Installing Mac OS X

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georgelien

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Okay. I'm sure this has been mentioned many times before, but here I want to contribute from my experience.

After using MacOS X for the past 6 months, 4 clean reinstallations and very slow performance, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND installing the OS within an 8GB partition.

For example, I have a 20GB in my PowerBook. I divided into 3 partitions, 6.2GB in each partition, one for OS X, one OS 9 and one for data storage.

The mistake I made in the past was to reformat the entire 20GB hard drive into the Unix file system and install MacOS X into the entire drive. This resulted an extremely slow MacOS X system.

Bare in mind, I don't know how Apple install OS X in the computer that come defualt with the system. I'm only here to share from my experience with a machine that came only with OS 9.

In conclusion, MacOS X is definitely faster with my new setup. Thus, I suggest people to install the OS into a less than 8 GB partition.

And if possible, back up your data and reinstall OS 9 and OS X into separate partitions.

George Lien
georgelien@email.com
 

voice-

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Hmmm...would that leave room for my software? I have it on 15gb and 10Gb now, and the 10 is faster...
Maybe I'll do it your way next install...
 

georgelien

Registered
I think you don't have store your application software in the same partition, but I have yet tried it myself. If 10GB is speedy enough for you, then just keep it. My 20GB PowerBook was way too slow, so I had to fix it.

Regards,
George Lien
 

lethe

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is this tip for UFS only, or for both UFS and HFS? why does having 8Gig hard drive increase speed?
 

georgelien

Registered
Actually, it might be the way Mac OS X acts. OS 9 doesn't seem to have this kind of issue--at least not on my PowerBook G4/500.

Can an expert shine us some light?

Regards,
George Lien
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
Originally posted by georgelien
The mistake I made in the past was to reformat the entire 20GB hard drive into the Unix file system and install MacOS X into the entire drive. This resulted an extremely slow MacOS X system.

I think the mistake you made was formatting the drive as UFS instead of HFS+. MacOS X runs dog-slow on a UNIX partition (go figure!). I'll bet if you re-formatted that 20GB into one partition with HFS+ and installed MacOS X on that, you'd see the speed you're expecting.

Again, I think it's the partition FORMAT you chose that made OS X slow, not the size of the partition.
 

edX

mac shaman
el diablo, you may have a good point. well, i am pretty sure that the ufs point is more than valid. but also about the partition thing. whether or not to partition has been debated to death arounf here and the only good reason to do it is to have a second boot disk for folks who don't have a real second drive.

the last time i used partitions was back in 7.x when i had some older games that would only run on a sperate partition. I keep all my system files and applications folder on the main internal drive at present. and you might have noticed, i am never one who is screaming about how slow osx is. Honestly, my perception these days is that os 9 is slower.

with the prices of second drives these days, there are few reasons not to just buy one to deal with the second disk issue. all my apps run just as well off my firewire drive as they do on the internal. firewire in osx is just so dam fast.
 

georgelien

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ElDiabloConCaca,

You've guessed it--WRONG! The partition for MacOS X is UFS. It's much faster than when I had the entire 20GB hard drive in UFS. My bet is still on MacOS X. It has to be the way it organize files. And I'm still looking for a good defrag program.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ed,

OS 9 still run faster than OS X. Do you know why? Because slower machines still run faster in OS 9 than X.
 

testuser

Registered
Any benchmarks? ... time to launch apps, copying files, etc?

Your system could be running faster for any number of reasons that are not related to partition size. For example, there could have been some filesystem problems.

I suspect that it has more to do with UFS. It exhibits so many odd behaviors it's no wonder that Apple recommends installing OS X on HFS+. In fact they tell people NOT to install on UFS unless they have some compelling reason. If you have all UFS you cannot use Classic, the Finder has problems calculating amount of free disk space, everything runs slowly (compared to HFS+), Airport doesn't work, etc., etc..

Your blanket statement of increased speed with smaller partitions is completely misleading, if not completely wrong. You are basing your experience on only one Mac, the PowerBook (your beige G3 always required OS X to be within the first 8 GB partition of the startup drive). Furthermore you are comparing a single UFS partition drive vs a multi-partition multi-filesystem (UFS and HFS+) drive; you are altering two variables (filesystem & partitions), not one (partitions). It is impossible to draw any meaningful conclusions from your observation.

If you want to present objective data you really should be comparing only single partition vs multi-partition on HFS+. It would help if you did some benchmarks like in this thread. Maybe measure time to launch apps (both first time and subsequent times), time to copy a large file in the Finder, time to copy many small files, etc.. If time permits you could then compare speed between single vs multi-partition on UFS. You would then also have data on relative differences in speed between HFS+ and UFS.

At this point UFS is definitely not used by the vast majority of OS X users. OS X runs horribly on this, and others should realize that they probably have nothing to gain (at least in speed) from partitioning their HFS drives. I am willing to wager that most people will see no meaningful differences in speed between OS X running on 40 GB vs 20 GB vs 8 GB vs 2 GB.

Of course I could be proved wrong (but this would require proof).
 

georgelien

Registered
testuser,

Thanks for your feedback. Obviously this is not a good enough thread for you, so bye bye now.

Regards,
George Lien
 

testuser

Registered
Look, you are making irresponsible assertions, and are getting people like "voice" all interested in partitioning their drives to gain more speed out of OS X.

