Big Sur install stuck

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KVRAF
32943 posts since 14 Sep, 2002 from In teh net

Post Sat Oct 16, 2021 8:10 am

Decided to upgrade - now wishing I hadn’t. Installer seems to get most of the way then stops. Tried recovery mode and resetting NVRAM, not sure what the problem is. My Mac is definitely compatible with it and I have 350GB free disk space so it’s not that.

KVRer
11 posts since 5 Nov, 2008 from USA

Post Sat Oct 16, 2021 8:35 am

I don't know if this will help, but it worked for me. I just upgraded from Mojave to Big Sur earlier this month on my old Macbook Pro from late 2013. Multiple stalls along the way. Forced shutdowns helped a little but it always stalled at the same place and never finished. I finally deleted the installer and reloaded it after a day of this frustrating mess.

The re-downloaded installer did the trick. The update took about an hour, but it finished. A whole lot of new Apple crap was added to the launchbar, and it removed the non-Apple icons and messed up my layout so that was an annoyance. Mail was erratic for a couple of days, and I had two "ghost" hard drives in finder. I renamed them and left them in case they had a purpose. So far no issues with them.

Overall everything was slower than Mojave for about three days, and I thought about re-loading Mojave. Eventually everything sped up and the performance is better than Mojave now. I still hate the enhanced kindergarten look Apple drools over, but it works without issues now. YMMV

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KVRAF

Topic Starter

32943 posts since 14 Sep, 2002 from In teh net

Post Sat Oct 16, 2021 8:57 am

Thanks I could try that but since I can’t get back into my Mac now how do I delete and re download the installer?

KVRAF
23266 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from not here

Post Sat Oct 16, 2021 9:04 am

can you not get into recovery mode?

KVRer
11 posts since 5 Nov, 2008 from USA

Post Sat Oct 16, 2021 9:16 am

Sorry, I left out a step. I must have suppressed it from the irritation the process caused... Apple has become sloppy in the last decade. What used to just work is now a mess like Microsoft.

I had to restore a backup from my time machine backups. The first one I tried didn't work and I figured I was screwed, but the second one did and restored Mojave. From there I deleted the Big Sur installer and re-downloaded it. Never upgrade before backing up everything. Then disconnect any other hard drives and run a time machine backup twice to ensure your data is safe.

FWIW, I backup everything manually to three external drives at the end of each month, and then do a time machine backup to another external drive of just what's on my macbook. I then do a second time machine backup just in case the first didn't take (which happened when I tried to restore Mojave).

I had a lot of bad experiences with Windows backups for 30+ years (and a lot of lost data along the way). I never trust any OS to "automatically" backup my files. Time Machine worked when I needed it though.

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KVRAF

Topic Starter

32943 posts since 14 Sep, 2002 from In teh net

Post Sat Oct 16, 2021 9:59 am

jancivil wrote:
Sat Oct 16, 2021 9:04 am
can you not get into recovery mode?
Yes but I don’t think I can download a new copy of the installer that way as it doesn’t allow access to the AppStore. Nor can I delete the old one except by wiping the whole disk, which is probably my last resort but I’d rather not if I can help it.

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KVRAF

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32943 posts since 14 Sep, 2002 from In teh net

Post Sat Oct 16, 2021 10:00 am

junewolf wrote:
Sat Oct 16, 2021 9:16 am
Sorry, I left out a step. I must have suppressed it from the irritation the process caused... Apple has become sloppy in the last decade. What used to just work is now a mess like Microsoft.

I had to restore a backup from my time machine backups. The first one I tried didn't work and I figured I was screwed, but the second one did and restored Mojave. From there I deleted the Big Sur installer and re-downloaded it. Never upgrade before backing up everything. Then disconnect any other hard drives and run a time machine backup twice to ensure your data is safe.

FWIW, I backup everything manually to three external drives at the end of each month, and then do a time machine backup to another external drive of just what's on my macbook. I then do a second time machine backup just in case the first didn't take (which happened when I tried to restore Mojave).

