Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Mac News > Editorial: Apple's new Disk Utility nearly slain by the feature thief

Editorial: Apple's new Disk Utility nearly slain by the feature thief
Thread Tools
NewsPoster
MacNN Staff
Join Date: Jul 2012
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 4, 2015, 08:34 AM
 
There is a slim chance that you've never run nor heard of Apple's Disk Utility application. That chance decreases the longer you've had a Mac as this little app is the answer to so many issues. It's where you format new hard drives, create disk images, and where you used to be able to repair permissions if you needed to. If your Mac is doing something odd, you could run Disk Utility and have it poke about your hard drive, looking for possible problems, and often fixing them too. If you have many hard drives, such as in a RAID backup system, you lived in Disk Utility -- or you used to. Apple has radically remodelled Disk Utility in OS X El Capitan and that's got people steaming.

They're steamed because the remodelling made the app easier for new or casual users to start with -- but did so primarily by removing features. We have been before, we have been here a lot –– just grab a sandwich and read the MacNN Feature Thief series. That week-long series examined how very often Apple takes a scorched Earth approach and destroys an old version of an app in favor of one that initially is significantly poorer. As it only ran a week, we couldn't get to everything! Usually the software does become better, ultimately you do see why they did it, but that's no help when you rely on a function that is no longer there.

Cue the steam about Disk Utility. What makes it worse for Disk Utility users than, say, people thrown by Pages dropping an outlining feature or Final Cut Pro X practically abandoning professional users, is that you can't do anything about it. FCP X did get most of those features back, but even when it was lacking them, the greatest pain was to your budget: you'd spent all that money on the upgrade and now the solution you needed was to run the old version instead.

There is no old version of Disk Utility that you can run. If you do have several backup drives, go get the OS X Yosemite version of Disk Utility and run it on El Capitan. This is what you get:



You can't go back. To even show you what it's supposed to look like, we had to borrow a screengrab from someone still on the older OS. This is what they showed us, this is what was to us a very familiar sight until El Capitan.



If you really haven't ever used Disk Utility then you're not looking at that image very fondly. Nobody would say that the app is obvious and clear, nobody would say that it is easy to use. What they would say is that it works and it does dramatically more than the new version. Here's the new OS X El Capitan edition of Disk Utility.



No question, it looks better. On the system we took that shot it initially looks fine, too. There are a couple of hard drives and you can see the controls clearly. Instead of that ancient-looking toolbar with ten options -- from Verify to Log -- we now get just five. Burn is gone: who burns discs anymore? Apparently you can still burn discs by inserting a blank one and choosing File/Burn from the Finder but we honestly couldn't even check this. We could order some blank DVDs for thoroughness but we'll take all this as a sign that shiny discs are in our past.

The feature we most immediately missed was not one taken away from the top tool bar but instead a control that appeared once you selected a hard drive. Since the dawn of Man, we have been clicking on Repair Disk Permissions and watching as OS X rattles off a long list of tiny problems that it was fixing. Disk Permissions were never something that new users got told about but even when we didn't fully understand what they were, we rapidly learned that repairing them solved myriad problems. It became the thing you did first.



Now it's the thing OS X itself does first: according to Apple, there is no need to have a repair disk permissions feature because the system itself does it automatically. It's hard to argue that the old way was better but we liked it as one step in a troubleshooting investigation, and the nearest equivalent left is the new Disk Utility's First Aid option. This is an all-or-nothing job. Mount the drive, click First Aid and say yes. No other options, no way to check a particular issue like disk permissions.

So far, so what?

Apple's removed features that are now included in OS X itself. That's hard to disagree with and the fact that Disk Utility is less daunting to new users has to be good. This business of not being able to burn discs anymore clearly won't give us sleepless nights and if we miss the old First Aid, the new one isn't exactly slow.

We're all for how Apple makes things easier to use and we accept the odd hiccup along the way. Such as now, for instance, when you go to drag that divisor between the list of drives and the main panel. The cursor changes to show that you can move the line, as you may well to see longer names, but you can't actually budge it a single pixel either way.

That's a clear bug and it's a pain but not earth-shattering. So as far as our ordinary, everyday Mac use goes, this is the least problematic change Apple has made to its software. However, it's probably the most problematic one for anybody using multiple hard drives connected to their Macs. The new Disk Utility is probably the cause of more shock-spilt coffee than anything else since you first heard the cost of SSDs.

