View Full Version : Partition Drives for Mac Pro?

03-09-2007, 10:11 PM
Ok the MacPro arrived today - configuration
2 3.0Ghz Duo-Core CPUs
9 GB Ram
2 Hatachi 500Gb Drives (boot / backup user) & (user / backup boot)
2 WD 70Gb Raptors
CalDigi E-Sata card
Burly 5 Drive enclosure

How to configure the Hatachi's - I think I'd like to do this

Drive 1 Partition 1 (100GB) Boot
Drive 1 Partition 2 (~400GB) Backup User
Drive 2 Partition 1 (~400GB) User
Drive 2 Partition 2 (100GB) Backup Boot

Can I have a boot on the second partition? or should drive 2 look like
Drive 2 Partition 1 (100GB) Backup Boot
Drive 2 Partition 2 (~400GB) User

Second question is which partitioning option to use for which partitions??
they are
1. Mac OS Extended (journaled)
2. Mac OS Extended
3. Mac OS Extended (case sensitive, journaled)
4. Mac OS extended (case sensitive)
5. DOS
7. Free Space

(note - it looks like apple used option 1 for the existing boot drive - i'm wondering why not option 3?)

03-10-2007, 01:25 AM
Hi Vince,

Welcome aboard. Congrats on the new machine.

First things first: What are you going to be using this machine for? Lotta RAM...looks serious. Assuming it is PhotoShop, there will be some PS gurus along shortly.

What I can tell you is, regardless of the use of the machine, you want HFS Extended. Stay away from the rest. Case sensitive has some real pit-falls, but I can't recall the details. Someone here will know, or you can google it.

Journaling makes the machine a bit more solid, in that the OS can read the journal and almost always recover from a panic or crash and keep on chugging. Good for the boot drive, less useful for data drives last time I read up on it. Journaling can be turned on or off after the drive is formated, so you don't have to worry too much......you can always change your mind later.

Oh, and the down side? Can shave a bit of performance off the drive, so for ultimate speed, you can leave it off, but at some risk of flying without a net. I've read conflicting reports about it's effect on speed, so you might consider turning it on to begin, do some bench marking, and then turn it off and bench again. So you know what effect it has on speed for you.

Yes, you can boot from any drive, and any partition on any drive.

Did you check out our Guide to acceleration (http://macgurus.com/guides/storageaccelguide.php) and the download that goes with it? May answer some of your questions too.

03-10-2007, 07:26 PM

Ok Drives are partitioned and formatted. This whole thing is taking a lot longer than I figured it would - it's just enough different from UNIX that it's casuing me to spend a lot of time looking things ups. For example - loging in as root - which had me a bit baffled becuase I didn't remember setting a root password - which oddly enough, it turns out that you do that from the admin (primary user??) account - which just seems weird. A user essentially creating the root account - it's just .... backwards :)

Anyway I've got root enabled and i've cloned the boot drive and I'm working my way thought the rest of the "move /Users" document. It occured to me as I was downloading Carbon Copy Cloner and SymbolicLinker that I didn't have a clue as to where it was downloading these things - I ended up moving them to /User/shared/applications - even though they recommended installing into applications - which brings up the next question. I like the fact that it brings up a downloads window and you can click on the little mag glass and get a finder view - I just wish it told me the path - i'm sure there's a way to do that.....


I partitioned the drives as 100GB / 365GB (more or less) with the intention of installing all future apps (such as Photoshop CS2, CS3, Lightroom, ImagePrint, iView Media 3 Pro, etc) on the larger partition. I'm wondering about the wisdom of moving Applications the same way i'm moving Users - or would that be counter productive from a speed point of view? If I'm going to be installing on the boot drive partition then maybe I should go back and re-partition to something closer to 230/235 - But I have NO idea how big the OS is and i'm not sure I know how to figure it out yet. (I suppose I could use df & du from a terminal window assuming the command exists)

I'm not worried at this point - as I get the hang of this it will all go faster and worse case I copy user and any downloaded apps off to a USB disk and repartition and install from scratch - it's not that hard - all the really big files (images) will be on the Burly anyway. But if you guys can help me get it right the first time it means I can get back to working sooner.

