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macOS 10.15 Catalina

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Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I'm running Catalina in VMware. I used the default disk size of 40 GB, assuming that would be enough for a system with no App Store or 3rd-party software installed. Wrong. The 10.15.1 update said it needed 18 GB.
This gigantic update space demand is absolutely bizarre. I can't imagine what's going on there. Here's more confirmation of the issue:
Mr. Macintosh said:
What’s New in the macOS Catalina 10.15.1 Update (19B88)?
... First thing to note is the SIZE of the update! The Point Update clocks in at 4.49gb!!! That’s over 50% the size of the main installer app! (The full installer is 8.63gb).

... When you have an update that is almost 5gb in size, you also have to take in to account how much extra free space you will need. For this update you may need up to 20gb of free space to even install the update.
 


Worth a try. Epson's product page for the V500 and maxOS 10.15 links to ICA driver v5.8.7 (released a few weeks ago on October 7th), which says it supports macOS 10.5 through 10.15. But the driver description also has this cryptic footnote...
... So, to anyone with a V500 that has already upgraded to Catalina, go download and install (if necessary) the Epson ICA driver and see if you can scan via ImageCapture. If you can, then download and try VueScan. And please let us know the results of your tests.
Much to my surprise, and delight, when I just checked Epson's product page for my aging V330 and pretended to have macOS 10.15, I found that Epson has uploaded a new version of the scanner software, Epson Scan 2, which is 64-bit and can run on Mojave, as well as on Catalina.

So, Epson is upgrading its scan software for older models as well as recent ones. Note that you won't find the new version unless you look for software for macOS 10.15.
 


Apple has been deprecating the Internet Radio section of iTunes Music for a while. Sometime ago, it stopped updating the directory. Nevertheless, you can still play URL streams in iTunes and even create playlists (although they will not be synced through iCloud nor play on mobile devices).

Catalina Music apparently drops the Internet Radio section, but streams will still play (at least that is what I have heard, as I have not upgraded yet). Glenn Fleishman has provided a guide to preserving access to your streams here. Note that it involves exporting playlists from Mojave iTunes and then importing them to Catalina Music.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
A couple of cautionary tales from Reddit for what they're worth:
Reddit /r/mac said:
PSA: Don’t upgrade to Catalina 10.15.1 if you have a mac Mini
My Mac mini 2018 version bricked when I tried upgrading from Mojave to Catalina this morning. Genius Bar guy says they received a number of such cases. Have to replace the whole motherboard.
Reddit /r/mac said:
A bit of frustration...
I just downgraded back to Mojave from Catalina after a few weeks. My Mid-2015 MacBook Pro had 600+ console entries relating to intel graphics and GPURestart tailspin’s. Had a few kernel panics as well whenever using MS word or Logic Pro X, There were so many system hangs in logic that my workflow was toast.
When I spoke with Apple support after signing in and picking my MacBook Pro/serial number from the list, I ran through the hardware diagnostics and several other information gathering steps with nothing out of the ordinary discovered. I was told the error messages were “beyond the scope of what Apple can support”. I asked for clarification as to why the components soldered on to the logic board and interacting with their software ( I asked to focus on the messages being generated by logic) was beyond the scope of troubleshooting and support and it was just repeated back to me. No offer of a genius bar visit or other potential next steps (I told them the money was not important if there would be a cost associated, I just need to get my computer working again)
After saying I was tapping out and wanted to go back to Mojave, Apple support was unable to send me a link to download the installer as it was no longer accessible on the App Store and kept sending me different links to various patches and updates but never the actual installer. I eventually closed the chat and had to use DosDudes patching tool to get the installer from their servers in order to make a bootable drive.
After getting Mojave installed the console entries are no longer appearing and everything is working as expected.
I’ll keep my eye out for any updates versions and GPU fixes but this launch has been disastrous for many. I was super disappointed in my experience with Apple support this time, I usually have been accommodated and experience great customer care.
 


But it seems a little disingenuous to imply, as the developer did, that just out of the blue Apple shipped an OS that doesn't support Carbon or 64-bit apps. If they couldn't figure out which way the wind was blowing after more than ten years, it makes me wonder how on-the-ball they really are.
For context, this particular developer has a very large number of relatively low-cost plug-ins. I own a couple of them. They tend to be very flexible, at the expense of usability and elegance. These issues extend to the plain-but-configurable user interface shared by all of their plug-ins, which they advertise as "the most advanced GUI engine on the market." I corresponded with their developer about a serious usability issue related to nonstandard rhythmic nomenclature (what the rest of the world recognizes as a dotted eighth note, they call a dotted quarter note instead, reflecting internal values rather than user norms); they were friendly, but not interested in fixing the problem. In sum, they are somewhat idiosyncratic.

