Harddrive formatted in High Sierra does not work in Sierra. Advice please!


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Hi all,

I just bought a new ssd (Samsung Evo 860) and put it into an Orico enclosure. I formatted the drive OSX Extended Journaled and created 3 partitions one of which was as a bootable backup, the other two just for music. All looks good and works on my MacBook with High Sierra, but when the external drive is plugged into my iMac with Sierra running nothing can be copied to the external drive...it just freezes and then will not even eject...total meltdown.

I then tried erasing and formatting the drive in Sierra, which seems to have worked...BUT, again, when trying to copy files to it it freezes again until the whole OS becomes unresponsive...

BUT, it works just fine when mounted on the MacBook in High Sierra...So...WTF??

I read about High Sierra‘s APFS file system and how it is not backwards compatible with Sierra...but what can I do now? As I wrote, even a reformat in Sierra is not helping...but again, the drive works in High Sierra so it does work!


Anybody experience this?? Any advice would be very welcome! I just lost hours over here...ugghh...
 
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First, you can setup the SSD with APFS format, and have it work with Sierra. This link describes how:

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-to-set-up-and-use-apples-apfs-file-system-on-macos-sierra/

Secondly, given it is an external SSD, you can choose to format it the way you want. When High Sierra was about to be released, I contacted the developer of SuperDuper! to see what difference (in terms of speed) it would make if I formatted the partition for the SuperDuper! backup as APFS. He said no difference at all. So, even after first upgrading to High Sierra, I kept the two SuperDuper! partitions on both of my Samsung 850 Pro 512 gig SSDs (enclosed in Orico enclosures) formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled), GUID Partition Map (I also have a third partition for storing items that is formatted the same way). That worked fine. Later on, as High Sierra "matured" more and more, I reformatted the two SuperDuper! partitions as APFS. Again, everything is working well. (I expect the same to be true for Mojave, and in fact had it recently confirmed that SuperDuper! works well with Mojave).

What exact iMac model do you have? Did you try another port on it to plug the external drive/enclosure into?

Also, for the iMac, have you ever done any disk cleanup/maintenance/repairs? You can actually do a lot of disk cleanup on your own.

If none of that works, can you "upgrade" to High Sierra (or Mojave) on the iMac?

BTW, what back up program are you using to make the bootable backup/clone?
 
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First off, many thanks for your detailed response. Before I get too in depth with my answers, isn't it a fact that apfs does not work with earlier OS's?

I used Super Duper for the backup and that worked fine. It was when mounting the drive to my other Mac with Sierra and trying to copy files to it that it froze...

Also, after all my testing I am wondering if the problem is the enclosure and the usb c to usb 3.0 that is causing the problem. I have an old iMac, pre usb c. Maybe that is the culprit? Just spitballing here.
 
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Except for Sierra, APFS will not work with earlier OS's. The link I provided explains how to get it APFS to work with Sierra.

But, the point I was trying to make is that you can format those partitions (even the one for SuperDuper!) as Mac OS Extended (Journaled), GUID Partition Map. And booting such a SuperDuper! backup from such an external partition will be the same "speed" no matter what the formatting is.

If the format is Mac OS Extended, but not recognized by your iMac, then it could be an issue with your iMac.

As for the "somewhat different" connection on the Orico Enclosure, I have mine connected to USB 3.0 ports on either my late 2012 Mac Mini, my mid 2017 Mac Book Air, or the USB 3.0 hub attached to the Mac Mini. All 3 of my external Samsung SSDs/Orico enclosures are recognized. Remember, the USB-C "piece" is for the connection to the Orico enclosure. The other end of that cable is a standard USB-A 3.0 connection.

Now, your iMac would not be "pre USB-C". If it is an "older" one, then the USB-A ports are USB 2.0. USB 3.0 devices plugged into USB 2.0 ports are supposed to work fine. That is part of the reason why I asked 1) what exact iMac model do you have, and 2) about trying another USB-A port on the iMac.
 

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