Mac Fusion Drive Issues

When most Mac owners upgrade their computers to a new operating system like macOS Sierra, the installation of the new OS is done with a standard install and update through the Mac App Store. Sadly, that has resulted in some major issues for a handful of users. Today we’re going to look at how to do a clean install of macOS Sierra in case you’d like to try resolving problems that you’ve experienced since doing a standard installation, or if you’d like for your macOS Sierra upgrade to start with a clean machine. Related:Five of the Best Hidden Features of macOS Sierra

What is a clean install?
A clean install involves erasing the boot drive in your device — a hard drive, Fusion drive, or SSD — then installing the operating system onto that boot drive. Once that clean install of macOS Sierra is done, a previously-made backup of personal files is transferred back to the machine and apps are reinstalled. Think of it as taking a new Mac right out of the box, with no corrupted system files or any apps and data, and then installing what you need on the machine.

Why should I consider a clean install?
Like most major operating system upgrades, the standard macOS Sierra upgrade has seen its share of odd issues. Most people are fortunate enough to never see these problems, but others aren’t so lucky.

Some issues people have run into include Wi-Fi dropping or being unusually slow, Macs booting to a black screen and getting stuck there, can’t shut down or reboot the Mac after upgrading, email issues, Spotlight issues, even individual apps that crash repeatedly.

Apple has issued a patch for macOS Mojave 10.14.5 that fixes a problem with Boot Camp, one that prevents users from using the tool to produce a new partition on some Macs equipped with a Fusion Drive. Jun 26, 2018 I got through all six steps, erased the Fusion Drive on my iMac, and started the macOS Sierra installer. I thought I was done! End of the guide, just follow the installer steps, and you’re done. Apparently, this is an issue for lots of people with Fusion Drives (combination SSD+HDD drives).

Select the drive to change formatting. Select the erase tab and choose the EXFAT option in the drop down box. Click on Erase. This drive can now be used to transfer files from a Mac running on macOS High Sierra to any Windows PC and vice versa.

We suggest that you look for an easier solution than doing a clean install of macOS Sierra, but if all else fails, this will help fix many problems.

  • Sep 26, 2017 macOS High Sierra is a mature, powerful, and easy-to-use operating system. Its biggest improvement this year is under the hood, with a new file system, but it.
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What’s involved with a clean install?
Let’s get this on the table right now — a clean install isn’t something that a casual user might want to undertake. You’ll need to:

  • Manually back up important files and data on your Mac with Time Machineandanother backup method
  • Format the boot drive, which erases everything off of the Mac
  • Use a bootable macOS Sierra installer drive to perform a clean installation
  • Manually restore files and apps to the newly-upgraded Mac

This is time-consuming and can cause you a lot of stress and anxiety if you’re not used to doing things like erasing your drive. As long as you follow the instructions below carefully and have full and complete backups available, you should get through the process with no issues.

Doing the clean install of macOS Sierra
Here we go. You might want to print out these instructions and then check off the steps as you go through the process, or have an iPhone or iPad pointed to this article while you’re doing the clean install.

1) Make sure that your Mac has completed a full backup to Time Machine and has been making its incremental backup updates all along. To see what the current backup status is, launch System Preferences, then click on the Time Machine icon. (Find out more about Time Machine here). Note that you will not use this Time Machine backup to restore your Mac – it’s just made as a last resort should all else fail.

2) Make a full manual file backup. What we’re talking about here is grabbing the documents, files, photos, music, and general data on your Mac and storing them on another external drive. Anything that lets you rebuild your Mac without bringing over old (possibly corrupted) settings files should be backed up. Remember, any data that is not backed up will be lost during the erasure of your storage.

3) Create a bootable macOS Sierra installer drive. Last month, the Rocket Yard showed you how to do this with a free utility called DiskMaker X. This can be done with a fast flash drive or an external disk drive. Alternatively, you can use the Recovery Partition on your Mac. For more information about the Recovery Partition, check out this Rocket Yard Guide. If you do decide to use the Recovery Partition, you can boot into the macOS Utilities using it rather than using the bootable macOS Sierra installer drive. Personally, I think it’s a good idea to have the installer drive as a safety net if you need it.

