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mschmitt 12-07-2019 04:58 PM

Mojave APFS Conversion
What's the best way to convert a backup volume to APFS in Mojave? I didn't see any evidence that SuperDuper! was going to do it for me.

Situation is:
  • Internal SSD was previously converted to APFS by High Sierra.
  • I've been SuperDuper!ing to a volume on a backup drive that was still HFS+.
  • I upgraded internal SSD to Mojave.
  • Since HFS boot volumes are unsupported in Mojave, I wanted to convert the backup to APFS. (Yes, I know that you can boot Mojave from HFS but it isn't a supported configuration, and you wouldn't be able to update it.)
Disk Utiliity had Convert to APFS greyed out for some reason. I considered using the command line, but a goal was to create the APFS container with the proper Recovery volume, and I didn't know if that would happen automatically.

What I ended up doing is running the Mojave installer while booted internal, to upgrade the external volume even though I'm just going to overwrite the results with SuperDuper! anyway. That worked (except for a boot-to-black-screen issue), but the computer is not usable while it is running the install. Also, there is some evidence that at the end it actually started up on the newly upgraded backup volume, which I did not want since there was danger of it synching out-of-date files.

dnanian 12-07-2019 05:03 PM

HFS boot volumes are not unsupported in Mojave...?

In Mojave, I'd just format it as APFS and recopy...

mschmitt 12-08-2019 04:04 PM

But will that create the Recovery volume?

I supposed worst case is I could create the Recovery volume in the APFS container using the command tools and copy from the internal drive. That's what I did for the pre-APFS backup drives.

This is going to come up again when I upgrade the main machine to Mojave, which has a different backup drive.

dnanian 12-08-2019 04:06 PM

Yes, we create recovery volumes on APFS, copied from either HFS+ or APFS.

mschmitt 12-15-2019 05:08 PM

OK, I'll try it when I upgrade the main machine to Mojave.

mschmitt 01-12-2020 02:40 PM

I confirm that using SuperDuper! to clone an APFS start up drive to an empty APFS backup volume does create the APFS Recovery volume, along with the required Reboot and VM volumes. Yay.

Maintaining the Recovery HD partition on HFS backups was always a pain: first you had to manually create it, and then update it after upgrading to a new macOS version. And you couldn't use SuperDuper! regular erase-and-copy to update it because it would destroy the volume. Smart Update worked, but you had to manually mount and dismount the volumes from the command line.

So automatic maintenance of the APFS Recovery volume is a win.

dnanian 01-12-2020 03:14 PM

3.3+ will also copy the recovery volume to HFS+ if the recovery partition is already on the destination...

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