13 Replies Latest reply: Oct 17, 2012 4:35 AM by Nick Taylor
Nick Taylor Level 2 Level 2 (155 points)

Hi,

 

I'm trying to partition an external 150gb Lacie Firewire drive with the Disk Utility under OSX10.3.9 and I've gone through the Erase procedure and DU is telling me I'm left with 149.1gb after formatting.

 

So now under the partition tab I'm trying to set out the size of each partition and I know these sizes are gonna sound a bit random but bear with me so I want :-

 

3 partitions of 10gb = 30gb

6 partitions of 8gb = 48gb

1 partition of 71.1gb

 

After setting, naming and locking the first 9 partitions, when I get to the final partition, which I want to be 71.1gb, DU won't let me set a figure above 16.81gb.

 

Now I fully appreciate that disk sizes are, to a degree, 'approximate', that after formatting you do 'lose' a few gb's and that each partition will have a filesystem installed on it but where the heck am I losing 54.29gb of storage space from ?!!

 

I have experimented with fewer partitions and, to be fair, it seems you lose less space with less partitions but is it really the filesystems on each partition eating up that space ?

 

I'm using HFS+ (journalled).

 

Many thanks for any help you can give as this has been a real headache today !

 

Nick


466mhz G4 PowerMac, Mac OS X (10.3.x), 895Mb RAM
  • 1. Re: Partitioning an external Firewire drive
    Nick Taylor Level 2 Level 2 (155 points)

    Actually the more I've played about with this this afternoon, I'm wondering if I've got a bug in DU.

     

    I hadn't actually gone through the whole partition procedure, I'd just been changing the number/size of partitions under the partition tab of DU, so I thought I'd actually partition the disk and see what happend.

     

    I made 9 partitions 6 @ 8gb, 2 @ 10gb and left the last one at the size DU gave me, just under 47gb, all were named and locked.

     

    I then clicked on the partition button and away DU went doing it's thang.

     

    When it finished the first thing I noticed was that every partition was unlocked but the thing that was really wierd was that one of the 10gb partitions was actually over 40gb ????? Adding up all the partitions I come very approximately to what I reckon I should have, something close to 147gb.

     

    So is DU dodgey and if so, is there an alternative I can download that'll work with OSX10.3.9, all the ones I've found so far need a much more recent OS.

  • 2. Re: Partitioning an external Firewire drive
    Nick Taylor Level 2 Level 2 (155 points)

    Having continued to play around with this for most of the day, I've come to the conclusion that there's a 'quirk' or bug in my ancient version of Disk Utility. I noticed on two occaisions that even when locking the individual partitions, after running the partition procedure, once completed, one of my 10gb partitions was actutally over 40gb, so once added altogether, roughly the total amount of disk space partitioned is what I would've expected for a 150gb drive - and it was always the last partition created that was bigger than I specified.

    So about an hour ago I again did the partitions but this time I made sure that the last partition was the biggest one and I also left it unlocked. This time when it finished, all the smaller partitions were the right size and the last one created was basically the remainder of the disk. Then I go through the mind numbing process of backing up all the data and guess what...it's all copied perfectly blah, blah, blah but if I restart the computer with the option key held down in order to give the choice of drives to boot up from, I only get the main system drive, not the external firewire drive :mad:

    So gawd knows, my head's pounding after a day of looking at a computer screen...the last time I backed up my system drive in exactly the same way, on rebooting and holding down the option key I got the choice of two drives, why that's changed I have no idea.

  • 3. Re: Partitioning an external Firewire drive
    roam Level 6 Level 6 (13,545 points)

    ...with the option key held down in order to give the choice of drives to boot up from, I only get the main system drive, not the external firewire drive

    You have two of the three requirements, a Firewire connected volume formatted as HFS+. That leaves the bootable backup as questionable. What backup method are you using? Have you tried to cloning the HD using SuperDuper! You will need to use the older version 2.1.4 for your Panther 10.3.9.

