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Fix Your Fusion Drive

September 28, 2020 Comments off

Recently we have been seeing newer Macs – iMacs and Minis – that come with Apple’s Fusion Drive. What exactly is a Fusion Drive? Apple says, “Fusion Drive, a storage option on some iMac and Mac mini computers, combines a hard drive and flash storage in a single volume for improved performance and storage capacity.”

The issue we’ve found – twice now – is that this drive has been split so that it looks like a regular hard drive and a smaller SSD drive. The two Macs we came across (one an iMac, one a Mac Mini) were split into a One TB hard drive and a 200 GB SSD Drive.

Why they were split is a good question – the design of the drive is, as Apple says, to improve performance. Code that is used often is stored in the SSD so that it can be accessed rapidly. It certainly speeds up the boot process!

TUTORIALS

It turns out there are a number of good tutorials out there – including YouTube videos – to help you easily recombine your Fusion Drive.

Just three of the many video tutorials from YouTube to help you with a problem Fusion Drive.

The quickest way to find all the tutorials is to use your favorite search engine for “Repair Fusion Drive.” But if you just want to see what Apple says – you can go here. A software company called Stellar also has an easy-to-use tutorial here.

THE PROCESS

Essentially, the instructions will tell you to boot into the recovery drive of the the machine you are using with the split Fusion Drive and use Terminal to input a series of commands that will, ultimately, reintegrate the two split drives.

I took a slightly different route – I have an external drive (see above) with an OS that my Mac can boot into. I used El Capitan (10.11.6) but anything up to Catalina should work. Once booted into the external drive, you can just run Terminal from the Utilities folder and go from there (no need to use Recovery Drive). The benefit in my mind is that you are essentially working on your main Mac (and its split Fusion Drive) as if it were an external drive.

Again, anytime you are doing something like this, be sure to do a backup of your data – I was working from a Mac Mini (early 2012) that just had an OS on it so I wasn’t concerned about it losing data. If there were issues, I could always reinstall an OS (up to Catalina in this case). But you’ll see why this is so important in just a minute.

Once you’re in Terminal, follow the tutorial to identify the the two drives (diskutil list) and then process them to reintegrate as one drive. I captured the process from start to finish below so you can see what it actually looks like. The drives I wanted to work with were identified as disk0 and disk1.

Note those final commands at the end – Terminal does format the drive after it is recombined – and it won’t mount until that happens. So again -be sure to have a clone/Time Machine backup or you will lose all your data.

So there you have it! Let us know if you were able to follow the tutorials to successfully restore your Fusion Drive or if you have some other suggestions. Best way is to use the Contact Us page at MacRecycleClinic.org.

All the Latest Mac OS Downloads In One Place

February 7, 2020 Comments off

Those of us who use Macs may have need to reinstall an older version of the OS from time to time. At the MacRecycleClinic, we keep thumb drives and external hard drives partitioned with individual installers from Catalina on back – or even Time Machine backups (which are quicker than OS installs).

El Capital on a MacBook.
OSX El Capitan on a MacBook Pro. Photo: Dave Ottalini.

While it might seem easy to just Google your request, it’s not always that easy. Thus, we offer a list of OS downloads (from the Apple website and beyond) so that you don’t have to go looking for them. Even tho Catalina is available via the App Store, we’ll include it here (as a link).

Note that some of the earlier Mac OS varieties like OS 7 Lion is, for some reason, sold by Apple rather than provided for free (but keep reading – there’s a solution for that!). If you have a need for a really old OS and don’t want to download and install, contact MacRecycleClinic, as we have DVDs with most of the older OS software – including some PowerPC software, and can help you with the install.

If you want to make a bootable installer (to put on an external drive or thumb drive), this is what Apple suggests. Better is this great free (donationware) App – DiskMakerX.

(All photos except where noted and links are courtesy Apple via the company website.)



Please note you will need to use SAFARI for this to work. It won’t work with any other browser. When you press “GET” you will be taken to Software Update to download.
If this does not work, goto this MacOSXDaily page that explains how to get a full Mojave download using the DOSDude Patcher.

Please note that the link provided by Apple will take you to iTunes and breaks after that. The easiest way to download MacOS High Sierra is to follow these instructions from OSX Daily





Following is a rundown of all the OS X versions for the Mac through 2020 – (thanks, Macworld UK)! Even better – this UK site has actual download links for older Apple software going way, way back starting with OS 10.9 Mavericks (from the Apple Discussion Community.)

OS X 10.0: Cheetah – 24 March 2001
OS X 10.1: Puma – 25 September 2001
OS X 10.2: Jaguar – 24 August 2002
OS X 10.3 Panther (Pinot) – 24 October 2003
OS X 10.4 Tiger (Merlot) – 29 April 2005
[OS X 10.4.4 Tiger (Chardonnay)]
OS X 10.5 Leopard (Chablis) – 26 October 2007
OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard – 28 August 2009

Snow Leopard and earlier Apple OS versions can only be installed from DVD (or 3.5 disk).

OS X 10.7 Lion (Barolo) – 20 July 2011
OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion (Zinfandel) – 25 July 2012
OS X 10.9 Mavericks (Cabernet) – 22 October 2013
OS X 10.10: Yosemite (Syrah) – 16 October 2014
OS X 10.11: El Capitan (Gala) – 30 September 2015
macOS 10.12: Sierra (Fuji) – 20 September 2016
macOS 10.13: High Sierra (Lobo) – 25 September 2017
macOS 10.14: Mojave (Liberty) – 24 September 2018
macOS 10.15: Catalina (Jazz) – 7 October 2019

By the way – this is an interesting compilation of all the older Apple/Mac software. It’s a list only as the “links” don’t work.

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