DIY Fusion drive

Harvdog

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 13, 2018
14
0
Merrimack Valley Massachusetts
Two years ago I created a DIY Fusion drive in order to increase my iMac's speed while using Photoshop and Lightroom. It has worked quite well thru Sierra and High Sierra. Now I am concerned whether Mojave will continue to treat me so nicely. Has anyone out there had a similar experience or has upgraded with no problems.

Secondly is a clean install out of the question?
 

marzer

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,331
45
Colorado
Two years ago I created a DIY Fusion drive in order to increase my iMac's speed while using Photoshop and Lightroom. It has worked quite well thru Sierra and High Sierra. Now I am concerned whether Mojave will continue to treat me so nicely. Has anyone out there had a similar experience or has upgraded with no problems.

Secondly is a clean install out of the question?
Mojave will work fine on your DIY fusion drive, even as a clean install.
 

Harvdog

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 13, 2018
14
0
Merrimack Valley Massachusetts
Yes. The Fusion is a logical volume, it makes no difference what the underlying hardware is.
NOT GOOD . . . . . . Followed the instructions for a clean install to a T. After numerous attempts my screen always ended up in Recover Mode asking me which method I would like to use. None of them got me to Mojave. Ended up using my Time Machine to re-install to an earlier date last week. Seems to be working fine but still in High Sierra. Not sure what I did wrong?
 

LuisN

macrumors 6502
Mar 30, 2013
401
340
Torres Vedras, Portugal
NOT GOOD . . . . . . Followed the instructions for a clean install to a T. After numerous attempts my screen always ended up in Recover Mode asking me which method I would like to use. None of them got me to Mojave. Ended up using my Time Machine to re-install to an earlier date last week. Seems to be working fine but still in High Sierra. Not sure what I did wrong?
Try this: https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/309739/apfs-container-over-multiple-physical-disks#
 

Harvdog

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 13, 2018
14
0
Merrimack Valley Massachusetts
Checked out the link and I think it is more than I had handle. But I was wondering if my file system is the culprit (see attachment).
Available: 53.08 GB (53,076,377,600 bytes)

Capacity: 1.24 TB (1,242,232,651,776 bytes)

Mount Point: /

File System: Journaled HFS+

Writable: Yes

Ignore Ownership: No

BSD Name: disk3

Volume UUID: 40932C7B-F3D4-34C3-A255-081C464D25BE

Logical Volume:

Revertible: No

Encrypted: No

LV UUID: 4FCEA9E5-E301-4FA6-9B9B-3AAC03D34D4A

Logical Volume Group:

Name: MrJones

Size: 1.25 TB (1,248,792,068,096 bytes)

Free Space: 106 KB (106,496 bytes)

LVG UUID: 49AF5EE2-F103-4070-ADA7-FB9DFB5F74E1

Physical Volumes:

disk0s2:

Device Name: APPLE HDD HTS541010A9E662

Media Name: APPLE HDD HTS541010A9E662 Media

Size: 999.21 GB (999,210,909,696 bytes)

Medium Type: Rotational

Protocol: SATA

Internal: Yes

Partition Map Type: GPT (GUID Partition Table)

Status: Online

S.M.A.R.T. Status: Verified

PV UUID: 6F6EDFD0-D487-4200-AEEA-D73543DEFEEF

disk1s2:

Device Name: 2105

Media Name: ASMT 2105 Media

Size: 249.58 GB (249,581,158,400 bytes)

Protocol: USB

Internal: No

Partition Map Type: GPT (GUID Partition Table)

Status: Online

PV UUID: 695C92F4-309D-4D57-8A07-9F8749B8D49C


Wondering if I was to do this whole process over and erase the drive using Apple's new file system rather than Journaled HFS+ . Could that be my problem?
 

marzer

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,331
45
Colorado
Wondering if I was to do this whole process over and erase the drive using Apple's new file system rather than Journaled HFS+ . Could that be my problem?
Very likely. My understanding is that Mojave installation program expects the boot drive to be formatted as APFS. You can read in other threads that no one has successfully installed to HFS+ directly from the installation program.
 

