Here are a few things I learned in a recent experiment in backing up, erasing, and restoring a Mac.
- Use HFS to back up from Mac to Mac (to preserve idiosyncratic Mac structures like the ResourceFork)
- If you want to allow access to the backup in other operating systems use FAT32 (the only file system which Mac/Win/Linux can all read AND write to)
- But you will lose the following:
- any file larger than 4 GB (hard limit on FAT32 filesystem)
- you will lose anything that relied on the presence of a ResourceFork in the file.
How I learned:
- I found that I hosed my VMs. Whilst some had virtual drives that were under 4GB, others were significantly large — of which my Sheepshaver virtual drive. I knew this would happen, but I had forgoten about some esoteric features of Mac that I hadn’t given thought to since 2004…
- I also hosed my textClipping documents – which store their data in a resource fork. I would have thought that by now Apple would have stopped using the resource fork.
- It also means that with the disappearance of the Sheepshaver disk, my other store of Classic Mac applications has been hosed.
You’d think that by now, there would be a file system supported by all major operating systems (can we aim for this for BTRFS please?)
Also I need to find a way to determine whether a file has a resource fork, so as to HQX it first — or whatever is the norm these days. I thought Resource Forks were a thing of the past in Mac universe, but alas.
So…. we’re still looking for an ideal multi-platform data share solution. Files greater than 4GB and files with ResourceForks are lost currently. What else I wonder?