OS X El Capitan's Disk Utility is a mess

jonblatho

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 20, 2014
1,331
3,329
Missouri
Not sure what happened with this, or why I decided trusting the redesigned Disk Utility application in OS X El Capitan was a good idea, but it gave my iMac quite the run for its money over the past few days until I fixed it.

Just in case anyone has a similar experience, I figured I'd post my experience here. Hopefully, it'll be of service to someone who knows next to squat about partition schemes and so on.

Ever since I'd received my iMac with Retina display, I'd never gotten around to setting up Time Machine. I'm not too invested in having a full system backup, but being able to recover a file when needed is pretty nice.

I'm not too worried about drive failure, as I keep super-important files backed up to a flash drive and/or the Internet, so I've always used Time Machine on a disk partition—I've never used even close to all of my disk space, so I might as well put it to some use.

Enter OS X El Capitan with its (admittedly pretty) redesigned Disk Utility application. I figured that the El Capitan developer preview was as good a time as any to get Time Machine going, and I went to create a ~400 GB partition on my 1 TB Fusion Drive. All was well.

Until Disk Utility locked up. And then crashed. [expletive].

I was left with 400 GB of unusable storage. Disk Utility wouldn't do anything in First Aid, I couldn't delete the partition (it seems Disk Utility forgot how to merge partitions), and diskutil in Terminal was also being a pain with the repairVolume function—as the partition couldn't be mounted.

So, the fix I found:
  1. Boot into Single-User Mode (Command-Shift-S upon boot)
  2. Enter "/sbin/fsck -fy" then "exit" or "reboot" once it's complete
  3. Reboot normally
  4. Open Terminal and use "diskutil list" to find the identifier of the broken partition
  5. Enter "diskutil eraseVolume JHFS+ [new name] [volume identifier]"
After that, it should be usable for whatever use supports Journaled HFS+. Of course, you can use any format you'd like in place of "JHFS+".

Hope this might help at least one poor soul out there, since it's been a couple days of hair-pulling for me. If nothing else, I'd stay away from the new Disk Utility for the time being.
 
Last edited:

frex

macrumors newbie
Aug 31, 2010
20
0
Germany
You can't even resize a partition anymore... Wish it's just a temp limit in DP1 and will be fixed in next few DPs
 

Watabou

macrumors 68040
Feb 10, 2008
3,414
691
United States
You guys all realize that in the release notes it specifically states that a lot of the functionality hasn't been added yet?
No one reads the release notes. When they "downloaded" the OS, it didn't have the release notes. ;)

Although to be fair, it only mentions disk image conversion and RAID. Doesn't say anything about partitions. They will likely add in more features since you can still use many of the features with the `diskutil` command.
 

LucasG

macrumors regular
Aug 4, 2010
186
2
They probably haven't finished the GUI for all the features that are missing that should usually be there. You should never trust a beta to do critical stuff properly.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,857
30,381
Boston
They probably haven't finished the GUI for all the features that are missing that should usually be there. You should never trust a beta to do critical stuff properly.
Perhaps, but by the same token Apple does have a history of dumbing down and limiting options. I wouldn't be surprised if this is the finished version and we can no longer do what we want in the app like in prior versions.
 

MikhailT

macrumors 601
Nov 12, 2007
4,332
827
It's also much faster. It used to take a few seconds to render the graphs for the main drive but in DP2, instant. The app is more responsive.
 

cjmillsnun

macrumors 68020
Aug 28, 2009
2,399
45
clearly people don't understand what developer preview means. not finished, not done, stuff is broken, stuff will slowly be fixed over the next few months.
Indeed. I got yelled at for telling someone that in another thread.
 

bobbytomorow

macrumors 6502
Nov 10, 2007
424
22
Left Coast
clearly people don't understand what developer preview means. not finished, not done, stuff is broken, stuff will slowly be fixed over the next few months.
So um just shut up and not comment on the current state of the software, is that what you are saying? The whole point of a preview is to give feedback, so yeah get used to people criticizing when things aren't operating the way they should be.
 

\-V-/

Suspended
May 3, 2012
3,151
2,619
I don't think he's implying that everyone should shut up or not talk about bugs. But the way the OP was talking makes it seem like he's just expecting it to work perfectly. Case in point:

Not sure what happened with this, or why I decided trusting the redesigned Disk Utility application in OS X El Capitan was a good idea, but it gave my iMac quite the run for its money over the past few days until I fixed it.
You should never trust ANY beta software with something important, much less expect it to work exactly as it should. That's why they're betas.
 

PsykX

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2006
891
262
It was about time they redesigned this app if you want my opinion. I've been asking it since at least Lion.

I'm sorry the functionalities don't yet meet your standards in beta 2.
 

MrNomNoms

macrumors 65816
Jan 25, 2011
1,132
249
Wellington, New Zealand
So um just shut up and not comment on the current state of the software, is that what you are saying? The whole point of a preview is to give feedback, so yeah get used to people criticizing when things aren't operating the way they should be.
This is a developer preview and if you're an authorised developer then you would know that there is the appropriate channel to submit the feedback through. Apple does not going trawling through the posts on Macrumors to find diamonds in the rough, they use the feedback they're given through the developer forum, bug submissions and so forth. If you want to be useful to Apple then use those channels to provide feedback or otherwise posting on here is the equivalent of yelling into the breeze.
 

frex

macrumors newbie
Aug 31, 2010
20
0
Germany
You can in DP2 :)
This is pretty. Worth noting all operations are done as a series, meaning if you enlarge, shrink, add, remove, etc and click apply, all operations will be processed one by one (I learnt that by dragging the pie a few times then back to 100% and hit apply...)