Resolved Is it possible to install Mojave and keep HFS+ ?

chucker23n1

macrumors 68030
Dec 7, 2014
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Your opinion about "notorious reliability problems" :confused: of JHFS+ does not correspond to my modest experience.
It doesn't correspond with mine either, actually.

I brought it up because 1) HFS+ does have design weaknesses that make it more prone to corruption, and 2) you specifically mentioned Disk Warrior multiple times.

Surely a regular user should never have to think about, let alone need to buy, a tool that repairs a file system. But you apparently have, which is why I thought I'd point out that, while third-party tools for APFS are rare for now (and Apple is quite behind on a spec*), they're also far less necessary for repair purposes.

Now, if you really absolutely need read/write access to your boot partition, you shouldn't really move to APFS yet. But other than that, I don't think sticking with HFS+ is a good idea.

*) There is one, but it's read-only and unencrypted-only. That's only part of the puzzle, really.
 

Riwam

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 7, 2014
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Basel, Switzerland
Now, if you really absolutely need read/write access to your boot partition, you shouldn't really move to APFS yet. But other than that, I don't think sticking with HFS+ is a good idea.
For the time being I follow the advice of other people who said in this forum, they made an habit to move their system to the next MacOS only when its upgrade procedure is finished and an even newer OS has just been presented by Apple, which ensures that bugs in the previous OS have been solved, as far as they could be solved at all.
I am in no hurry to jump to Mojave and things like "Dark Mode" do not appeal to me enough to take risks.
Progress is in itself -no doubt- a very good thing but as long as no software in my Mac requires absolutely Mojave in order to run, I prefer to follow the old saying "never touch a running system"... at least for the time being.
Everyone is of course free to install it and if they are happy, I share their happiness. :)
However the numerous threads about all kind of problems one finds in the Mojave section of the Macrumors forum show that it still has a long way until (most) Mojave users will (hopefully) stop complaining,... even if I know that complaining is a common hobby for many people.
Ed
 

Isamilis

macrumors 6502a
Apr 3, 2012
687
124
Thank you Riwam. Your concern is make sense. Agree, it seems, what needed is more time, when Paragon release their APFS version in Windows, and also DiskWarrior.
In my case, I used only Paragon NTFS (which run pretty well in Mojave/APFS) and didn't use DiskWarrior. I rely highly on TM backup (which had saved me few times).

Cheers.

Thank you Ismailis for your interest and your question.

As I wrote in the initial post of this thread, exchange between HFS+ and Bootcamp NTFS partitions is easy using for instance Tuxers NTFS on the MacOS side and Paragon HFS+ on the Windows side, although Paragon says they have achieved results regarding APFS but...unfortunately not free of charge. :(

A second reason is that, whenever I had boot problems with any MacOS partition in any version of MacOS/OSX I run, the only application that in most cases "rebuilds" (repairs) the faulty partition (booting from an external MacOS/OSX drive to the faulty one in order to do so) is DiskWarrior ;)
AFAIK they have not yet managed to be able to "rebuild״ (repair) a boot hard drive in APFS, although they are trying to achieve it.
Since DiskWarrior in any version (4.4, 5, 5.1) had so often o_O helped me to get out of trouble, I prefer to wait until they bring a version fully compatible with APFS.

Another point is often mentioned here, namely TimeMachine still needing HFS+.

I am maybe a too scary person... :oops: but for the time being I remain in High Sierra for two reasons:
1) Mojave is still too young and will in time have to correct many bugs which will be discovered by its users (resulting in 10.14.2, 10.14.3 and so on)
2) because High Sierra still allowed me to keep HFS+.

That is my honest answer to your question.
Thank you very much Isamilis! :)
Ed
 

chucker23n1

macrumors 68030
Dec 7, 2014
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I am in no hurry to jump to Mojave and things like "Dark Mode" do not appeal to me enough to take risks.
That's fair. There's no need to rush this upgrade.

However the numerous threads about all kind of problems one finds in the Mojave section of the Macrumors forum
Keep in mind that such a forum will necessarily present a distorted view, much like a support hotline could give someone the idea that people only ever have problems. People aren't going to come in and keep talking about how great everything is.
 