This is the "so what"

The new Disk Utility is unusable with RAID drives. Unusable. It will recognise that you have this bunch of hard drives connected, but it might as well not bother because people are finding it thinks they're all Untitled. It won't show even the type of RAID being used and you can forget the status of different drives and partitions.

Fortunately, nobody who has ever invested in a RAID system has ever done so for critical business reasons. If you think we're sarcastic well, yes, of course you're right, but also we're stuck with it. Functionality wise, there are third-party tools to use, but they can complicate troubleshooting if there's a problem with the file structure. You can upgrade to a hardware RAID, but that's not cheap. Regardless, if you're a RAID user, or want to be one, you now cannot use Disk Utility.

Apple is telling users to use UNIX commands in the terminal instead for "complex formatting options." It seems like a harsh penalty for RAID users to be consigned to the text box for configuration of a drive array so new users can be hand-held that much more. Sure, Disk Utility wasn't the be-all-end-all RAID tool. It was limited to two flavors of RAID, and striped or not. That was often good enough, though. We accepted that if we wanted RAID 5 or 10 or other approaches, it was time for a different utility, or a different enclosure.

We've felt the pain of Apple's Feature Thief approach before but we thought we were sanguine about it, we thought we'd been through it so often that we always knew the workarounds and we always knew that Apple would put back what it took out. In this case we can just hope they do so soon, because this subtraction, even if it may be temporary, is unacceptable.

-William Gallagher (@WGallagher) with contributions from Mike Wuerthele
( Last edited by NewsPoster; Nov 4, 2015 at 03:55 PM. )
     
I-ku-u
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Cambridge, MA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 4, 2015, 08:55 AM
 
The statement of "you can't do anything about it" was very troubling to me until got to the end that said you can use the terminal.

I understand that the focus on this is for the GUI tool, but it hasn't been sufficient for my needs since Mountain Lion (if not before). Yes, I'm an outlier, but the fact is that Apple is moving the bar of what that means, instead of creating it,
     
Inkling
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Seattle
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 4, 2015, 09:44 AM
 
You're right to bring up what's perhaps the #1 problem with Apple's Corporate Culture, a belief that their users are stupid. Apple looks at its support calls and assumes they fairly represent Mac users rather than Mac neophytes. It then looks for changes it could make to OS X to reduce those calls. Dumbing down OS X is the result. The Library folder gets hid. Disk Utilities features that pro users like to manually invoke become automatic but only run only gosh knows when.

Perhaps the only solution is to use Apple support to complain about those missing features. Call in large numbers wanting to know "how can I now do xxx." If Apple has to spend enough money telling users "you can't do that anymore," they may find it cheaper to add that feature back in.
Author of Untangling Tolkien and Chesterton on War and Peace
     
bigoldmacoak
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Nov 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 4, 2015, 10:20 AM
 
For Apple to make Disk Utility easier to use for MOST users is a GOOD thing.

Have you ever tried to direct someone not familiar with the old DU Over the phone? Heck, old DU didn't even indicate internal vs external disks in a meaningful way.

Anybody running RAID in a mission-critical way should be using 3rd party tools in any case. Apple's RAID efforts were never dependable.

And 'Repair Permissions' was always voodoo noise. It was the ultimate 'try this first and it might work' approach from the many pseudo-techs who spew advice onto forums.

El Capitan automatically repairs file permissions during software updates and changes. That is a Good Thing! And if you really want to for some kind of superstitious, finger-crossing, touching-wood reason you can run it form Terminal in between these times.
     
bigoldmacoak
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Nov 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 4, 2015, 10:23 AM
 
Please can someone fix this forum so paragraph breaks show correctly on MACNN homepage.
     
Mike Wuerthele
Managing Editor
Join Date: Jul 2012
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 4, 2015, 10:33 AM
 
Originally Posted by bigoldmacoak View Post
For Apple to make Disk Utility easier to use for MOST users is a GOOD thing.
Yes, for those users.

Have you ever tried to direct someone not familiar with the old DU Over the phone? Heck, old DU didn't even indicate internal vs external disks in a meaningful way.
Back in days of yore. Since then, I've used Apple Remote Desktop, or FaceTime on an iPad.

Anybody running RAID in a mission-critical way should be using 3rd party tools in any case. Apple's RAID efforts were never dependable.
Anybody using RAID in a mission-critical way should have a hardware RAID enclosure. Apple's RAID efforts are solid enough, and are needed for those multi-drive arrays sold at Staples and whatnot.