That said, other plug-in developer friends have long expressed frustration with Apple's constantly-changing audio standards, which have indeed required a lot of reworking of previously functional code - in contrast to Windows' focus on backwards compatibility. That particular issue seems to be a bit calmer recently, but reworking to satisfy security requirements is taking its place. (The elimination of 32-bit support is less of an issue for audio plug-ins, since most audio host applications forced plug-ins to move to 64-bit some time ago.)
 


Have been dealing with family matters and other business recently but now am back on track with testing Apple's latest shenanigans (Catalina, installers, etc) and updating MacStrategy. First up: Catalina and FireWire booting…
... I can therefore confirm, with my limited/basic testing, FireWire is not supported for booting macOS 10.15 Catalina!
I did this testing weeks ago and reported it to MacInTouch. My findings were confirmed by Bombich Software, makers of Carbon Copy Cloner....
 


Apple has been deprecating the Internet Radio section of iTunes Music for a while. {snip} ...Glenn Fleishman has provided a guide to preserving access to your streams here. Note that it involves exporting playlists from Mojave iTunes and then importing them to Catalina Music.
Thanks for sharing that important tip, as it is far superior to trying to add favorite Internet Radio feeds to Catalina's Music.app manually, especially since the default name of a manually added Internet Radio feed in Catalina is the feed's URL!
 


Waited until yesterday to install Catalina. Many restarts, bluetooth failing (luckily, I have an old USB mouse and keyboard), Spotlight going mad, as usual, until I essentially emasculated it and used EasyFind, which still works, Safari mistakes, opening many apps causes them to open last window instead of blank input screen.

Poor QA and obvious poor management of QA function. One would expect several heads should roll because of this mess. An announcement of regret from Apple and answer as to what they are going to do about it and the tremendous waste of time its customers have had to endure.
 


I did this testing weeks ago and reported it to MacInTouch. My findings were confirmed by Bombich Software, makers of Carbon Copy Cloner....
I wonder if a FireWire disk could be used for startup if connected via a FireWire-Thunderbolt adapter? Or even via a FireWire-Thunderbolt adapter connected to a Thunderbolt-Thunderbolt 3 adapter?
 




I wonder if a FireWire disk could be used for startup if connected via a FireWire-Thunderbolt adapter? Or even via a FireWire-Thunderbolt adapter connected to a Thunderbolt-Thunderbolt 3 adapter?
My testing was conducted with a Mac Mini 2014 Thunderbolt 2 port <-> Thunderbolt 2-FireWire 800 adaptor <-> FireWire 800 cable <-> 2.5" hard disk in a FireWire 800/USB2 enclosure. Catalina can't be installed on it and can't boot from it (when cloned).

However, the same drive shows up fine over USB2 and can be seen by the Catalina installer as an "allowable" installation location.
 


Your comment about the 2012 Mac Pro quad-core no longer booting after an update is why I have held off on updating my 2010 Mac Pro quad-core, with a Metal-capable GPU, to Mojave. Having a bricked machine scares me. I'm curious about what you might have been able to do to fix it.
Oh, [the Mac Pro] wasn't bricked, just something wrong with that particular OS install. Another drive in the computer still booted fine, and I could have likely fixed it, but it wasn't worth the time for me vs. getting the newer Mac Mini setup (and I'll likely use it for 6 years or so, may add an eGPU at some point).
 


My testing was conducted with a Mac Mini 2014 Thunderbolt 2 port <-> Thunderbolt 2-FireWire 800 adaptor <-> FireWire 800 cable <-> 2.5" hard disk in a FireWire 800/USB2 enclosure. Catalina can't be installed on it and can't boot from it (when cloned). However, the same drive shows up fine over USB2 and can be seen by the Catalina installer as an "allowable" installation location.
Thank you to all who've turned a digital wrench to answer the whether question about Catalina FireWire booting.

Can any of us speculate and/or venture an educated guess as to why Apple has shut down FireWire startup? I didn't renew my Apple Developer account this year ($$ and TFA), so I can't search whatever documentation there might be. Security? APFS? Both? Neither?

