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Old Nov 27, 2012, 09:01 PM   #26
7enderbender
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Just found this here:

http://blog.macsales.com/15619-speci...-2012-mac-mini

No matter which method you use, once you have both an SSD and a platter-based drive installed in your Mac mini, you should not use the Disk Utility in your Recovery Partition on those drives; it will see those drives as a “broken” Fusion array and try to repair it, destroying your data in the process.

So that leaves the question how to replace what's in the recovery partition with something more appropriate for this purpose.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 10:08 PM   #27
applejack1923
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If you need a recovery drive see below. Otherwise just clone your internal drives using something like SuperDuper should you need to reinstall from the backup.

OS X Recovery Disk Assistant

http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1433


P.S. Before attempting any of this make sure you have an external bootable drive.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 05:32 AM   #28
hugodrax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simon.hibbs View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by this. Separate in what way? Fusion Drive works at the block level, below (or inside) the file system level, and is completely invisible to the user.

Simon Hibbs
Maybe He has too much time on his hands and wants to play around all day micromanaging his computer.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BingClawsby View Post
So fusion drive would be the way to go for my purposes being that I'll get virtually the same performance as the single SSD configuration I take it

The other good thing is it would save me $50 over the 256SSD that I might as well apply to the 2.6 quad i7 over the 2.3. I'll also be getting the 4gb ram and buy 2x8gb from OWC.
Pretty much. Once I went fusion drive i would never buy another Mac without it.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 05:44 AM   #29
hugodrax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7enderbender View Post
And that's exactly one of the articles that got me worried a bit. Here is what he finds:

Nothing wrong with the underlying drives (diskutil cs delete took care of eliminating the Logical Volume Group).

What’s left are two perfectly valid internal drives/volumes (MacMini is booted off external USB3 drive).

The diskutil command line handles them fine, as does the Disk Utility from the OS X 10.8.2 Mac Pro. The Disk Utility GUI cannot deal with them.


So basically, you need to find a way to completely swipe the thing clean and then use a fresh install that is not meant for the mini - at least if you ever want to use the Disk Utiliity GUI for anything. The version for the new Mini with fusion drive seems to have a special version (version 13 #444).

So who can explain what can be done there to fix that once and for all? Will buying a fresh installation DVD or a download fro $20 solve this issue?

Where does Disk Utility live anyway and can it be exchanged for a different (non fusion) version? Man, this whole endeavor already feels like Windows all over again - before I've even bought anything...incompatible/busted graphics chips, weird utility programs with special versions. It's really no fun no matter where I turn at the moment - just to accomplish some pretty basic needs and despite my willingness to shell out over $2000 when all is said and done. Really...
Why don't you just use the fusion drive as it is intended to before you go out on half facts, part ignorance. If your gonna go Mac, then you need to rethink things a bit and maybe if you are willing to think outside the box for a minute and actually just plug in, turn on and start working on it you would see quickly how fast your workflow will be when using the fusion drive.

Get an external time machine drive and plug it it as well.

Life on a Mac is easy compared to windows. Why make problems where none exsist.

And I am using protools on a fusion drive. It works great.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 06:14 AM   #30
marc.garcia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7enderbender View Post
Just found this here:

http://blog.macsales.com/15619-speci...-2012-mac-mini

No matter which method you use, once you have both an SSD and a platter-based drive installed in your Mac mini, you should not use the Disk Utility in your Recovery Partition on those drives; it will see those drives as a “broken” Fusion array and try to repair it, destroying your data in the process.

So that leaves the question how to replace what's in the recovery partition with something more appropriate for this purpose.
I think we have to stop for a while and reconsider our standpoint. I've used windows systems for ages and AAMOF, I forced to use them at work. On the other hand, I've used Linux systems for years too, and two years ago I decided I would give a shot to Apple products. I can say I have some IT experience with enough knowledge to form my own opinion. So far I've ditched every non-Apple product that I owned except from my QNAP NAS, which I plan to ditch too when I finally purchase the mini...

