The most important thing to do if your Mac has a Fusion Drive: Back up your data

“SSDs (solid-state drives) offer extremely reliable, fast, and consistent performance over many, many years,” Glenn Fleishman writes for Macworld. “They aren’t subject to problems that can harm even the best-designed modern hard disk drives (HDDs): exposure to magnetic fields or the failure of moving parts inside the drives.”

“But SSDs remain expensive many years after they first appeared,” Fleishman writes. “One way Apple tried to offer more competitive pricing was to have as an option its own kind of hybrid drive… The Fusion Drive.”

“However, the Fusion Drive has always been a fussy thing,” Fleishman writes. “Fusion Drives, more than any other kind of storage device, demand continuous and rigorous backups, whether local (via Time Machine or the like) or cloud based.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The most important thing to do for your Mac with any type of storage: Back up your data!

How to use one Mac as a Time Machine destination for another – December 12, 2018
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How to back up your Mac, and why you should do it now – July 23, 2018


  1. Fusion Drives can be tricky. Especially when converted to APFS. They have a tendency to break apart.

    I’ve also replaced dead HD part of a Fusion drive with a new SSD which turned out to be quite an experiment. But it works and the drive is very fast.

  2. Fusion drives: worst of both worlds, solution to no problems. Apple did this only because Ive was too vain to allow Mac owners the luxury of two user-accessible drive bays.

    My recommendations:

    1) DO NOT ever get a fusion drive. Apple support for them is poor at best. Full-on SSDs are affordable and more reliable today.
    2) When buying a new Mac, DO NOT buy less than 512 GB drive under any circumstances — or consider immediately installing a better hard drive from day one if you can (more below).
    3) DO NOT attempt to use iCloud as a primary backup. It is too slow, problematic, and not guaranteed against data loss. Buy external drive(s) or better yet an NAS or raid array to backup your critical and private data, which when configured properly will be your personal cloud that you can access from anywhere in the world. Synology an others make it easier than ever — with warranty and no monthly fees.
    4) if your Mac is upgradeable, then add or replace its drive with a modern SSD. Other World Computing is a great resource there. If your Mac came with a dinky old SSD, then buy a new one; 1Tb+ models are mainstream now. You can get empty mobile drive cases to make your old SSD or hard drive a useful portable backup for road work or travel or whatever.
    5) partition your Mac drive so that your data is on different partition(s) from the OS. This makes backups easier and faster, plus it allows you to more effectively manage your personal files from purchased media, etc.
    6) run trustworthy 3rd party disc utilities since Apple’s let its built-in Disc Utility go to shit.
    7) Employ your old slow Mac — even a G4 Power Mac or G5 Mac Pro — as a home server to share files between family & friends. It’s cheap, it’s reliable, and you can slide in old or new drives without any hassle.
    8) treat APFS with care. It’s almost ready for prime time but the transition is NOT seamless.

  3. Just a few weeks ago I decided to split the fusion drive on my mother’s iMac after a power outage broke it to the point where even erasing the fusion drive couldn’t give a bootable system.

    Splitting a fusion drive is nonetheless difficult for a mere mortal. Since I have experienced with the command line interface for disk utility, I could do it. But for others? Whatever happened to complete GUIs?

  4. The most important thing to do for ANY type of computer with ANY type of storage: Back up your data! And preferably on AT LEAST two different kinds of storeage, the kept in different places.

  5. Not all HDDs are the same. I’ve been using a couple of Rocstor drives for over 15 years and they still work like a dream. Sure Rocstor products aren’t cheap but they live in a steel casing and the spinning drive creates a great airflow through the machined slits in the casing to the point where they don’t use or need to use a fan.

    I’d also like to say that SSD technology isn’t cheap so I’ve been holding onto my old HDDs which seem to “just work”.

    Likewise if I need to I buy cheap portable drives with the knowledge that they won’t really last much longer than three years. As for price and or reliability I’m really not impressed with fusion or SSD technology.

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