I had a lot of bad experiences with Windows backups for 30+ years (and a lot of lost data along the way). I never trust any OS to "automatically" backup my files. Time Machine worked when I needed it though.
I did a backup but using Carbon Copy Cloner so I could try that - so much hassle

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KVRAF

Topic Starter

32943 posts since 14 Sep, 2002 from In teh net

Post Sat Oct 16, 2021 10:15 am

Maybe the problem is I’m trying to install from Mohave - should I try reformatting the drive and installing from scratch?

KVRian
989 posts since 3 Oct, 2011 from Christchurch, New Zealand

Post Sat Oct 16, 2021 11:04 am

aMUSEd wrote:
Sat Oct 16, 2021 9:59 am
jancivil wrote:
Sat Oct 16, 2021 9:04 am
can you not get into recovery mode?
Yes but I don’t think I can download a new copy of the installer that way as it doesn’t allow access to the AppStore. Nor can I delete the old one except by wiping the whole disk, which is probably my last resort but I’d rather not if I can help it.
have you tried internet recovery ( cmd-option-r ) rather than local revovery ( cmd-r ) - internet recovery will work even when the recovery partition is trashed

https://support.apple.com/en-nz/guide/m ... 8cf9a8/mac

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KVRAF

Topic Starter

32943 posts since 14 Sep, 2002 from In teh net

Post Sat Oct 16, 2021 11:06 am

Thanks didn’t know about that

KVRAF
6764 posts since 31 Aug, 2013 from Down the Withywindle

Post Sat Oct 16, 2021 11:20 am

Ok,
I just went through this, and as I have few reserves for stress at the moment, it basically almost sent me over the edge.
Is your machine an M1 or not? I am not sure if this is an M1 or just Big Sur thing, but if you're on an M1 processor, I would advise looking up the procedure and backing everything up before you start.
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."
Upton Sinclair.

KVRer
11 posts since 5 Nov, 2008 from USA

Post Sat Oct 16, 2021 11:24 am

I upgraded from Mojave, but it could be a Big Sur issue given the changes for M1 processors as well as Intel compatibility at the same time.

I had a hard time finding anyone who had a similar nightmare moving from Mojave to Big Sur until now, so I figured it was just a fluke. I tend to uncover hidden issues with operating systems that no one else has. I usually skip a release and stay a release behind since developers can't or won't catch up anyway. Mojave was getting long in the tooth for some of my plugins.

Carbon Copy should restore the same as time machine. It's worth a try, but a clean install would probably be best. However, I didn't have a way to de-register my plugins from this machine if it wouldn't boot up, so I restored from backup just in case. If second try at Big Sur failed again I could always restore to Mojave and take care of it before moving to a Mac Mini soon. Luckily it finally worked. I never had any issues upgrading my Mac before though.

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KVRAF

Topic Starter

32943 posts since 14 Sep, 2002 from In teh net

Post Sat Oct 16, 2021 11:25 am

Bombadil wrote:
Sat Oct 16, 2021 11:20 am
Ok,
I just went through this, and as I have few reserves for stress at the moment, it basically almost sent me over the edge.
Is your machine an M1 or not? I am not sure if this is an M1 or just Big Sur thing, but if you're on an M1 processor, I would advise looking up the procedure and backing everything up before you start.
It’s a 2019 iMac so intel still

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KVRAF

Topic Starter

32943 posts since 14 Sep, 2002 from In teh net

Post Sat Oct 16, 2021 11:50 am

I’ve restored Mohave from the Recovery partition so can get back into my Mac but everything is messed up - looks like a lot of files were moved into a folder called “previous” and there’s an extra hard drive showing called “Update” so I guess the partial update did this. I think I will use the opportunity to make a bootable Big Sur install disk, then wipe the main HD and install fresh from the bootable disk. All my documents etc are safely backed up - it just means reinstalling and re authorising everything but lots is on my iLok, only Reason is hard drive authorised. Might be for the best anyway as I guess I have lots of incompatible stuff now cluttering up my hard drive
Last edited by aMUSEd on Sat Oct 16, 2021 11:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

KVRAF
23266 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from not here

Post Sat Oct 16, 2021 11:53 am

that was my recommendation after seeing if Recovery could install whatever.
After my update there was nothing in 'Previous', same as going from 15.6 to 15.7. So you're probably onto something with 'from Mojave'.

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