I'm going try booting from the Catalina installer block-copied to a partition on a FireWire-attached storage device in the hope that, because it'll be an HFS+ volume, it'll boot. I certainly hope it does, if for no other reason than to feel justified in shaking my fist toward Cupertino, but...
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Can any of us speculate and/or venture an educated guess as to why Apple has shut down FireWire startup?
Since FireWire does still work, just not at startup, there's presumably a problem with the FireWire boot driver, but I'm not sure what it is, exactly. What has changed in Catalina's version of boot code (which is, of course, a radically different and special environment)?

This must be a change in firmware and part of Catalina's prerequisite firmware update(s). Hmmm, does FireWire Target Disk Mode work or not after a Catalina firmware update? And can you still boot macOS Mojave from FireWire after a Catalina firmware update?
 



... This must be a change in firmware and part of Catalina's prerequisite firmware update(s). Hmmm, does FireWire Target Disk Mode work or not after a Catalina firmware update? And can you still boot macOS Mojave from FireWire after a Catalina firmware update?
Ohhhh, I sure hope so... (I'll find out, and get back to y'all.)
 


This must be a change in firmware and part of Catalina's prerequisite firmware update(s). Hmmm, does FireWire Target Disk Mode work or not after a Catalina firmware update? And can you still boot macOS Mojave from FireWire after a Catalina firmware update?
Ohhhh, I sure hope so... (I'll find out, and get back to y'all.)
With the caveat that I haven't tried (no time right now) to perform an installation in either configuration, here's some good news:

The 2013 Mac Pro 6,1 boots from an "Install macOS Mojave" (10.14.6) partition on a Seagate GoFlex FireWire 800-attached 2.5" Hitachi hard drive.

The 2010 Mac Pro 5,1 boots from an "Install macOS Mojave" (10.14.6) partition on the internal SSD in the Mac Pro 6,1 running in FireWire Target Disk Mode and attached with a FireWire 800 cable to the Mac Pro 5,1. (I know the installation wouldn't currently work, because I don't have a Metal-capable graphics card.)
 




[Responding to questions from Ric about firmware...]

Briefly I thought that the 2013 Mac Pro 6,1 – EFI Firmware 133.0.0.0.0 – hadn't received the Catlina-bundled firmware update, because I ran the installer while offline.

I checked Mr. Oakley's firmware page, verified that 133.0.0.0.0 is correct, and even wiped the APFS container and reinstalled macOS 10.15 with an Ethernet cable connecting me to the Internet. 133.0.0.0.0 it is.

I can't check the firmware version of the other (2010) Mac Pro at the moment, but I know it's pre-Mojave. Although I can boot the Mojave installer (and even boot from an existing Mojave installation), I cannot do the actual installation, with its bundled firmware update, without first procuring a Metal-capable graphics card.
 


This gigantic update space demand is absolutely bizarre. I can't imagine what's going on there. Here's more confirmation of the issue:
Yes, here is cautionary tale to anyone wanting to run the Catalina 10.15.1 update without enough disk space! An elderly friend ran the update on his 2015 MacBook Air, which evidently didn't have enough disk space. He said it popped up a message at some point during the update procedure (not sure at what point) saying not enough disk space; it promptly quit the process and basically it screwed up his whole system and disk perhaps, rendering the whole computer inoperable. Upon restart, the apple logo pops up, the progress bar starts moving, and then, Bam!, the machine shuts off.

I was able to start it up in recovery mode, and saw his disk had 15 GB of space, which I thought until reading your post would have been enough but evidently not!! I couldn't do any Disk Utility first aid on the disk/containers - it just said to backup and reinstall as the first aid message.

He didn't have a backup, but I was able to start up in Target Disk Mode and the disk/containers both mounted (so they were working, it seems), and I was able to copy off his important user files as a backup. The disks did sometimes spontaneously unmount during long periods of copying off data, but not sure if that was perhaps just Thunderbolt glitcheness with my 2013 Mac Pro.

Anyway, after copying off his data, I tried doing a simple reinstall of the system from Recovery Mode, which I assumed would just overwrite the system and default applications afresh, but to my surprise, it seems to have done a complete reinstall of his system, erasing also all of his application files.

This, no doubt, actually provided the extra disk space needed for the whole process, which installed the system as macOS 10.15.1. Once the install completed, it asked the usual setup questions and then asked to set up a login, which, at that point, I thought must have somehow done a complete erase and install of the system. Anyway, we set up an identically named user login as he previously had and also logged in with his normal iCloud login, as well, and to my surprise, all of his user files (e.g. Desktop, Documents and even email files (he uses Apple Mail) were all still there (?). I have to check, but he may have had Documents & Desktop in iCloud on, but I can't work out how all of his email accounts were still there in Apple Mail ready to sync.

