macOS 10.15 Catalina Ships, Upgrade with Caution

Yesterday afternoon it took several hours before the “upgrade” of my mid-2015 iMac (with its spinning platter system disk) reached the “Setting Up Your Mac” screen. Then I waited. And waited. After 2 hours, I was still stuck on that screen, so I finally gave up, crashed out of the install and rebooted. It booted to a progress gauge that was about 85% filled. Then, after a few minutes, I was logging in to Catalina, having never seen the “Setting Up Your Mac” screen again. Last evening I learned my brother had exactly the same stuck on the Setting Up screen problem, and he, too, had to do the same thing I did. I wonder if Apple ever tests their installers on actual user systems. Status: pissed off and stressed out. Thanks, Apple!

I had similar problems with the beta’s. After each install, I run Disk Utility on the internal SSD and my external HDDs. Those usually go well, but the external that houses Time Machine can take several hours to run. I have no idea why it should take so long unless it has something to do with the fact that it is encrypted.

The release notes indicated only minor changes from last beta/GM to what was released and it was not necessary to update. Also suggested refreshing Software Update pane to see the update if wanting to install the release.

While I delay installing Catalina, I wonder how to stop the daily APP UGRADE notifications to “do it now, or wait until tomorrow”

This is apparently a common problem. Three people on another list I’m on reported it, and this MacRumors thread has a number of sufferers as well.

There are suggestions for turning of the incessant upgrade notification here:
Being on Apple Discussions I expect it will soon be removed by moderators so here is the gist of it:
From Terminal:

sudo softwareupdate --ignore "macOS Catalina"

when you are ready to install it (if

sudo softwareupdate --reset-ignored

This will not clear the red counter in the Sys Prefs icon in the Dock but will stop notifications.
It is also suggested that you go part-way through the Catalina upgrade process and halt it once the Install macOS file is in the Applications folder. Instead of that I just tried renaming the Mojave installer but that has not achieved anything. In any case both methods waste 8GB of storage.

Yes, for anyone writing Terminal commands in Discourse, please format them as code text using the </> button on the composer toolbar or by prefixing them with four spaces or by enclosing them in tick marks. I’ve updated the previous post to reduce confusion.

“Some backup apps aren’t yet compatible with Catalina”

Yep, I’m not happy with Shirt Pocket Software (SuperDuper!). The developer led us to believe back in July with three partially-workable betas that the heavy lifting was behind the team and the remainder of the time until the GM was released was just testing and making it presentable for the masses. Not true. Unless Dave pulls a rabbit out of the hat, I’ll probably be switching to Bombich’s CCC after many, many years with SuperDuper. It’s understandable that a piece of software might not be ready for general use during the product development phase but if you’re in the commercial sales business of selling back-up software, it better be ready to go when the intended target ships.

Ah, thanks, @Michael Paine! I probably just forgot iTunes was getting replaced by separate media apps. So there’s still a music app that I presume is the basic iTunes feature set?

I must be the only user in the world for whom Photos will not fully sync and downloading of camera originals. Apple has been unable to fix the problem , which couuld be simply one corrupt photo.

Catalina is stable but there are still some issues. Some my be fixed by the developers of third party apps.

So Sys Prefs sitting in my dock (on Mojave) is now always showing a red badge with a 1 in it. Turns out Software Update is trying to get me to install Catalina. Is there any way to tell it ‘yes I know, not interested, so please go away’? That badge is distracting.

Older versions of OS X had an option where you told SU to ignore a certain update. Any chance that functionality is still around somewhere?

From what I understand from discussions over dinner with Dave a few weeks ago, they developed a workaround for the Catalina issues surrounding the read-only system volume and split volumes approach. It seemed to work, but they felt it would be better to use an official approach, so they asked Apple for guidance. Apple suggested a technique, but it didn’t work, and continued to not work throughout the betas. So the last I heard, Dave was going to go back to their original workaround.

So as much as it’s disappointing that SuperDuper isn’t yet fully compatible with Catalina, a lot of the blame here lies with Apple. Hopefully, Mike Bombich was able to come up with a reliable workaround for Carbon Copy Cloner, but I’d still be leery of relying on that until Catalina has been out for a while and CCC users have had time to test real-world restores.

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Rich Trouton explains how to do this here:

Awesome. Thanks, Adam. :+1:

So indeed the functionality is still there. Just well hidden. :wink:

Unfortunately, that doesn’t get rid fo the badge on the Dock icon. Commenters claim there’s a way to remove it, but they also acknowledge it will reappear next time you launch SU. :disappointed:

Desperate measures …

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Duct tape solves everything. :slight_smile:

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They do say you only need three things; WD-40, duct tape, and a hammer. If it doesn’t move and it should, use the WD-40. If it moves and it shouldn’t, use the duct tape. If either doesn’t work, use the hammer


I threw caution to the wind and upgraded my 15" MacBook Pro and a 27" iMac. Other than having to buy Hogwasher (not unexpected) I have seen no downside. The other 32-bit apps that I lost were virtually all legacy utilities, many of which I didn’t even remember the purpose of. True, I lost Acrobat Pro from an older Creative Suite installation on the MBP, but I have Acrobat DC with Adobe CC on the iMac. The Adobe Photography Plan apps (Lr, Lr Classic, and Photoshop) run great on the MBP and the apps that I have from the full Adobe CC suite run great on the iMac. (Yes, Adobe subscription haters, I have two subscriptions for my wife and myself, and I also pay for my nephew’s Photography Plan!) Microsoft Office is solid. If I really needed the legacy stuff I still have two old 17" MBPs that I’ve loaded with RAM and SSDs, and they run like new, except faster than new with the upgraded RAM and the SSDs.

My wife’s two 27" iMacs will have to wait a bit; she relies heavily on Scrivener for her writing, and the developer says that the 64-bit version is buggy, so they recommend not updating at the moment.

I cross-checked the apps My MacBook Pro Retina(early 2015). As expected won’t work with SOME of the Catalina apps. Not using this for business, so I am delaying installation.

This is really specific—probably not too many DJs among TidBITS readers—but if you rely on XML files in iTunes, you should hold off upgrading.