03-10-2007, 08:54 PM
If I continue the way i'm going i'm going to end up with two copies of the 100GB partition and sure my home directory will be on a different drive but I'll have two large partitions that are essentially unused. If i'm going to use the instructions as written I need to go back and re-partition into single partitions on each drive (which may make more since as means I dont have to worry about how much space is available in which partition.

If i'm going to keep these Partitions
/HD1 Boot (100G)
/HD2 Boot Backup (100G)
/HD1 User Backup (365G)
/HD2 User (365G)

alternative would be to clone the boot disk to the backup boot disk
(already done) then copy

/Volumes/HD1 Boot/Users > /Volumes/HD1 User Backup/Users
/Volumes/HD1 Boot/Users > /Volumes/HD2 User/Users

Then delete /Volumes/HD1 Boot/Users & /Volumes/HD2 Boot Backup/Users

Next; create symbolic links
/Volumes/HD1 Boot /Users < /Volumes/HD2 User/Users
/Volumes/HD2 Boot Backup/Users < /Volumes/HD1 User Backup/Users

The end result should be that I can backup the root directory of disk 1 to the root directory of disk 2 and it will give me a complete backup while keeping the boot and /Users on separate drives.

The Existing instructions dont really cover the idea of maintaining a complete backup - i'm guessing they were backing /Users up to an external Drive.

If I have this correct the above system will give me essentially a mirrored system with /Users on the opposite drive from the boot drive.

Ok - so were did I screw up?

03-10-2007, 10:09 PM
Making progress. Good deal.

Kinda funny having a Unix guy move to a Mac. I mean it makes perfect sense, but usually Mac users want to stay clear of CLI, and have a hard time with multiple users and permissions....you are coming from the other side, and over-thinking most stuff by Mac Standards. :)

The root thing... You don't need to enable root for much of anything. A few apps an specialized services sometimes require it, but 99% the time it is not required. An administrator account is.....you know, rather than have me cloud the waters (not really a nix guy...) check these out first:

This should go a long way for you:

dated, but mostly still correct, except I think the bit about aliases and symlinks has changed a bit in later OS versions: http://www.macdevcenter.com/pub/a/mac/2002/10/22/macforunix.html

A bit long for a Mac user, probably an easy read for a nix'r:

The links might be useful, though aimed at beginnning Unix users:

Looks useful.....you tell me :) :

Well, you get the idea. One thing I would suggest is that you switch off root and forget about it. I know, I know, crazy talk. But you don't need it. Can actually cause problems with some apps if you install from root, from what I read. We have over 300 Macs at work, and not a single one has root enabled (OK, a couple special case servers........but no work stations). With admin doing a sudo, you don't need root. Really. Besides everything else, root's default home is invisible to the Finder, so you make some work for yourself by using root for anything but rare problem solving.

As for the download location, you can set it in the browser prefs and never have to look for it, but clicking the mag glass should get you a Finder window with the download highlighted. Then you should consider making your default finder setting Column view, or use the path button on the Finder top tool bar. Good time to dig through all the Finder prefs and view options.

03-10-2007, 10:11 PM
As for partitions, I am surprised a PS guru has not come along.... Gotta run right now, but if nobody post some words of wisdom, I will dig up something tomorrow. ;)

03-11-2007, 03:47 PM
The whole point of this exercise was to get a Photoshop machine that could handle large files 2-3Gb with out chewing up my whole day.

So I get everything partitioned, User symlinked across the partitions install Lightroom which runs things are looking good. Load Photoshop CS2 for Mac - wont run - something about disk not being available.

Load CS3 Beta - wont even install - check the Beta boards - under the FAQ it says - Will not install if /User is not on boot drive - workaround - Put /User on the boot drive! ARRRRRGGGGGG.

