How to transform a case-sensitive Mac HFS+ partition right into a case-insensitive one
- March 18, 2023
Apple has lengthy supplied versions of the identical HFS+ partition formatting scheme used to create a filesystem for a Mac-mountable quantity: “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” and “Mac OS Extended (Case-touchy, Journaled)”. With the addition of APFS formatting, that taste is also to be had in case sensitive and insensitive variations. What a distinction that “case-touchy” makes!
Case-touchy filesystems can permit a couple of documents to have the equal human-readable name using extraordinary capitalization. Blue dolphin.Pdf and blue dolphin.Pdf and bLuE dOlPhIn.PDF are all considered distinctive objects to a case-sensitive filesystem. With the opposite, a case-insensitive filesystem, the default alternative for macOS in HFS+ and APFS, those documents can’t co-exist: They’re all efficaciously the equal call with an exclusive look.
In olden Unix days, case-sensitivity made feel in a few contexts, and Apple presented a case-touchy version of HFS+ for compatibility’s sake for the one’s individuals who required it.
However, a few Mac software—drastically that made using Adobe and Valve—baulks at case sensitivity. I’ve heard from and examine of folks that by accident selected “case-touchy” when putting in place power, now not understanding what they were getting themselves into. They’d like to shift off that into the more widespread case-insensitive layout.
While there was software within the beyond that could convert a case-sensitive partition to a case-insensitive one in a region without copying the information off, the firm that made that software program has close down. (Coriolis Systems changed into an extended-time Mac developer, and they generously made all their software program lose on the final. However, the final supported version of macOS is 10.13. Because this involves filesystem-degree changes, I could not use this software with 10.14 Mojave or later.)
Instead, you have to make a clone, reformat your partition, and copy the records returned. For a startup quantity:
Clone the drive that has case-touchy formatting to another extent the use of Disk Utility, SuperDuper, or Carbon Copy Cloner. (You could use Time Machine. However, it’s an inefficient manner to repair an entire disk except in a pinch.)
Make sure you’ve got a separate, whole backup in case the one created in step 1 fails.
Restart your Mac, after which hold down Command-R earlier than the Apple logo seems to bring up macOS Recovery.
Click Disk Utility in the listing of options that looks.
Select the internal pressure or boot partition within the listing at left.
Reformat it using a case-insensitive choice.
Right-click on it and choose Restore.
From the Restore From the popup menu, choose your clone. If it’s a disk photo, click on the Image button to locate it on a setup power.
Click Restore and be prepared to attend along even as!
When the recuperation is entire, go out Disk Utility and pick > Startup Disk.
Select the force to that you restored your clone, and then click Restart.
If you’re copying an external or non-boot extent, you can miss steps 3 and 4 above and release Disk Utility out of your Mac in the Applications > Utility folder.
[ Further reading: Learn more about macOS Catalina ]
By the way, you have got of route referred to that OS X and macOS have constantly retained the capitalization you use in names as you type it in or an application names it. That’s because the gadget is case keeping: It honours capitalization; however, any variation in lower- and higher-case is not noted in finding a document or overwriting it.
This Mac 911 article is in response to a question submitted through Macworld reader Sebastian.
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