After these two years of using Apple products, I would say I've reached to a few conclusions. Among them, I can tell you that if you expect total flexibility from apple products, you should not chose them. They are designed to work in several specific ways, and expecting to modify that will end up in frustration sometimes. Apple products are mainly designed to make their users' life easier, but for that they have to make some concessions to they eyes of more technical people like us.

Instead of keeping on reading stuff online about fusion drives and so on, I think I (and possibly you) should reconsider what I (you or we) don't like about Fusion Drive. I don't like to know that the OS will continuously spin up the hdd even if eventually the data will not be placed on it. I don't like to lose control over where files are to be placed. It scares me a little to also lose control over how the drives are organized, etc., but something inside me is also demanding I stop investing time into this, and hand these decisions over to them, and flow with it.

I know it may sound a little irresponsible, but I've had this revelation. So, as long as I can determine what are the things that bother me about FD, I can possibly let go of the control, and simply make sure I keep my backups current.

In 2010 Steve Jobs said that the new MacBook Air gave shape to future MacBooks. Something similar maybe hiding behind the FD, and I imagine that technology is soon to be found in the rest of the lines. Are we ready to flow with it? Care to help me outline what bothers us about FD expanding on what I stated above?

Regards,

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Quote:
Originally Posted by hugodrax View Post
Why don't you just use the fusion drive as it is intended to before you go out on half facts, part ignorance. If your gonna go Mac, then you need to rethink things a bit and maybe if you are willing to think outside the box for a minute and actually just plug in, turn on and start working on it you would see quickly how fast your workflow will be when using the fusion drive.

Get an external time machine drive and plug it it as well.

Life on a Mac is easy compared to windows. Why make problems where none exsist.

And I am using protools on a fusion drive. It works great.
Man, you've overtaken me mainly bacause, as you can tell, I'm not a native speaker, but we both seem to have read each others' mind because we seem to point to the same idea, right?
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 08:57 AM   #31
7enderbender
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hugodrax View Post
Why don't you just use the fusion drive as it is intended to before you go out on half facts, part ignorance. If your gonna go Mac, then you need to rethink things a bit and maybe if you are willing to think outside the box for a minute and actually just plug in, turn on and start working on it you would see quickly how fast your workflow will be when using the fusion drive.

Get an external time machine drive and plug it it as well.

Life on a Mac is easy compared to windows. Why make problems where none exsist.

And I am using protools on a fusion drive. It works great.
Like I said before, I don't want to get into this sort of argument. What works for you (and I have no doubts) doesn't mean that it is the right thing for others. The simple answer is: I don't want it. I'm not paying anything north of 2K to end up with something that is not what I want. I'm willing to compromise - mostly because of the alternatives being even more dismal these days. But there is a limit. When I don't know on which physical drive my data is then that's where I draw the line. If I then have to look at the "fusion" drive as one physical drive then I'm effectively losing one drive. That doesn't make me ignorant. I don't want it and I wouldn't trust it. I'm not paying extra for something to end up with more issues then I have now. Really that simple.

But I must admit it also makes me a bit angry. Apple acts like the government at times: "you are stupid and we'll take care of you by limiting your choices - and then we're going to tax you double you rich person you." Something like Fusion Drives is like national health insurance. Sure it works to some degree. I still don't want it. I like control over my stuff even if that complicates things at time.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 09:31 AM   #32
7enderbender
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Originally Posted by marc.garcia View Post
I think we have to stop for a while and reconsider our standpoint. I've used windows systems for ages and AAMOF, I forced to use them at work. On the other hand, I've used Linux systems for years too, and two years ago I decided I would give a shot to Apple products. I can say I have some IT experience with enough knowledge to form my own opinion. So far I've ditched every non-Apple product that I owned except from my QNAP NAS, which I plan to ditch too when I finally purchase the mini...

After these two years of using Apple products, I would say I've reached to a few conclusions. Among them, I can tell you that if you expect total flexibility from apple products, you should not chose them. They are designed to work in several specific ways, and expecting to modify that will end up in frustration sometimes. Apple products are mainly designed to make their users' life easier, but for that they have to make some concessions to they eyes of more technical people like us.