The thing is, making the tool easier is fine, and not mutually exclusive to retaining functionality in an OS-level utility. Give me a menu option to enable more advanced choices, then.
     
cranfordio
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jan 2004
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 4, 2015, 10:49 AM
 
You can burn discs by choosing Burn in the Finder, or by right-clicking and choosing burn. This has been available for a while now and will even burn the contents of a dmg or iso file.

Losing RAID is sad, but since Apple currently doesn't sell any computer that truly supports multiple hard drives (maybe the Mac Mini, I don't know for sure) and you shouldn't RAID PCIe flash then there isn't much reason for it except on older Mac Pro systems. As far as for external consumer level RAID enclosures, most of them either come with a switch to determine RAID level, or provide their own software. Though I do feel this will create a problem for some people, I don't think it is a major issue.
     
Mike Wuerthele
Managing Editor
Join Date: Jul 2012
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 4, 2015, 11:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by cranfordio View Post
You can burn discs by choosing Burn in the Finder, or by right-clicking and choosing burn. This has been available for a while now and will even burn the contents of a dmg or iso file.
Yeah, we said that in the article.

Losing RAID is sad, but since Apple currently doesn't sell any computer that truly supports multiple hard drives (maybe the Mac Mini, I don't know for sure)
The new Mac Mini has only one drive now.

...there isn't much reason for it except on older Mac Pro systems. As far as for external consumer level RAID enclosures, most of them either come with a switch to determine RAID level, or provide their own software. Though I do feel this will create a problem for some people, I don't think it is a major issue.
Most consumer-level multi-drive enclosures, especially the inexpensive ones, do NOT have any switch for RAID level beyond "chain these disks together logically into one drive for the OS" or "individual drives." Even WD's offerings for consumers use software RAID formatting.

As far as providing their own software, this is fraught with peril. You're HOPING Apple doesn't change anything, and you're HOPING that the vendor keeps updating, which isn't always the case.

I agree, it's not a major issue for everybody. It is, however, an issue that needs addressing.
     
panjandrum
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: West Michigan
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 4, 2015, 11:31 AM
 
This doesn't shock me at all. It's been quite obvious for some time now that the software engineers at Apple do indeed believe that Apple users are all idiots. It's sad, because Apple had, for many years, the reputation in the technology world of being "computers for stupid people". Except for all those years it was actually untrue. Apple computers could, and did, do everything Windows computers did and often much more. They simply did it in a way which was easier for users to understand. Because it wasn't as difficult to achieve a result with the Mac OS as it was with Windows or Linux, the users "must be stupid." (I worked in support in a major retail chain for a while, and this attitude was rampant). Apple now seems intent on making that old and completely false stereotype into a reality. By repeatedly removing features, some of them critical (and yes, RAID is absolutely critical. Period. Not only is it important to professional users of many types (creativity field, small business and education servers, etc.), it's also of great use to the so-called prosumer crowd. Already have a nightly backup but want a redundant backup and have a couple old external USB drives around that aren't big enough alone? Make a JBOD array out of them and *bam* your'e ready to go), Apple is slowly forcing people away from the platform. Apple needs to get their heads screwed back on straight and start fixing their mistakes (their entire recent attitude really) soon: If you are removing features, something is wrong. If you are making your software harder to use, something is wrong. If you are simultaneously removing features AND making your software harder to use, then something is very, very wrong. And that's exactly what Apple's been all about recently. And, in terms of the features, it's incredibly easy to solve: Give applications a Basic and Advanced mode, switchable on an Application basis or even on a system-wide basis (I would put every App in advanced mode, so having a System setting to make that universal would be nice). Basic mode is for "most users" and Advanced mode provides the Advanced features. Problem 100% solved, just like that.
     
iSkippy
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Canada
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 4, 2015, 01:24 PM
 
I find managing partitions with the new Disk Utility maddening. Absolutely hate it. Also, mine is an extreme case, but I have an external drive with fourteen (!) partitions, and the new Disk Utility widens the window to try and show a (very large) proportional representation of the drive and its partitions. (Why so many partitions, you ask? I have one partition set up with installers of each version of OS X since Snow Leopard, a corresponding triage partition with a clean install of each version to track down software or hardware issues, a Time Machine backup partition for my MacBook Air, and a backup of my iMac's iTunes Library, since it's outgrown my internal drive and has to live on a second external drive.)
     
