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  • Now what?

    Posted by Jim Curtis on December 2, 2020 at 9:58 pm

    Since reinstalling Catalina was the only method I’d found to fix certain Catalina related issues*, now that Big Sur is out, I’m wondering if I choose the “reinstall OS” option from recovery mode, will Big Sur be installed, or will the last version of Catalina be reinstalled?

    I’m hesitant to upgrade to Big Sur because I have dozens of audio and video plug-ins, some of which may not be compatible, and I just don’t trust any Apple OS that’s not at least x.4 – meaning I won’t be comfortable installing Big Sur until it’s 11.4.x, or I get an all clear signal from people using all the same apps and plugs I do.

    I realize I could clone first, upgrade and give Big Sur a shakedown, but I rarely go very long without paying work to get out, and I can’t afford to experiment. I might be able to the last week of this year. That’s usually a very slow time of year for me.

    FWIW, Apple continues to release security updates for High Sierra, which I run on two other Macs. They released one just a few days ago. I’m hoping they’ll do the same for Catalina.

    * One repeat Catalina issue I’ve experienced is Mail messages being totally blank. Usually, quitting the app and reopening makes them visible again. Reinstalling Catalina fixed the issue until it started happening again. I probably did six reinstalls on this issue alone.

    John Rofrano replied 3 years, 5 months ago 2 Members · 1 Reply
  • 1 Reply
  • John Rofrano

    December 3, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    Reinstall should reinstall the current OS which for you is Catalina. I assume you are booting into Recovery Mode with [Command ⌘+R] and selecting Reinstall from there. It should sense your OS and offer that as the only option.

    I would absolutely create a clone of your current drive as a backup. I use Carbon Copy Cloner; worth every penny. Plug in a an external USB 3 drive and have it clone your existing drive to it. if everything goes wrong with the reinstall you can always clone the drive back to your Mac and be right back where you started. You can also use CCC to incrementally update the clone drive from time to time so that you always have a complete system backup ready to boot.

    I agree that Big Sur should be avoided by anyone using 3rd party software or plug-ins. Almost all of the plug-in vendors that I buy from have sent me emails asking to hold off on upgrading to Big Sur at this time. I also have a 2010 Mac Pro on Sierra (not even High Sierra) and Apple still updates it. There is no rush to upgrade to a new OS unless there is a compelling reason or feature that you must have.


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