4) Attach the bootable macOS Sierra installer drive you just made to your Mac, and reboot the Mac. As soon as you hear the boot chime (that pleasant musical tone you hear when you turn on your Mac), press and hold the Option key on your keyboard.

5) Continue holding down the Option key until you see icons for your Mac boot drive and the bootable macOS Sierra installer drive. Select the bootable macOS Sierra installer drive, then press the Return key to boot from the installer drive.

6) The Mac boots into macOS Utilities (see image below), listing four options. Select Disk Utility from the list, then click Continue.

macOS Utilities

7) Select “Macintosh HD” or whatever you’ve named your Mac drive. This is the drive that you wish to format and make the clean install onto.

8) Click the Erase button. On the dialog that appears (see image above), you can either keep the name “Macintosh HD” or give your drive any name you wish. Select Mac OS Extended (Journaled) from the Format pop-up menu and make sure that GUID Partition Map is selected for Scheme, then click on Erase.

Remember, this is totally wiping your Mac’s data. If you do not have a backup, do not erase the drive!

9) Once the drive erase and format are complete, quit Disk Utility. This returns you to the macOS Utilities screen.

10) Select Install macOS Sierra from the menu, click Continue, and agree to the terms and conditions. The following installer window appears:

11) Select “Macintosh HD” or whatever you named the boot drive from the list of drives, then click Install. macOS Sierra will be installed on the Mac, which can take some time to complete. Once the installation is complete, the Mac boots into the clean install of macOS Sierra and begins the setup process.

At this point, it’s as if you had just pulled that Mac out of a box and turned it on. There are no third-party apps, no photos, no music, no files, and there’s definitely no personal information or data on the Mac.

From the macOS Sierra desktop, you can start moving your files, personal data, and apps back to the device from your manual backup. It may take a little longer to get everything back the way you want it, but the clean install and manually restoring data and apps is a time-tested way of resolving a lot of Mac issues.

For more tricks and guides, visit the Rocket Yard Tech Tips section.

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Source: iMore

  • Prepping your Mac for Sale

It is that time again. Time to decide whether to keep or replace your Mac laptop or desktop computer. If you are reading this article, chances are you've already come to the decision to replace your Mac with the newes model (or maybe you just got a new Mac as a present!), and you're thinking about selling your old one.

The first thing you should do before hitting the streets to sell your old Mac is clear it of any and all personal data. You don't want to accidentally sell your computer to a stranger when you are still logged into iCloud.

The next step is to reinstall the Mac's operating system so that the new owner can get started without having to figure out how to start up in recovering mode. Believe me, that can be a pain.

If you're going through the process of erasing your old Mac and reinstalling the operating system, we've got some common troubleshooting tips to help you out. Don't forget to follow the additional steps if you're selling a MacBook with Touch ID.

Clean the Mac of your personal data before erasing it

If you're about to sell your old Mac, the one thing you don't want to do is to give away the data you've been storing on it all these years. It's a security and privacy thing for you, but it's also important for the buyer. If you leave behind anything that needs to be logged into with a password, that buyer is going to have to track you down and get your password in order to change ownership. A completely fresh-from-scratch Mac is the best way to do this.

Step 1: Back up your Mac

If you already have your new Mac on hand, you can transfer all of your data from your old Mac or use an older Time Machine backup. If you don't have your new Mac yet, well ... then you probably shouldn't be selling your old one yet. But, if you really don't think you'll need your old computer before getting your new one, just make sure to back up your data so that nothing happens to it before you get what you need onto your new Mac.

Step 2: Sign out of everything

The software you have on your Mac is licensed to you, which means it doesn't get transferred to the new owner of your computer (except the operating system). In order to avoid complications with the new owner attempting to download and install software that is licensed by you, make sure to sign out of everything your personal information is connected to.

How to sign out of iTunes (macOS Mojave and older)

  1. Open iTunes on your Mac.
  2. Click Account in the Menu bar on the left side of your screen.
  3. Click on Sign Out.

    Source: iMore

How to sign out of iMessage

  1. Open Messages on your Mac.
  2. Click Messages in the Menu bar at the top left corner of your screen.
  3. Click Preferences from the drop-down menu.
  4. Select your iMessage account.
  5. Click on Sign Out.