Riwam

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 7, 2014
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Basel, Switzerland
Keep in mind that such a forum will necessarily present a distorted view, much like a support hotline could give someone the idea that people only ever have problems. People aren't going to come in and keep talking about how great everything is.
You are right in situations in which most people who write to complain, refer to a specific kind of problem or bug.
I remember that a few years ago many people complained about what they called "coil whine" noises regarding the (then) new MacPro 6.1.
I followed those posts with a lot of interest since I intended to buy one.
I myself had not experienced in 3 1/2 years any of those disturbing noises many others reported, but that bug remained mentioned again and again for a couple of years in this forum.
My point is that regarding Mojave there are plenty of different kind of reported problems you find, too many to believe there is nothing true behind but just the joy of complaining.
They say there is no smoke without fire and, although not always the case, it has some truth in it.
Besides it's not entirely true (your opinion) that people gladly compain but do not bother to report good working things.
Among those different bug reports some people have the honesty (and courage) of actually saying they do not suffer from the bug mentioned by the thread starter.
But you are right that much more people complain, than those saying they are satisfied.
It's part of human nature.:rolleyes:
However, logically, if any first OS "XX.1.0" would manage to work bugs free, there would luckily not be any need for any further updates.
But my Yosemite for instance, finished with issue 10.10.5 while my High Sierra did it with 10.13.6... and the same will -no doubt- happen with Mojave.
Of course it's not a MacOS exclusive problem. Windows 10 users are still waiting in the middle of Novermber the so called "October Upgrade" by Microsoft.;)
Like in many situations in life, truth is somewhere in between, neither exactly in the middle nor clearly in one side.:confused:
Regards
Ed
 

chucker23n1

macrumors 68030
Dec 7, 2014
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Of course it's not a MacOS exclusive problem. Windows 10 users are still waiting in the middle of Novermber the so called "October Upgrade" by Microsoft.;)
Which amusingly has 1809 as its version number. They're always a few weeks late for some reason.

That said, I've been on pre-releases of that version and never ran into major issues. They handled the PR on the file deletion bug poorly, but the actual effects are a bit overblown.
 

balloz

macrumors member
Aug 28, 2015
38
16
Is it possible to boot off a SoftRAID drive after cloning to HFS+? I just found out that Mojave doesn't support SoftRAID due to APFS (after upgrading...grrr)
[doublepost=1543900732][/doublepost]I should add that I'd try this myself except that I don't have enough backup devices to do this safely. I'd have to nuke both boot drives AND nuke an external backup drive to try this (install on external APFS, CCC to internal HFS+). If this failed I would no longer have a previous system copy to clone from.

What a headache
 

ziggy29

macrumors 6502
Oct 29, 2014
439
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Oregon North Coast
I have a 2012 Mini which uses both an internal spinner AND an external SSD, and when I install them as APFS, very often the filesystems just.... disappear. Nothing can retrieve them, the external SSD OR the internal spinner; they have to be reinitialized since Disk Utility can't fix them. I have to use CCC every night and restore to an APFS formatted volume to get Mojave running again on the boot drives with APFS.

Then the OS updates break since Apple broke them for HFS+ filesystems. I do *not* have this problem when I run Mojave under HFS+. But if I do, I can't apply updates without a very cumbersome workaround involving CCC on multiple volumes.

So we are forced into a filesystem that will not work for me on a supported device. Way to go, Apple.
 

chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
8,601
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I have a 2012 Mini which uses both an internal spinner AND an external SSD, and when I install them as APFS, very often the filesystems just.... disappear. Nothing can retrieve them, the external SSD OR the internal spinner; they have to be reinitialized since Disk Utility can't fix them. I have to use CCC every night and restore to an APFS formatted volume to get Mojave running again on the boot drives with APFS.

Then the OS updates break. I do *not* have this problem when I run Mojave under HFS+.

So we are forced into a filesystem that will not work for me on a supported device. Way to go, Apple.
Are you running a fusion drive that's split between internal and external drives?
 

ziggy29

macrumors 6502
Oct 29, 2014
439
252
Oregon North Coast
Are you running a fusion drive that's split between internal and external drives?
No. I have two internal spinners (original equipment) and a couple of external SSDs. All of them can boot and reliably run Mojave from HFS+. But it keeps destroying APFS volumes.

Maybe I need to go back to 10.13.6.
 

chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
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No. I have two internal spinners (original equipment) and a couple of external SSDs. All of them can boot and reliably run Mojave from HFS+. But it keeps destroying APFS volumes.
It sounds like you've got some hardware problem with your Mini. I'm running APFS on 4 different 2012 Minis and have never seen a problem like that.
 

