Alright, so it seems my initial excitement with El Capitan has waned a little bit, after hitting a few bumps. Nothing major, just some glitches that you’d expect with an early beta. I had hoped Apple had put out a public beta that was pretty much at RC (i.e. release candidate) quality, but I suppose if they are at RC quality now, then the final OS X 10.11 should be expected to arrive much sooner than fall.
The first glitch I encountered was with how El Capitan failed to recognise my external USB portable drive as a removable media. I had plugged in a standard, perhaps two year old, USB portable drive to my notebook, and I could use it as per normal.
Then I noticed something was amiss when I wanted to disconnect the USB portable drive. I use this application called CleanMyDrive, which installs itself and is accessed from the Mac’s menu bar. It’s a convenient step for me to clean up and eject any and all removable drives. The problem is, this USB portable drive was shown with an internal hard disk icon, exactly like the default “Machintosh HD” drive. I could not eject it.
Looking at the sidebar in a Finder window, you’d normally find an eject icon next to any removable drive. There was none next to this USB portable drive. Uh huh. El Capitan somehow thought this is an internal hard disk. Fortunately, right-click on the device in Finder revealed an Eject action, and I could safely eject the USB portable drive after all.
Thinking that this might be a transient glitch, I rebooted my Mac, and could repeat the same anomaly again. So it isn’t a temporary problem.
Oddly enough, when I used another USB portable drive at home, there was no problem. The USB portable drive was properly treated as a removable storage. CleanMyDrive and Finder behaved as I expected. That previous USB portable drive is in office, so I’ve not had a chance to try that again, but I’ll do that next week.
Now, while at home, I tried another USB portable drive. It’s a WD My Passport Ultra with encryption turned on. Sadly El Capitan wouldn’t work with it. The WD Unlocker program that normally launches automatically did not launch. I can find the program, which resides on an unencrypted virtual partition of the My Passport Ultra, and launch it. However, it pops up a window saying I have to run it from the drive to be unlocked. I already am. So it must be confused.
I also noticed WD Drive Utilities doesn’t work. It hangs when I try to run it. It seems to me that Western Digital may have some work cut out for them updating their software to work in El Capitan.
Apple has already released a quick update, to fix crashing 32-bit applications, but this update didn’t make a difference with these problems I’m experiencing.
Despite these hiccups, El Capitan is on the whole working well enough to be a daily driver for your Mac. The problems I’ve mentioned above, well, it’s not too difficult to workaround them for now, so they pretty much aren’t a serious issue either. Of course I’d expect that they must be fixed in the final release. Are you using the El Capitan public beta, and have you discovered any hiccups?
Update (2015-07-13): The USB portable disk at work is still being detected as a non-removable hard disk. Some how this disk, a Hitachi Touro USB 3.0 portable hard disk drive is treated differently by El Capitan, compared with several other Western Digital USB portable drives I have.