multiple boot volumes on a single APFS with icons in boot option

roadkill401

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 11, 2015
427
81
I am moving from HFS+ partition internal to my iMac to a new APFS. Logitally I tested the move to Mojave on an external SSD drive and all seems to be working fine. I have backed up my old partiton to drive image stored on a network drive via CCC 5.

Now, here is where I am getting lost. According to Apple, I should be able to have multiple boot volumes on a single APFS formatted disk. In my case it will be an internal SSD drive on my imac. But in my tests with the external SSD drive, it doesn't seem to behave like apple said it would. I can have a multiple volumes on the APFS, but it seems that only one of those volumes can be bootable, even if they are all complete OS'es. Also, for some silly reason, the drive icon that is assigned when the OS is loaded, doesn't show up on the boot manager (boot with option key pressed). Apple seems to be no help and perhaps it's just that I cannot explain it to them very well.

What I want:

my internal SSD to be formatted as APFS.

To have two bootable volumes on that drive. One with my day to day OS Mojave. And a second on that has Mojave with just Logic Pro installed on it that I can easily wipe and re-image back with a clean install via CCC 5.

The second bootable install is vital to me as I am playing with development of a music plugin (testing) and need to have a clean install to test the software on. Right now it's on an external HD that is rather slow and a pain to re-image. I'd love to have it internal.

I also would like it so when I boot and press the option key it will show me a proper drive icon (like you can assign in Get Info) rather than the generic yellow drive icon box. For some reason, I can change the icon when the OS boots and it stays correct on the boot, but the pre-boot manager, it just shows the generic yellow drive image.


I am not sure if anyone here can help or let me know what I am doing wrong.

thanks.
 

roadkill401

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 11, 2015
427
81
I figured out most of it.

1. CarbonCopyCloner is somewhat useless when it comes to dealing with APFS drives. You can backup from and write to an APFS, but for it to work as a boot drive, you need to boot up in a seperate drive to where you are working. IE. if you have a 500gb internal drive, and using APFS partition it into 3 different logical partitions, you cannot be booted into any of those partitions and write to another. So you effectively need to have a second external drive with MacOS installed on it with CCC to boot from in order to write to your internal drive.

2. Apple broke the drive logo image function for a drive volume. If you want to have a customized image for a volume when you boot with the option key, you need to put a file called ' .VolumeIcon.icns ' into the root of the volume. it can't be a jpeg, png, gif, or any other type of graphic image. it needs to be an actual .icns file, and it needs to be named with a . as the first charater in the name. The only way I have figured out to do this is to use sudo mv <nameoffile> .VolumeIcon.icns command form a terminal.

hope this helps someone else who might have given up
 
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