It's been a while since I've done a reinstall over the top of an existing system, but I don't remember it being like I just mentioned. We had to set up a new account! - admittedly exactly named as his previous account, but how were even the files in his user Library still there or restored - are they now also synced in iCloud now? My last recollection of the process was that it would restart to the list of existing users if the system re-install was successful. Haven't had time to investigate what actually occurred, but the whole restore process left me scratching my head a bit!

Anyway, the take-out for everyone seems to be: do not even think of running the Catalina 10.15.1 update unless you have plenty of disk space, at least 20 GB to be safe. If you don't, it may result in a hosed system!! I'm a little shocked Apple doesn't check this at the outset and not allow the install process to start without the needed space. Perhaps it's the amount of space on your disk is line ball, and the installer makes a wrong assumption - anyway be careful!
 


So, Epson is upgrading its scan software for older models as well as recent ones. Note that you won't find the new version unless you look for software for macOS 10.15.
It depends on the model, it seems. The V330 (as you found out) has both EpsonScan and ICA drivers. The V500 only has ICA drivers for macOS 10.15.

Will the V500 get EpsonScan for macOS 10.15 at some point in the future? Only Epson knows.
 



I don't recall anyone mentioning this: some websites don't work right in Catalina 10.15 and 10.15.1, at least with Safari, Firefox, and Chrome.

Latest example, at least the third, is SafeAirBags - I entered my VIN, clicked on "I am not a robot," then on "CHECK VIN". The result was a little box reporting a network error.

The website worked right with Safari in an El Capitan virtual machine.
 


This must be a change in firmware and part of Catalina's prerequisite firmware update(s). Hmmm, does FireWire Target Disk Mode work or not after a Catalina firmware update? And can you still boot macOS Mojave from FireWire after a Catalina firmware update?
If my memory serves me properly, Catalina will not allow you to run any previous versions of the macOS as a boot drive while you're in a computer running Catalina. All my testing with FireWire shows that you can read – however, you can't boot.
 



If my memory serves me properly, Catalina will not allow you to run any previous versions of the macOS as a boot drive while you're in a computer running Catalina. All my testing with FireWire shows that you can read – however, you can't boot.
I can Option-key boot into a FireWire Mojave drive* from my Mac Pro (Late 2013). When booted into Catalina, it will not show [this drive] in System Preferences > Startup Disk, but you can still boot it with the Option key. When booted into Mojave, it shows up in System Preferences.

(*OWC Mercury On-the-Go FireWire 800 via Apple FireWire-Thunderbolt adapter)
 


This gigantic update space demand is absolutely bizarre. I can't imagine what's going on there. Here's more confirmation of the issue:
For what it's worth, on my MacBook Pro 13,2 (Late 2016), I upgraded to macOS 10.15.1. It demanded more than 18 GB. I had 16+ GB available and had to clear out some stuff. Then it worked fine.

But here's a strange outcome: For a long time (years), my MacBook Pro had run hot, and the battery depleted quickly, even overnight. With the lid closed all night, the MacBook Pro was warm in the morning, and the battery near zero unless I kept it plugged in all night. Apple couldn't figure it out.

Now, the MacBook Pro is cool to the touch. If I'm not using it, it's virtually room temp. And the battery usage has dropped significantly. What's different? I don't know. But I'm pleased.

And, after the update, I had 30+ GB available (now down to 26+). What did macOS 10.15.1 fix? It's a gift-horse. I'm not looking.
 


I can Option-key boot into a FireWire Mojave drive* from my Mac Pro (Late 2013). When booted into Catalina, it will not show [this drive] in System Preferences > Startup Disk, but you can still boot it with the Option key. When booted into Mojave, it shows up in System Preferences.

(*OWC Mercury On-the-Go FireWire 800 via Apple FireWire-Thunderbolt adapter)
I tried this exact experiment with FireWire 800 via an Apple FireWire-Thunderbolt adapter, and it did not work on my 2012 MacBook Pro. Maybe the Mac Pro 2013 is more friendly.
 


Another note about Epson drivers. Digital ICE (the awesome feature that uses infrared to remove dust from negative and non-Kodachrome slide scans) is not available in the Catalina drivers for the V550 and V600 scanners.

I've created a virtual machine with Mojave using Parallels and have done a brief and successful connectivity test of the most current 32-bit version of Epson Scan.
 