LuisN

macrumors 6502
Mar 30, 2013
401
340
Torres Vedras, Portugal
Mojave installation performs automatic conversion of HFS+ into APFS.
See the link in my previous post to create Fusion Drive directly in APFS. It works even with two external drives.
[doublepost=1539798112][/doublepost]Output of diskutil list and diskutil apps list:
Captura de ecrã 2018-10-17, às 18.36.27.png
Captura de ecrã 2018-10-17, às 18.34.54.png
 

Harvdog

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 13, 2018
14
0
Merrimack Valley Massachusetts
After two tries to install Mojave my return to Recover mode forced me to re-install from my Time Capsule. Has anyone seen a fix for this. My File System remains Journaled HF+ and my OS is still High Sierra. Any ideas or am I destined to remain at OS?
 

marzer

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,331
45
Colorado
After two tries to install Mojave my return to Recover mode forced me to re-install from my Time Capsule. Has anyone seen a fix for this. My File System remains Journaled HF+ and my OS is still High Sierra. Any ideas or am I destined to remain at OS?
I would suggest you destroy and recreate you Fusion drive. Obviously it would be most convenient to do so from terminal from within the Mojave installation program. Even though CS should prioritize it automatically, I’d suggest listing the SSD first in the disk order when you create the Fusion volume just for good measure.

Another “good measure” I do after exiting terminal is start the GUI disk utility and perform another erase just to make sure the new Fusion drive is showing up as expected to the system and accessible without issue. At that point you can confirm an APFS format on the new drive and then go into a clean install.
 
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Harvdog

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 13, 2018
14
0
Merrimack Valley Massachusetts
Well.... I've run out of tricks......and Apple wants me to upgrade to Mojave. I have always been one to upgrade and run the best operating system Apple provided. Now what? Does anyone have a link to a(create) DIY Fusion drive that would guarantee that the APFS would be included. I have run out of solutions and refuse to live with a constant reminder that I need to upgrade now or be reminded again tomorrow.
 

marzer

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,331
45
Colorado
Well.... I've run out of tricks......and Apple wants me to upgrade to Mojave. I have always been one to upgrade and run the best operating system Apple provided. Now what? Does anyone have a link to a(create) DIY Fusion drive that would guarantee that the APFS would be included. I have run out of solutions and refuse to live with a constant reminder that I need to upgrade now or be reminded again tomorrow.
What did you attempt? What kind of Mac are you doing this on?

I took some spare parts and made a DIY Fusion drive with two externals: 128GB SSD connected by Thunderbolt and a 1TB HDD connected by USB3. This is on a 2017 27" iMac.

1) Created a bootable Mojave install USB stick. Diskmaker X works great if you don't want to mess with the terminal commands.

2) Booted into the installation stick.

3) Started terminal.

4) Destroyed the CoreStorage Fusion image that I had on the 128GB+1TB external drives

5) Created a Fusion drive using the APFS system: "diskutil APFS create <part1> <part2> <volume name>"
-- This is easier than the CoreStorage method as it only takes one command and you don't need to reference the long UID. However, it uses partitions instead of top disk mount points. On an empty volume this will be second partition ending in "s2", as in "disk5s2".

6) Exit terminal.

7) Start "Disk Utility" from the installation menu just to verify the disk is readable, I even did an Erase just to make sure it can be accessed ok.

8) Exit Disk Utility

9) Start the Mojave installation and install to the newly created Fusion drive.

The install went fine and I was able to boot into a clean Mojave installation from where I typed this response.

Let me know if you have any questions about the above instructions.
 

Harvdog

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 13, 2018
14
0
Merrimack Valley Massachusetts
What did you attempt? What kind of Mac are you doing this on?

I took some spare parts and made a DIY Fusion drive with two externals: 128GB SSD connected by Thunderbolt and a 1TB HDD connected by USB3. This is on a 2017 27" iMac.

1) Created a bootable Mojave install USB stick. Diskmaker X works great if you don't want to mess with the terminal commands.

2) Booted into the installation stick.

3) Started terminal.

4) Destroyed the CoreStorage Fusion image that I had on the 128GB+1TB external drives

5) Created a Fusion drive using the APFS system: "diskutil APFS create <part1> <part2> <volume name>"
-- This is easier than the CoreStorage method as it only takes one command and you don't need to reference the long UID. However, it uses partitions instead of top disk mount points. On an empty volume this will be second partition ending in "s2", as in "disk5s2".

6) Exit terminal.

7) Start "Disk Utility" from the installation menu just to verify the disk is readable, I even did an Erase just to make sure it can be accessed ok.

8) Exit Disk Utility

9) Start the Mojave installation and install to the newly created Fusion drive.

The install went fine and I was able to boot into a clean Mojave installation from where I typed this response.

Let me know if you have any questions about the above instructions.
[doublepost=1540571039][/doublepost]Thank you very much for taking the time to write. Will give it a try and let you know how it turns out.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,428
6,726
OP wrote in post 3 above:
"Even if the Fusion drive lives on an EXTERNAL SSD drive and works in conjunction with the internal HD."

