Appalling iMac Pro Experience

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Alchemist, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. Alchemist macrumors regular

    Alchemist

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    I'm a long time Mac user (my first 'Mac' was a Starmax 3200!) and I use my computers day-in-day-out for work applications. I'm a photographer and after 4 years+ with my iMac 5K (the original one) I got tired of waiting for the Mac Pro redesign and decided to plump for a 10c iMac Pro that became available via the refurb store.

    It arrived yesterday and is going back today. Sure, it's a point sample, but the experience I've had over the last 24hrs was the worst I've ever had with an Apple computer. The machine came with High Sierra on it (presumably the brand new models ship with 10.14) so I began by updating to Mojave. The installation never completed and the computer got stuck in a boot loop. After giving it 20 or so boots (to confirm that it wasn't going to eventually complete) I got bored of waiting around and turned it off.

    Eventually, I was able to get back to High Sierra, after a few trips to Recovery Mode. I found that elements of Mojave had installed. The latest version of Safari had installed but it wouldn't actually run under High Sierra and told me that Mojave was needed. Perplexed, having never seen anything quite like this, I ran disk utility and found some "crypto_val: invalid state.key_revision" errors that seemed linked to the 'Bridge OS'. For all my many years of Mac use, this was a little beyond me so I decided to erase the computer and begin afresh. Eventually I was able to install a new version of High Sierra, but when trying to update to Mojave I ran into further issues again. Eventually, I was able to upgrade to Mojave using a USB key that I prepared as a Mojave installation USB using Disk Creator from Mac Daddy. To get it to run, I had to invoke it from the High Sierra desktop. I tried doing it during boot, after using Startup Security Utility to allow booting from external discs but while it appeared to work initially it threw me back into High Sierra without running the update.

    So, I was now in Mojave. Further errors later, I finally managed to get the latest version of Mojave installed. Thinking all was well, and with a clean bill of health from disk utility I started getting a whole host of uncommanded restarts. The computer would just turn off in the middle of things and reboot. I tried all the usual stuff, resetting the SMC, removing peripherals, nothing seemed to help. Eventually I thought maybe it was a power issue so I tried plugging the machine into another socket in the house. Nothing helped. This morning the iMac Pro has restarted at least 10 times without being asked to do so. Each time, after booting it told me that an error had caused the restart.

    In short I am highly perplexed. This is the priciest machine I've bought from Apple by some margin and my experience was by far and away the worst. I've arranged a return and if they can find me a like for like model in the refurb inventory I'm going to try a replacement.

    I'd read some horror stories about the iMac Pro but assumed that they were the usual stories you read on web forums - every model has a few bad eggs right!? Perhaps that's the case here, but the machine was simply unusable. I know my way around Mac maintenance and this machine was simply not interested in playing ball. It leaves me decidedly skeptical, if I wasn't already(!) about Apple's position in my future. I rely on my machines for work and the iMac Pro lost me at least a day of useable time. Apple need to pull their finger out and commit to professional users or bugger off and make some more emoji.

    /rant

    In other news, I'd love to hear from anyone else that had similar experiences.
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #2
    It sounds like many of the problems you had were due to the t2 chip inside.

    It's too late now, buy my strongest advice would have been, "don't attempt an upgrade to Mojave until you have things up-and-running as you like them in High Sierra, and then make a good bootable cloned backup using either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper beforehand".

    If you're going to take it back, I'd suggest for a replacement:
    - 2017 design iMac (NOT "Pro") i7. The 2017 models DO NOT have a t2 inside.
    or
    - 2018 Mac Mini (either i5 or i7, at least 16gb, 256gb SSD or larger, but can get pricey).
     
  3. chrfr macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #3
    This sounds like a defective computer which isn't representative of how they work in general. It doesn't reflect the experience I had with the 10-core non-refurb I just got here at work.
     
  4. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    #4
    Did you do an in-place upgrade or a clean install of Mojave?

    It may be worth trying a clean install of Mojave instead.
     
  5. Alchemist thread starter macrumors regular

    Alchemist

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    For what I'm doing I want as high a clock speed as possible across 8-12 cores. None of the other offerings in Apple's current line up offer that.

