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#46001 - 08/15/17 04:05 PM APFS not an option in latest High Sierra betas.
joemikeb Online
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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
I am posting this outside of my ongoing thread about my adventures with the High Sierra beta to be sure it is noticed. Due to computer problems I got a new 13" i7 MacBook Pro and elected to install the High Sierra Public Beta. I noticed a significant change in the installation process.

In Public beta 1 (Developer beta 2) the installer offered the OPTION of MacOS Extended format or APFS.

There is NO OPTION in the current beta installer, APFS is installed automatically. To verify this was not a function of an SSD vs Rotating Rust, I erased an external HD to MacOS Extended (Journaled) a.k.a. HFS+ and installed High Sierra on it. With no question and no notice the installer reformatted the drive APFS.

It appears that the PREFERENCE of APFS for the boot drive has become a REQUIREMENT. Whether this will be true in the final version, I don't know. At least the conversion is non-destructive.

FWIW other than an initial glitch with Time Machine and encryption, I am quite happy with APFS. My tests showed it to give noticeable better performance than HFS+ even on rotating rust.
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#46002 - 08/15/17 05:11 PM Re: APFS not an option in latest High Sierra betas. [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
I assume Apple made that decision based on feedback from many beta-testers, which lends credibility to it, but I nonetheless wonder how much of a deterrent to early adoption it will be if it's final?
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#46004 - 08/16/17 04:26 AM Re: APFS not an option in latest High Sierra betas. [Re: joemikeb]
Pendragon Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Georgetown, Texas, USA
Many thanks for the update JoeMike. Indeed t'will be most interesting to see how this saga ends.
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#46009 - 08/16/17 06:10 AM Re: APFS not an option in latest High Sierra betas. [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online
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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: artie505
I assume Apple made that decision based on feedback from many beta-testers, which lends credibility to it, but I nonetheless wonder how much of a deterrent to early adoption it will be if it's final?

I suspect the reaction will be mixed...
  1. There will be a large group of users who will install High Sierra the first day of release, regardless or heedless, of the format change
  2. The vast bulk of users won't notice and won't care unless there are "scare articles" in the news
  3. For those who chronically wait for a couple of months before installing a new OS upgrade "to give Apple time to work all the bugs out" may wait until a couple of months after the first update before installing.
  4. There will be more hesitant users who won t do anything until they read the reviews and then…
    • Will follow the advice of their favorite reviewer/magazine
    • Will follow the advice of the bulk of the reviewers
    • Will follow the advice of whatever reviewer they find who agrees with their own inclination
  5. The chronic late adopters who will install High Sierra after Apple releases the first update to its successor MacOS 10.14
  6. There will be 10 to 15% of users who will give up Snow Leopard, El Capitan, whatever only when theyare forced to by computer failure or inability to run the software they want
  7. There will be another 5 to 10% of users who will be blissfully unaware of the upgrade
  8. As always there will be at least some "flat earther" users who are suspicious of anything new and different.
  9. There will be fringe elements who will
    • Complain that Apple does not use MS DOS or any one of a number of other operating systems
    • Threaten to buy a computer with a "real" operating system like Windows
    • Threaten to sue or actually bring suit to force Apple to add support for HFS (not HFS+ or Mac OS Extended)
    • Call for the government to dismantle Apple's market domination.
    • Insist the change will ruin Apple and result in instantaneous economic failure of the trillion dollar corporation that has a bit over 10% of the world wide computer market.
In other words pretty much the same reaction to every MacOS upgrade. wink
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#46011 - 08/16/17 06:26 AM Re: APFS not an option in latest High Sierra betas. [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
There will be fringe elements who will...[c]all for the government to dismantle Apple's market domination.

I've long been of the opinion that Apple is in violation of a bunch provisions that Messrs. Sherman and Clayton would have included in their anti-trust legislation had they known of the need. shocked
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#46016 - 08/16/17 03:47 PM Re: APFS not an option in latest High Sierra betas. [Re: joemikeb]
Beeston Offline


Registered: 08/16/17
Sorry to rain on the parade but, I've just had a very different experience with Public Beta 5. After installing PB4 on an external Firewire drive I found it would no longer boot. There was no option to switch to APFS. So, it was still HFS+.

Anyway, I booted to the 10.13 Recovery volume and re-installed macOS. It installed PB5 over the internet. During the process, there was no option to install APFS and the drive remained HFS+ – it was not automatically converted. So, I rebooted to the Recovery volume and opened Disk Utility to try to convert to APFS. Found the option greyed out. So, I currently have a running copy of PB5 which I can't convert to APFS.

I suspect that in the beta versions of 10.13, APFS is limited to Macs with an SSD. You've found that you got APFS automatically on a HDD. Perhaps that was because you also had an SSD. I don't know why that would be so but, anything goes with Apple's betas.

