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  1. #16
    Copying Macintosh drive to external hard drive.. for security reasons.
    krs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy B. Singer View Post
    I recommend that folks have a look at this article:
    Thanks for posting this, Randy

    What it tells me is not to upgrade to Catalina at all until some of these issues are sorted out.

    I didn't really look that closely at Catalina as an upgrade from El Capitan even though my Mini hardware supports it, mostly because I have some 32-bit apps I still want to run, but now it was probably a good move for me to stay at Mojave for now.

    That a backup drive has to be APFS formatted if one is running Catalina is rather obvious and not an issue, but that the backup drive should also be an SSD and not a spinner and that Time Machine, the only official Apple backup mechanism, are pretty major issues in my opinion.

    Re:
    I've heard of Catalina clone backups taking as much as 20 minutes just to startup and be ready to be used.
    Would that long startup time also apply when booting up Catalina on the main drive if it is a spinner?
    If not, any idea why it is so different on a Catalina clone?

  2. #17
    Copying Macintosh drive to external hard drive.. for security reasons.
    chscag's Avatar
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    When I was beta testing Catalina I actually tested it on a spinner drive and an SSD (both of which were formatted to APFS). Booting from the spinner was slow but not that slow. It did take several minutes to boot and then another several minutes for the desktop to show. Whereas the SSD (a Samsung T5) was almost as fast as the internal SSD of my iMac.

    Would that long startup time also apply when booting up Catalina on the main drive if it is a spinner?
    If not, any idea why it is so different on a Catalina clone?
    I imagine Catalina would boot faster from an internal spinner than from an external one due to the faster internal bus versus the external USB bus.

  3. #18
    Copying Macintosh drive to external hard drive.. for security reasons.
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    Another thing to consider, laptop spinner drive do not always have the same rpm speed as desktop spinner drives. Especially in external enclosures.
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.
    PS: When there is an accident or error, is the tool to blame or is the fool to blame?

  4. #19
    Copying Macintosh drive to external hard drive.. for security reasons.
    krs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    I imagine Catalina would boot faster from an internal spinner than from an external one due to the faster internal bus versus the external USB bus.
    The "up to 20 minute" boot up time of Catalina from a backup i s way beyond my tolerance level.
    I would probably have shut down my Mac at the 5 minute point and tried again.

    A short while ago I posted some boot up times for Mojave on an external SSD connected via USB 3.0 and for El Capitan with an internal spinner. I of course can't find that post now, but the external for me was a bit faster (I think), especially the time between the blue screen appearing and the complete desktop coming up.

  5. #20
    Copying Macintosh drive to external hard drive.. for security reasons.
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Have a read here about why APFS and spinner drives don't really work well together: Using APFS On HDDs ... And Why You Might Not Want To

    TL ; DR -- APFS takes advantage of the lack of rotation to ignore latency and just move small chunks of big files when needed. But that fragments the spinner like mad, which makes them get slower and slower over time.
    Jake

  6. #21
    Copying Macintosh drive to external hard drive.. for security reasons.
    krs's Avatar
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    Is Apple actually shipping out the latest 2019 iMacs with spinner drives and Catalina (using APFS)?

    Sure looks like it when I check the Apple Store.
    Last edited by krs; 06-02-2020 at 05:53 PM.

  7. #22
    Copying Macintosh drive to external hard drive.. for security reasons.
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    iMac - Technical Specifications - Apple

    Yes, at the default configuration.
    Jake

  8. #23
    Copying Macintosh drive to external hard drive.. for security reasons.
    krs's Avatar
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    I came across a very current article on APFS that I hink is quite good - clear and precise.
    Should APFS Be Used on All Disk Types?

    Since Apple still offers the new iMac, both 21.5-inch and 27-inch, running Catalina (APFS) with either a straight HDD or a Fusion Drive, have they somehow figured out how to overcome that potential Copy-on-Write issue?

    BTW - I find that article where the link is posted in post #20 very good as well.

  9. #24
    Copying Macintosh drive to external hard drive.. for security reasons.
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    If you look at the low end iMac configurations, the drives are all slow (5400 RPM) anyway, which is going to make working with them slow, no matter the format. Fusion sort-of helps as the high use stuff is in the SSD, but that pokey HD is going to be a bottleneck.

    But it's a low end machine overall, and there are options for SSDs that any fairly knowledgable buyer should know to use. Plus, a rookie who just wants an appliance to do email and surf the net will be fine with that low end system where the speed never gets to be an issue for them.
    Jake

  10. #25
    Copying Macintosh drive to external hard drive.. for security reasons.
    krs's Avatar
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    Well, most laptop spinner drives were 5400 RPM drives; I have a 5400 HDD in my Mini and had no problem with that most times.
    Now that I switched to an SSD the boot times are faster and launching applications is faster, but I hardly do those tasks anyway (running the Mini 24/7 and keeping apps I use regularly always open) so these delays didn't affect me.

    From what I have read on many sites and discussion groups is that spinner dives make the performance, especially over time, unacceptable (not my words), but Apple is still shipping HDDs and Fusion drives with iMacs running Catalina in 2020.

    I wonder if anyone on this forum actually uses an iMac with an HDD (or Fusion Drive) and Catalina and can comment on the performance.

  11. #26
    Copying Macintosh drive to external hard drive.. for security reasons.
    Randy B. Singer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krs View Post
    Would that long startup time also apply when booting up Catalina on the main drive if it is a spinner?
    If not, any idea why it is so different on a Catalina clone?
    I haven't heard of folks complaining about terribly long boot up times from an internal RDHD, but I have heard of a lot of poor performance from internal RDHD's under Catalina.

    Honestly, most of the discussion was over my head as to why this is. The bottom line is that APFS is optimized for SSD's, which don't access data linearly. Apparently the APFS setup for directories is exactly the opposite of what RDHD's like best, and so they have to take a long time making sense of reading them. I'm sure that Ars Technica or someone has a nice long technical article explaining this well.
    Randy B. Singer
    Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)
    Mac OS X Routine Maintenance http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html

  12. #27
    Copying Macintosh drive to external hard drive.. for security reasons.
    Randy B. Singer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krs View Post
    "...any idea why it is so different on a Catalina clone?
    I've read that:

    "it appears that rotating platter external drives, even USB-C — USB 3.1 V2 interface models, are problematic as hosts for SuperDuper! clones of Catalina, and this appears to be partly a consequence of the bifurcation of the boot volume into two volumes in a container, partly a consequence of the roadblocks to easy transition from usual to clone drive when needed created by the T2 Security chip, and partly because of the enormous amount of cache emptying and reindexing that Catalina does on reboot."
    Randy B. Singer
    Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)
    Mac OS X Routine Maintenance http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html

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