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I have a MacBook Pro running High Sierra with an internal disk made of 2 volumes HFS+, case sensitive and encrypted: internal disk with 2 volumes partition of internal disk

I would like to switch to 2 APFS containers, case sensitive and encrypted. I am able to erase the internal disk and create the 1st APFS container + volume with no problem. Next with the Partition button I am able to add a second APFS container + volume, but the creation process is never terminating. And Disk Utility blocks here. I had to exit Disk Utility with ++esc and killing it. There isn't the smallest message about any kind of error within /var/log/system.log.

Then nothing works within Disk Utiity even with an untouched external disk.

Is this a known problem with the APFS file system or with Disk Utility?

What is the correct way to create a partition made of 2 APFS containers (with of course each one one volume )?

[ The case sensitivity and encryption of FS are out of the subject here. I just specified it to give an accurate description of an actual problem to fix. Moreover, the use of these 2 functions is useful and mandatory for my work. ]

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tbh, I'd avoid APFS on High Sierra. It wasn't yet mature.
It forces the boot drive into APFS from HFS+ at initial install [though you are often better formatting it back again afterwards.] Mojave is the oldest OS I'd use APFS for.

I also would completely avoid case-sensitive drives on Mac. It can in theory handle them, but it doesn't like them; they can cause issues.

If you do want to add a second APFS volume, you just add it as a volume to the existing Container, not as a new partition. That way the volume 'borders' are soft. If you insist on a partition you will generate a new Container, and the sizes will remain fixed - the same as HFS [or any other older format, FAT, NTFS etc.] thus losing part of the advantage of APFS.

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    You need to be more strict in your terminology or this gets tough to understand. How can a 2nd volume 'block' the first? I don't know what you mean by that. APFS Volumes reside in Containers, which are inside Partitions.
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 25 at 15:37
  • My OQ stands: "What is the correct way to create a partition made of 2 APFS containers?"
    – dan
    Sep 25 at 17:26
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    tbh, the method I mention seems to be the same as you already tried in your OP. If it falls over, the issue is likely that you're trying to do it on High Sierra. It's just not ready for mainstream & was one of the worst transition OSes Apple ever produced.
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 25 at 17:41
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    If I was forced to grade them, El Cap would be the last OS that got an A. The Sierras both would get a D [or less]. Mojave is a solid B+. Newer OSes are far too 'shiny' for me, adding features I simply don't care about, with the nannying driving them down to a C. [They're stable, but too much frippery for me.] btw, I'm a confirmed luddite when it comes to shiny vs solidity. My main Mac is on Mojave.
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 25 at 17:58
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    I highly share your analysis: "Newer OSes are far too 'shiny' for me". Highly appreciate your return of experience.
    – dan
    Sep 26 at 12:56

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