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Panther's Disk Utility and creating Mac OS 9 booting volumes

Panther's Disk Utility and creating Mac OS 9 booting volumes

We previously noted several limitations of Mac OS X 10.3's Disk Utility, which is supposed to replicate much of the functionality present in Mac OS X 10.2's Disk Copy.

Among the noted limitations are that Disk Utility sports no preferences and therefore, no settings for imaging options such as default segment size, maximum segment size, burning defaults, etc.

Now Mark Bolzan reports several other limitations/changes that make it difficult to create an external FireWire drive with multiple partitions to boot machines into either Mac OS 9 or Mac OS X.

  • Disk utility in Panther does not have the checkbox to load OS 9 drivers. A volume partitioned in Panther can not be used to boot OS 9. In fact, if the volume is selected for boot while in OS 9 and the Mac restarted, none of the FireWire volumes mount.
  • If you use Panther disk utility to erase any partition in the volume, all volumes are marked "ignore permissions on this volume".
  • If you partition the disk in Jaguar (Mac OS X 10.2.x), with Mac OS 9 drivers, but erase a partition in Panther before copying an OS 9 system to it, a Mac booting from the OS 9 system will hang. The blinking floppy appears for awhile, then finally the smiling Mac, but nothing further. I believe this is because the erase added the free space partition.

Bolzan "Bottom line, at least as far as Mac OS 9 compatibility is concerned--to prepare a FireWire drive with a good OS 9 boot partition, I need to partition it in Jaguar. I also have to be sure I don't erase the OS 9 partition in Panther. Unless this is fixed, I need to keep Jaguar, and a Jaguar-compatible Mac, around to do this."

Fortunately, several readers have reported that Mac OS X 10.2's Disk Copy can be successfully used under Mac OS X 10.3, eliminating the need to keep a Mac OS X 10.2 partition handy for some of the above problems.

Feedback? Late-breakers@macfixit.com.

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