Instead of keeping on reading stuff online about fusion drives and so on, I think I (and possibly you) should reconsider what I (you or we) don't like about Fusion Drive. I don't like to know that the OS will continuously spin up the hdd even if eventually the data will not be placed on it. I don't like to lose control over where files are to be placed. It scares me a little to also lose control over how the drives are organized, etc., but something inside me is also demanding I stop investing time into this, and hand these decisions over to them, and flow with it.

I know it may sound a little irresponsible, but I've had this revelation. So, as long as I can determine what are the things that bother me about FD, I can possibly let go of the control, and simply make sure I keep my backups current.

In 2010 Steve Jobs said that the new MacBook Air gave shape to future MacBooks. Something similar maybe hiding behind the FD, and I imagine that technology is soon to be found in the rest of the lines. Are we ready to flow with it? Care to help me outline what bothers us about FD expanding on what I stated above?

Fair enough. I'm very much willing to entertain this notion and thought process. Right now it still is a intellectual exercise while I'm writing this on a horrific hp win7 work laptop with my old XP desktop grinding at home.

So what really is this all about? There is the "we fear change" aspect and the "lack of control" fear. I admit to that. I'm usually a late adopter of new technologies - but I'm not technophobe at all. And a lot of it has probably to do with who we are and what we do and how. I'm a bit of a mixed bag. I'm a business/finance guy who develops pretty cutting edge system designs for healthcare providers. Cutting edge for the health sector that is. Others would probably laugh at us. It's a conservative industry I'm in on many levels. They have to be because lives are at stake. So there is part of the obsession with control, wanting to know where stuff is, being able to wake up at one in the morning and map out where files are and where the multiple backups are. And no, by the way, I do not understand all of the technical details. We have people for that.
And then there is my life as a musician and photographer. This is where the new Mac comes in (or not). I've been contempt with my XP systems for years now. Never understood all the complaints about them. The way I have stuff set up it just works - for me. Setting things up the same way for my almost 70 year old dad resulted in many phone calls over the years and many late-night Team Viewer sessions. Since he's on an iPhone and an iMac I have received exactly ONE call. And that was when his router crapped out. So go figure. I admit that something like a fusion drive is likely a very good solution for 99% of Apple's mainstream customers - at least until larger capacity SSDs with even longer life spans will come around. So on that basis they are doing the right thing, no doubt about it.
And here in the little geeky forum we now have testimony from a Protools user how uses such a configuration with no issues. That's good to hear. It brings up a few questions and I'd be interested in hearing how the experience is over time once the drive starts filling up.

Yes, you are right, this is maybe a time to rethink - or give in - however you want to look at it. I've moved from film to digital. It's been a mostly positive transition. But even with that: it was a transition after the technology matured a lot. I'm glad I waited for very specific developments. Same with a few other things. Right now there is a lot of transition happening in the computer world that happens to be relevant to what I do. Drives, ports, interfaces - and most importantly screens. It's all on a good path but sometimes I'm still missing something especially when "old" technology gets replaced a bit too quickly while the new stuff is not quite there yet.

So to answer your question: the reasons I'm not fond of the fusion drive idea is that a) I don't trust SSD drives yet to last very long b) if one drives goes you lose data on two drives potentially c) it's not clear yet to me if the speed advantage is still there once the drive(s) fill up d) egotistical fear of lack of control e) still believe that system data and user data should be kept separate to keep cleaner backups.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 07:06 PM   #33
applejack1923
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Buy it, try it and if it doesn't work for you at least there seems to be a way of unfusing the drive.

Once I get my iMac I'll try it see how quick it works and how backups work. If I don't like it at least I know there is a different option. My choice nobody elses. C'est la vie.

