It just exhales loudly and dies (16" 64GB, 4TB)

MareLuce

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 26, 2010
729
240
My turkey was moist. Uncle Harry's jokes seemed more tolerable this year. No political arguments broke out. Yet the geek side of my soul had a sad Thanksgiving...

My shiny new 16" MacBook Pro with 64GB and 4TB appears to be dead.
It tries to boot. Then it gives a loud exhale and dies.

Video 11 seconds, turn up your volume:

Lead-up:
I had started Setup Assistant with my 15" 2TB 2016 MacBook Pro.
The progress bar made it only a tiny way over with "20,744 items processed" as status.
Then, everything froze.

Upon reboot, the progress bar makes it almost all the way over.
Then it exhales and dies.

The underside, back, middle location of the MBP was VERY hot.
Rebooted 6 times. Same thing.

On the good, better to find out now than after Jan 8 return deadline.
Setup Assistant must be a good stress test.
 
Last edited:

ruslan120

macrumors 6502a
Jul 12, 2009
749
489
RIP.

Yeah, you can return it.

Sorry for the inconvenience, relatable / I’ve experienced that as well with new AirPods :/
 

MareLuce

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 26, 2010
729
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Try rebooting into Recovery, then reinstalling Catalina. It looks like a software issue during data import from your old mbp.
I thought about trying that... but even if that did fix it, I'd always worry that it was defective in some way. Before I could talk myself into doing that I put it back in its box and in my backpack to return today.

edit: Darn it. I really should at least reformat the drive, because I don't know what's on those 20,000 items already transferred
 

lars666

macrumors 65816
Jul 13, 2008
1,027
878
This is a damn expensive machine with 64GB and 4TB. You deserve a brand new one for peace of mind, not the same one fixed under warranty.
 
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MareLuce

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Original poster
Sep 26, 2010
729
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Held down Ctrl-R to go into recovery mode while booting.

Odd - it didn't show me the 4 options that the official Apple page shows

It only gave me options about recovering my system logon password.
So I acted like I was trying to do that, and successfully logged in with my Apple ID.

That error message reads:

"There are no users on this volume to recover"
1575059508554.png


Does that mean I don't need to reformat the drive to erase the 20,000+ items transferred with Setup Assistant / Migration Assistant ?
 

pshifrin

macrumors 6502
Mar 14, 2010
367
201
I would do a ⌥ ⌘ R on boot and do an internet recovery. Erase drive (format as APFS) and re-install. Then start the migration process all over again. It sucks, but sometimes migration just doesn't work for whatever reason.

If you are dealing with an install on your current machine that is many versions upgraded, you may want to do a completely clean install. That's what I always do. Yes, you have to manually download, install, configure all apps and move data over by hand but I find it's a guarantee to get a "perfect" new system.

Good luck
 

MassMacMan

macrumors regular
Jul 12, 2012
154
24
Boston MetroWest
My new MBP locked up exactly as shown in the OP's post, when I was using Migration Assistant to import my previous MBP's apps and data. I force-shut down the mac, and it went into a boot loop, exhaling and dying exactly as shown above. Several calls with Apple tech support later, I had successfully erased the disk and re-installed Catalina. Fortunately, I had not yet done any other setup, so the lost time was manageable. Now that it's up and running, I'm loving it!
 
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MareLuce

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Sep 26, 2010
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If you are dealing with an install on your current machine that is many versions upgraded, you may want to do a completely clean install. That's what I always do. Yes, you have to manually download, install, configure all apps and move data over by hand but I find it's a guarantee to get a "perfect" new system.
YES, that's what I wanted to do! (only move my data)

In Setup Assistant / Migration Assistant there were 3 options
[ box ] Move everything (?)
[ box ] Move [ something else , maybe just the apps ]
[ box ] Move Data Only

I checked the third box.

I would do a ⌥ ⌘ R on boot and do an internet recovery.
OK so...

Command (⌘) – R = local recovery mode and
⌥ ⌘ R = internet recovery

Reference for me to read later:
Macworld UK article
Official apple page
(This is only my second Mac laptop after a bunch of Thinkpads which I still also use.)
- - Post merged: - -

I would also try a SMC and PRAM reset.
Thank you.

Reference for me for later
How to reset the System Management Controller (SMC) on your Mac
Reset NVRAM or PRAM on your Mac
 
Last edited:

pragmaLT

macrumors newbie
Jun 13, 2017
21
17
I had something similar happen to me with Migration assistant. Just stops after 20,000 items processed, computer gets very hot (not frozen though), wait a whole hour nothing moves.

