Catalina installer failing with error: The file “Opt” couldn’t be saved to Macintosh HD - Data

Compile 'em all

macrumors 601
Original poster
Apr 6, 2005
4,106
206
Anyone have seen or come across this error? Basically 3/4 through the installation of Catalina, it shows the error:

The file “Opt” couldn’t be saved to Macintosh HD - Data. Quit the installer to restart your computer and try again.

The screen has a single restart button. Pressing in it takes me to Mojave login screen. Entering the password restarts and continues installation till it shows the error again. I have a MacBook Pro (2017 or 2018) I believe. Any ideas where I can avoid doing a time machine restore? Didn’t anyone else hit this error?
 

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eksajlee

macrumors newbie
Oct 8, 2019
1
0
Did you solve it? I've got same problem...
Rebooting doesn't help as it still goes to the same screen.

I've tried to restore OS and now I'm stuck with window to enter Drive Password which I don't have and RecoveryOS doesn't work to recover it (it says I've go no users...)

What a #%#% joke of an update
 

VRH

macrumors newbie
Oct 8, 2019
1
0
I had this problem -- just now fixed it. For me, this was due to my having an /opt directory (actually a symlink) at the root of my target hard drive for installation. If you switch to the Terminal app from within the installer, you can cd to /Volumes/<YourTargetHardDrive> and remove the offending /opt file. The installer needs to write an /opt directory there and the one already there was preventing the write procedure.

Hoping this helps!
 

chriscrowlee

macrumors 65816
Aug 10, 2015
1,313
1,463
San Diego, CA
I had this problem -- just now fixed it. For me, this was due to my having an /opt directory (actually a symlink) at the root of my target hard drive for installation. If you switch to the Terminal app from within the installer, you can cd to /Volumes/<YourTargetHardDrive> and remove the offending /opt file. The installer needs to write an /opt directory there and the one already there was preventing the write procedure.

Hoping this helps!
I had the same problem, but I'm not sure I understand your steps to resolve it. I tried to install twice and it failed with the same screen message as the OP twice. I have since done a restore of a time machine back to my old setup, so I have full access now, but obviously I want to update to catalina. Can you step by step what I should do to get my iMac prepped to install without running into this brick wall? Thanks!
 

chriscrowlee

macrumors 65816
Aug 10, 2015
1,313
1,463
San Diego, CA
Anyone have seen or come across this error? Basically 3/4 through the installation of Catalina, it shows the error:

The file “Opt” couldn’t be saved to Macintosh HD - Data. Quit the installer to restart your computer and try again.

The screen has a single restart button. Pressing in it takes me to Mojave login screen. Entering the password restarts and continues installation till it shows the error again. I have a MacBook Pro (2017 or 2018) I believe. Any ideas where I can avoid doing a time machine restore? Didn’t anyone else hit this error?
Still haven't been able to get a reasonable answer ... anyone able to fix this or explain in plain english how to get around it? I'm tired of dealing with it.
 

Compile 'em all

macrumors 601
Original poster
Apr 6, 2005
4,106
206
Still haven't been able to get a reasonable answer ... anyone able to fix this or explain in plain english how to get around it? I'm tired of dealing with it.
you got the same error? Well, I’m glad I’m not alone. Btw I couldn’t resolve it. I had to completely wipe my machine clean and reinstall Mojave by booting into Restore (command R) and deleting the Data volume and erasing the regular volume. THEN install Mojave. THEN restore from time machine. The entire process took almost 12 hours. To be back to the same state before Catalina. For the time being ai won’t be bothered with Catalina until .2 or .3
 

chriscrowlee

macrumors 65816
Aug 10, 2015
1,313
1,463
San Diego, CA
you got the same error? Well, I’m glad I’m not alone. Btw I couldn’t resolve it. I had to completely wipe my machine clean and reinstall Mojave by booting into Restore (command R) and deleting the Data volume and erasing the regular volume. THEN install Mojave. THEN restore from time machine. The entire process took almost 12 hours. To be back to the same state before Catalina. For the time being ai won’t be bothered with Catalina until .2 or .3
You can also directly restore to previous state by doing a command R and then just doing an erase on the primary drive, then click restore from time machine... skips the middle reinstall of Mojave, but ultimately takes 6-8 hours restore.

