to an AFPS drive until Apple provides a fix.

          • Nice try.

            As of the current macOS beta, you will get the following message is Time Machine tries to backup to an AFPS drive:

            "Time Machine couldn’t complete the backup. The backup disk is not in Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format, which is required."

            You can use Time Machine restore TO an AFPS drive, but you can not back up to an AFPS drive until Apple provides a fix.

            Oh, did I imply differently? If so, I apologize!

            Time Machine will NOT run ON an APFS drive (yet); but you CAN use an APFS drive as a SOURCE to BE Backed-Up.

    • by jeremyp ( 130771 )

      No. It could be one bug that causes data loss and that hasn't been fixed.

      There's no need for beta testers to worry about their data because, of course, they didn't use this beta for anything critical did they....

      • People do idiotic things when they think they are being leading edge explorers. 'Beta' attracts the propellerhead contingent. I can't say I haven't been guilty of such foolishness in my indiscretionate earlier years.

        I remember the first Windows NT beta. I went for it hot and heavy. I actually spent $1200 on a new 486 (33 megahertz!) motherboard and 16 megs of ram for it. And I needed a CD-ROM drive, so I went straight to CompUSA and spent another $600 on the Sound Blaster Multimedia PC upgrade. That was a 1

    • I have no inside knowledge, but just based on all the other filesystems that have had trouble with older flash, there may be a firmware issue with TRIM on those drives.

      The nice thing about Apple kit is that, if they want to support the hardware, they can have their updater update the firmware on the drives when they have the bugs worked out.

      The not-so-nice thing about Apple is that they might just not feel like updating the firmware in those drives and labeling them as 'unsupported'. Sounds like they're go

    • You don't provide device support with a filesystem in a beta and then remove it in the GA release unless something significant was found wrong with it. Like fundamentally wrong with it rather than just a collection of bugs. If I was a beta tester with a fusion drive I would be rather worried now about the state of my data.

      Funny how there has been ZERO horror-stories from ANYWHERE about APFS, regardless of the storage medium. Perhaps you need to dial-down your Hater quotient.

      • I think you need to dial up your coherency quotient because your post makes absolutely no sense.
  • Last I heard, a fusion drive was a theoretical propulsion system for interplanetary spacecraft. I'm assuming this just means a hybrid SSD/mechanical drive? You know, the kind we've had for years and years? Fuck Apple and it's vile marketing department.

    Apple users continue to be fucking idiots.

    • by beckett ( 27524 )

      fucking idiots.

      i love how you consider other users "idiots" but can't even find a way to shoehorn a 'fusion drive' pun without being awkward and unfunny as hell.

      Fuck Apple

      Perhaps go back working on your "fusion drive" joke? that was the closest thing approaching "underrated" in your bizzare, non-sequitor rant.

  • Isn't that the thing you need to build if you want to build Battlecruisers?
    What's it got to do with Apple and file systems?

  • I'll have to use my fission drive then.

Gravity is a myth, the Earth sucks.

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