High Sierra warning!

Folks, any of you who have updated to High Sierra, take heed!

I bought a new La Cie 4TB desktop HD from Amazon. When it arrived, I went to reformat it for use with my Macs—my 2 MBPs are running 10.13—the process failed completely and Disk Utility said the drive was unmountable. I could only reformat it as MSDOS (FAT16) reporting 400MB of disk space on a 4TB drive.

I contacted La Cie whose response was to tell me how to use Disk Utility!

I planned to send it back to Amazon as faulty, but in the meantime, went round to PC World and bought a 4TB Western Digital drive to use. Reformat for Mac? Failed completely, disk unmountable. Even with Tuxera NTFS installed, it still wouldn’t format as NTFS

That made me think that perhaps the problem was not the drives but Disk Utility under 10.13, so I borrowed my wife’s MBP which has 10.11. Both drives formatted perfectly well using that. I guess that means my wife’s MBA will not be upgraded for some time to come!

I have emailed both La Cie and Western Digital telling them of what I found. I guess I must investigate sending it to Apple as well.

So do be aware … if you’re on High Sierra, for the time being at least, you’re likely to have trouble formatting external drives.


I don’t know if this is the reason, but I was investigating whether to upgrade to High Sierra, and many Apple websites suggest holdng off, unless your machine only has an SSD drive. If it has a Fusion Drive (mix of SSD and HDD) then hold off because the new file system doesn’t like the HDD at the moment. (Apparently, Apple hope to issue a fix in the next few months.) Presumably the LaCie drive you were formatting was an HDD drive. Perhaps this might resolve itself when Apple update High Sierra. (Bit surprised this wasn’t sorted before release!)

Until then, I’m sticking with Sierra.

Thanks for that. Yes, that must be it. My two MBPs have SSDs; the La Cie and the Western Digital were both HDD drives.

My wife’s MBP has an HDD as does our iMac … I don’t think I’ve tried to update that yet, so I’ll hold off too.

Seems so fundamental, it should have been sorted out before initial release of 10.13 … or there should be a large alert which comes up before you try to update to 10.13.



[b]^Also[1], have seen reported that 10.13 won’t convert a dual SSD Fusion Drive; APFS can’t convert or initialize disks which use CoreStorage in a homemade Fusion Drive. They’d have to be defused first.

  1. /b ↩︎

My MacBook Pro has an SSD, but the external USB3 drive used for Time Machine and a weekly SuperDuper clone is a spinner. Does this pooch a High Sierra upgrade too?

The guy at daringfireball–a highly regarded Mac blog–mentioned holding off for reasons like this. Big changes to the underlying file structure software but looks like possible issues with non-SSD hard drives. I’m holding off for a while.


It definitely makes sense to wait. More changes are in store, and you’ll get the benefit of reported experiences and documentation.

As it stands according to Apple, Time Machine, even from a High Sierra APFS formatted disk, can only back up to an HFS+ formatted disk.

support.apple.com/guide/mac-hel … ne-mh15139
Generic Time Machine info from Apple:
support.apple.com/guide/mac-hel … es-mh35860

Interesting articles by -
SuperDuper!: shirt-pocket.com/blog/index. … eat_sheet/

Carbon Copy Cloner:
bombich.com/kb/ccc5/everything- … r-and-apfs

eclecticlight (High Sierra supported disk formats and file systems):
eclecticlight.co/2017/09/27/hig … e-systems/

I use Chronosync to do (more or less) weekly backups of my 13" rMBP to an external USB3 spinner. Both my MBPs have SSIDs and are on 10.13. I’m not sure if I’ve done the backup since I updated to 10.13, but I have just been copying a large number of files (about 1.5TB worth) backwards and forwards between drives using both of my MBPs and it has gone without a hitch. I started to use Chronosync to do it, but realised that I was going to run out of space on one drive in question, so aborted and then set them to copy manually as it were.

All the external drives in question were formatted under 10.11 or 10.12, so I would imagine you can do your SuperDuper clone … I don’t use TimeMachine, but I’d be wary until all this is sorted out.


Been running betas of High Sierra since first public release, at least a couple of months ago, maybe more. Have three machines, one definitely completely SSD, one likely (but not totally sure!) and the oldest one much less likely (MBP 13" 1st gen, late 2012). Never had a problem of any kind

There’s lots of chatter about High Sierra and system freeze-up, I know because I’m suffering… badly. If you do choose High Sierra, may I recommend waiting until version 10.13.2 is released. I’m currently using 10.13.2(public beta 4) and the constant GPU lockups have finally abated. I’m hearing much of the same from other users. High Sierra is a little bit more useful than Sierra but, especially for an author, in my opinion, really not worth the risk of instability.


I can’t remember if I had High Sierra on my late 2010 MBA—I think I did—but shortly after I traded it in for a 2015 13" rMBP. Since then, that machine, that I had to return—it had not been looked after and turned out less than pristine—and this one, its replacement, have always crashed after going to sleep. I can live with that, but the interesting thing is that I was told yesterday that the person who had bought the machine that I had returned—s/he paid a much lower price for it!—has not had the problem. So I think it’s down to gremlins, and eventually I’ll get round to doing a completely clean re-install.


Pass the word:

macrumors.com/2017/11/28/ma … in-access/

ETA article from Krebs:

krebsonsecurity.com/2017/11/mac … sword-now/

It is fixed in the latest build of macOS 10.13.2 Beta (17C83a).

Or users can fix it locally:

macrumors.com/how-to/tempor … -root-bug/

Apple just released a security update addressing this for macOS 10.13.1:


Aye, good news. Speedy response.