Panthera Tigris Altaica

macrumors member
Nov 29, 2018
77
64
In the Frozen North, of course.
I have a 2012 Mini which uses both an internal spinner AND an external SSD, and when I install them as APFS, very often the filesystems just.... disappear. Nothing can retrieve them, the external SSD OR the internal spinner; they have to be reinitialized since Disk Utility can't fix them. I have to use CCC every night and restore to an APFS formatted volume to get Mojave running again on the boot drives with APFS.

Then the OS updates break since Apple broke them for HFS+ filesystems. I do *not* have this problem when I run Mojave under HFS+. But if I do, I can't apply updates without a very cumbersome workaround involving CCC on multiple volumes.

So we are forced into a filesystem that will not work for me on a supported device. Way to go, Apple.
Intriguing. I have several 2012 Mac minis, all with both internal bays filled, some with two spinning drives, some with one spinning drive and a SSD. All have external USB3 spinning drives of up to 5 TB capacity. The primary unit which has Mojave on it has a 1 TB SSD and a 1 TB hard drive internally and two 4 TB spinning drives attached via USB3 and a 2 TB spinning drive, also USB3. The 2 TB USB3 drive (Superb; all the drives on that system are named for line of battle ships in the British fleet at Trafalgar) is the Time Machine backup for the internal SSD. It is formatted HFS+, as Time Machine is allergic to APFS. The SSD (Victory, of course) is, of course, formatted APFS. It has been formatted APFS since High Sierra. The internal spinning drive (Temeraire, the ship which saved Victory at Trafalgar) is formatted APFS and has a CCC clone of the SSD. Yes, it boots. More slowly than the SSD, but it boots. The two 4 TB drives (Neptune and Tonnant) are formatted HFS+. Neptune has a CCCed copy of Victory but otherwise is a data drive. Yes, it boots. If you're keeping count that's three bootable and booting copies of Mojave, on a SSD and two spinning drives, two drives formatted APFS, one formatted HFS+, all booting. Back in the days of High Sierra, Victory was formatted APFS but the other two were formatted HFS+ and CCC clones to them booted then, too.

Either you're doing something wrong or I am.
 
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Crunch

macrumors 6502a
Jun 26, 2008
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Crazy L.A.
Hi Ed! :)

So how's the HFS+ on Mojave project coming along? I just read most of this thread, as I am once again thinking about upgrading to Mojave and would probably also prefer to keep HFS+, although it's a lesser concern for me nowadays, so long as APFS works reliably.

Happy New Year to ALL!
 
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Tech198

macrumors G5
Mar 21, 2011
14,325
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Australia, Perth
oatman wrote:
"You can't keep HFS; and if you somehow manage to do (using CarbonCopy Cloner or by mounting the drive and copying stuff over) you will never be offered Software Updates or an avenue to upgrade your Mac."

No.
You CAN "keep HFS" if you wish.
I have an external SSD (connected via USB3) that has the latest version of Mojave on it running under HFS+.

It's a little more work than usual to maintain, but it IS possible and "do-able".

Here's how I do it:
1. I have a "mule drive" -- a second hard drive (old, platter-based) that has a copy of Mojave running in APFS. It's my ONLY APFS drive, and it is never used, except when an update becomes available.
2. When an update is needed, I boot from my mule drive, and run software update.
3. Software update "finds" the updates and then applies them to the mule drive.
4. When done, I connect my "working drive" (USB3 SSD).
5. I then run CarbonCopyCloner on it, cloning the entire drive WITH THE EXCEPTION OF the "users" folder.
6. When done, I power down, put the mule drive away, and then I can boot and run with my completely-updated copy of Mojave running under HFS+.

YES -- it is "a few extra steps".
BUT -- it WORKS.

That's how I do it.
Others may have a better way.

But again -- it CAN be done, if you want to take the extra steps to do it.

A disclaimer:
I don't know if this method can be used on a Mac's internal drive, particularly new MacBook Pro's with the t2 chip. I just don't know, because I don't have one and can't try it.
But it DOES work when you're willing to boot from an external drive as described above.
I would have also mentioned it as "unofficial" because it technical would be as Apple doesn't support it.
 

