SOLVED Clean install of Catalina on external ssd


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I have clean install of Catalina on new ssd but cannot access Mail and many other apps. It wants to do reinstall??? Sorry, I thought I was clever enough to do this while using slow internal HDD but....
 
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I have clean install of Catalina on new ssd but cannot access Mail and many other apps. It wants to do reinstall??? Sorry, I thought I was clever enough to do this while using slow internal HDD but....
What is the model identifier of your Mac? You can find this information from  -> About This Mac and then clicking on System Report…

What version of macOS do you have installed on the internal hard drive? What format is the external SSD in (HFS+ or AFPS)? How did you format the SSD and perform the “clean” install and migration?
 
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Hi Tony,
I have iMac Model 14,1 running macOS Catalina v. 10.15.7 with 8 gb RAM & OS installed on ssd. Hope this helps. Cheers.
 
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Hi Tony,
I have iMac Model 14,1 running macOS Catalina v. 10.15.7 with 8 gb RAM & OS installed on ssd. Hope this helps. Cheers.
You forgot to mention the format of the SSD, HFS+ or APFS. Are you willing to lose all of the information on the SSD at this point? Is the internal HD still running Catalina with no problems? I ask because I think the best strategy is to reformat the SSD from Recovery, and install macOS Catalina afterwards. If your data in the hard drive is good, you can migrate that to the SSD.

iMac14,1 will run up to macOS 10.15.7. The most important detail here is that you must format the SSD as APFS. APFS was introduced with High Sierra but was problematic back then, and still was when Catalina came out. The good news is that if you format the drive from Recovery, you will be using the newest version of Disk Utility. And macOS Catalina and later all use the system/data partition scheme which does not work as well in HFS+ compared to APFS.

If you are planning on using a new Time Machine external drive, you might as well format that as APFS as well, while in Recovery. I still don’t trust the Catalina version of Disk Utility at this point. For that matter, even in Monterey, I still resort to Disk Utility in Recovery rather than what was installed with macOS, even for just running First Aid.

Good luck!
 
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Hi again Tony,
Sorry about all this. To set the info more correctly, I formatted the new Samsung T7 ssd and a small backup ext hdd as APFS and it works great - about 50 secs to complete access of 1st app. Compared to the far too many minutes previously that speed increase is very satisfactory.
However I did not clone the ssd thinking I would be able to login to either the internal hdd and its' installation of Catalina, apps and fairly large data structures, or the new ssd where I had installed Catalina as a complete new, clean install. However, most non-Mac apps don't seem to want to work unless I restart from the beginning when I thought that all I had to do was bring the apps I wanted now, across and not the crud I had collected over the years.
I found I was not able to access any emails from the old system as the the clean 'version' of Mail on my new ssd was asking questions and rejecting my answers. As it turns out, it was completely right to do so as it was me utterly in the wrong - I had simply entered incorrect passwords (duh!!!). What I am actually missing is all of my historical emails in their respective folders. I will keep on looking for them as they must be somewhere. but if you have any further good advice to offer I will be very grateful.
Thanks for your patience and help. Cheers.
 
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You forgot to mention the format of the SSD, HFS+ or APFS. Are you willing to lose all of the information on the SSD at this point? Is the internal HD still running Catalina with no problems? I ask because I think the best strategy is to reformat the SSD from Recovery, and install macOS Catalina afterwards. If your data in the hard drive is good, you can migrate that to the SSD.

iMac14,1 will run up to macOS 10.15.7. The most important detail here is that you must format the SSD as APFS. APFS was introduced with High Sierra but was problematic back then, and still was when Catalina came out. The good news is that if you format the drive from Recovery, you will be using the newest version of Disk Utility. And macOS Catalina and later all use the system/data partition scheme which does not work as well in HFS+ compared to APFS.

If you are planning on using a new Time Machine external drive, you might as well format that as APFS as well, while in Recovery. I still don’t trust the Catalina version of Disk Utility at this point. For that matter, even in Monterey, I still resort to Disk Utility in Recovery rather than what was installed with macOS, even for just running First Aid.

Good luck!
Hi again Tony,
Sorry again, but I did use the Recovery version of Disk Utility.
Thanks again.
 
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However, most non-Mac apps don't seem to want to work unless I restart from the beginning when I thought that all I had to do was bring the apps I wanted now, across and not the crud I had collected over the years.
The “crud” actually include settings, preferences, extensions, etc., associated with those apps. And the lost e-mail are also from the new system not having access to your old user settings and caches. If you are still content with how the old system is working, except for the greater speed and all, what I would do, personally, is to do the erase and macOS installation on the SSD and then do a migration from the internal drive. This will import your user files and applications, including all the “crud.”