I don't recall anyone mentioning this: some websites don't work right in Catalina 10.15 and 10.15.1, at least with Safari, Firefox, and Chrome.
Latest example, at least the third, is SafeAirBags - I entered my VIN, clicked on "I am not a robot," then on "CHECK VIN". The result was a little box reporting a network error.
The website worked right with Safari in an El Capitan virtual machine.
I just tried that website from my MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2018, four Thunderbolt 3 ports) running Catalina 10.15.1 and had no difficulties with it. Perhaps the website was having problems when you tried...
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Yes, here is cautionary tale to anyone wanting to run the Catalina 10.15.1 update without enough disk space! An elderly friend ran the update on his 2015 MacBook Air, which evidently didn't have enough disk space. He said it popped up a message at some point during the update procedure (not sure at what point) saying not enough disk space; it promptly quit the process and basically it screwed up his whole system and disk perhaps, rendering the whole computer inoperable. Upon restart, the apple logo pops up, the progress bar starts moving, and then, Bam!, the machine shuts off.
He's apparently not the only one who encountered this little problem...
Reddit said:
macOS 10.15.1 messed up my MacBook Pro
2014 MacBook Pro

I tried to update my MacBook. It turned out that I didn’t have enough storage and then it started to boot up and immediately shut down after turning on. I tried to reinstall macOS but needed more storage.

After a while, I deleted my data and had to reinstall. Now, it works but it tends to not shut down when I try to shut down. It tends to hang. Now, I must hold the power key manually.
Today, it worked fine. BUT it tended to show the Apple logo repeatedly. Now, I am in safe mode and can’t do anything until I have WiFi. I can’t access anything.

What now? Should I reinstall macOS? What now?

I also had files in OneDrive that I tried to delete but can’t anymore

I accidentally deleted the Macintosh HD Data disc. it was encrypted and didn’t let me reinstall macOS Catalina to it. Now, I can’t do anything besides take it to a Genius Bar.

What do I do??
 


Another petty annoyance: Activity Monitor loses 'state' for want of a better word. I keep Activity Monitor open with its window reduced to about one quarter of the screen. It's in my startup items. Since Catalina, it opens on power up but can't consistently remember view ('active processes') and column width. The former randomly switches to 'all processes'. The later is a bit harder to explain: all columns but the first (process name) are pushed off the right side of the window ('process name' expands to fit a full screen view in a quarter screen window). They're still there if I scroll the window to the right, but the first column can't be resized down ... unless I resize the window to full screen and pull the columns back to the left. Shrinking it back down to quarter size seems to 'magically' fit all columns in the smaller window. This change is carried across to all the other 'tabs'. It remembers this state until the Mac Mini is restarted. I've deleted the preference ktext with no improvement. Anyone else experiencing this? Any suggestions?
 



Here's a new one a la Catalina. I make extensive use of the "Today" view panel, which is a tab next to the Notifications panel. I use the 'Today' view for things like the weather, stocks, time zones, etc. I have it neatly arranged to my liking. However, since the abomination known as Catalina has been bestowed upon us, the unwashed masses, the 'Today' panels become randomly placed after each and every reboot. Thus, it causes me to needlessly have to rearrange all the individual panes to my liking. Gee, thanks Apple. (This happens across all the systems that I've stupidly installed Catalina on.)
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
More fun with Catalina's new illusions:
Macworld said:
Why you might see a new “Data” disk in Catalina
... During the upgrade from a previous macOS to Catalina, Apple moves any files that are located in a path that can no longer be written by the user to the Home directory’s Shared folder in “Relocated Items.”

When you start up Catalina, you don’t see two volumes on the desktop—just one, and it’s named as you would expect, with the plain name of your volume as you set it. Apple manages that trick by hiding the “- Data” volume, even though it’s mounted, and using firmlinks to make sure all the files in the Home directory and other read/write areas of macOS are mapped to the correct place.

This only gets confusing when things go awry. I’ve heard from several readers and read in a number of forums that the Data volume sometimes appears on the Desktop as another accessible volume. One reader even found that Time Machine refused to run after they had updated to Catalina because it found two copies of the “iMac - Data” volume, possibly because the reader had a backup mounted.

I don’t yet have an explanation as to why this happens, although it may have to do with the significant updates required for disk cloning software to work correctly with volume groups, firmlinks, and Catalina.
#backup #firmlinks
 


After every startup the system verifies the same three applications: Xcode, iphotos and GraphicConverter. All apps are the latest versions (and I know it says iphotos!). This verification process eats up processor power and time (Xcode takes easily 1 minute with fan running at high speed). Any ideas?
 



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