  • 4. Re: Partitioning an external Firewire drive
    Nick Taylor Level 2 Level 2 (155 points)

    Hi roam, thanks for your reply.

     

    To create my backups I just use the restore function within DU (that was a suggestion I got off one of the threads here many moons ago), my main Macintosh HD is set as the source and then my external backup drive is set as the destination and then I just hit restore.

     

    It's always worked a treat and I've always checked it afterwards by restarting with the option key held down and previously I've always had two drive icons come up to choose from.

     

    I do have a copy of Carbon Copy Cloner from way back but I was always under the impression that in order to make a bootable backup copy of my system drive I need to be booted up from my OS CD's not the system HDD, if CCC or SuperDuper or whatever is on my system drive, how is that achieveable ?

     

    Thanks for your input.

     

    Nick

  • 5. Re: Partitioning an external Firewire drive
    Nick Taylor Level 2 Level 2 (155 points)

    Actually I've just noticed something else.

     

    If I go to system preferences and select startup disk, I get two 10.3.9 folders come up, so it must be seeing the external drive and the back up must be bootable otherwise it wouldn't show under startup disk - correct ?

     

    If so, why doesn't the backup disk show when holding down the option key 'cos, let's be honest, if my system drive did crash, that's the way I'm gonna be trying to boot from my backup.

  • 6. Re: Partitioning an external Firewire drive
    roam Level 6 Level 6 (13,545 points)

    I am not so sure about those folders you are seeing. Bootable volumes should appear as drive icons either HD or Firewire icons.

     

    I have not used carbon copy cloner, but I do use Superduper on a frequent basis.

    To make a bootable clone requires an external drive connected, (Firewire in your case and formatted for Mac OS) and simply run Superduper. It sits in the Applications folder, and opens like any other application.

    On completion, quit it and if all is well, you have just replicated your HD onto the external. The OS CD plays no part in this process.

     

    To check if it is bootable, restart, as you know, with the Option key and it should be offered as a choice along with the internal drive. At least that is the story normally. See if you can produce this event as well with a cloned version.

     

    Message was edited by: roam

  • 7. Re: Partitioning an external Firewire drive
    Nick Taylor Level 2 Level 2 (155 points)

    Hi roam, once again thanks for your response.

     

    Whether it's the age of my machine and OS I don't know, maybe newer Macs are different but if you run startup disk on my machine, you get a long window come up that has always shown folders. So with no Firewire drive mounted, normally if I run startup disk I get one 10.3.9 folder and one 9.2.2 folder, allowing me to boot into  OS9.2.2 which is where all my music software resides and vice versa.

     

    With my external Firewire drive connected and containing a bootable backup, I normally see four folders in the startup disk window, the 10.3.9 and 9.2.2 folders on my internal system drive and then the same folders on the external drive.

     

    So it's very odd that it appears I have a bootable copy on the external drive since it shows up under startup disk but it doesn't show when booting the system up with the option key down.

     

    The reason I mentioned the OSX install CD's was because I understood that you couldn't backup a HDD if you were already booted from it. So by booting the computer up from the install CD, you weren't accessing the HDD and could therefore obtain a 'clean' backup of the internal drive ?

     

    It's ok then to boot my machine up as normal from the internal HDD, run  backup software that's installed on that drive and then backup the same drive ?

  • 8. Re: Partitioning an external Firewire drive
    roam Level 6 Level 6 (13,545 points)

    t's ok then to boot my machine up as normal from the internal HDD, run  backup software that's installed on that drive and then backup the same drive?

    Yes, as I detailed above. I crossed out your last phrase, as there is no need to do anything further. Running Superduper makes the backup. After it has finished that's it. There is no extra step required.

     

    Just an extra point, when I am running Superduper, I have all other applications closed and just have it running solely. Whether this is neccessasy or not, I do this anyway to maximise the success of the operation. 

  • 9. Re: Partitioning an external Firewire drive
    Nick Taylor Level 2 Level 2 (155 points)

    Hi roam,

     

    Many thanks for your continued input into this thread and my apologises for the delay in replying to your last post.