slboett
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Pasadena, CA USA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 4, 2015, 01:33 PM
 
Try using this Utility with a device with lots of partitions - useless.
Apple really sucks for doing this. Looks great. So what - it's unusable for anyone smarter than an emoji.
Worst change IMO for 10.11. I can't even use it.
And Keychain Access is removing Keychain First Aid too. Coming soon...
     
bdmarsh
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Canada
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 4, 2015, 01:38 PM
 
Yeah, not a huge fan of the new Disk Utility, basic stuff works fine, but attempting to do several smaller partitions on a disk is fairly painful now (it wasn't great before, but it was more usable - I also have an external drive with many partitions - to allow booting and installing from 4 different OS versions, plus a last bigger partition for storage/backups)
The loss of support for software RAID affects even the ability to format a disk that was originally setup as a software raid originally, so I had to boot from a 10.10 boot drive to then do the 10.11 install as a fresh install in one recent case. I could understand not including the ability to create software raids if its something being depreciated, but to remove the ability to maintain an existing one in the GUI is surprising (maybe it'll be fixed in a future update...)
     
Think4D
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Mar 2012
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 4, 2015, 02:05 PM
 
This all lies at Ive's feet. He is way too much of a minimalist, to the point of removing vital functionality. It started with his hardware efforts, and now that he's in charge of the UI as well, we're seeing the results.
     
Charles Martin
Mac Elite
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Maitland, FL
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 4, 2015, 02:12 PM
 
Those of you who want an "advanced mode" -- use the feedback option and tell Apple exactly that. If you do that, you're likely to get it. If you just complain in Internet forums (even ones Apple employees read -- cough), you're not likely to see any improvements.
Charles Martin
MacNN Editor
     
Think4D
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Mar 2012
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 4, 2015, 02:19 PM
 
Charles, I've been supporting Macs for 25 years now, and have been an Apple vendor for part of that time. They have a fairly closed mindset, fairly arrogant, and they're not good listeners, unfortunately. I was an Apple Solutions Expert in the 90s and I laughed in their face at a meeting when they told me they wouldn't do repairs in the just-opening Apple Stores. As an alpha tester of OS X I also complained that users needed a greater degree of customizability to the interface. It has improved over the years, but not as much as it should.
     
Steve Wilkinson
Senior User
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Prince George, BC, Canada
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 4, 2015, 02:22 PM
 
Bottom line... this is unacceptable for a serious OS. It's more proof that Apple simply isn't serious about OS X anymore, or disorganized and incapable... take your pick. Either way, it's not good.

@ Inkling - I actually wonder if it's even that calculated (ie: targeted at solving support call volume) or if it's simply ineptitude of quick growth, multiple divisions, and focus on the wrong stuff.

@ Mike - disagree on hardware RAID for all but the highest end equipment. I used to love hardware RAID, but if you go there, you need swap-able parts or duplicate hardware. If something goes wrong with the hardware-RAID hardware, you're up the creek. Unless software RAID is buggy, it's much more flexible for the average user.

And, what about for those of us who setup an external RAID via a previous incarnation of Disk Utility? I guess we just hope everything goes well until Apple gets around to fixing this... 1 year, maybe 2?

@ panjandrum - I'm not sure they actually have the people anymore, or really care. They lost most of the core Unix folks who made OS X what it is, and seem mostly concerned (if at all) on recreating the UIs of everything for some crazy reason (and dumping all the UI/UX know-how in the process).

re: "Apple is slowly forcing people away from the platform." Yep... but who cares? iPhone, right? I'm pretty sure that's how the conversation goes inside Apple these days. OS X is a has-been that gets a bit of lip=service now and then to slow the revolt of the old-timers. That's sure how it seems anyway.
------
Steve Wilkinson
Web designer | Christian apologist
cgWerks | TilledSoil.org
     
Mike Wuerthele
Managing Editor
Join Date: Jul 2012
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 4, 2015, 03:16 PM
 
Steve, I didn't say that there wasn't a place for Apple's software RAID. For many years, its all I ever used. I didn't write the article, but I did tell William to, and I think that the omission is a major problem.

Yeah, I do equate "mission-critical" to "having the wherewithal to having multiple bits around in case something goes pear-shaped" -- more on that on my personal situation with hardware later in the week.
     
