I Installed macOS Catalina on a external ssd and now I can't boot into recovery without it attached.

Discussion in 'macOS Catalina (10.15)' started by rmendez011, Jun 4, 2019.

  1. rmendez011 macrumors newbie

    rmendez011

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    #1
    Hi guys, i don't know if i messed up big time, or if I'm just not seeing what i did wrong. Anyways I was trying to install macOS Catalina (10.15) on my 2018 MacBook Air, but I didn't want to install it on my boot drive so I installed it on a external ssd, before I could I went into recovery and enabled External Boot: Allow booting from external media, after that i installed Catalina and everything went great, I did what I had to do and when i tried to turn off External boot i tried going into recovery once more (with the external ssd unplugged) and it started doing internet recovery. I let it do its thing and when it finished it gave me an error of -9000F and apple.com/support, i couldn't figure out the issue, i plugged back in the external ssd and tried going into recovery, and to my surprise it worked, i went into Startup Security Utility and it asked for my admin password on the external ssd not internal, i put it and it doesn't accept my password, no matter what I put it doesn't work, any ideas why?? its not a big issue as the computer works normal, but I would like to fix it. Any help is appreciated.
     
  2. haralds macrumors 6502a

    haralds

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  3. ifrit05 macrumors regular

    ifrit05

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    #3
    Is the old recovery still listed in the boot picker? (hold option while booting)
     
  4. rmendez011 thread starter macrumors newbie

    rmendez011

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    #4
    I did that but it didn't work.

    I also did this but it only shows the OS, no recovery
     
  5. Boomer5100 macrumors newbie

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    Feb 10, 2016
    #5
    I too installed Catalina on an external drive. Now when I try cmd-r I only get Internet recovery and then get the same error -9000F. If I hit option-cmd-r, it will load into Internet recovery and make it to the recovery screen. I have tried reinstalling Mojave from USB installer after erasing my internal drive and still cmd-r doesn't bring me to recovery. I can get cmd-r to work if I plug in the external drive Catalina is installed on. Frustrating!
     
  6. rmendez011 thread starter macrumors newbie

    rmendez011

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    #6
    This is why we shouldn't be installing beta OS's on our computers
     
  7. Tony.Skid macrumors member

    Tony.Skid

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    #7
    Well, I've installed too Catalina on an external SSD, an M2 usb 3.0, but, BEFORE, I removed the internal ssd from my MBPc 2012 to avoid any problem. Luckilly, with my old 2012 it's still possible to do that...

    BTW, even via USB, Catalina runs smoothly...! :)
     
  8. Boomer5100 macrumors newbie

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    Feb 10, 2016
    #8
    Yes, you are certainly correct. Now if someone out there has a suggestion on how to get the recovery partition to work again, I'd be most grateful.
     
  9. rmendez011 thread starter macrumors newbie

    rmendez011

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    #9
    I've installed Mac OS High Sierra on an external Boot on my 2011 MacBook Pro with no issues, but keep in mind that neither my 2011 or your 2012 has Startup Security Utility, or a T2 chip. That chip is a bitch an a half and I could possibly brick my Air if I'm not careful.
     
  10. Boomer5100 macrumors newbie

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    Feb 10, 2016
    #10
    Well finally had a chance to figure it out. Appears even though I installed Catalina to an external drive, it updated the recovery partition on the internal as well. When cmd-r was tried, system could not recover from a Catalina recovery partition so it diverted to Internet Recovery. To resolve, I reinstalled Mojave clean with USB installer and migrated my files/data back with Time Machine backup. All works as normal again.
     
  11. rmendez011 thread starter macrumors newbie

    rmendez011

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    #11
    How did you reinstall Mojave Clean with a USB installer? I'm scared of messing with the drive and possibly bricking my 2018 Air :)
     
  12. Boomer5100, Jun 6, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019

    Boomer5100 macrumors newbie

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    #12
    Download the full Mojave installer from the App Store and make a usb installer disk. Make a time machine backup before you try to install Catalina on an external. If you run into the same problem, you can easily boot from the usb Mojave installer by holding 'option' at power up. Choose the usb installer disk and it will boot into recovery. From there you use Disk Utility to erase the internal drive (Macintosh HD most likely). Exit Disk Utility and install MacOS Mojave. When it reboots after installation, have your time machine backup plugged in and choose to migrate from this disk. When it completes, you will be back to where you were. You can also just boot from the time machine disk and choose to restore. I like the clean install and migrate option, but either will work.
     
  13. rmendez011 thread starter macrumors newbie

    rmendez011

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    #13
    And you're sure this won't **** with my T2 chip, cause I read if you erase the internal ssd without disabling Startup Security Utility, it'll brick a 2018 MBP I don't know if it's the same for a MBA
     
  14. blasto2236 macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 4, 2012
    #14
    This appears to be what I’ve done. I made a bootable USB partition but when I select it holding option during boot, it still defaults to internet recovery and I get the 9000f error.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 7, 2019 ---
    I finally managed to get to regular recovery but all it lets me do is reinstall Catalina. Praying that works for now as it’s better than having to take a bricked unit in for service.
     