Apple have been playing very oddly with the implementation of APFS. In 10.12 I was easily able to convert the same Firewire drive to APFS. So, why not allow/provide for that in the 10.13 betas ?

I've stopped testing the PB as Finder bugs from 10.12.1 have still not be touched and I'm mainly interested in APFS.

Cheers.


Edited by Beeston (08/16/17 03:49 PM)

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#46023 - 08/17/17 02:20 PM Re: APFS not an option in latest High Sierra betas. [Re: Beeston]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: Beeston
Sorry to rain on the parade but, I've just had a very different experience with Public Beta 5. After installing PB4 on an external Firewire drive I found it would no longer boot. There was no option to switch to APFS. So, it was still HFS+.


This is a long shot; I'm sure the answer is probably "yes," but...are you formatted with a GUID partition table?
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#46025 - 08/17/17 08:01 PM Re: APFS not an option in latest High Sierra betas. [Re: tacit]
Beeston Offline


Registered: 08/16/17
Quote:
are you formatted with a GUID partition table


Yes, GUI Partition Map. Could the problem be the Firewire connection ?

Hah ! Found the release notes: Build 17A344b Preview 6 Release Notes

So, the issue is with HDD-only Macs.

Cheers.


Edited by Beeston (08/17/17 08:11 PM)
Edit Reason: Updated detail

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#46030 - 08/18/17 07:40 PM Re: APFS not an option in latest High Sierra betas. [Re: Beeston]
joemikeb Online
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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
All I can say is I did a clean install of Public Beta 4 on an external drive over a USB 3 connection that I had just erased to Mac OS Extended (Journaled). That installation was accomplished by downloading the Public Beta installer using the beta installer utility downloaded from the Apple’s developer site after authorizing the computer the utility downloaded and ran the full install from the App Store.

Later I booted the Recovery Drive on the external volume, used the included Disk Utility to erase the internal SSD on a MacBook Pro to Mac OS Extended (Journaled), then ran the Recovery Drive’s MacOS install routine. It was a day or two later when I noticed, to my great surprise, the internal SSD had been changed to APFS so I mounted the external drive and to my great surprise, it too was formatted APFS.

The external drive was formatted and High Sierra installed while it was mounted on my wife’s Mac mini running Sierra. The Recovery Drive installation was on a brand new MacBook Pro. Neither computer had ever been formatted anything but MacOS Extended (Journaled).

Obviously this does not constitute a comprehensive test of all the possible permutations but still it seems significant. I cannot explain Beeston’s experience or what the delta might be.
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#46031 - 08/18/17 10:39 PM Re: APFS not an option in latest High Sierra betas. [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Might your having reported on Public Beta 4 while Beeston reported on Public Beta 5 (updated with a reference to macOS 10.13 Developer Preview Seed 6) account for your different experiences?
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#46032 - 08/19/17 06:30 AM Re: APFS not an option in latest High Sierra betas. [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online
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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: artie505
Might your having reported on Public Beta 4 while Beeston reported on Public Beta 5 (updated with a reference to macOS 10.13 Developer Preview Seed 6) account for your different experiences?

Good thought Artie. Since both of these were clean installs not updates I assumed (there is that word again) each was the latest build available at the time, but I had no idea which beta release I was installing. I just checked and the build number on the MacBook Pro (the one installed by the Recovery Drive) is 17A344b which is developer seed 6.

I just realized a possible SSD vs HD connection. I had overlooked the fact my wife’s Mac mini I used to install High Sierra on the external drive has a Fusion drive (which has an SSD component) and of course the MacBook Pro has a really fast SSD.

Based on my earlier rudimentary testing, APFS performance on rotating rust was 10 to 20% faster than Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Based on that I would always give preference to APFS.


Edited by joemikeb (08/19/17 06:45 AM)
Edit Reason: Ah hah?
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#46046 - 08/22/17 04:16 PM Re: APFS not an option in latest High Sierra betas. [Re: joemikeb]
Beeston Offline


Registered: 08/16/17
Apple have released this advice Prepare for APFS

Suggests that APFS is for SSD-only Macs. But, that cuts out all iMacs except the iMac Pro. They don't mention converting to APFS after the 10.13 update. Hope this is just accidentally ambiguous.

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#46050 - 08/22/17 05:36 PM Re: APFS not an option in latest High Sierra betas. [Re: Beeston]
joemikeb Online
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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: Apple
When you upgrade to macOS High Sierra, systems with all flash storage configurations are converted automatically. Systems with hard disk drives (HDD) and Fusion drives won't be converted to APFS. You can't opt-out of the transition to APFS.