MitchIves
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2014
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 4, 2015, 03:31 PM
 
Thanks you for this. It won't change things, but it does provide some solace. I agree with the sentiments expressed here. Apple used to be the choice for enlightened people. Those of us that truly define the term "power user" came to Mac. Actually, I came to Lisa first. Yes, Apple has decided that were all stupid these days. Message to Apple: "stupid people don't buy $8K Mac Pros. Stupid people don't buy $1K monitors. Stupid people buy cheap stuff instead". This may be Ive, but I suspect it's Tim Cook. He has a pollyanna view of the world... but then he was a logistics nerd... we can't expect him to grasp sophisticated concepts. At this rate, I've stopped recommending Macs. If we're going to be treated like children, we might as well use Windows 10... which looks a lot like a Mac BTW...
     
Jerry Fritschle
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Mar 2015
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 4, 2015, 04:24 PM
 
I actually have joked for some time that "repair permissions" was becoming the new "rebuild the desktop." Back in the old MacOS days, you could post that smoke was coming out of your machine, and somebody somewhere would ask if you had tried rebuilding the desktop :-)
     
BradMacPro
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Islandia, NY
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 4, 2015, 05:06 PM
 
I have found a modified version of Yosemite's Disk Utility that works under El Capitan. That helps, but It's in software RAID users best interest to use SoftRAID 5.1 for El Capitan, It was better than Apple's solution anyway before. They have released SoftRAID Lite, a $49 alternative to the full $179 program. http://www.softraid.com/index.html
     
Charles Martin
Mac Elite
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Maitland, FL
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 4, 2015, 05:23 PM
 
My opinion: the only thing ACTUALLY wrong with DU in El Cap is the RAID stuff. Disk burning, as the article points out, is simply moved. Repair permissions is automatic, and did very, very little in the first place. Users (not powernerds, typical users) did not use or understand it anyway. So, there's ONE thing wrong with DU. It's not a mess at all: it needs ONE fix. Hardly a reason to run around with one's hair on fire, particularly given the plethora of stopgaps and alternatives.
Charles Martin
MacNN Editor
     
gr8tfly
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Central CA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 4, 2015, 05:29 PM
 
I what engineering world would someone decide that they needed an "Are You Sure..." dialog for First Aid, but DID NOT for PARTITIONING a disk? Do or do not – there is no try.

Even going to the pie chart partitioning is painful. With the linear graph, it was obvious which partition was first (which means something important at times). Not so much with a circle.

I can go to the terminal, if necessary, but most users that fall in the middle of the experience curve (between those who have never heard of Disk Utility and those who's experience is only in utility) can find even the simplest of commands puzzling ("yes, hit the return" "put a space after...", etc.).

When I first experienced what they had done way back in the beta days I was completely taken aback. Good to see a detailed article addressing some of this mess.
     
Charles Martin
Mac Elite
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Maitland, FL
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 4, 2015, 05:32 PM
 
Okay, maybe more than one fix ...

But still, I suspect some of this will be addressed in a future update. Send feedback.
Charles Martin
MacNN Editor
     
Mike Wuerthele
Managing Editor
Join Date: Jul 2012
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 4, 2015, 07:10 PM
 
particularly given the plethora of stopgaps and alternatives.
This is fine for iWeb. Even iTunes. You and William wrote several kilowords about it, IIRC

However, not for something fundamental as disk management. Not ever.
     
BradMacPro
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Islandia, NY
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 4, 2015, 08:43 PM
 
With a fresh, unformatted hard drive, you can't set up partitions. First you have to erase the whole drive, then the Partition tab becomes selectable. And I hate the Pie-chart type of selection for setting partitions. It is less exact and harder to control. I also had a drive where I set up one partition and left the rest unallocated. In the new Disk Utility, the unallocated space does not show up under Partition, so there is no way to add more partitions and use the rest of the drive.
     
bobolicious
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Aug 2002
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 4, 2015, 09:14 PM
 
It appears we may finally concur... ...and I've been sayin' so since snow...
Is the development treadmill running way too fast to stay on the belt...?
     
prl99
Senior User
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: pacific northwest
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 5, 2015, 12:24 PM
 
For all of you who maintain an Apple GUI is required to do your advanced work, most linux sys admins use the Terminal. AppleRAID is still available under diskutil. CD/DVD burning is still there. If you want to manage a ridiculous number of partitions, use diskutil. This is also the best way to deal with encrypted volumes. As I've read in other articles, Apple no longer supplies any computer with two or more identical drives so there's no reason to supply a GUI version of RAID. For everyone using external drives, use diskutil, hardware RAID or SoftRAID. For the 99% of Mac users who aren't using multi-disk external drives, having RAID capability in Disk Utility is only confusing. With more people buying Macs, all of us supporting these people welcome the reduced number of distractions we need to explain that they'll never use. For those of use who need to do wild and crazy things, learn the command line.
     