    Agreed. I'm hoping that a second machine might work better. I have read a few hour stories about the iMac Pro though so I wonder if the iMac Pro refurb channel is awash with questionable kit.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 4, 2018 ---
    I have tried both. I couldn't get a clean install of Mojave to work. It's back in its box now though ready to return to Apple tomorrow. I spent 5K on the machine and I need to work!
     
  6. Strider64 macrumors 6502a

    Strider64

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2015
    Location:
    Suburb of Detroit
    #6
    I know from building computers and installing Mojave on my iMac Pro is to have patience. It seem like Mojave took forever to install my iMac Pro and I had to keep slapping my hand in order to prevent myself from turning off the computer. I know it's too lake, but I like Fishrrman's advice in waiting till you get everything run fine before updating to Mojave.
     
  7. OLDGUYWITHAHIFI Suspended

    OLDGUYWITHAHIFI

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2018
    #7
    Sorry things went wrong. I guess some products are offered as a refurb for a reason.
     
  8. Peter_M, Dec 4, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018

    Peter_M macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2018
    #8
    You've been very unlucky. I've never experienced anything like this. If the iMac Pro fits your use, I would simply take a breath (and count to ten), relax, call Apple support and find a solution. Apple has great customer support. As far as performance go, the 8c CPU constantly sit at 3.9ghz minimum, when all cores are used. That's not too bad.
     
  9. tomscott1988 macrumors 6502a

    tomscott1988

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    TBF you should be better off with a refurb than a BTO because they are scrutinized in every aspect whereas one in 1000 might be pulled off the production line to be checked.

    TBH this is what stops me buying a new mac, they are purposefully making it difficult for people when it should be simple and pushing these things out without the proper polish because resources have clearly been pulled from the mac generally.

    My 2010 mac pro had the a similar issue when upgrading to HS, I needed it to get the updated graphics drives for the 580 because with sierra I was getting no benefit. Basically it crashed on update and I left it 12 hours to sort itself and nothing so booted it down and it corrupted the firmware. After doing all the normal things I just had to leave it and crack on with some work with a Dell workstation I had lying around. I got so busy that it took me 3 months to get around to sorting it and not sure how... but a combination of the standard things in the right order finally got it to boot.

    So frustrating. Even worse when you order a new £5k+ machine.

    The T2 is just ridiculous, for enterprise I can see the benefit but for standard consumers it just makes Apple hardware impossible to do anything with should it fail outside a warranty period and third parties cant work on it. Same with upgrading components not that you really can anyway. When was the last time I was held hostage for my data on my machine... never.
     
  10. SecuritySteve macrumors 6502a

    SecuritySteve

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Location:
    California
    #10
    This is not typical of an iMac Pro. My installation from High Sierra into Mojave was not this painful, and I do not recall it taking more than maybe 20-30 minutes. It also is not typical of a Mac with a T2 chip. My MacBook Pro and iMac Pro both have T2 chips, and neither experience random reboots for no reason. Bridge-OS is often mentioned in kernel panic reports, but it is not the cause of the panic usually.

    I suspect you have some defective component internally, and would exchange it for an equivalent model or refund immediately.
     
  11. Jack Burton macrumors 6502a

    Jack Burton

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2015
    #11
    We had nothing but nightmares in our office with designers who updated their MacBook Pros to Mojave. We had 3 get completely stuck and had to be recovered.

    IMO, Mojave is the problem. People want dark mode and they get stung badly by what seems to be the buggiest upgrade process in years.

    I came back to a Mac to get away from this BS. Now with Mojave and eGPU crap, it's like being in Windows again.
     
  12. Peter_M macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2018
    #12
    Strange. For me, High Sierra was a highly uneven release, but Mojave seems more polished and stable (MacBook, iMac Pro).
     
  13. joema2 macrumors 68000

    joema2

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    #13
    Sorry to hear your bad experience; I also have a 10-core Vega 64 iMP and I had the boot loop problem but it eventually recovered. I don't know how many cycles it did -- maybe 10 or 15 then I turned it off and it finally recovered and upgraded to High Sierra. I upgraded to Mojave recently and that went OK.

    It sounds like you're already aware of it but a major issue has been the secure boot facility which if not disabled can lock you out of either external OR network booting -- and that includes network installation from recovery mode.