There is a faster way of doing this. Not as thorough but since your SSD installation is quite new, you can bypass the reinstallation and simply create a new (temporary, if you wish) user in the SSD system, with Admin privileges, log out and back in, sign into the new user and go about deleting the old (you) user. You may choose to archive the user, although at this point I don’t see the need.

Then do a migration of only the old user, from the internal HD to the new system. Afterwards, restart and log into the new “you.” See if your apps are behaving normally again. I didn’t want you to migrate the Applications folder since you may not want to import the older applications, yet. In any case, if you have installers for the older apps, it would work better than just copying them from the old to the new drive. The same holds true for the apps you copied over. Some of them might need to install helper files into the system which are not brought over when you simply copied the main application file.

If this process does not feel right after you try it out, I suggest going the long route with reformatting the SSD, reinstalling macOS and migrating everything over. If there are old apps that you don’t want anymore, don’t simply trash the application. You need to run an app cleaner utility. My choice is AppCleaner, which removes the app itself along with the crud associated with it.
 
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Hi Tony,
Thanks very much for all the time you have taken with this. I will follow your instructions exactly as follows :
1.a) "...There is a faster way of doing this. Not as thorough but since your SSD installation is quite new, you can bypass the reinstallation and simply create a new (temporary, if you wish) user in the SSD system, with Admin privileges, log out and back in, sign into the new user and go about deleting the old (you) user... Then do a migration of only the old user, from the internal HD to the new system. Afterwards, restart and log into the new “you.” See if your apps are behaving normally again."
1.b) "...if you have installers for the older apps, it would work better than just copying them from the old to the new drive. The same holds true for the apps you copied over. Some of them might need to install helper files into the system which are not brought over when you simply copied the main application file."
2.a) "If this process does not feel right after you try it out, I suggest going the long route with reformatting the SSD, reinstalling macOS and migrating everything over. If there are old apps that you don’t want anymore, don’t simply trash the application. You need to run an app cleaner utility. My choice is AppCleaner, which removes the app itself along with the crud associated with it."
Thanks again mate, I will let you know how I go.
Cheers and thanks again.
 
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Hi Tony... again :)
Well. I really made a mess of this one. Having cleaned and reformatted the internal HDD, I mistakenly reformatted the backup external HDD too soon -- by mistake (BIG) and cleaned up ALL my backups. For past week I have been recovering what data I could from many usb sticks and even other older macbooks. I have done pretty good with Photos and iPhoto files but many of my other data files (Keynote, Numbers, Word, Excel, and emails) and apps have gone. I am gradually recovering what I can from my very embarrassing act/s of folly and have also finally invested in the use of iCloud AND more careful backup procedures including at least 2 separate backups (something I usually advised others to do). So... lesson learned and anyone reading this, please remember to pay more attention to what you are doing than I did, particularly in terms of the timing of the separate steps in your procedures - ie DO NOT REFORMAT B4 YOU MIGRATE. As I said, highly embarrassing. D U H !!!
But, my iMac is now fast.
 
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Hi Tony... again :)
Well. I really made a mess of this one. Having cleaned and reformatted the internal HDD, I mistakenly reformatted the backup external HDD too soon -- by mistake (BIG) and cleaned up ALL my backups. For past week I have been recovering what data I could from many usb sticks and even other older macbooks. I have done pretty good with Photos and iPhoto files but many of my other data files (Keynote, Numbers, Word, Excel, and emails) and apps have gone. I am gradually recovering what I can from my very embarrassing act/s of folly and have also finally invested in the use of iCloud AND more careful backup procedures including at least 2 separate backups (something I usually advised others to do). So... lesson learned and anyone reading this, please remember to pay more attention to what you are doing than I did, particularly in terms of the timing of the separate steps in your procedures - ie DO NOT REFORMAT B4 YOU MIGRATE. As I said, highly embarrassing. D U H !!!
But, my iMac is now fast.
:eek: Bummer! I hope you get back on your feet soon. Consider this a valuable learning experience.

The decision to use iCloud is a wise one. When you go to set up iCloud Drive (Options…), go through the list of application documents that iCloud will back up. Then, if you think you have sufficient local storage, unclick Optimize Mac Storage so that macOS will not automatically delete local files in favor of cloud storage only. I don’t have full confidence in iCloud Drive, and not in Time Machine either. For crucial data, I have regular backups (using Carbon Copy Cloner) several times a day.

I hope, at least, that the initial problems you were experiencing are now resolved. Good luck!
 
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Thanks for the advice Tony, it makes good sense. I will do as you suggest.
Cheers
 
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