Mike Wuerthele
Managing Editor
Join Date: Jul 2012
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 5, 2015, 12:44 PM
 
Yeah? I should tell people to get good with Terminal when they get a two-disk array from WD at Staples? Or buy a $50 application?

Give me a break. Command line or GTFO is a ridiculous attitude to have.
     
MitchIves
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2014
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 5, 2015, 01:17 PM
 
Mike: "Give me a break. Command line or GTFO is a ridiculous attitude to have." Yep, directing a lot of people to Terminal would be like giving a chain saw to a child...
     
Steve Wilkinson
Senior User
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Prince George, BC, Canada
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 5, 2015, 06:08 PM
 
I haven't tried too hard yet, but I think creating disc images or putting a disc image on a thumb drive has gone away too, correct?

Anyway, good article and I mostly agree, Mike. Yea, if stuff is mission critical, then a bit more robust-ness is a good thing. But, for a lot of us, we make it as robust as the budget allows... even if that isn't as robust as we might like. (I used to work in Fortune 100 IT in data operations... but my home environment is a bit different.)
------
Steve Wilkinson
Web designer | Christian apologist
cgWerks | TilledSoil.org
     
panjandrum
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: West Michigan
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 6, 2015, 12:28 AM
 
@prl99. It's easy to say "because most people don't do that it isn't necessary to keep supporting it", but you need to really think about what that says. Look at some logical extensions to that argument: "Most People" don't *need* to do wild and crazy special effects in movies, so let's take that out of iMovie. Most people need any photo editing except for maybe basic cropping an a magic-wand-auto-fixer, so let's get rid of everything more advanced. Most people don't do wild and crazy things with huge amounts of data so why bother supporting more than 1tb of total storage? Most people don't need to see two-page-up in their word processor, so let's remove that feature too (oops, Apple already did that). Take your stance towards "moronification" of Apple's Disk utility and apply it to other things and suddenly it doesn't really make a lot of sense, does it? (I certainly hope not, or pretty soon we will have Apple products that can't actually do *anything*, they just sit there looking "minimal" for all us Apple dummies... Hey, maybe as a counterpoint to that awful "PC Does What?" Apple could launch a "minimalist" advertising campaign: "Apple Doesn't do What?") And MacNN, thanks for this excellent article. It's good to see mainstream press writing honestly and objectively about Apple's products.
     
bear_in_mind
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Nov 2015
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 7, 2015, 08:22 PM
 
I totally agree with the author and the majority of commentators taking Apple to task for this idiotic stripping of useful features. It. Makes. No. Sense. None. Zip. Nada.

It reminds me of the bad old days of John Sculley, Michael Spindler and Gil Amelio when they set about idiot-proofing the Mac OS on the Performa line of Macs aimed at consumers. They installed a "launcher" overlay for the Finder and file directories, making the system nearly impossible for new users to grasp.

While I agreed with Jobs refusing to rely upon marketing focus-groups, informed feedback is priceless and Apple can ill-afford to return to being tone-deaf to the needs of their premium-paying installed base of professional users.

I think everyone who agrees with this perspective should check their cynicism at the door, get off their arse and WRITE, CALL, PETITION and send carrier pigeons to Cupertino to let them know this is NOT okay. This feature and functionality was part of what each of us purchased as a product / service from Apple. They do not have a right to unilaterally steal that product / service back from their users.
     
panjandrum
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: West Michigan
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 9, 2015, 01:00 PM
 
I routinely send Apple feedback, but unfortunately they are making money hand-over fist, which screams to pretty much any company that "all is well") It's likely that Apple won't take note of anything unless they start to see a financial impact. I usually try to include language that demonstrates how their decisions might impact their future sales. But realistically Apple won't give two flying squirrels about a small business or school being forced away from Apple hardware and software. (Would *any* large company care? It's unlikely...) But still, I think including something about how Apple's decisions might impact future Apple sales, even on a small-scale, is a good idea.