I abort the process, it reboots into Catalina fine but then "Finder could not be started" error message appears again and again and can't start anything.

A complete wipe and clean install got the machine back in order but it was the worst Apple device on boarding experience ever.

TLDR do not use Migration assistant on the MBP 16


My turkey was moist. Uncle Harry's jokes seemed more tolerable this year. No political arguments broke out. Yet the geek side of my soul had a sad Thanksgiving...

My shiny new 16" MacBook Pro with 64GB and 4TB appears to be dead.
It tries to boot. Then it gives a loud exhale and dies.

Video 11 seconds, turn up your volume:

Lead-up:
I had started Setup Assistant with my 15" 2TB 2016 MacBook Pro.
The progress bar made it only a tiny way over with "20,744 items processed" as status.
Then, everything froze.

Upon reboot, the progress bar makes it almost all the way over.
Then it exhales and dies.

The underside, back, middle location of the MBP was VERY hot.
Rebooted 6 times. Same thing.

On the good, better to find out now than after Jan 8 return deadline.
Setup Assistant must be a good stress test.
 

matram

macrumors 6502
Sep 18, 2011
259
101
Sweden
I have used Migration Assistant without problems for the 16 inch. In my case migrating everything except applications from a TM backup.
 

Velin

macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2008
1,550
1,007
Hearst Castle
I hate migration assistants, Apple is no exception. Especially with Apps, I want the latest version, not some pre-migration version which I then have to update on the new machine, which can sometimes lead to problems. I understand you did a data transfer only, but even so, migration assistants can easily bork a straight disk-to-disk transfer, as you unfortunately found out. Many things can go wrong, permissions being a recurring problem which I dealt with all the time.

Here's what I'd do, and this will futureproof you forever, and I'm going to use some jargon because it sounds like you know what you're doing.

Make a Catalina USB bootable, boot in, diskutil, wipe the Macbook Pro SSD, reformat APFS, then reinstall a fresh Catalina 10.15.1.

In the meantime, get a USB-C M.2 NVMe SSD enclosure, it will be 3.1 gen 1 or 2 most likely. Make sure it's also got USB 3.0 and 2.0 backwards-capability. And of course pick up an internal M.2 NVMe internal SSD, even the 2 TB internal M.2 NVMe SSDs are getting pretty cheap. You may even have one lying around. If not, I'd recommend a Sabrent enclosure and a Samsung 970, a reliable combo. If in doubt, look at the pins, M.2 NVMe has only one pin spacer, as I recall. (If you have older internal SATA SSDs lying around, then get the SATA enclosures or external pin devices for that, they will be super cheap because the world is rapidly moving to NVMe.)

Once you've got inernal SSD + external enclosure, you've got a screaming fast transfer capability, probably 2000+ MB/s over T3, just blazing (that's what I've seen real-world performance). Even USBA 3.0, it's going to be as fast as can be with your older devices. And now you've got a ton of external SSD storage too, which you can easily expand simply by buying more sticks.

Then, do your data transfer manually. Organize your data so you can execute a few terminal $ ditto [source] [target] commands, and Let. It. Rip. No exaggeration, you may double, triple, even quadruple the speed at which your data transfers over, especially if coming from a SATA HDD to your new NVMe SSD. What would have taken, say, several hours (or more) via a migration assistant, could be done in an hour or less. And because you are executing the terminal commands to move your own data, you can preserve permissions, other file attributes, etc. which the migration assistants can, and regularly do, F up. Or do a simple $ cp if you wish. But you control the transfer method and locations, not some dumb "assistant" which can easily bork it.

Do this, and I think your problems are over for good.
 
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MareLuce

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Sep 26, 2010
729
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Geez, the software is killing the hardware...

My new MBP locked up exactly as shown in the OP's post, when I was using Migration Assistant to import my previous MBP's apps and data. I force-shut down the mac, and it went into a boot loop, exhaling and dying exactly as shown above. Several calls with Apple tech support later, I had successfully erased the disk and re-installed Catalina. Fortunately, I had not yet done any other setup, so the lost time was manageable. Now that it's up and running, I'm loving it!

I had something similar happen to me with Migration assistant. Just stops after 20,000 items processed, computer gets very hot (not frozen though), wait a whole hour nothing moves. I abort the process, it reboots into Catalina fine but then "Finder could not be started" error message appears again and again and can't start anything.

But, in your 2 cases, the hardware recovered...