liberace

macrumors member
Mar 20, 2019
59
18
I had did that by CCC
1. install macOS Mojave 10.14.5 on my nvme ssd inside mbp13' mid 2014
2. use ccc to clone macOS to any external drive
3. boot from apple recovery or macOS installer that you use in step 1 to format your ssd (in HFS+) with just installed macOS
4. boot from external drive that you use in step 2
5. clone this backup to your just formatted HFS+
6. done
p.s. till now I have 1 trouble I can't check option in Boot Camp Assistant to "Install created Windows bootable drive" that was possible during my filesystem was APFS
 

toru173

macrumors 6502
Apr 5, 2007
293
100
I'm investigating this as part of a larger project. It seems that the install environment in Mojave has completely changed. I can launch the 'installer' binary from 10.13, and it has the same behaviour on 10.14 as the native binary does. I'm thinking I need to either patch the OSInstall framework or otherwise neuter hfs_convert. I've not yet tried to install Mojave into a dmg (or mounted fs) in an active Mojave install, but it's on my list of things to do!

Edit: I know I'm late to the party, but it's not come up in my workflow until the last month or so
 
Last edited:

toru173

macrumors 6502
Apr 5, 2007
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I’ve been able to build an installation workflow that allows me to install to a disk image formatted as HFS+ (and get it to stay that way!) by using the installer framework from 10.13. Next: testing the same workflow on a physical disk. Then, testing upgrades using the same workflow.

I might have something ready in time for 10.15!

A couple of observations I’ve made:
- The 10.13 installer keeps checking to see what constitutes a valid install target, including the small RAM disks created to boot the installer. 10.14 doesn’t seem to check these disk
- 10.14 needs a folder (or possibly file) called “macOS Install Data” on the root of the install target, and returns error -28 if not found. 10.13 doesn’t check for this
- When installing to a disk image 10.14 adds a recovery partition as HFS+, converts the image to APFS, then re-adds the recovery partition. 10.13 knows when you’re installing to an image so doesn’t bother with a recovery partition
- I can get the installer to recognise the __APFS_OPTOUT flag by setting the flags to non-zero values:
Code:
export __APFS_OPTOUT=1
export CM_BUILD=CM_BUILD
However, the installer just converts the target anyway
- If the target doesn’t have a valid GPT or isn’t journeled, the installer errors out

Edit: SUCCESS! Though the 10.13 installer converted the disk to a CS volume for some reason. Trying again, and trying to keep existing partition type...
 
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MIKX

macrumors 68000
Dec 16, 2004
1,517
548
Aussie in Japan
For Mojave I maintain two drives.

1. A spare SSD ( internal SATA connected ) in the DVD drives area.
This drive is formatted to APFS and always the latest Mojave release.

2. A Samsung 960 EVO formatted to HFS+
I use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the above SSD to this drive which also creates a Recovery
drive.

Never any problems at all.
 

toru173

macrumors 6502
Apr 5, 2007
293
100
Here's what I've been doing. I just tested an upgrade (10.14.0 to 10.14.5) and it worked without issue.

- Use createinstallmedia to create an (8GB) USB installer
- Convert /Volumes/Install\ macOS\ Mojave/Contents/SharedSupport/BaseSystem.dmg to read/write
- Replace /Volumes/macOS\ Base\ System/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/OSInstaller.framework/Versions/A/OSInstaller with either a patched one from the Hackintosh Community (Thanks crazybirdy!) or the same file from the 10.13 installer
- Compress the dmg again. Rename it Modified\ BaseSystem.dmg, and move it back to /Volumes/Install\ macOS\ Mojave/Contents/SharedSupport/
- Alter /Volumes/Install\ macOS\ Mojave/Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/com.apple.boot.plist to point to Modified\ BaseSystem.dmg instead of the original
- Boot to the installer. Rather than running the graphical install, drop to terminal.
- If it's a blank disk, touch /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/macOS\ Install\ Data
- Run installer -verboseR -dumplog -pkg /Volumes/Image\ Volume/Install\ macOS\ Mojave.app/Contents/SharedSupport/InstallInfo.plist -target /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD
 

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MIKX

macrumors 68000
Dec 16, 2004
1,517
548
Aussie in Japan
toru123


I'm posting from 10.14.5 Bootrom 144.0.0.0.0. CCC cloned install that I CCC cloned to a HFS+ M.2 Samsung 960 blade.
===========================

EDITED

Without meaning to be insulting. . .this thread is for REAL Mac Pros - not hackintoshes.