The one responder who had posted a solution seemed to have found a workaround, but without clear step by step instructions, I don't want to go trying things. I wish he'd clarify if going from a working install of Mojave to do in order to prep the install to catalina without getting that error.
 

posguy99

macrumors 65816
Nov 3, 2004
1,069
593
I keep hearing of others having this issue but nobody knows how to solve apparently?
So remove the MacPorts installation (from recovery mode if necessary), install the OS, then re-install MacPorts if you must have it. Not rocket science. People who think they need things like MacPorts should have sufficient clue to get around this.
 

chriscrowlee

macrumors 65816
Aug 10, 2015
1,313
1,463
San Diego, CA
So remove the MacPorts installation (from recovery mode if necessary), install the OS, then re-install MacPorts if you must have it. Not rocket science. People who think they need things like MacPorts should have sufficient clue to get around this.
Since it's not rocket science, for those of us who don't know wtf MacPorts has to do with anything (because assuming you mean the thing referred to on macports.org), what then?

I have no clue what "MacPorts" is ... never heard of it, never intentionally installed it, so not sure if you're being sarcastic and those of us in these threads have all just made some obvious mistake clear to everyone else but us, or what.
 

Eugr

macrumors member
Dec 3, 2018
68
32
So remove the MacPorts installation (from recovery mode if necessary), install the OS, then re-install MacPorts if you must have it. Not rocket science. People who think they need things like MacPorts should have sufficient clue to get around this.
Well, to be fair, MacPorts is not the only thing that uses /opt. Cisco AnyConnect VPN client uses it as well. It should not prevent Catalina from being installed.
 

chriscrowlee

macrumors 65816
Aug 10, 2015
1,313
1,463
San Diego, CA
Well, to be fair, MacPorts is not the only thing that uses /opt. Cisco AnyConnect VPN client uses it as well. It should not prevent Catalina from being installed.
So clearly I don't use Macports, which was the obvious solution /s .. and now you say Cisco may use it (which to my knowledge I've never used. How would I go about finding this "Opt" and what can I do to either update permissions so it doesn't give the unable to write message on install, or how might I at least locate it (as I don't see any directories named opt)? It seems like that would be more helpful than users making assumptions about swaths of people who clearly are stumped as to how to rectify a situation. Thanks!

EDIT: I remember years ago a previous mac I had an external DVD-RW and the drive's name was Opt (for optical) but that's been years and several computers ago and for sure multiple OS updates. Not sure that's even relevant though. But if it's trying to write anything to that it's definitely going to have difficult hah
 

Eugr

macrumors member
Dec 3, 2018
68
32
So clearly I don't use Macports, which was the obvious solution /s .. and now you say Cisco may use it (which to my knowledge I've never used. How would I go about finding this "Opt" and what can I do to either update permissions so it doesn't give the unable to write message on install, or how might I at least locate it (as I don't see any directories named opt)? It seems like that would be more helpful than users making assumptions about swaths of people who clearly are stumped as to how to rectify a situation. Thanks!
/opt is usually hidden.
You can press Cmd+Shift+. (comma) in Finder to reveal hidden files in Finder or run the following command from the Terminal:

ls -la /

It will give you all files and directories in the root folder with their Unix permissions.

I haven't tried to upgrade yet, but just having /opt in your root should not prevent Catalina from installing.
 

chriscrowlee

macrumors 65816
Aug 10, 2015
1,313
1,463
San Diego, CA
/opt is usually hidden.
You can press Cmd+Shift+. (comma) in Finder to reveal hidden files in Finder or run the following command from the Terminal:

ls -la /

It will give you all files and directories in the root folder with their Unix permissions.