A complete wipe and clean install got the machine back in order but it was the worst Apple device on boarding experience ever.
Several calls with Apple tech support later, I had successfully erased the disk and re-installed Catalina. Fortunately, I had not yet done any other setup, so the lost time was manageable. Now that it's up and running, I'm loving it!
Mine did not...

Spent 2 hours in a very crowded Apple Store. 2 Geniuses worked on it.


TLDR do not use Migration assistant on the MBP 16
That's an understatement!


I have used Migration Assistant without problems for the 16 inch. In my case migrating everything except applications from a TM backup.
Just curious - Do you remember if you went over 20,000 files moved?

1575099672184.png


On the good, the Synology DiskStation DS718+ I've been waiting to find on sale for arrived today! I am totally OK with re-installing the apps.
I believe I have kept all created data in \Users...

Instead of using Migration Assistant , could I copy the \Users... folder from old to a Synology share, and then from a share to the replacement \Users folder?
 

matram

macrumors 6502
Sep 18, 2011
259
101
Sweden
You can select what you copy over with Migration assistant. I for instance copied of application setting and user documents but not the applications.

I have also before copied over folders. But I have done this on the User subfolder level, i.e. Documents, Pictures, Desktop and so forth, one by one. Copy MBP to disk to MBP works fine, but use a fast disk.

If you copy the complete User folder that will include folders like (user) Applications and Library which includes application settings. This may not be what you want if you want a clean install.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,651
5,763
Did I not warn you (in another thread) that you should not have created a new account on the new MBP before "migrating"? And that doing so might lead to problems?

I see two "pathways ahead" for you.

FIRST PATH:
Return it for a new one, and THEN follow my "migration instructions".
If you do, I guarantee a 98% success rate.

SECOND PATH:
You need to first do this:
1. Boot to internet recovery (NOT to "the recovery partition")
That's "command-OPTION-R" at boot.
2. Let the internet utilities load, but DO NOT "install" yet.
3. Open disk utility and go the "View" menu and select "Show all devices"
4. Now, select the TOPMOST ITEM in the list on the left. This represents your physical drive inside.
5. Click the erase button. Choose APFS with GUID partition format
6. When done, close disk utility.
7. Open the OS installer and install a clean and "unused" copy of the OS
8. When done, you will see the initial setup screen.
9. Now it's time to follow Fishrrman's "you can do it" instructions on how to migrate from an old Mac to a new one, presented next.
-----
1. BEFORE you do anything else, run a "final" backup on your old Mac. Use an external drive for this. It can be either TM or a cloned backup using CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper. I prefer CCC.
I STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU DO NOT USE TM to create your "migration drive". INSTEAD, USE EITHER CCC OR SD. Things will go better this way!
2. Shut down the old Mac and disconnect the external drive
3. Take the new Mac out of the box and set it up on the table. DO NOT PRESS THE POWER ON BUTTON until step 8 (read on). You don't want to begin setup until "the right moment".
4. If you're using an external display, connect the display using the usb-c/VGA adapter/cable that you have
5. Connect the keyboard and mouse if you use them. I STRONGLY SUGGEST that you connect them DIRECTLY to the Mac.
6. If you use a hub, leave it DISCONNECTED for now
7. Connect your backup drive -- use a usb-c adapter if needed.

OK, we're ready-to-go, so let's get goin':
8. Press the power on button for the first time.
9. The new Mac may ask for help "finding" the keyboard, just follow instructions.
10. Begin setup. At the appropriate moment, setup assistant will ask if you wish to migrate from another Mac or drive. YES, you want to do this.
11. "Aim" setup assistant at the external backup. Setup assistant will need a little time to "digest it all". BE PATIENT and give setup assistant the time it needs.
12. You will now see a list of things that can be migrated, such as applications, accounts, settings and data.
13. I suggest that you select ALL of them.
14. Let setup assistant "do its thing". It's going to TAKE A WHILE to move things over. Again, be patient. If you have a lot "of stuff", it will take a lot of time!
15. When done, you should see the login screen. Go ahead and login.
16. Once logged in, things should look pretty much as they looked on your old Mac.
17. You should check all your apps. Some may not run, and may require upgrading.
18. You can set aside the old backup, or ... "repurpose it" to become the backup for the new Mac. I'd keep the old one around for a week or so, at least.
 

hajime

macrumors 603
Jul 23, 2007
5,651
786
What is wrong with using Migration on the MBP 16" 2019? Is it hardware or software issue?
 

4sallypat

macrumors 6502
Sep 16, 2016
294
246
So Calif
Yes, do the ⌥ ⌘ R = internet recovery.
It will restore the computer back to out of box condition.
Then try again.