MacImage in Partition Mode

Summary: MacImage in Partition Mode. Description of this working mode.


In Partition Mode, Macimage manages a logical Macintosh volume (a so-called virtual Macintosh partition) in a PC file (a file stored on the PC hard disk). It allows the user to make all classical file operations (copy, delete, rename) on Macintosh files stored in a virtual disk which exists as a PC file on your hard disk. This image file can be used to produce a Macintosh (HFS) only CD-ROM.
Since MacImage knows the internal structure of Macintosh (HFS) CD-ROMs, it can also open Toast image files (*.timg files), to extract files, or to make other last-minute changes.

MacImage and Virtual Disks - Partition Mode

In Partition Mode, MacImage answers the needs of users who want to build Macintosh HFS CD-ROMs (CD-ROM HFS) on their PC. Till now, you had to do it on the Macintosh with software like Toast, or on the PC with our own tools MacDisk and Hybridator, but you had in this later case to use a real (hardware) Macintosh disk to do that.
A Macintosh CD-ROM is an image (a plain copy) of a HFS disk copied to a HFS file (to produce a HFS only CD-ROM). Since it is not possible to put a Macintosh (HFS) partition and a MS-DOS (or NTFS) partition table on the same hardware disks, this means practically that the PC should have a SCSI adapter to connect a suitable disk (generally a drive with removable cartridges). If the SCSI bus is not any more a high-end solution, not all PC have a SCSI adapter.
MacImage allows the PC user to build a virtual partition (instead of using a hardware disk).
On the other hand, its Project Mode still goes further, since the HFS volume is built on the fly (where shared data files are only copied once). See also the ISO + Apple Extensions mode.

Advantages of the Partition Mode

MacImage allows the user to build a virtual Macintosh volume on any PC disk. You just select the size of the file to hold the Macintosh partition and ask MacImage to build it. Afterwards, you copy the files you want to this virtual disk. Those files behaves in this partition like normal Macintosh files (length of the filename, legal character set, etc.). You can even copy programs on it. For more information, please visit our page on Installing Macintosh Applications using MacBinary or Binhex files.
If you just want to make a pure HFS CD-ROM on your PC, ask your CD premastering software to burn this image. If you want to make a hybrid CD-ROM, copy the file onto the ISO image file (file holding the ISO partition). Please note that MacImage can still open the hybrid image (that means that you can make changes up to the last minute before burning).

Resizing Feature

In Partition Mode, MacImage supports a resizing function (shrinking/expanding the Macintosh virtual partition). Depending on the settings selected when creating the new partition (economical storage or expansible storage, see the on-line help), we can shrink the partition (delete the unused space after the last file) or expand it to store more datafiles (add some free space at the end).
A 10-MB partition created with big allocation blocks can be resized from 1 to 127 MB. A 10-MB partition created with 512-bytes allocation blocks can only be resized between 1 and 12 MB.

Virtual Disks vs. Disk Images

There is no difference between the concept of virtual disk and the concept of disk image. Disk images are frequently used in the Macintosh world for the distribution of software packages.
MacImage manages all kinds of Macintosh disk images. It can open those images, decompressing them if needed. The only unsupported image is the so-called sparse image, where the disk space is not allocated before it is really needed to store data.
See also a more technical page on those Macintosh Disk Images.

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