    When the iMP first came out even Apple escalation engineers were not trained on this and it could lead to a horrible situation: you have a possible software issue, they recommend you reformat and re-install from recovery mode, then after reformatting you can't install macOS from either the network or an external drive because secure boot disallows it. The only reason my machine didn't have to be returned is I had a Time Machine backup which secure boot considers a trusted boot source.

    In general the iMP is a very nice machine -- super quiet and very robust performance. I also have a top-spec 2017 iMac 27 and it's pretty fast in FCPX on H264 material but the iMac Pro just doesn't bog down or make noise. I don't know if it's the ECC RAM but FCPX is much less likely to crash when under high stress on the iMP vs my 2017 iMac.

    Another problem is Apple has no inventory to replace a failed BTO iMac Pro. You could buy one at the store, get home, have it fail out of the box, then face a month waiting for a new one to be built in China. This isn't unique to the iMac Pro but as an professional machine you expect better support than that. Some retailers like B&H have an extensive stock of BTO iMac Pros but they do not allow returns.

    I suggest you persevere and get the iMac Pro repaired or replaced. It is frustrating now but it's a very nice machine.
     
  14. Alchemist thread starter macrumors regular

    Alchemist

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    Thanks for all the comments and replies. I have decided to go down the return and replacement route as I can't take risks with my main mission critical system. UPS are collecting the machine today (edit: literally picked up as I was typing this) and then Apple will let me know if they have a like for like replacement currently available in the refurb channel. If not, then they will refund me. We shall see what happens.

    There are definitely some complications introduced by the T2 chip. If I'm honest, I think for most users the T2 chips is excessive from a security standpoint. It'd be nice if it was a BTO option. I have no need for it and it makes numerous things more complicated. If my machine was being used in security/defence/bio-engineering or some such it might come in handy, but for me, it simply stands in the way of repairs and recoverability. It also may complicate things for the forthcoming Mac Pro. The customer base for that machine have clearly asked for a highly upgradeable machine but the T2 serves to add further bricks to the garden wall.

    I've heard reasonable things about Mojave although my brother had a data loss issue which seemed to be caused by the APFS migration when he moved from High Sierra. For the most part I think that 10.14.1 has resolved things but simply getting there proved highly problematic.

    I've spent some time thinking about it and I wonder if there was some sort of internal issue with power management. It was as if the power was being cut off from time to time resulting in an immediate shutdown. That said, initially the 'Restart after Power Failure' option was unchecked in System Prefs>Energy Saver yet, nonetheless the machine rebooted immediately so it was more like an 'uncommanded restart' rather than an 'uncommanded shutdown' followed by assumed need to restart. Odd. Will be interested to see what happens with a future machine.
     
  15. Absrnd macrumors 6502a

    Absrnd

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    Location:
    Flatland
    #15
    Just take a deep breath, and just wait for Apple to replace the faulty one.

    Just don't go reading if others have problems with the Pro, because most will only post when something is wrong, and always gives a false sense that all Apple products are a mess :)
     
  16. tomscott1988 macrumors 6502a

    tomscott1988

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #16
    Regardless you dont have to look far to find issue.

    Although of course the minority always have issues with devices, since 2016 there has been a real surge of issues and the iMac pro with it being a niche machine has probably had more issues than most apart from the Macbook Pro which is the same generation.

    Doesnt fill me with confidence. Apart from trivial issues ive never had a serious issue with my apple products (bar my mac pro HS upgrade above) in the near 15 years ive been using them, doesnt make me want to drop 10k on a new desktop and portable currently although I really do need to upgrade.

    See how things pan out and if there is a public acknowledgement of T2 issues.
     
  17. Bodie CI5 macrumors regular

    Bodie CI5

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2014
    #17
    Is this claim documented? Not trying to be smart or anything, I've never heard this before or come across it in the T2 KP thread (then again, maybe I missed it).
     
  18. joema2 macrumors 68000

    joema2

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    #18
    You are probably doing the right thing (replace vs repair). Apple suspected a power supply problem on my BTO iMac Pro, the Genius Bar tried to repair it, they had to order parts (which were back-ordered). This took three weeks and they ultimately ended up damaging the machine so it wouldn't boot, so then they had to order a replacement which normally takes four more weeks. I spent hours discussing this with customer relations. They finally got a replacement in about one additional week. The machine has run fine since then under very heavy load.
     
