Journal: News & Comment

Friday, December 20, 2002
# 11:24:00 PM:

Working around the Mac OS X 8 GB limit

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Since the first public release of version 10.0, installing Mac OS X on a first-generation beige Power Mac G3 like mine (and some other models) has required, for fairly obscure but necessary technical reasons, that all system files reside in the first 8 GB of the hard disk. Mac OS X installers from 10.1 on enforce this by requiring beige G3 owners to partition a larger drive so that Mac OS X installs on a segment 8 GB or smaller.

"Jaguar," the recent Mac OS X 10.2 update, has tweaked this a bit again, and it's fouled up my installation process.

Last time I installed Mac OS X 10.1, I partitioned my 120 GB Western Digital drive into two segments, one 8 GB large and one for the rest of the drive. Mac OS X 10.1 was happy with it, and installed. I've been running it like that since early October 2002.

My wife and I just got our copy of Jaguar from Apple. It would not install, saying the 8 GB partition is not in the first 8 GB of the disk. (Lovely logic, that.) A Show Info on that partition said it was 7.99 GB in size, with 1.82 GB occupied and 6.17 GB free. Apple's Disk Utility reported 8.00 GB (8,589,934,592 Bytes).

Again, the 10.1 installer thought that was fine. The 10.2 installer says it's too big. After investigating workarounds that didn't require me to back up everything on both drives and repartition, FWB's Partition Toolkit (even though it apparently runs only under the old Mac OS 9), saved the day by letting me make the first chunk of my hard disk slightly smaller without erasing anything. The little chunk left over I've turned into a scratch disk for CD images and such.

Jaguar is now running, and while I still have to move a few things like fonts and some preferences and utilities into their proper places, it seems to be working just fine. The new text anti-aliasing is way better, and even the modified SPOD (spinning pizza of death) is yummy-cute.


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