Reason #427 why I hate proprietary operating systems

At home, I run Linux machines, my wife is on a Mac, and my kids and in-laws are on Windows laptops. (I’ll transition my kids to Linux as they move into programming.)

Because of this heterogeneity, I like to format my external hard drives with multiple partitions, each for a different OS.

But this can be a huge pain. I formatted a 3 TB hard drive with a Windows partition, a Linux partition, and space for a Mac (HFS+) partition. But my wife’s MacBook Pro’s Disk Utility refused to create an HFS+ partition on the third physical partition, complaining that the hard drive has a Master Boot Record. I wasn’t trying to create a bootable partition, but Mac OS didn’t care. Using my Linux machine (and the “hfsprogs” package), I managed to format the partition as HFS+. It shocked me that Linux could create a Mac-formatted partition where a Mac couldn’t.

My wife’s MacBook agreed it was an HFS+ partition in good state, but it still refused to let TimeMachine back up to it because it was a non-journaled HFS+ partition. GParted can’t create a journaled HFS+ partition.

I finally surrendered and threw away all my partitions and let the MacBook Pro take the first physical spot on the hard drive. TimeMachine is finally running. I won’t know whether I can use the unformatted 2TB of space for Windows or Linux till it finishes. Proprietary OSes are so annoying!

Posted by James on Friday, March 21, 2014