  19. Peter_M, Dec 5, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018

    Peter_M macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2018
    #19
    I have to agree, using a niche product like iMac Pro can be a challenge. For instance, I have issues in Sibelius (music software), which will graphically respond significantly more sluggish (some files more than others) than even a simple MacBook. Sometimes my external sound card (Focusrite Clarett) will crash, that still happens.
    I'll probably go for a PC next time, unless Apple really impresses with the next iMac. Considering the current state of affairs in Apple, I think Tim's main concern will continue to be increased margins with higher prices and incremental upgrades.

    And yeah, I would be grateful to Apple if they simply ditched the whole T2-chip in their computers. I can see its relevance in some very few instances, but for 99.9% of the user base it's only a source of frustration - or at best irrelevant.
     
  20. Jack Burton macrumors 6502a

    Jack Burton

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2015
    #20
    It's not a claim other than my office mates really wanted dark mode and a bunch of them all had the same issue upgrading. :)

    5 upgraded. 4 got stuck in the upgrade process and had to be reformatted and recovered. The other one, the oldest MacBook Pro, upgraded with absolutely zero issues. Weird.
     
  21. Alchemist thread starter macrumors regular

    Alchemist

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #21
    Update.

    Yesterday Apple assured me that "at the time of collection" when UPS scan the returned iMac Pro, they will determine whether a matching spec iMac Pro is available in the refurb channel for me as a replacement. They assured me that this would happen as soon as UPS collect the defective machine I was returning. I questioned this as I assumed it wouldn't happen until Apple received the unit back but they assured me this was not the case. They also assured me that they would contact me to tell me whether I would be getting a like for like replacement or, if not, offered a refund or possibly the option on a similar spec.

    UPS collected the item this morning and then nothing. Tumbleweeds. 5hrs later I logged into my Apple Store orders page which shows a 'replacement' but also states that it is due for delivery today. Which it CLEARLY is not. Frustrated by the lack of clarity, I called Apple and after 40mins got put through to their After Sales team. The guy is spoke to was not impressive. He didn't seem to even know that there was a refurb store and assumed that refurbs were only available on base configs. He even suggested that perhaps a BTO was being assembled and sent from China. I rather firmly told him that it annoys me when I call a company and I know more about their processes than the operator does. He eventually went away and had a chat to someone before coming back and telling me that he thinks they have ear-marked a machine for me which will then be dispatched once the defective unit is received from UPS. I pointed out that this was categorically not what was suggested by the Apple rep yesterday when I organised the return, but he seemed to think this was probably what was going on. Apparently I might get a confirmation email once UPS deliver the machine to Apple.

    In short, a bit of a cluster***k.
     
  22. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #22
    Fishrrman's "let's get this out of the way" solution for the t2 chip:

    1. Boot up the new Mac, get set up and logged in.
    2. Reboot to recovery partition
    3. Open the Startup Security Utility
    4. DISABLE ALL "security settings"
    5. Close the utility, reboot, and hope for the best.
     
  23. Jack Burton macrumors 6502a

    Jack Burton

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2015
    #23
    Crap, man. This sounds like nightmare for such an expensive machine. Keep us posted if it ever gets resolved.
     
  24. Alchemist thread starter macrumors regular

    Alchemist

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #24
    Will do.

    Might consider that approach Fishrrman.
     
  25. xgman, Dec 5, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018

    xgman macrumors 601

    xgman

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    #25
    Welcome to the T2 chip nightmare club. Oh, effects Macbooks too. 100's of pages of threads on this issue.

    The startup recovery suggestion helps some, but occasionally still get Bridge os crashes on startup. I turned off filevault, sleep and siri too. I don't think a replacement will help, but it's worth a try. Mine was an early Nov build. The problem has been going on for a year now on T2 macs. It also seems exasperated by certain peripheral connections, especially drives and TB adapters of any sort. For what it's worth, with these things turned off, I am stable once in the OS and have not had "in OS" reboots, only on starts or restarts on occasion now with no other ill effects, so the imac is usable, just kind of annoying. Now if you really want to use any of those T2 features, well then that's a problem. To those with no issues, enjoy! Apple doesn't seem to know what the problem really is here.

    (by the way, the having to connect to a different mac to restore from a install failure is a know Apple thing with the imac pros)
     

Share This Page

42 December 4, 2018