    Source: iMore

How to sign out of iCloud

  1. Click on the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of your Mac's screen.
  2. Click System Preferences from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click on Apple ID (on macOS Mojave and older, click on iCloud).

    Source: iMore

  4. Un-tick the box for Find My Mac.
  5. Enter your system password when prompted.
  6. Click on Sign Out.
  7. Click Remove data from this Mac when prompted.

Step 3: Unpair your Bluetooth devices

If you're keeping your Bluetooth devices, you don't want to leave them paired to a Mac that you're getting rid of. It isn't really that important of a step, but if you sell your old Mac to, say, a roommate or someone living in the same house as you, you may experience accidentally connecting back to it.

  1. Click on the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of your Mac's screen.
  2. Click System Preferences from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click on Bluetooth.
  4. Hover over the device you want to unpair.
  5. Click on the X next to the device.

Note: If you're unpairing a keyboard, trackpad, or mouse on a desktop Mac, be sure to have a wired one plugged in or you won't be able to type or use a curser and you'll have to repair it all again.

Step 4: Erase your hard drive

Fusion Drive Vs Ssd

Once your data is backed up and you've signed out of everything that might connect your old Mac to your personal information, you can erase everything on it by reformatting the hard drive.

  1. Restart your Mac.
  2. While the startup disc is waking up, hold down the Command+R keys simultaneously. Your Mac will boot into macOS Recover.
  3. Select Disk Utility.
  4. Click on Continue.

    Source: iMore

  5. Click on View.
  6. Click on Show all Devices.
  7. Find your Startup disk (it should be named 'Machintosh HD' unless you renamed it) in the sidebar.
  8. Select the data disk under the startup disk.
  9. Click Edit.
  10. Click Delete APFS Volume from the menu bar or click the Remove button in the disk utility bar.
  11. Confirm by clicking Delete when prompted.

Repeat this process for all data disks under your startup disk. Do not use Delete Volume Group. Once you've deleted all of your data drives, you'll move on to erasing your startup disk.

  1. Select your Startup Disk (it should be named 'Machintosh HD' unless you renamed it) in the sidebar.
  2. Click the Erase button at the top of the Disk Utility window.
  3. If your Mac is using HFS+, select Mac OS Extended (Journaled) from the format list. If your Mac is using APFS, select APFS from the format list. See Troubleshooting for more information on which format to select.
  4. If Scheme is available, select GUID Partition Map.
  5. Click Erase.

    Source: iMore

  6. After the process is complete, select Quit Disk Utility from the Disk Utility drop-down menu in the upper left corner of the screen.

    Source: iMore

Source: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore

After you erase your hard drive it will be ready for a clean installation of the operating system. You should already be in the Utilities window after erasing your Mac. If not, restart your computer and hold down Command and R at the same time until you see the Apple logo.

Make sure to reinstall macOS through Recovery Mode, holding down Command+R. You may be asked to sign in with your Apple ID.

If you get stuck during reinstallation, see our troubleshooting section for additional help.

Note: Make sure your Mac is connected to the internet in order to verify the software. You'll be asked to do so during the installation process.

If, while reinstalling macOS, you're asked to enter a password, enter the password you use to unlock your Mac, not your Apple ID.

  1. Restart your Mac.
  2. While the startup disc is waking up, hold down the Command+R keys simultaneously. You're Mac will boot into macOS Recover.
  3. Click on Reinstall macOS (or Reinstall OS X where applicable) to reinstall the operating system that came with your Mac.
  4. Click on Continue.
  5. Select your hard drive ('Machintosh HD), when asked to select your disk.
  6. Click on Install to install the latest operating system that was on your Mac. Your Mac will restart after the installation is complete.

    • Make sure you don't close the lid on a MacBook or put your Mac to sleep during this reinstallation period, even if it takes a while. If the computer goes to sleep, it will stop the installation process from continuing and you'll have to start over. Your screen will go blank, show the restart Apple logo, and show a progress bar several different times.
  7. Hold down Command and Q after the installation is complete. Do not follow the setup instructions. Leave that part for the new owner.
  8. Click Shut Down to shut down your Mac.