Are you using an external SSD now as part of your home-brewed "fusion" setup?

In that case, I'd just "defuse" the external SSD and set it up as a "standalone SSD boot drive".

Then, boot and run from the external SSD.
Use the Mac's internal drive for your photo libraries, etc.

The Mac will boot and run as happily from an external drive as it will from an internal one.

I've been booting and running a 2012 Mini for almost SIX YEARS this way, from the day I took it out of the box in January 2013.
 

Harvdog

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 13, 2018
14
0
Merrimack Valley Massachusetts
Mojave installation performs automatic conversion of HFS+ into APFS.
See the link in my previous post to create Fusion Drive directly in APFS. It works even with two external drives.
[doublepost=1539798112][/doublepost]Output of diskutil list and diskutil apps list:
View attachment 795913 View attachment 795914
I have a (late 2013) iMac. Is there a chance that you could post all of the coding that I would need to enter into terminal?
 

Harvdog

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 13, 2018
14
0
Merrimack Valley Massachusetts
Did it. Got Mojave to load into my late 2013 iMac. Running painfully slow to boot. Over 6 minutes to get to the doc. Anyone have any ideas . . . . short of buying a new iMac or maybe one of those new minis. Any ideas.
 

LuisN

macrumors 6502
Mar 30, 2013
401
340
Torres Vedras, Portugal
I have a (late 2013) iMac. Is there a chance that you could post all of the coding that I would need to enter into terminal?
IMPORTANT!!!
The creation of your fusion drive must be done from a USB Installer, (link at the end of my post), and you must have the installer file from apple to do it.

This a clean install, you can use Time Machine to retrieve your old configuration and files or a clone copy of your actual system disk (Carbon Copy Cloner or similar)

I'm assuming your internal disk is disk0 and your external SSD is disk1

1. format each of your disks in HFS+
input in terminal "diskutil list" to see the structure of the disks
You should see one volume "disk0s2" and another, corresponding to your external SSD which is "disk1s2"
2. in terminal input:"diskutil ap createContainer disk1s2 disk0s2
in the output of the operation you should see a line like this: "Created new APS Container disk2
3. input in terminal: "diskutil ap addVolume APFS FusionDrive - where FusionDrive is the name of your choice
4. Intall Mojave in FusionDrive

To do This you need to create a USB Mojave installer and boot from it and perform the above commands from there
Download DiskmakerX from here to create your USB Installer: https://diskmakerx.com
 

Harvdog

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 13, 2018
14
0
Merrimack Valley Massachusetts
Hello LuisN . . . would you be kind enough to look at my configuration . . . you may see something that is causing my iMac to boot and run so very slowly.

Screen Shot 2018-11-11 at 11.19.15 AM.png


Screen Shot 2018-11-11 at 11.18.14 AM.png
 
Last edited:

mmomega

macrumors 68040
Dec 30, 2009
3,554
1,721
DFW, TX
Two years ago I created a DIY Fusion drive in order to increase my iMac's speed while using Photoshop and Lightroom. It has worked quite well thru Sierra and High Sierra. Now I am concerned whether Mojave will continue to treat me so nicely. Has anyone out there had a similar experience or has upgraded with no problems.

Secondly is a clean install out of the question?
I have a 2012 i7 Mac mini with a a DIY Samsung 256GB EVO SSD + the 1TB HDD which is also Samsung branded now that I think of it.
When I installed macOS then, the install went fine, the next upgrade went fine and I have just performed a Mojave 10.14.1 upgrade, I removed in and it seems to be running just fine as usual.

Same system from Sierra now on Mojave and still kicking and lickin' chicken
 

LuisN

macrumors 6502
Mar 30, 2013
401
340
Torres Vedras, Portugal
It seems your fusion drive was created using your internal drive as "main" drive, everything is running at the speed of your 1TB HD.

Repeat the creation of the fusion drive using:
"diskutil ap createContainer -main disk1s2 -secondary disk0s2

See output of command here:

MacBook:~ luis$ diskutil ap createContainer

Usage: diskutil apfs createContainer <disk> [<disk>]

diskutil apfs createContainer -main <disk> [-secondary <disk>]

where <disk> = MountPoint|DiskIdentifier|DeviceNode

Create an empty APFS Container. You can then add APFS Volumes with the

diskutil apfs addVolume verb. If you specify two disks, then a "Fusion"

Container is created, with the performance roles assigned automatically

unless you use the -main and -secondary options, in which case, the secondary

disk is assumed to be on "slower" hardware. The secondary disk is often used

to store associated "auxiliary" data, such as a Boot Camp Assistant partition.

