APFS on normal HDDs

Discussion in 'macOS High Sierra (10.13)' started by timothevs, Jun 6, 2017.

  1. timothevs macrumors 6502

    timothevs

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Location:
    FL
    #1
    Has anyone tried to upgrade their HDDs from HFS+ to APFS? Any downsides or problems if you did?

    I am quite curious if t would be worth upgrading my four HDDs on the 2012 Mac Pro.
     
  2. thirdeyeopen666 macrumors 6502

    thirdeyeopen666

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    #2
    I converted the HD in my 2011 iMac (SSD+HD) without issue.
     
  3. tmoerel macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    #3
    As APFS is optimised for SSD it might actually flood a spinning harddisk with commands and result in a lower performance than HFS+
     
  4. phillytim macrumors 6502a

    phillytim

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    Aug 12, 2011
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #4
    Does an install of High Sierra offer, or force, a conversion of existing HDD to APFS?

    Has anyone with HDD done a seamless conversion to APFS without destroying their current macOS in use?
     
  5. timothevs thread starter macrumors 6502

    timothevs

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    #5
    That would be disappointing. I was hoping to use it on my 10 TB drives - to prevent against bitrot.
     
  6. bbfc macrumors 68030

    bbfc

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    Oct 22, 2011
    Location:
    Newcastle, England.
    #6
    You can't. The option isn't there. I believe APFS is for SSDs only.
     
  7. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #7
    APFS will support HDDs, but it currently does not in the first beta. You can still force enable it with various Terminal commands though, but it isn't pretty to do.
     
  8. thirdeyeopen666 macrumors 6502

    thirdeyeopen666

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    #8
    I didn't have to do a single thing on the command line to convert my internal HD. Just right clicked it and selected Convert.
     
  9. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #9
    That's because you have a Fusion drive, which is a supported auto-convert scheme. A plain HDD is not currently supported in some cases to auto-convert to APFS.
     
  10. Spazturtle macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2013
    #10
    APFS will convert HDDs, it's just that APFS doesn't supports drives using MBR it only works with GPT. So if your drive uses MBR you will need to format it to use GPT.

    If your drive uses MBR when you right click convert in Disk Utility you should get Error 118.

    You can use the terminal to force a drive using MBR to convert to APFS, but then your mac won't be able to mount the drive.

    Use "diskutil list" in terminal to see what partition table all your drives use, if it says "GUID_partition_scheme" then you can convert that disk, if it says "Master Boot Record" then you need to reformat the drive.
     
  11. thirdeyeopen666 macrumors 6502

    thirdeyeopen666

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    #11
    No, I do not have a fusion drive. As stated earlier, it is a 2011 iMac with both an SSD and an HDD. Partitioned as separate discs, as it came from the factory.
     
  12. macintoshmac macrumors 68000

    macintoshmac

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    #12
    If a file system of today doesn't know the drive it is being slapped on is SSD or HDD and behave accordingly, it has failed already.

    Which is not the case with APFS, it sings on mechanical HDDs, and in fact makes transfers very much faster.
     
  13. Ries macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    #13
    There is nothing in APFS to prevent or detect bitrot. There is some checksumming on metadata (as most modern file systems), but nothing on user data. Apple assumes data never is corrupted and the storage system never returns bogus data by claiming the hardware takes care of any such event (i.e. the EEC correction and such standard build-in features on SSD's)
     
  14. timothevs thread starter macrumors 6502

    timothevs

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Location:
    FL
    #14
    Ugh which is why I had hoped APFS would introduce it to the macOS world,as a replacement for ZFS, if only for the platter drives. Which now begs the question, what to do for 10TB odd drives. Use OpenZFS, or...?
     
  15. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #15
    I've been using OpenZFS for a while on my 5,1 Mac Pro. There are some quirks: throughput on certain io-intensive tasks (unzipping an app bundle, for instance) leaves much to be desired, but at least I know my data is ok. FreeNAS network drives are also an option if you're ok with the 1Gbit link speed.