  15. Boomer5100 macrumors newbie

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    Feb 10, 2016
    #15
    What do you have your T2 Security Settings set at? I had mine to allow external drive and no security. Make sure this is what you have before attempting. Also, MAKE A TIME MACHINE BACKUP before doing anything. I would also strongly suggest making a USB Installer Disk with Mojave on it.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 7, 2019 ---
    Do you have a Time Machine Backup? If so, you can resolve this by taking a USB Mojave Installer Disk (assuming that is what you have on main partition), erase it, and do a clean install on your main partition from the USB. Leave the Catalina partition intact. Now either migrate from your Time Machine Backup or just restore it. Before doing anything, be sure you have a backup (TM, CCC, etc.).
    --- Post Merged, Jun 7, 2019 ---
    One thing I did notice, even after clean install and restore is the T2 firmware was updated during the Catalina external drive install to version 17P50466r. Doesn't seem to be impacting anything and I don't see any reason to try and go back to the released version, which would involve a trip to the Genius Bar to flash it back.
     
  16. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #16
    I have a 2018 Mac Mini (normal OS is Mojave 10.4.5).

    As soon as Catalina was announced, I downloaded the installer and installed onto an EXTERNAL HDD (old, old LaCie platter-based drive).

    It runs, kinda. It's slow and the drive "thrashes" almost continuously. But it runs.

    After reading the OP's post, I decided to see what would happen if I rebooted to the recovery partition.

    The Catalina drive IS NOT connected.
    The Mini still boots to recovery without having to plug the Catalina drive in.
    Lets me get into Startup Security, etc.

    I didn't attempt to "restore" anything, so I don't know which version of the OS would be "offered to me" if I had tried that.

    Just posting this as an anecdotal point of reference.
     
  17. haralds macrumors 6502a

    haralds

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    #17
    Check your Startup Utility in Recovery. The default is to only allow the latest release. The middle button allows to install any assigned macOS. It is possible the Catalina install set 10.15 as the latest version.
     
  18. Boomer5100, Jun 8, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019

    Boomer5100 macrumors newbie

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    #18
    What were your T2 Security settings? I suspect this may have had something to do with the issue I ran into. I also used a 2018 MacBook Pro to install Catalina on the external. Why version of T2 firmware does your Mini show (system - hardware - controller)? Mine updated to 17P50466r

    Anyway, at this point all is back to normal with the MacBook Pro and my Catalina external boots and runs without issue. I used a Samsung X5 for Catalina, so it runs quite smoothly.
     
  19. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #19
    Boomer asked:
    "What were your T2 Security settings?"

    Off. ALL OF THEM... off.
    The very first thing I did when I set up my new 2018 Mini.
     
  20. Boomer5100 macrumors newbie

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    Feb 10, 2016
    #20
    I did the same on both MacBook Pro and my Mini. Did your T2 firmware on your Mini update?
     
  21. haralds macrumors 6502a

    haralds

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    #21
    Did you read the Beta1 Release Notes? Are are some critical issues (not in original order.)

    • On Macs with the Apple T2 Security Chip, if you’ve used Startup Security Utility to lower Secure Boot to Medium Security or No Security, you’re currently unable to modify Secure Boot settings after upgrading to macOS 10.15. (51043128)

      Workaround: Set Secure Boot to Full Security before upgrading to macOS 10.15. Alternatively, disabling and reenabling FileVault might resolve the issue.
    • Warning

      Your Secure Token might be lost if FileVault is enabled on a non-APFS formatted volume while upgrading to macOS 10.15. You might be able to work around this by disabling FileVault before upgrading to macOS 10.15, then reenabling FileVault once the upgrade has completed. (51091312)
     
  22. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #22
    Re post 21 above:

    I don't use FileVault (never used it, never will).
    I have the Secure Boot settings at the lowest possible settings available (in Startup Security Utility).
    So long as these settings never change from this, I'll be very happy.

    I installed Catalina onto an external HDD.

    I'm wondering if something didn't go quite right with the install, because I now have TWO volumes on the desktop representing Catalina instead of one. There's a "Catalina data" and "Catalina xx" (can't remember the name, I'm not booted from it).

    The funny thing is... I can't -move- these desktop icons (representing the volumes) without starting some kind of "copy" sequence (I haven't let it follow through, just cancelled out). That's not the way icons on the desktop are supposed to behave.

    My experiments with Catalina (and I'll admit it's VERY early) do not encourage me into thinking that it's anything I'd want running on my Mac (2018 Mini).

    Next-to-NONE of the software I regularly use and like will run under it (lots of 32 bit stuff).

    Unless I see things to change my mind in the months to come, I've resolved that this 2018 Mini (which came with Mojave) will run the final, mature release of Mojave as its ONLY OS, so long as I keep using it.
     
  23. Boomer5100, Jun 10, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019

    Boomer5100 macrumors newbie

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    Feb 10, 2016
    #23
    I too never use file vault and always have T2 at lowest settings to avoid issues that have occurred with others. I also did read all the release notes on the Developer site for Catalina and read nothing saying there would be boot issues to recovery after installing to an external drive or that the computers T2 firmware would be updated when installing to external. I have run betas from previous releases of Sierra, High Sierra and Mojave on externals without issue. Catalina is first beta that has messed up my MacBook from simply trying to install on external drive.
     
  24. toru173 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    #24
    The question is moot now as @rmendez011 has been able to resolve the issue, but you can manually plonk anything into your recovery with dm, obtainable from a 10.13.6 update. See this link for usage.

    I successfully changed my recovery partition to a few different formats and also managed to dump a whole bootable version of the OS in the recovery, but because I couldn't generate a valid chunklist it wouldn't boot.
     
  25. haralds macrumors 6502a

    haralds

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    Silicon Valley, CA
    #25
    This is normal behavior. The system volume will be fully read-only, while the " - Data" volume is modifiable by the user. Certain directories like /Applications and /Device/Applications appear merged under Catalina.
     

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25 June 4, 2019