Someone must point out the strong probability that they will not see the same thing you have seen (for the reasons that I have outlined in my last post).

While partitioning would speed tasks like a Sherlock search, I am still skeptical that it will do anything for HFS Finder or system speed. I am open to the fact that I may be wrong, but I refuse to be convinced merely on the basis of a single very unusual (UFS) configuration.
 

lethe

Registered
this comment probably would fit better in the thread you linked testuser, but i just want to make another point about UFS.

i have seperate partitions for OSX on HFS and OSX on UFS. they are both well over 8 Gigs, and i only use HFS for day to day use. the startup disk prefernce pane does not see my UFS partition, which is quite annoying. if i want to boot it, i have to go to OF and specify the partition number by its OF pathname manually.

it s quite annoying. anyway, i never noticed anything but slowness out of the UFS system. if i thought there were any validity to the issue, i would try a small partition. i do use UFS sometimes (certain jobs really demand a case sensitive system), and it would be nice to make it more usable.

i agree with testuser though, we should be scientific. i remember reading/hearing somewhere that certain earlier systems would only recognize OSX if it were on a partition that is in the first 8 gigs of the disk. so it is not the size of the partition, but the ability of the firmware of the machine to boot from a file that is past a certain block number on the disk. does this sound familiar at all, testuser? i didn t pay much attention because it did not apply to my system, so i don t really remember where i read that. also it didn t seem to suggest anything about improving performance, but rather whether the system wouild be functional at all. still the number 8 sticks out as sounding rather suspicious.
 

unlearnthetruth

Recycle Me!
lethe -
quoted from Apple Support On the listed computers, Mac OS X must be installed on a volume that is contained entirely within the first 8 GB of its ATA hard disk. You may partition your hard disk to facilitate installation.

I'm not going to bother including the list here, but it's the early iMacs and G3s. The reasoning is as lethe put it - it's not some mystical quality about the 8 gb partition, it's a lack of the ability of the installer to see anything larger. A LOT more info about it can be found by reading the whole article at the link above.
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
UFS was Rhapsody's primary and only file system. Ever since Mac OS X DP 1 or 2 Apple said: *Don't* use UFS, use HFS+. They've only worked on that since then. So that's clear. Use HFS.

Partitioning your system has several pros and some contras. Whether a smaller system partition really speeds up anything is one thing, but your main user's folder will also be on that partition, and it's a drag *not* to use it. Apple wants you to use it and it makes sense. So my main partition must be bigger. I have most data and apps on a separate partition because I don't wanna install them all again from a backup when I have to reinstall the OS.

But yes, numbers for speed increase must be delivered before it can be believed. :)
 

lethe

Registered
it is not unheard of in UNIX to have the users home directory go on a seperate partition. i find it quite useful, and do the same thing with OSX.

see this thread for more details
 

georgelien

Registered
lethe / unlearnthetruth,

Good point. The 8GB magical number actually came from the firmware restriction.

_____________________________________________________________

fryke,

Could you point us to where "Apple said: *Don't* use UFS, use HFS+."

_____________________________________________________________

Everybody,

I totally agree that my assertion needs to be backed up with scientific facts. Unfortunately, I could not find any scientific data on the Net to back my assertion, and I'm too lazy to conduct tests.

Sorry, but this thread was not meant to be scientific, though I'm very fond of science. It was supposed to be a sharing of a personal experience.

_____________________________________________________________

testuser,

Sorry for being to harsh on you earlier on. You have some valid points as well.

Regards,
George Lien
 

testuser

Registered
This is the harshest statement that I could find on Apple's website:
"Unless you have a specific reason to use UFS, you should use the Mac OS Extended format since it provides a more familiar experience to Macintosh users."

Not exactly a "Do not use UFS", but still rather direct.

George,
No hard feelings. I think you have made a very interesting observation. I am curious to see whether is bears out to be true as a general rule. In some strange way, smaller partitions might be faster for UFS. One would need to rule out the influence HFS partitions. If speed is related to partition size, I wonder what would be the explanation...

It is a pity that you won't be doing some testing. It is understandable since partitioning and backing up data take a lot of time. If the opportunity arises some time in the future (i.e. I need to reinstall from scratch), I might just play around with this.
 

RacerX

Old Rhapsody User
Originally asked by George
fryke,

Could you point us to where "Apple said: *Don't* use UFS, use HFS+."

Having worked with many of the operating systems that led up to Mac OS X, you would think I would have installed at least one of the Mac OS X (client) versions on UFS. But I didn't. Why didn't I? Maybe these quotes from Apple's Read Mes that came with each can shed some light on my choice of formats:

Mac OS X Developer Preview 4:
"In most cases, choose HFS Plus."

Mac OS X Public Beta:
"In most cases, choose Mac OS Extended (HFS Plus)."

Mac OS X v.10.0:
"In most cases, if you choose to do this, choose Mac OS Extended (HFS Plus)."

Mac OS X v10.1:
"In most cases, choose Mac OS Extended (HFS Plus).
Important Do not choose UNIX File System (UFS) unless you need to work with this format."

That seems pretty clear to me.
 

georgelien

Registered
That's it. You've got be real interested. I'm going into full research mode and see what the authors who wrote books on OS X have to say on this subject.

Regards,
George Lien
 
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