Alternatively I may just buy the 768GB SSD version but I just know Apple will charge a **** load for it.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 07:29 PM   #34
skillz1318
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hugodrax View Post
Maybe He has too much time on his hands and wants to play around all day micromanaging his computer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hugodrax View Post
Why don't you just use the fusion drive as it is intended to before you go out on half facts, part ignorance. If your gonna go Mac, then you need to rethink things a bit and maybe if you are willing to think outside the box for a minute and actually just plug in, turn on and start working on it you would see quickly how fast your workflow will be when using the fusion drive.

Get an external time machine drive and plug it it as well.

Life on a Mac is easy compared to windows. Why make problems where none exsist..
My exact thoughts and one of my favorite things about Apple. I don't want to work when I'm using the computer at home. I work in IT and deal with enough at work; when home my Mac just works and does it well without human intervention.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 09:06 AM   #35
scottyd1119
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Well I got my mini with fusion drive. Man is it fast loading. Glad I went with a ssd. Others have pointed out some info that makes me worried about splitting it now. At this point I'm going back and forth what to do. I have two thoughts on it.

1) split the fusion drive, keep a good backup of it through time machine and just wait and see what happens when an update comes out and hope that the split survives but with the peace of mind that I have a backup incase it gets joined again. I've restored computers in the past from time machine and its a piece of cake so nothing to fear with that.

2) try to partition the 1tb drive so that I have 500 or 750gb as a separate volume for data that doesn't need to be on a ssd ie pictures music documents. One of the biggest complaints about fusion drive is people feel that they want control over it because there is no benefit to having certain things on a ssd. I agree with this to a certain degree which is where the separate patroon would accomplish that. To some degree I like the idea of letting the computer manage things because its more time that I have to do other things than spending that time managing data.

I keep good backups of everything so I'm not really concerned with greater chance of failure with a fusion drive. Both from having two points of failure and possibility of added writes to the ssd. It's probably a good idea to get AppleCare for that reason or at least in my opinion. That way if it fails prematurely then it's their problem. I personally like to keep up to date on my computers so probably will look at upgrading after three years anyways, but even still it's not hard to replace a hard drive in the minis, done it before so could do it myself even if it fails out of warranty before I upgrade.

After having hard drives fail and had proper backups to restore its really nothing I fear.

So back to my original thought. Still not sure what I'm going to do with it yet. I'll keep you all posted.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 09:37 AM   #36
Fishrrman
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"My first thought was to just go with the 1TB hdd but have been given more thought to a SSD. My current thinking is to get a fusion drive and split it so I can put my OS on the SDD and have the 1TB for storage."

See this post I put up in the iMac forum:
http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost...7&postcount=35
For $50 more than the [pre-installed] fusion drive, you can get double the size of the SSD, IF you're willing to convert it to fusion yourself (easily done with Disk Utility, running from the Recovery Partition).
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 10:11 AM   #37
chrise2
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I just ordered a mini with a fusion drive. Learning that its actually two separate drives makes me happy. That means I can undo the fusion in the future if I want and treat them like two separate drives. It might be a little tricky now, but its at least possible. I could also pull out the 1 TB drive and replace it with a larger drive in the future as well. Who knows, maybe Apple will update their disk utility to make Fusioning an option instead of just doing it. That would be nice. For now, I'm just going to keep Fusion as is and see how it works. I'm sure it will be fine... I probably don't even have 128 GB worth of stuff so all of my data will probably just stay on the SSD anyway. I just got the Fusion drive because I'd rather die than have a 5400 RPM drive for my OS / applications. Switching to SSD at work has been the biggest performance improvement in our laptops and desktops.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 01:38 PM   #38
motrek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marc.garcia View Post
...
Instead of keeping on reading stuff online about fusion drives and so on, I think I (and possibly you) should reconsider what I (you or we) don't like about Fusion Drive.
...
Personally I like my own setup with separate SSD and HD and have no desire to try to fusion them together.

That being said, if Apple gave me a Fusion Drive standard with my Mini then I would happily use it as Apple intended. (IMO they really should have--16 or 32 GB SSDs are getting to be dirt cheap and are coming standard on all but the cheapest laptop PCs.)

