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How do I change my disk from/to case-sensitive?

First, if you have a Fusion Drive in your machine, and it’s that disk that we’re talking about, all bets are off — you will need to back up your files and reinstall. (Note also that restoring from a Time Machine backup of a case-sensitive filesystem to a case-insensitive filesystem can be a pain.)

That out of the way, you need to:

  1. Check if you are using Core Storage. You can see this in iPartition if you look at the type of the partitions on your disk — if it says Apple_CoreStorage, then your disk is using Core Storage. If you find that you are in this situation, please follow the instructions in this support article and then come back to step 2.

  2. Make sure you have an alternative disk to boot from.

  3. Boot from your alternate boot disk.

  4. Check the partition you wish to change for errors, and repair any that are found (you can use Disk Utility for this, or if you have it, Alsoft DiskWarrior is a good choice).

  5. Run iPartition.

  6. Pick the disk you wish to change (if not already selected).

  7. Click on the partition you wish to change.

  8. Under the “Partition” menu, choose “Make Case Sensitive” or “Make Case Insensitive” (the option changes to reflect the current state).

  9. Press “Go”.

  10. Wait for iPartition to finish, then restart the machine.

If you see an error during this process, please copy it down exactly before contacting us. You’re unlikely to lose any data because of the way this feature works, and error messages generally indicate that there’s something wrong with the filesystem, but they are quite specific and should let us explain what exactly you need to do to resolve the problem.


Posted by alastair at 2016-Dec-28 11:12:12 UTC.