The way I read that appears to answer my question, but as you say there is still some ambiguity. The way I interpret it is...
  • If you have an SSD boot drive switching to APFS is mandatory and not an option
  • If you have an HD or Fusion Drive they will not be converted automatically but It DOES NOT say you cannot opt-in and I assume that option will be available during the install.
  • If you have an HD or Fusion drive and do not opt-in during the initial install, High Sierra Disk Utility has a Convert utility on the Tool bar which non-destructively converts Mac OS Extended to APFS and has worked quite well on the HDs I have tried it on. If you were converting the boot drive, I suspect that would have to be done while booted from the Recovery drive.
  • There is no utility to revert from APFS to Mac OS Extended so unless you elect to partition/erase the drive back to HFS+, conversion is one way.
The only reason I see for staying with HFS+ on an HD or Fusion drive would be if the drive will be accessed by systems that have yet to be upgraded to MacOS 10.13 or later. That would also be a consideration with PC users in a mixed environment.
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#46102 - 08/28/17 03:35 PM Re: APFS not an option in latest High Sierra betas. [Re: joemikeb]
Beeston Offline


Registered: 08/16/17
All that is possible and I do hope that is what Apple are planning. But I'm worried that Apple may decide HDD-only is too out-of-date. Maybe that's why they remain ambiguous. Maybe all will be clearer on 12 September.

Found release 7 notes: BTNHD

Says HDD-only still cannot be converted to APFS - which may be why the function is greyed out on my iMac.

Cheers.

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#46105 - 08/30/17 12:01 AM Re: APFS not an option in latest High Sierra betas. [Re: Beeston]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
I found this...

Originally Posted By: developer.apple.com
Can I use Apple File System with my existing hard disk drive?

Yes. Apple File System is optimized for Flash/SSD storage, but can also be used with traditional hard disk drives (HDD) and external, direct-attached storage.

How do I upgrade to Apple File System?

The macOS High Sierra installer offers nondestructive in-place upgrades from HFS+ to APFS for [apparently all] bootable volumes. You can use Disk Utility to convert external volumes from HFS+ to APFS format. (Emphasis added)

Quote #1 doesn't specifically mention High Sierra, but it seems reasonable to think it's implied.
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#46107 - 08/30/17 07:37 PM Re: APFS not an option in latest High Sierra betas. [Re: artie505]
Beeston Offline


Registered: 08/16/17
Yes, Apple have been saying that for quite a while. But, I still don't understand what it means. It's all very ambiguous to me at present.

Three more things suggest Apple have a way to go. First is that the function in Disk Utility (10.13 beta) to convert to APFS has been greyed out - well, at least it hasn't been removed but, why grey it out ?

Second, Apple removed the Terminal commands to convert to APFS from 10.12.6. So, it's now not possible to convert an external HDD to APFS using 10.12. See APFS support is undone in 10.12.6 for more detail.

Third, Developer Beta 8 still cannot format HDDs in APFS. See: https://bjtechnews.org/2017/08/28/macos-10-13-developer-preview-8-build-17a358a-release-notes/

Anyway, as usual, only time will tell.


Edited by Beeston (08/30/17 08:13 PM)
Edit Reason: Updated for Beta 8 release notes

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#46109 - 08/31/17 06:53 AM Re: APFS not an option in latest High Sierra betas. [Re: Beeston]
joemikeb Online
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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: Beeston
Three more things suggest Apple have a way to go. First is that the function in Disk Utility (10.13 beta) to convert to APFS has been greyed out - well, at least it hasn't been removed but, why grey it out ?
It is not greyed out on my MacBook Pro running 10.13 beta 7 and 8 but it has an SSD. The convert function in beta 7 successfully converted external HDs and volumes (partitions) to APFS on that machine as well. Those were not bootable volumes. — I just remembered it is greyed out if the currently selected drive is already formatted APFS or is the current boot drive.
Originally Posted By: Beeston
Third, Developer Beta 8 still cannot format HDDs in APFS. See: https://bjtechnews.org/2017/08/28/macos-10-13-developer-preview-8-build-17a358a-release-notes/
NOTE: That comment in the referenced article specifies HDD ONLY machines cannot be CONVERTED to APFS. I am not questioning the report but it seems a bit ambiguous as well. I would test the parameters of that but I do not have an HDD only Mac to test on. Everything around here is either SSD or Fusion.


