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Catalina on 2013 iMac

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If I understand correctly, my 2013 iMac will not do the new trick with an iPad as a second screen, so is there any point in updating to Catalina?

If I do decide to risk that, then I have a backup of Mojave and a test installation of Catalina on an external drive.

I assume the safest way to update my internal drive would be to wipe the drive and install Catalina and import my settings and data from one of the backups, rather than using SuperDuper! to copy the test installation from external drive to internal, due to Catalina having been split into two partitions.

Can SuperDuper! cope with the separate partitions automatically?

If it makes a difference, I still have an iPhone and an iPad not yet updated to iOS13, as I still rely on Reminders. Once I have copied the Reminders entries somewhere safe, I will probably update both of those.

I don’t apply App updates too often so the fact they are now more difficult to find doesn’t really matter.


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This is probably just me but I can’t help feeling that each update to iOS or macOS is greeted by deciding I can manage without this and work around that, so I suppose I have to update and hope for the best.

Perhaps others see the (alleged) improvements and added features and accept the losses philosophically.

The same way we went out and bought Bluetooth headsets when our iPhones lost the headphone jack and adapters when the MacBooks lost their ports.

See a separate post here detailing the problems I had caused by losing the internal DVD drive.


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One other thought. I referred to the impending updates on iOS devices as things would then all integrate fully once Catalina is installed.

On the other hand, I do have an MB Air and an iPod Touch. I think the former will probably accept Catalina but I believe the iPod will not accept iOS13.

Does this matter?


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If I understand correctly, my 2013 iMac will not do the new trick with an iPad as a second screen, so is there any point in updating to Catalina?

If I do decide to risk that, then I have a backup of Mojave and a test installation of Catalina on an external drive.

I assume the safest way to update my internal drive would be to wipe the drive and install Catalina and import my settings and data from one of the backups, rather than using SuperDuper! to copy the test installation from external drive to internal, due to Catalina having been split into two partitions.

Can SuperDuper! cope with the separate partitions automatically?

If it makes a difference, I still have an iPhone and an iPad not yet updated to iOS13, as I still rely on Reminders. Once I have copied the Reminders entries somewhere safe, I will probably update both of those.

I don’t apply App updates too often so the fact they are now more difficult to find doesn’t really matter.


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Apple has changed Reminders in iOS 13 and Catalina. If you upgrade one, you need to upgrade the other or they won't sync.
 
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One slight quibble with terminology, but it's pretty important, IMHO. Catalina has not "been split into two partitions." There is one partition, with one Container but two Volumes in that container. The quibble is important because in partitions, one has to set the size of the partition in advance, and any free space on one partition is still isolated to that partition. But Volumes share the space in the Container dynamically, so that any volume can be of any size at any time (so long as the sum of all volumes does not exceed the Container size). That dynamic sharing of storage is a much more efficient use of the drive space. Plus, to the user the use of two Volumes to house the system and user data is practically invisible, as Finder merges the two into one virtual volume that looks and acts exactly like the old one-drive system did. The user only sees the two Volumes in Disk Utility and if one uses Finder to explore a Time Machine backup (or, I guess, a clone backup as well.)
I assume the safest way to update my internal drive would be to wipe the drive and install Catalina and import my settings and data from one of the backups, rather than using SuperDuper! to copy the test installation from external drive to internal, due to Catalina having been split into two partitions.
Maybe, but I just did my upgrade over Mojave and let the installer work it out. No need to restore from any backup as it upgraded flawlessly. I have heard from others that a nuke/pave installation worked equally well with Migration Assistant working as it always has to put things back in the proper place. Frankly, other than having to look for 32bit apps, the whole thing went with less fuss and bother than usual for me.
I don’t apply App updates too often so the fact they are now more difficult to find doesn’t really matter.
I'm not sure what you mean by "more difficult to find" in that sentence. I get notified by the Mac App Store whenever there is an update, or the software I have that checks with the developer for updates notifies me when the updates occur. Frankly, the whole "update" process has gotten remarkably pain-free recently.
Apple has changed Reminders in iOS 13 and Catalina. If you upgrade one, you need to upgrade the other or they won't sync.
This one is pretty important if you depend on Reminders. To see Reminders in sync, the two system have to be at appropriate levels. Also, for the iPod, the changes from iTunes to Music might cause some issues. You might want to look into that.
 