Basically these SSDs are being used as a hard drive cache. Hard drives already have RAM caches, usually 16MB or more. But nobody stresses out about what goes in the RAM cache, whether or not they can separate the RAM cache and store something else on it, etc. Just think of the SSD as a honkin' big RAM cache.

I don't know what Apple's algorithms are exactly re: what goes on the SSD and what goes on the HD, but there are caching algorithms that would guarantee SSD performance in almost every situation.

A common one would be to use part (half?) of the SSD as a FIFO cache and the rest as LRU eviction. So all of your commonly-used files would be on the SSD, in addition to all the files you accessed most recently. I would happily use an SSD as a cache if it worked like this.
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 12:01 AM   #39
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Well last night I tried using the gui version of diskutil to partition the drive. The short story is that I had no options to determine size or file format. The only thing it would do was cut the one partition in half to 499 gb. It would not show up as a new volume. I tried deleting the partition which worked and when I went to create a new partition out of the free space, I had control over size, name and type. It would allow me to apply the partition but nothing would happen. It never would get created. I went into the terminal and could see it showing up using diskutil. I didn't try any of the line commands to see if I could get it to work as I was a little confused about the arguments to use with some of the commands.

At this point I decided to just break the fusion drive and get to 2 drives. I did this very easily and it worked. I used the instructions from arstechnica where they talk about breaking drive in this article:
http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/11...usion-drive/2/

You must first delete the logical volume that is the combined drives and then you delete the whole thing. I didn't realize this at first and figured it out after a few tries. The article lacks details of where the volume ids that they use come from.

After breaking and starting to reinstall mt lion, I noticed that I did have two drive choices on where to install the os but the 1tb drive was showing up with only the repartitioned amount not the full 1tb of space. I canceled the install and went back into the disk utility on the recovery drive. It did indeed do as reported, wanted to only "fix" the fusion drive. I fixed it and then re-broke it and the 1tb drive was showing up with the full 1tb of space on the install screen. I reinstalled mt lion on the SSD and had no issues at all. I even updated to the 10.8.2 supplement 2 update after the reinstall with no issue. Apparently the install that downloaded from apple's servers for the reinstallation was prior to supplement 2 so still had to update to it.

Will update if anything changes.
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 03:02 AM   #40
iTank
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So how is the system running until now? Any problems?
How fast is the ssd, after splitting? Boot Time...
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 04:05 PM   #41
scottyd1119
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Originally Posted by iTank View Post
So how is the system running until now? Any problems?
How fast is the ssd, after splitting? Boot Time...
It ran quite fast. Took me longer to type in my password than it did for it to boot. It was under 20 sec from pushing power button to being up and running, ready to go. I never had any problems with the drives being split.

I did however start having other problems with the mini. I took it in to an apple store and they looked at it and said it needed a new logic board. Returned it and ordered a new one online since they couldn't just swap it out in store for me.

I just got the new one friday. I figured out how to partition it correctly this time around so I have 500gb of the 1tb drive as a separate volume so I can have some control over where my files are stored. My sticking point with about the idea of the fusion drive was it would needlessly keep stuff like my music or photos on the SSD that would have no benefit from the increase in speed. I didn't really want to get into running a lot of external drives for storing stuff, only really want them for backing up so splitting the 1tb drive made the most sense for me.

Without timing each setup it does seem that the fusion drive boots just as fast as the split did. If there is a difference it was unnoticeable to me or just differences in my typing speed.
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 04:50 PM   #42
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... My sticking point with about the idea of the fusion drive was it would needlessly keep stuff like my music or photos on the SSD that would have no benefit from the increase in speed. ...
This is definitely why I wouldn't buy one of those "hybrid" hard drives that only have 4 or 8GB of flash on them and only marginally improve the performance of anything. But I only use 20-30 GB of data at most on a daily basis so if Apple's software filled up the rest of the drive with music or videos I wouldn't really care. Might as well put something on there.
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 05:01 PM   #43
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I wish you could order the Mini's with Fusion Drives direct from Best Buy or Amazon. I got gift cards for both I'm tempted to just install my own but it seems like some hassle for both hardware and software purposes.
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