Catalina Woes


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Hi all, My iMac was happily running Mojave until I followed the Update suggestion a few days ago and installed Catalina, OS 15.1.
This appears to have been a big mistake. Several programs I relied on-- Firefox, Word, Onyx, and others-- are inoperative under Catalina.
How exactly do I UNINSTALL Catalina and get back to Mojave? Thanks, Ch.S.
 
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Hello,

To recover your Mac to a earlier version of the Mac OS using Time Machine:

But before you do this backup again.;)
  1. Plug your Time Machine disk into your Mac.
  2. Now restart your Mac.
  3. Hold down Command + R until the Apple logo appears.
  4. When the options appear on screen, choose Restore From Time Machine Backup click Continue.
  5. The next screen should say restore from Time Machine, so click Continue.
  6. Now, select your Restore module IE device you use for TM.
  7. The next screen shows all your backups over time, pick the last one you made prior to upgrading to the newer version of the Mac OS.
 
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Hi all, My iMac was happily running Mojave until I followed the Update suggestion a few days ago and installed Catalina, OS 15.1.
This appears to have been a big mistake. Several programs I relied on-- Firefox, Word, Onyx, and others-- are inoperative under Catalina.
How exactly do I UNINSTALL Catalina and get back to Mojave? Thanks, Ch.S.
Rule Number 1 for ANY operating system, not just OS X:

1) Always make a bootable backup or image first. This is easy to do on a MAC using software like SuperDuper; on Windows, the best you can do is take an image. Then, if you get in trouble, you either boot off the bootable backup on a MAC, or boot your recovery disk in Windows and restore the image.

Then, Rule Number 2:

2) Always do a clean install. I have never seen any upgrade work without problems either in OS X or Windows. The concept of backward compatibility does not seem to exist in the OS X/Windows/UNIX environment.

Yes, you will have to reinstall your apps, recreate your folder structures, recopy your files and recustomize your UI, but although this is somewhat tedious, it beats the heck out of trying to guess your way through troubleshooting a bad upgrade.
 
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The backup-from-Time-Machine method worked beautifully, thanks for that!
I now have a new problem... see new thread, about getting the startup volume journaled... Thanks!
 
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Moved back to Mojave! Catalina just wouldn't work for me. crashes, destroyed 2 x 4TB external drives though constant crashes. So no Time Machine to back up from. Lost so much stuff.
 
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Well, you made the right decision. If I were to migrate to Catalina, I would proceed as follows:

1) On an external drive, create two logical volumes to create bootable backups on. Name one Mojave and the other Catalina.
2) Use a product such as SuperDuper running on your Mojave system to create the bootable Mojave volume on the external hard drive.
3) Test that you can in fact boot Mojave from the external hard drive. If you cannot boot from this drive, do not continue. If you can boot from this drive, you now have a bootable, restorable point-in-time (PIT) backup of Mojave.
4) Now do a clean install of Catalina on the INTERNAL hard drive (overwriting your original Mojave system: this sounds scary, but you have already demonstrated you can boot from Mojave off the external disk if you got to this step, so you've lost nothing). Make sure you apply all outstanding Catalina updates.
5) Reboot Mojave from the external hard drive. Using SuperDuper, create a bootable Catalina backup on the Catalina volume on the external hard drive. When this is complete, you now have PIT backups of your original Mojave system and the new Catalina system you are building.
6) Test that you can in fact boot Catalina from the external hard drive. If you can, you now have a bootable, restorable PIT copy of a clean Catalina install with all maintenance updates applied.
7) Using SuperDuper, restore your Mojave volume from the external drive to the internal drive, overwriting the Catalina installation. This is OK because you have a known bootable working version of Catalina on the external hard drive. This step puts your system back the way it was when you started this process, so when you boot it up, it will come up running Mojave.

This method allows you to boot up your Mojave system off your internal hard drive so you can use your computer as you always have, and when you want to work on beating Catalina into submission, simply boot off the Catalina volume on the external hard drive. Now you can install your apps, copy over files and get help with troubleshooting issues at your leisure.

I do my upgrades this way because I don't think the OS X installer will let you install to an external drive. I could be wrong about this, and if I am, then you can just replace steps 2-7 with the install of Catalina on the external hard drive.

Note: I am retired from a major disaster-recovery provider, so if these steps seem overly anal, that's probably why. I live by two maxims:

1) Always have a current bootable backup.
2) Always be able to put your system back the way it was if you make changes to it --- which means, take a bootable backup BEFORE you apply maintenance updates to either Mojave or Catalina.
 
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