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Thanks.

If I do an in-place upgrade do I need to boot onto an external drive or can I install onto the booted system drive please?

Incidentally, the two volumes show up separately if you boot from a different drive. At least they do if that drive is running Mojave


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I installed directly over Mojave. Just like any other over-the-top install.
Incidentally, the two volumes show up separately if you boot from a different drive. At least they do if that drive is running Mojave
Not what is happening here. I have a CCC clone that when I look at it in Finder is one drive, but in Disk Utility is two. I seem to recall testing by booting from that drive and looking back at the internal and seeing just one, too, but that memory is a bit hazy now. Of course, if you are booted in Mojave and look at the drive, you will see two because Mojave doesn't have the changes in it to merge the two volumes into one virtual volume.

EDIT: To be more clear, I ran the installer while booted to Mojave. It did the boot, reboot, reboot, etc, thing for a while and eventually booted into Catalina and reported all done.
 
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Thanks MacInWin. That was just what I assumed about the volumes with Mojave.

I know there are some issues regarding updating the active system drive but usually the official upgrade method copes with that. I will give it a try


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Yeah, all I did was, while booted in Mojave, download and run the Catalina installer. Worked just as advertised. I did try to eliminate all of the 32-bit software in advance, but found some afterwards that had the slash/circle symbol over them. No problem for me, I just trashed them.
 
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Is it worth updating if my iMac will not do the iPad second screen thing?

Pretty sure my MB Air won’t do that either.

I suppose the main thing is the interconnection between Catalina and iOS13


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"Worth" is a relative thing, to be honest. I like to stay fairly current because being there assures me of the latest security updates, software that gets updated will work without having to worry about a legacy OS, and I'm ready for new things that require the latest version. But others don't find that "worth" anything to them. It's really a call. If you are at, say, Mojave, maybe you don't NEED to upgrade, and can skip Catalina, or wait for a couple of more releases before you move, but it's pretty stable, as far as I can tell. The iPad screen thing isn't "worth" it to me because I have a second screen already, connected through the ThunderBolt port, so I don't need to have an iPad second screen. But if you want to move your iDevices to iOS13 and use Reminders, then yes, you will need to upgrade to Catalina for them to sync.
 
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It seems to have updated successfully in place. Bluetooth keyboard works, trackball has buttons reversed as I am left-handed. It even reopened the same applications and selected the same wallpaper and screensaver.

It does seem a bit slow, but maybe it is still finishing off in the background?

Not tried running everything yet, but I think it is all 64-bit


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Not finishing off, really. Probably Spotlight re-indexing. Catalina has a different file structure, so the inventory has to be completely re-done.
 
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At the moment it is running very slowly. Not sure if it has hung or just slow.

Perhaps I should not have updated on the 13th :)


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Maybe Catalina is too demanding for my iMac?

Everything, if it works at all, is so slow.


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Back to Mojave I think. Perhaps a 2013 iMac with Intel graphics is too old for Catalina.

I have managed for years with my original 2008 iMac running Lion, so Mojave isn’t that bad :)


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Going back is not trivial. You will need a TM backup from Mojave, and I have read that it has to be not one that has been updated by Catalina, to get your data back. You can also use a cloned backup. Because of the structural changes in Catalina on the hard drive, you will have to completely erase it to get back to a Mojave setup. However, I think the slowdown is the APFS on a spinner HD. APFS was created to operate best on SSDs, can be slow on an HD, particularly on a slow spinner. And Mojave uses APFS as well, so if that is the issue, Mojave will be slow as well. Can you update the drive to an SSD? Even a 500GB SSD would be sufficient, given that you have only used about 225Gb on the current drive.
 
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