So I re-partition I'll worry about having /user on a different drive after CS3 relases. If i'm dilligent doing a complete reinstall shouldn't take more than a day at that point. At this point I'm going to try HD1 as Boot with /User and HD2 as a backup drive - not optimal but hopefully CS3 will run.

hmm maybe i'll finish that instlal before I finish this message....

Well so far so good CS3 Installed - working on bridge now

If anyone has experience with CS3 and moving /User (and maybe /Aplications) Let me know.

03-11-2007, 04:34 PM
I have never used Photoshop since OS 9 days so I don't know what limitations there are.
I would suggest that you follow the PS Guidelines in the Graphics Studio forum however.

How about booting from your Raptors as RAID?
One of the best setups for a Mac Pro is a boot RAID for OS/Apps, along with - you said 2-3GB files? - a RAID for scratch.

One user on G5 Quad works with 1-1.5GB files and was running with ~10GB RAM. And complained that he needed an ultra fast RAID for saving (was taking way too long).

Did you use NetInfo manager to locate /Users on drive #2? That actually should work. The OS can't tell and I have never run into a program or problem in doing so for.... 5 yrs. Never though have I bothered with a symbolic link to /Users on 2nd drive. I have my home folder on 2nd drive, but there is /Users on boot drive. My bet is that something has to go to "Shared" and looks (hard coded) to root volume. VueScan does that, or Canon, for their scanner driver. Not all software is OS X aware.

If you want, or need, just put a small ~/LIbrary is all on the boot drive. Useful if you want to keep it simple, and use alias to files and folders on other drives.

Barefeats just posted some results testing disk drives on Mac Pro.

I would do backups to a FW drive. You need two backups for your data sets; one backup for your system and a 2nd that is "pristine" and for emergencies only. No need to worry about backing up both. I only backup the system before applying updates or changes, like when 10.4.9 comes out.

One person on the Mac Pro Apple Discussions has a system setup that is only now, with more memory, able to run without crashing or freezing all the time.

Some will say that RAID for boot drive isn't necessary, and generally, that is true, but there are situations where it might make sense. Seeing you have two identical drives, I would RAID those. I also much prefer 10K Raptor for boot drive.

03-11-2007, 11:13 PM
I'm not sure why everyone is enamored with booting from a fast drive. I only boot my machine a few times a year - it's on 24/7 unless the power goes out or I'm going out of town for more than 2 days.

The raptors are there for PS scratch disk

I was hoping to be able to use the two Hitachi's simultaneously by having /Users on one and everything else (except maybe the apps) on the boot drive - but Photoshop put an end to that at least for the time being.

Does OSX have /var/swap for virtual memory like most UNIX systems? if so I wonder if I can move that to the second drive..... HHMMMMMM that might be more useful that moving /Users but i'm not sure. - I could see moving that to one of the raptors - maybe the second PS Scratch disk. Although i'm not sure how PS determines what scratch disks to use when.

As it sits now HD1 is the full system and HD2 is a backup of the full system
Not ideal and maybe i'll get around to making another backup and then trying to move /Users now that PS is installed.

I'm still installing apps - Lightroom, ImagePrint, iView Media Pro3, so it I may not get a chance to start up the Burly until tomorrow. At which point I need to transfer about 100G of image files from an external drive (oh joy).

After that I'll might experiment a bit after I talk things over with the Guru's.

03-12-2007, 07:38 AM
Please hope over to Sample PshopTest Results for latest CS3 beta vs CS2 results (http://www.macgurus.com/forums/showpost.php?p=106200&postcount=68)

"boot drive" is the term for where OS X is, not that you boot a lot. But because of the way OS X is built it does do a lot of small I/O and a Raptor or fast drive is faster, and you should not be paging - moving swap files isn't and has never been found to help. More RAM does.

For casual users, you can do almost anything and be fine and get away with it. When you start working with files in Photoshop that are more than 500MB you start needing to configure the system.