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  1. #1
    Catalina Update not using my Startup disk
    I have an iMac 27" late 2013

    I use an external USB SSD drive as my startup disk as it is so much faster then the internal disk

    However, when I do an upgrade, like to today's macOS Catalina 10.15.4, the system upgrades the slow internal disk and ignores my startup disk. So now I have an up to date internal drive but I'm actually booting from my SSD drive and can't get rid of the little red notification symbol in system preferences

    Also, as it is the internal drive that is being updated it is painfully slow to the point where you think the machine is frozen/hanging

    Has anyone encountered (and solved) this, please

  2. #2
    Catalina Update not using my Startup disk
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    I don’t know if this will work, but maybe if you disable automatic updates, and just install the updates as they’re released through Apple?


    Apple - Support - Downloads

    Usually, if you’re subscribed to Apple “Announcements”, you will be notified when updates are available.


    Sent from my iPad using Mac-Forums
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  3. #3
    Catalina Update not using my Startup disk
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    You might try calling/chatting with Apple Support. Go to Apple.com, go to Support, follow the pages to contact them. They do this from home, so even with the shutdown, they should respond fairly quickly.
    Jake

  4. #4
    Catalina Update not using my Startup disk
    chscag's Avatar
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    Welcome to our forums.

    However, when I do an upgrade, like to today's macOS Catalina 10.15.4, the system upgrades the slow internal disk and ignores my startup disk. So now I have an up to date internal drive but I'm actually booting from my SSD drive and can't get rid of the little red notification symbol in system preferences
    That's because when you downloaded the upgrade you did not direct it to be installed to your external SSD. Rather, you allowed the update to install to the default which is always your Macintosh HD. If in fact you're booting from the external SSD, then that's where you should be installing all upgrades. And, the external SSD should be running your main macOS - Catalina.

    Unhook the external drive, boot from your Macintosh HD, and the notification should go away. The next time you boot from the external SSD, update it to Catalina 10.15.4. Just make sure you direct the update to the SSD this time.

  5. #5
    Catalina Update not using my Startup disk
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Charlie, I noted when I did the update that my MBP rebooted three times in the process. If he boots from his external using a key combo, how would the system know to do that for an installation? I think he may need to set his default boot to that external in order to get it to go back to that external on the two reboots in the middle of the installation.
    Jake

  6. #6
    Catalina Update not using my Startup disk
    chscag's Avatar
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    I think he may need to set his default boot to that external in order to get it to go back to that external on the two reboots in the middle of the installation.
    Exactly. That's what I was getting at about setting the external as your boot drive and installing to it rather than the internal.

    I went thru the same process when I was beta testing Catalina using an external SSD attached to my iMac. I was very careful about directing the installation of the betas to the SSD and not to my internal Macintosh HD. Never had a problem throughout the beta period.

  7. #7
    Catalina Update not using my Startup disk
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Ah, OK. I read this:
    That's because when you downloaded the upgrade you did not direct it to be installed to your external SSD. Rather, you allowed the update to install to the default which is always your Macintosh HD.
    as saying that he just needed to direct the installer to the external, rather than making the external the default boot drive. The default is not always the internal drive, if you set it to the external. But if he's booting with, let's say, the Option key and then selecting the external, then on the mid-update boots it goes back to the internal.
    Jake

  8. #8
    Guys thanks for all your replies, but Im not sure if the solution is here yet

    The Software update option in System Prefs doesn't give an option to download and save the update
    update1.png
    update2.png

    So in normal use the SSD External drive is my default startup drive

    If I respond to the System Update option [Update Now] (I have automatic updates turned off), the iMac pretty much instantly shuts down and then restarts and attempts to install the update to the internal disk (never the current startup disk).

    So, I wonder how to force it to update (this is macOS Catalina 10.15.4 Supplemental Update) to update the external Startup disk?

    Hope that makes sense

  9. #9
    PS If I unhook the external drive and reboot with internal drive the notification indeed does go away. But once I set the external back as startup disk and reboot the notification is back

    I assume this is because the OS on the Internal drive is updated but the OS on the External drive isn't updated

  10. #10
    Catalina Update not using my Startup disk
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    I still suggest you call/chat with Apple. If you have set your default boot disk to the external in System Preferences/Startup Disk and it's still not updating, there has to be something that Apple can suggest.
    Jake

  11. #11
    Catalina Update not using my Startup disk
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    When you go into System Preferences > Startup Disk, which disk is selected? You need to make sure the external disk is selected as the startup drive and make sure you restart your computer to confirm the iMac is booting from the external . You may want to go back into System Preferences > Startup Disk and check again. Then try the macOS update again.


    Sent from my iPad using Mac-Forums
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  12. #12
    Hi, yes my default startup disk IS the external drive and any regular reboots always use this disk

  13. #13
    Catalina Update not using my Startup disk
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    I'll repeat myself. Call Apple or open a Chat with them. Go here and follow the prompting: Get Support
    Jake

  14. #14
    OK, I succumbed to a little Irish charm (ie an Apple technician)

  15. #15
    Catalina Update not using my Startup disk
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    And did it get fixed?
    Jake

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