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macOS 10.15 Catalina

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[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?
 




I have a 2018 MacBook Pro 15" that I use for work. I do software development and use Docker for Mac. Everything else is pretty vanilla. I was running Mojave without problems. Our IT folks okayed Catalina for internal use, and I upgraded yesterday morning. Ever since then, whenever I try to do anything interesting (e.g., build a docker image), kernel_task jumps to around 800% CPU (and spiking higher from time to time) and stays there.

Googling has not led me to any solutions. I understand that kernel_task thinks it's protecting the machine from overheating by grabbing the CPU as a way to throttle other processes, but one user process running around 100% CPU doesn't seem much of a thermal threat.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can do allow my machine to actually do some work? Thanks.
 


Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can do allow my machine to actually do some work? Thanks.
Replying to myself. I think I figured it out. Last week I got a new monitor that can supply power through the connector, so I put my power brick away. Mojave didn't care that the monitor can't supply enough power to charge the laptop; Catalina does. Whenever Docker (or anything else) started using enough power to show up in the "Using Significant Energy" area of the menu under the menu bar's battery glyph, kernel_task would go nuts. I plugged the power supply back in and doing to energy intensive activities no longer makes kernel_task hog the CPU.
 


Since upgrading to Catalina, I've noticed that the fan on my MacBook Pro runs constantly. I tried all the reset SMC stuff a couple of times, and that hasn't helped.

And a perhaps related issue: when the latest Mojave security update came out, I applied it and afterwards Docker for Mac would no longer start; it actually just stayed in "Docker is starting" forever. I heard a rumor that running Docker Edge (basically a prerelease version) solved that problem. I installed it and Docker started up and ran just fine. A few days later I upgraded to Catalina (others at work, who upgraded before the Mojave security update, reported a similar Docker startup issue that was solved by Docker Edge). Docker still starts up fine. But now, with no images running, Docker uses 100% CPU all the time.

So, my question: is the fan running all the time because Docker has made my MacBook Pro into a space heater and solving Docker will solve the fan issue or do I need to solve both problems? Thanks.
 


Since upgrading to Catalina, I've noticed that the fan on my MacBook Pro runs constantly. I tried all the reset SMC stuff a couple of times, and that hasn't helped.

And a perhaps related issue: when the latest Mojave security update came out, I applied it and afterwards Docker for Mac would no longer start; it actually just stayed in "Docker is starting" forever. I heard a rumor that running Docker Edge (basically a prerelease version) solved that problem. I installed it and Docker started up and ran just fine. A few days later I upgraded to Catalina (others at work, who upgraded before the Mojave security update, reported a similar Docker startup issue that was solved by Docker Edge). Docker still starts up fine. But now, with no images running, Docker uses 100% CPU all the time.

So, my question: is the fan running all the time because Docker has made my MacBook Pro into a space heater and solving Docker will solve the fan issue or do I need to solve both problems? Thanks.
May I suggest restarting with Docker disabled temporarily and see how the Mac runs?
 


So, my question: is the fan running all the time because Docker has made my MacBook Pro into a space heater and solving Docker will solve the fan issue or do I need to solve both problems?
You might have a coincidence on your hands. I'm running the latest Mojave on a 2019 MacBook Pro. I've been developing DAGs on an Airflow incubator running as a local Docker swarm. Docker suddenly started using a lot of CPU and had mysterious stalls. I found out that Docker had too little memory assigned. I upped the memory and Docker has been running fine since. You might give it a go.
 


I had to submit an invoice to a client that included some expenses. I generally scan the receipts and add them to a pdf of the invoice. In my first Catalina experience, a Hertz-generated pdf receipt would embed, but as soon as I saved the file and re-opened it, that page would be blank. After several attempts, I did the same with Snow Leopard and Mojave Preview in a VM and it worked. Catalina Preview can view the original Hertz-generated pdf, but displays a blank page as soon as the Hertz-generated pdf is embedded in a Catalina Preview-saved file. Catalina Preview can also display the Hertz-generated pdf embedded in a Mojave or Snow Leopard PDF Preview-saved file.
 


You might have a coincidence on your hands. I'm running the latest Mojave on a 2019 MacBook Pro. I've been developing DAGs on an Airflow incubator running as a local Docker swarm. Docker suddenly started using a lot of CPU and had mysterious stalls. I found out that Docker had too little memory assigned. I upped the memory and Docker has been running fine since. You might give it a go.
As another poster suggested, I quit Docker, and the fan did stop. So that problem is sorted. I adjusted my resources, and now it's sitting at 5.5% CPU. I'll call this a win. Thank you all for your suggestions.
 


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