    Source: iMore

Your Mac is now clean and ready for a new owner. They will complete the setup instructions to get started using the Mac, as well as download the latest macOS operating system that is available and supported on their Mac.

Troubleshooting erasing your hard drive or reinstalling macOS

I've gotten a lot of very specific questions about issues some readers have with erasing or reinstalling macOS (usually reinstalling). Sometimes, the easiest way to fix issues with reinstalling macOS is to start by holding Shift+Option+Command+R which will put your Mac into an alternate version of Recovery Mode that allows you to install the original macOS that came with your Mac. From here, you can either keep that operating system and let the new owner update to their preferred macOS, or go through the macOS update process.

If, during the macOS reinstallation process, the installer doesn't see your disk or says you can't install the operating system on the disk, you may need to try erasing your hard drive again. Restart your Mac and hold down Command+R to bring up Recovery mode and repeat Step 4.

Since macOS changed to APFS, some readers have struggled with which format option to choose when erasing their disk. Here are some other possible troubleshooting issues from Apple's support document that may help you.

Are you formatting the disk that came built into your Mac?

If the built-in disk came APFS-formatted, don't change it to Mac OS Extended.

Are you about to install macOS High Sierra or later on the disk?

If you need to erase your disk before installing High Sierra or later for the first time on that disk, choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled). During installation, the macOS installer decides whether to automatically convert to APFS—without erasing your files:

  • macOS Mojave and Catalina: The installer converts from Mac OS Extended to APFS.
  • macOS High Sierra: The installer converts from Mac OS Extended to APFS only if the volume is on an SSD or another all-flash storage device. Fusion Drives and traditional hard disk drives (HDDs) aren't converted.

Mac Os Sierra Compatibility

Are you preparing a Time Machine backup disk or bootable installer?

Choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) for any disk that you plan to use with Time Machine or as a bootable installer.


Will you be using the disk with another Mac?

If the other Mac isn't using High Sierra or later, choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Earlier versions of macOS don't mount APFS-formatted volumes.

To learn which format is currently in use, use any of these methods:

  • Select the volume in the Disk Utility sidebar, then check the information on the right. For more detail, choose File > Get Info from the Disk Utility menu bar.
  • Open System Information and select Storage in the sidebar. The File System column on the right shows the format of each volume.
  • Select the volume in the Finder, then choose File > Get Info from the menu bar. The Get Info window shows the Format of that volume.

If you're still having trouble with either erasing your hard drive or reinstalling macOS, please reach out to us in the forums. We have a wonderful community of Apple users that are happy to help someone in need.

Any questions?

Is there anything about resetting your Mac to prepare it for sale that you need help with? Let me know in the comments and I'll get you squared away.

Mac Fusion Drive Split

Updated May 2020: Updated for macOS Catalina.

macOS Catalina

Mac Os High Sierra Fusion Drive


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Mac Fusion Drive Issues List

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Active4 years, 11 months ago

I have a 2012 Mac Mini with a 1TB Fusion drive. The noise of the spinning disk has been increasing lately and I want to replace it with a Crucial MX300 1TB SSD.

Carbon Copy Cloner makes a complete image of my machine nightly. Can I use the latest clone and restore it to the SSD? Is it advised or would the removal of the Fusion drive require a clean install of macOS (Sierra)? I was wondering if the boot files would be different from using a Fusion drive, for example, or if anything would need a change in some settings files.

I seem to remember that the version of OS X Yosemite was a little bit different between my Mini and my MacBook Air and that was due to the Fusion drive (couldn't download OS X on the Mini and boot it from a USB drive on the Air).

Fusion Drive Mac Os

62.7k9 gold badges119 silver badges189 bronze badges

In answer to your question: YES.

Fusion Drive Mac

By way of explanation... CCC makes a copy of the file system, which is independent of what physical drives the file system is on. for example you could make a clone of a boot drive on a RAID-5 array and then restore it to a single drive with no problems.

The file system doesn't change just because it is on a different kind of physical media.

Steve ChambersSteve Chambers
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Can't Erase Fusion Drive Mac


Mac Fusion Drive Issues How To

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