     

    Anyway, I thought I'd give SuperDuper a go and downloaded v2.1.4 as you suggested and must agree that it's very simple to use. The backup took twice as long as my old way of backing up (restoring from the internal drive to the external drive) and I checked the log file for any errors and there weren't any, so all good there.

     

    I again restarted with the option key held down and yet again I'm only ever presented with one drive icon to boot from, not two, so I'm really not sure why this is happening.

     

    However, I've been giving this quite a lot of thought and I've come to the conclusion that if my internal system drive was to suffer a catostrophic failure (I'm touching loads of MDF here as I type that !!) and the drive is either wiped clean or damaged to the point that I replace it, I wouldn't be booting from my Firewire drive anyway, I'd be restoring from it, so I'd insert my install CD and reboot whilst holding down C, I'd then run Disk Utility and restore from my Firewire drive to the new internal drive.

     

    So what I really want is a mirror image of my internal drive which is what my method of restoring via the restore route gives me.

     

    Is that a correct hypothosis of have I missed something ?

     

    Nick

  • 10. Re: Partitioning an external Firewire drive
    roam Level 6 Level 6 (13,545 points)

    Hi Nick,

    I think we need to go back a bit. Without being able to create a bootable volume with neither DU's Restore or a Superduper clone, should be the main concern.

     

    I checked on my 10.3.9 setup and a bootable volume is indeed shown as a folder as you have mentioned. (It is later systems that shows the drive icon) so that is good, except there is only one of them not two.

     

    That you have tried two backup methods and both failing to make the ext. drive bootable, makes me think the ext drive might be defective. I'd be starting again with the drive. Incidentally I think you have far too many partitions. Have one partition for each bootable volume and one other for storage using folders rather than partitions to differentiate content. On this recommendation two partitions would be sufficient.

     

    Has this drive worked as a bootable backup before? How old is it? What Mac was it connected to previously? Is it an externally powered unit or self powered? Is the Firewire cable good? So here I am suspecting the ext drive is the problem.

     

    At this stage I'd try and find another PowerPC Mac and see if the ext. drive shows as a bootable volume.

  • 11. Re: Partitioning an external Firewire drive
    Nick Taylor Level 2 Level 2 (155 points)

    Hi roam,

     

    Thanks for your reply.

     

    I totally take your point about the external drive and whether it's faulty etc. but surely if it was in some way defective, it wouldn't show up under Startup Disk (or rather the folders containing the OS on the external drive wouldn't show as selectable) ?

     

    The reason there are so many partitions is that it mirrors my second internal drive which is used solely for my music production software and associated audio files and the reason that that drive has so many partitions was because back in the day (my computer and music software are coming up for 12 years old), my software started to throw up error messages whilst trying to access audio files on playback (this was following a move from a 30gb to an 80gb HDD).

     

    A friend of mine with a great deal more experience than me in music technology and that particular software, recommended I partition the drive and that cured the problem and I've never had a problem since.

     

    The external drive has always been bootable, is about 10 years old at a guess, has it's own mains plug and power block, was bought from new and has only ever been used with the Mac I have now.

  • 12. Re: Partitioning an external Firewire drive
    roam Level 6 Level 6 (13,545 points)

    It must be connected by a Firewire cable. If it appears as a bootable volume in the startup disk panel try selecting it. Then restart and it should start with the external. If that does not happen I'm out of ideas.

  • 13. Re: Partitioning an external Firewire drive
    Nick Taylor Level 2 Level 2 (155 points)

    Hi roam,

     

    I know the backup on the external drive is fine, under Startup Disk I can select one of the OS folders and the computer reboots perfectly using the external Firewire drive and this works for both ways I've created the backup, using either my method of restoring from the internal drive or Superduper.

     

    I think as the validity of the backup is proven, I'm gonna have to put this down to some quirk or 'one of those things' - I know that in an emergency I have a reliable backup that works and that's the main thing.

     

    Many thanks for your input on this thread.

     

    All the very best.

     

    Nick