Ownership of any affected disks is required.

Example: diskutil apfs createContainer disk0s2
 

Michael Scrip

macrumors 603
Mar 4, 2011
5,707
5,020
NC
General observation:

Fusion Drives promised the speed of an SSD with the capacity/price of a spinning hard drive.

However... SSD prices have fallen dramatically in the past few years.

You can now get a 1TB Samsung 860 EVO SSD for $148.

With prices like that... is there still a need to combine HDD/SSD drives to build your own Fusion Drive? With all the potential hassles you might encounter?

-----

OP:

It might be difficult... but maybe you can swap your 1TB spinning drive with a 1TB SSD inside your iMac. Then you'd just have one big SSD for everything.

Or simply boot from the external SSD and leave the internal HDD for mass storage. That might be better than fooling around with a Fusion Drive.
 

Harvdog

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 13, 2018
14
0
Merrimack Valley Massachusetts
It seems your fusion drive was created using your internal drive as "main" drive, everything is running at the speed of your 1TB HD.

Repeat the creation of the fusion drive using:
"diskutil ap createContainer -main disk1s2 -secondary disk0s2

See output of command here:

MacBook:~ luis$ diskutil ap createContainer

Usage: diskutil apfs createContainer <disk> [<disk>]

diskutil apfs createContainer -main <disk> [-secondary <disk>]

where <disk> = MountPoint|DiskIdentifier|DeviceNode

Create an empty APFS Container. You can then add APFS Volumes with the

diskutil apfs addVolume verb. If you specify two disks, then a "Fusion"

Container is created, with the performance roles assigned automatically

unless you use the -main and -secondary options, in which case, the secondary

disk is assumed to be on "slower" hardware. The secondary disk is often used

to store associated "auxiliary" data, such as a Boot Camp Assistant partition.

Ownership of any affected disks is required.

Example: diskutil apfs createContainer disk0s2
Thank You again . . . But I am getting an error when I enter the Cmd line. see attachment. I also tried leaving ap out of the script with the same error
Screen Shot 2018-11-12 at 11.52.11 AM.png
 

LuisN

macrumors 6502
Mar 30, 2013
401
340
Torres Vedras, Portugal
Captura de ecrã 2018-11-12, às 19.49.25.png
You must repartition your disks first and format them to HFS.
In Disk Utility go to VIEW and select "SHOW ALL DEVICES" then select the top most option in each of the disks (the one that says, in my case, "WDC ..." and Partition using HFS with journaling (both disks).
Now you can try using the "diskutil createContainer command again"
1. format each of your disks in HFS+
input in terminal "diskutil list" to see the structure of the disks
You should see one volume "disk0s2" and another, corresponding to your external SSD which is "disk1s2"
2. in terminal input:"diskutil ap createContainer -main disk1s2 -secondary disk0s2
in the output of the operation you should see a line like this: "Created new APS Container disk2
3. input in terminal: "diskutil ap addVolume APFS FusionDrive - where FusionDrive is the name of your choice
4. Intall Mojave in FusionDrive


You need to reinstall or restore everything afterwards
Don't forget to backup first!!!
 
Last edited:

Harvdog

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 13, 2018
14
0
Merrimack Valley Massachusetts
View attachment 803603 You must repartition your disks first and format them to HFS.
In Disk Utility go to VIEW and select "SHOW ALL DEVICES" then select the top most option in each of the disks (the one that says, in my case, "WDC ..." and Partition using HFS with journaling (both disks).
Now you can try using the "diskutil createContainer command again"
1. format each of your disks in HFS+
input in terminal "diskutil list" to see the structure of the disks
You should see one volume "disk0s2" and another, corresponding to your external SSD which is "disk1s2"
2. in terminal input:"diskutil ap createContainer -main disk1s2 -secondary disk0s2
in the output of the operation you should see a line like this: "Created new APS Container disk2
3. input in terminal: "diskutil ap addVolume APFS FusionDrive - where FusionDrive is the name of your choice
4. Intall Mojave in FusionDrive


You need to reinstall or restore everything afterwards
Don't forget to backup first!!!
First and foremost . . . . THANK YOU for all of your time and help. I am up and running . . . although moving from APFS back to HFS+ was a bit more of a challenge than I had bargained for. SOOOOO . . . . . after all of that I used your -main/ -secondary set up and it accepted it . . . . although I am getting a flashing ? w/folder and on occasion a do not enter With all of that my iMac is working much better and certainly faster. I am including 2 files that may explain more than I can give you.
 

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