I haven't tried to upgrade yet, but just having /opt in your root should not prevent Catalina from installing.

Thanks! I really appreciate it.. I sent you a private message
 

chriscrowlee

macrumors 65816
Aug 10, 2015
1,313
1,463
San Diego, CA
/opt is usually hidden.
You can press Cmd+Shift+. (comma) in Finder to reveal hidden files in Finder or run the following command from the Terminal:

ls -la /

It will give you all files and directories in the root folder with their Unix permissions.

I haven't tried to upgrade yet, but just having /opt in your root should not prevent Catalina from installing.
You are a master! I really appreciate time you took to help me work through this.

So everyone else who runs into the issue is aware, Eugr was able to show me how to look through my root and see the Symlink to "Opt" ... which turned out to be associated with an old old directory from 2008. This was hanging up the installer. By removing the symlink, it then allowed the installer to flow flawlessly.

It looks like Apple just released an update today that may fix the issue as well, but I can't confirm that since my installer ran correctly thanks to your help!

Thanks again!
 

Eugr

macrumors member
Dec 3, 2018
68
32
So everyone else who runs into the issue is aware, Eugr was able to show me how to look through my root and see the Symlink to "Opt" ... which turned out to be associated with an old old directory from 2008. This was hanging up the installer. By removing the symlink, it then allowed the installer to flow flawlessly.
A bit more technical details: it was a dead symlink (/opt -> /private/opt) that pointed to a non-existing /private/opt directory. I guess one of the edge cases they haven't considered.
 
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albacore

macrumors newbie
Aug 23, 2016
5
1
iMac 8,1 previous patched Mojave
used Disk Utility to convert to APFS

Repeated general error message with 4 minutes remaining on first installation:

"An error occurred while preparing the installation. Try running this application again."

Advice please.
 

Compile 'em all

macrumors 601
Original poster
Apr 6, 2005
4,106
206
Interesting, I also found opt pointing to nowhere

lrwxr-xr-x@ 1 root wheel 12 Aug 2 2012 opt -> /private/opt


I have deleted it now but I will still wait for 10.15.2 till I update. Not prepared to waste another day on this!
 

TiffC

macrumors newbie
Mar 26, 2020
2
0
You are a master! I really appreciate time you took to help me work through this.

So everyone else who runs into the issue is aware, Eugr was able to show me how to look through my root and see the Symlink to "Opt" ... which turned out to be associated with an old old directory from 2008. This was hanging up the installer. By removing the symlink, it then allowed the installer to flow flawlessly.

It looks like Apple just released an update today that may fix the issue as well, but I can't confirm that since my installer ran correctly thanks to your help!

Thanks again!
I seem to have run into the same issue as you but am stuck on how to rectify it. I managed to run the command in Terminal but unsure how to proceed from there.

Would really appreciate if you can help!
 

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TiffC

macrumors newbie
Mar 26, 2020
2
0
You just have to delete the symlink. So reinstall your time machine backuup and then find the symlink and del it.
I’m sorry, I’m terribly IT illiterate - how do I go from the screen in the picture above to reinstalling the back up? I appreciate it might be annoying to have to list out each step but I would be extremely grateful because I’m a bit lost now and the Apple stores are closed due to lockdown. I’ve been on hold with Apple Support for more than an hour!

At this point I would like to just have my old version back and forget about Catalina! 🙄😭
 

chriscrowlee

macrumors 65816
Aug 10, 2015
1,313
1,463
San Diego, CA
I’m sorry, I’m terribly IT illiterate - how do I go from the screen in the picture above to reinstalling the back up? I appreciate it might be annoying to have to list out each step but I would be extremely grateful because I’m a bit lost now and the Apple stores are closed due to lockdown. I’ve been on hold with Apple Support for more than an hour!

At this point I would like to just have my old version back and forget about Catalina! 🙄😭
This will take you right back to where your time machine last back up was, be it catalina, mojava, or whatever you had:

 
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