Your solution will be incomprehensible to cMP newbies. ) ( I have Hackintosh'ed 7 WIN PCs )

================================
IMHO : Easier cMP Mojave easier HFS+ solution )

1. Clean install Hi Sierra 10.13.6 .

2. Download the FULL ( 6.14 gb ) Mojave installer and install to an APFS formatted & SATA BAY connected drive.b ( SSD is easier & cheaper )

2.1 Install Mojave 10.14.0 release from the Hi Sierra

( Maintain this drive as your Mojave UPGRADE PATH until Mojave is at it's final release. )

( if you want HFS+ ) = Carbon Copy Clone each upgrade from the SATA original to either an M.2 PCIe Samsung 960 EVO - 970 Pro or 960 EVO blade. ( or even ANOTHER separate, virgin HFS+ drive.

NOTE : Use the " original APFS - cMP internal SATA connected drive for combo updates . . .but .. . .!

If Mojave goes final .. download the FINAL FULL-Installer ! Use that full Mojave eg : 10.14. 6 to install to the cMP internal APFS formatted " original " drive. . . then if you still want HFS+ .. . use CCC to clone it to your M.2 drive.

What could be simpler ?
 
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toru173

macrumors 6502
Apr 5, 2007
293
100
Without meaning to be insulting. . .this thread is for REAL Mac Pros - not hackintoshes.

Your solution will be incomprehensible to cMP newbies. ) ( I have Hackintosh'ed 7 WIN PCs )
That's fair, my solution wasn't targeted at newbies. However, using the modified OSinstaller framework is entirely optional. I had some success using the installer from 10.13. In fact, as I only require Mojave to be able to be installed to an HFS+ formatted disk image as a clean install, using the 10.13 OSInstaller framework suits my needs perfectly. I only wanted to share what I'd learned with the community while completing my own projects!

You're right that imaging an external drive, updating that drive then re-imaging your internal is a viable solution. For a lot of data I would consider this approach cumbersome; however, I usually have a very lean OS install.
 

JDLang76

macrumors regular
Jan 1, 2018
115
34
oatman wrote:
"You can't keep HFS; and if you somehow manage to do (using CarbonCopy Cloner or by mounting the drive and copying stuff over) you will never be offered Software Updates or an avenue to upgrade your Mac."

No.
You CAN "keep HFS" if you wish.
I have an external SSD (connected via USB3) that has the latest version of Mojave on it running under HFS+.

It's a little more work than usual to maintain, but it IS possible and "do-able".

Here's how I do it:
1. I have a "mule drive" -- a second hard drive (old, platter-based) that has a copy of Mojave running in APFS. It's my ONLY APFS drive, and it is never used, except when an update becomes available.
2. When an update is needed, I boot from my mule drive, and run software update.
3. Software update "finds" the updates and then applies them to the mule drive.
4. When done, I connect my "working drive" (USB3 SSD).
5. I then run CarbonCopyCloner on it, cloning the entire drive WITH THE EXCEPTION OF the "users" folder.
6. When done, I power down, put the mule drive away, and then I can boot and run with my completely-updated copy of Mojave running under HFS+.

YES -- it is "a few extra steps".
BUT -- it WORKS.

That's how I do it.
Others may have a better way.

But again -- it CAN be done, if you want to take the extra steps to do it.

A disclaimer:
I don't know if this method can be used on a Mac's internal drive, particularly new MacBook Pro's with the t2 chip. I just don't know, because I don't have one and can't try it.
But it DOES work when you're willing to boot from an external drive as described above.
I just tried with an internal SSD on a non-t2 macbook air. Works perfect. Thanks.
 

DimaVR

macrumors 6502
Nov 14, 2017
275
81
I just tried with an internal SSD on a non-t2 macbook air. Works perfect. Thanks.

Hybrid drives support HFS, but why would u want to keep old format? APFS I been using since high Sierra Beta 1 also its better to have a c drive for Mac OS and D drive for data in case u want to reinstall Mac OS but keep your files?
 

JDLang76

macrumors regular
Jan 1, 2018
115
34
Hybrid drives support HFS, but why would u want to keep old format? APFS I been using since high Sierra Beta 1 also its better to have a c drive for Mac OS and D drive for data in case u want to reinstall Mac OS but keep your files?
2 reasons.
1. APFS is an unstable piece of crap.
2. It doesnt play nice with other operating systems, other drives, or even its OWN flipping drive. Windows and Linux installs can become non-bootable just because an APFS drive is present on the system, those OS’s become invisible to your OS X install, and you cant even wipe an APFS drive with Apple’s own disk utility. (All this, last time i tried)

Its just a step, along with T2, to make Apple’s computers impossible to integrate into any non-apple environment, which is of coarse Apple’s only goal.
 
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