    But yeah, it's rather disappointing that after all the effort put into APFS, it was built assuming that bitrot doesn't exist at the hardware level. (If the APFS designers truly believe Apple hardware never returns bad data, why are they still checksumming the metadata?)
     
  16. applepuree macrumors 6502

    applepuree

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2014
    #16
    My 2014 (late) Mac mini runs like a dog with HS, so I converted it to APFS, but no longer boots (some bless error). So backing out to Sierra and not installing the beta on that system for a couple of updates. Works fine on my 11" MBA.
     
  17. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #17
    Looking at the slides for the APFS session, it has a new defragmentation process for HDDs that runs in the background during idle periods. Seems like it's more involved than the old 'hot files' feature of HFS+, so once it ships there should be an improvement for HDDs as well.
     
  18. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    #18
  19. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #19
    Thanks for linking to the APFS talk graham. I'm not sure if anyone knows the timing for defrag to start, and even if we did, it wouldn't surprise me if Apple tweaks things like that between now and release. The APFS docs on the developer site are still rather 'sparse' (pun definitely intended).
     
  20. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    #20
    Thanks.

    Now monitoring without touching, I have not yet observed anything that might be optimsation during system idle time. The HFS Plus volume was probably reasonably well optimised before conversion, so maybe no optimisation is necessary in my case.

    Code:
    highsierra:~ grahamperrin$ date ; uptime ; sw_vers
    Sun Jun 11 22:00:37 BST 2017
    22:00  up  3:22, 2 users, load averages: 0.79 0.63 0.68
    ProductName:    Mac OS X
    ProductVersion: 10.13
    BuildVersion:   17A264c
    highsierra:~ grahamperrin$ ioreg -c IOHIDSystem | awk '/HIDIdleTime/{print $NF/1000000000;exit}'
    554.539
    highsierra:~ grahamperrin$ ioreg -c IOHIDSystem | awk '/HIDIdleTime/{print $NF/1000000000;exit}'
    651.932
    highsierra:~ grahamperrin$ iostat -dIw 1
                  disk0               disk1
        KB/t xfrs   MB     KB/t xfrs   MB
        1.79 594  1.04    11.64 1825293 20751.81
        0.00   0  0.00     0.00   0  0.00
        0.00   0  0.00     0.00   0  0.00
        0.00   0  0.00     0.00   0  0.00
        0.00   0  0.00     0.00   0  0.00
        0.00   0  0.00     0.00   0  0.00
        0.00   0  0.00     0.00   0  0.00
        0.00   0  0.00     0.00   0  0.00
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
                  disk0               disk1
        KB/t xfrs   MB     KB/t xfrs   MB
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
                  disk0               disk1
        KB/t xfrs   MB     KB/t xfrs   MB
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
        0.00   0  0.00     7.48  23  0.17
    ^C
    highsierra:~ grahamperrin$ 
     
  21. shrodz macrumors newbie

    shrodz

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2017
    #21
    The installer has an option to format the drive or not.
     
  22. bbfc macrumors 68030

    bbfc

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2011
    Location:
    Newcastle, England.
    #22
    The installer does not offer the option if you only have an mechanical HDD.
     
  23. prostetnic macrumors newbie

    prostetnic

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2017
    #23
    Correct. But if after the upgrade you boot into recovery, you can choose to convert your disk in disk utility, even if it is a HDD
     
  24. bbfc macrumors 68030

    bbfc

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2011
    Location:
    Newcastle, England.
    #24
    Might try it. Beta 2 hasn’t made any difference on my early 2011 MacBook Pro. It still lags like hell and has horrible memory usage. Do you think converting the drive would help?
     
  25. Tech198 macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #25
    The place u could try it out would be on a Mac mini... They never had SSD's :) unless u installed then afterwards.

    I have MacOS Sierra on mine, so i may try getting the public beta for it and divide partition on the 1TB. With any luck it won't trash my Mac, but even if it does, i have a backup for my media. as its a home media server,but i add to iTunes from NAS anyway.
     

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