Edited by joemikeb (08/31/17 06:56 AM)
Edit Reason: Now I remember
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#46115 - 08/31/17 01:30 PM Re: APFS not an option in latest High Sierra betas. [Re: joemikeb]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
High Sierra's APFS optimized for flash s...y Fusion Drives

The full title of the article is High Sierra's APFS optimized for flash storage & SSD, incompatible with legacy HDDs and possibly Fusion Drives but it didn't appear in its entirety with the link.
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#46116 - 08/31/17 01:56 PM Re: APFS not an option in latest High Sierra betas. [Re: jchuzi]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Sounds like someone was a bit overoptimistic. tongue
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#46117 - 08/31/17 03:46 PM Re: APFS not an option in latest High Sierra betas. [Re: jchuzi]
joemikeb Online
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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
It will be VERY interesting to see Apple's "clarification". While I have not run High Sierra from a stock Apple HD (I don't even have one), I have run various MacOS 10.13 betas from APFS formatted 1TB HGST and 256GB Toshiba HDs in OWC USB 3 enclosures and a 1TB APFS formatted partition on a 4GB HGST drive in a Firewire 800 NewerTech enclosure with zero drive or format related issues. That makes me very curious what it is about Apple's internal HDs that would make them incompatible with APFS. I could easily envision why there might be problems with Fusion drives, but given the base drive in all current iMac models is either a HD or Fusion drive not to mention the tremendous installed base of Fusion drive equipped Macs of all varieties, solving that issue would seem to be a front burner project — even if it meant splitting the Fusion drive into two separate drives.
confused

FULL DISCLOSURE:
  1. I did have an issue with a 1TB OWC SSD in a Mac mini that for unknown reasons had a trial separation after several weeks running 10.13 and formatted APFS. (The drive and Mac mini have reconciled and are running MacOS 10.12 and Apple Server but I will try High Sierra again when Apple Server is available for it.)
  2. So far I have only run MacOS 10.13 beta 8 from the internal SSD.
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#46203 - 09/06/17 03:23 PM Re: APFS not an option in latest High Sierra betas. [Re: joemikeb]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
MORE APFS EXPERIENCE
  • I formatted an external HD and a partition on another external HD APFS
  • I succesfully installed MacOS 10.13 beta 9 on an HD scavenged from a Fusion drive in an OWC Express enclosure and formatted APFS
  • I have not encountered any restriction against formatting an HD as APFS in MacOS 10.13 beta 9 or installing High Sierra on an HD formatted APFS.
  • my suspicion is Apple has simply strengthened their previous preference for APFS by eliminating the HFS+ option when the installation target drive is an SSD or Flash media — not that HDs are incompatible with APFS.
LESSON LEARNED
  • Turning on Filevault with a drive formatted APFS changes the drive format to APFS (encrypted)
  • If you plan to encrypt (Filevault) an APFS drive Format the drive APFS (encrypted) INITIALLY
    • It takes only seconds to format a drive APFS (encrypted) and there is no noticeable delay in installing MacOS or restoring data from a backup.
    • encrypting an APFS volume that has data on it can take a day or more to complete. NOTE: the computer can be used even while as the boot drive is being encrypted.
  • Encrypting the 256 GB flash drive in my MBP with 108 GB used initially estimated encryption would take "more than one day". It actually took about 28 hours.
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#46204 - 09/06/17 05:19 PM Re: APFS not an option in latest High Sierra betas. [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb[list
If you plan to encrypt (Filevault) an APFS drive Format the drive APFS (encrypted) INITIALLY
  • It takes only seconds to format a drive APFS (encrypted) and there is no noticeable delay in installing MacOS or restoring data from a backup.
  • encrypting an APFS volume that has data on it can take a day or more to complete. NOTE: the computer can be used even while as the boot drive is being encrypted.

To clarify, that sounds like it pertains to a clean install of macOS 10.13, but not to upgrading an existing installation.


Edited by artie505 (09/06/17 10:21 PM)
Edit Reason: Clarify
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#46215 - 09/07/17 06:57 AM Re: APFS not an option in latest High Sierra betas. [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online
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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: artie505
To clarify, that sounds like it pertains to a clean install of macOS 10.13, but not to upgrading an existing installation.
Yes that refers to a clean install. However since the installer does not offer a format option for SSD/Flash drives you would still have to perform the encryption as a separate step (❓❓unless the drive was already encrypted❓❓) confused That opens up another set of possible installation scenarios that I will leave to someone with lots of time and patience not to mention lots of Macs to experiment with.

NOTE: Converting an existing HFS+ volume to APFS — not encrypted — only takes several seconds.
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#46315 - 09/14/17 10:34 PM Re: APFS not an option in latest High Sierra betas. [Re: joemikeb]
Beeston Offline


Registered: 08/16/17
Apple has released formal advice that APFS will not work on fusion drives in the initial release of 10.13:

https://beta.apple.com/sp/betaprogram/apfsfusion

No word on HDD-only Macs but, it's London to a brick Apple will get fusion drives working first.

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