Here is what I sent Apple:

I was looking into migrating a school's Mac Pro to EC (and Server) this upcoming summer, when I discovered that EC's disk utility is completely broken. The RAID support that's been part of the Mac OS just about forever is gone. That's a colossal oversight. The DU window won't expand properly, making it difficult working with multiple drives and partitions. The GUI has been completely redesigned in other ways making it extremely difficult to manage partition resizing. These oversights on the part of Apple's software engineers will not only prevent that school from upgrading to EC / Server, but may also eliminate Apple as the hardware and software platform for any future server the school requires, as they currently run a total of 3 servers of varying ages with no fewer than 4 RAID arrays.
     
countach
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Apr 2008
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 9, 2015, 07:45 PM
 
My iMac fusion drive (standard apple hardware) got corrupted last week and disk utility couldn't fix it. A lot of googling and trying things later I figured out the correct command line incantation to drop and rejoin the fusion of the 2 disks like it came from the factory, and wipe it ready for re-installation of OSX.

Not good Apple, not good.
     
hayesk
Guest
Status:
Reply With Quote
Nov 10, 2015, 01:48 PM
 
This is a third party development opportunity. People complain that Apple "sherlocks" other devs, well now they're doing the opposite. An enterprising developer can fix this issue easily.
     
Mike Wuerthele
Managing Editor
Join Date: Jul 2012
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 10, 2015, 02:22 PM
 
     
sunman42
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2011
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 10, 2015, 06:20 PM
 
"The new Disk Utility is unusable with RAID drives." I believe you meant, "unusable with individual drives in a RAID," and as one previous commenter pointed out, we by and large have third-party applications for that; they come with the RAID. As a file _system_, two Promise Pegasus 2 Thunderbolt 2 RAIDs on the the system on which I'm writing this are handled just fine by Disk Utility 15.0. That is, Disk First AID was able to complete successfully. I haven't tried to use Disk Utility to repartition the RAIDs, but I'd never do that (nor have I done that) with earlier versions of the Utility – once again, there are third party solutions for that.

If Apple sold a hardware RAID product, I'd expect such low-level utilities from them. As it is, I don't expect them to be able to provide the same level of integration for every third-party solution as the vendors of those solutions. Now, if I could only get the author(s) of the Pegasus manual to use the same nouns to describe the same thing as everyone else in the RAID world, everything would be fine.
     
TigerN28763
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: PA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Nov 21, 2015, 03:33 PM
 
I've been using Macs since 1988. In 1992 I started the first digital imaging company in Central PA that had output to a Canon CLC 500. Since then I've used RAID arrays on many Macs. When OS X came out with built in RAID, I started using it. I have ever since. I have 3 soft raid and 1 hardware raid on my Mac mini server. I use 6 external single drives in 3 raid sets. This allows me to simply and quickly replace a single drive while not disturbing the rest and get it back on line...at least till now.

I use RAID 0 for imaging work stations for scratch disk speed inexpensively. I suppose I have to now buy SSDs....sigh.

I still feel this is a bad move by Apple. All 3rd party software I've ever used has only added layers of trouble. Using apple's relatively slow solution has always "just worked" even partitioning.
     
timmerk
Mac Elite
Join Date: Jan 2001
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 22, 2016, 12:24 AM
 
It's not just a couple of features are moved - the app is buggy as hell and unusable for all but the most basic tasks. Try restoring images to disks, converting images, etc. Errors out with generic error code on all images I throw at it. And don't even try to do anything with old OS 9 .img files! Damnit, Apple!
     
Steve Wilkinson
Senior User
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Prince George, BC, Canada
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jan 22, 2016, 01:49 PM
 
@ timmerk -

Exactly! It's about far more than missing features (that hopefully come back years later) - as bad as that is!. It's about important software that used to be pretty good, which is being constantly destroyed by some new crew of hacks who are clueless about UI & UX, and who apparently don't even seem to test their apps or work with other teams at Apple. And, that includes the core OS!
------
Steve Wilkinson
Web designer | Christian apologist
cgWerks | TilledSoil.org
     
jacbec
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Oct 2013
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 27, 2016, 01:25 PM
 
Disk Utility Sucks, almost totally useless!
     
   
Thread Tools
 
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:00 AM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,