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Mac Mini (Late 2018) users should refrain from upgrading to macOS Catalina 10.15.

chscag

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The following Apple Technical Service Bulletin has been released by Apple:

Apple Technical Service Bulletin

This document provides additional instructions for operating the Mac Mini (Late 2018) macOS Catalina 10.15

Mac Mini (Late 2018) users should refrain from upgrading to macOS Catalina 10.15. macOS Catalina - Apple
Information about products not manufactured by Apple, or independent websites not controlled or tested by Apple, is provided without recommendation or endorsement. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance, or use of third-party websites or products. Apple makes no representations regarding third-party website accuracy or reliability. Risks are inherent in the use of the Internet. Contact the vendor for additional information. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Published Date: October 12, 2019


Apparently, the installation of Catalina updates the firmware of the Mini which in turn renders external monitors to no longer display the proper resolutions. Folks have reported that even reverting back to Mojave does not cure the problem because of the new firmware which stays with the Mini.

If you have not installed Catalina and are thinking about it and own a 2018 Mini, hold off until Apple provides a fix.
 
H

honestone33

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Definitely a MAJOR cause for concern. I installed OS 10.15 on an external SSD via my late 2012 Mac Mini (with a Sony 19" monitor (purchased brand new in February 2004, and STILL works great!)), and everything is fine (except, of course, with some software which is not yet compatible with Catalina).

Also, the OS 10.15 Supplemental Update that was released today does not seem to address this issue:

MacOS Catalina Supplemental Update 1 Released with Bug Fixes

Not even sure if the soon-to-be-released OS 10.15.1 update will address this issue either.
 
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Does anyone know if this has been resolved?
Also, if you buy a new Mac Mini, what OS is provided?
 

chscag

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It may have been fixed with the supplemental update to Catalina and also Catalina 10.15.1. However, if you really do not need Catalina, it may be a good idea to remain with Mojave.

If you purchase a new Mini it may come preloaded with Catalina or Mojave. Depends on how long the unit was in the store or warehouse.
 
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It shouldn't matter, since the 2018 Mac Mini, could originally support Mojave, you can still install Mojave onto it, as long as you have a bootable USB Mojave installer.
 

krs


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It shouldn't matter, since the 2018 Mac Mini, could originally support Mojave, you can still install Mojave onto it, as long as you have a bootable USB Mojave installer.
Hmmmm...the way I read it, it does matter - a lot actually.
Per the first post:
Apparently, the installation of Catalina updates the firmware of the Mini which in turn renders external monitors to no longer display the proper resolutions. Folks have reported that even reverting back to Mojave does not cure the problem because of the new firmware which stays with the Mini.
So if your new 2018 Mini comes with Mojave, the chances are that it has the original firmware and operation with external monitors is OK, if it comes preinstalled with Catalina, it will have the updated firmware and ther is (or might be) an issue using an external monitor.

Raises two additional questions in my mind:
1. What about older Minis like the 2012 I have? It will run Catalina but for some reason the warning is only for Late 2018 Minis. Do these older Minis have firmware that doesn't need to be updated for Catalina and they therefore don't have that problem?
2. How can Apple possibly have missed that issue in their various product testing cycles? A Mini has to have an external display to operate - it's not like a MacBook or iMac where a display is sort of an "add-on".

What do people do who did the upgrade? Their Minis suddenly became unusable.
 
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2. How can Apple possibly have missed that issue in their various product testing cycles? A Mini has to have an external display to operate - it's not like a MacBook or iMac where a display is sort of an "add-on".

What do people do who did the upgrade? Their Minis suddenly became unusable.
I don't read it that way. Charlie said:

Apparently, the installation of Catalina updates the firmware of the Mini which in turn renders external monitors to no longer display the proper resolutions. Folks have reported that even reverting back to Mojave does not cure the problem because of the new firmware which stays with the Mini.
So the issue is not that the Mini does not display, but that it doesn't display at the proper resolution. I suspect that if the Minis in question were really bricked by the firmware change, there would have been an uproar that would have been heard on the Moon.
 
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I suspect that if the Minis in question were really bricked by the firmware change, there would have been an uproar that would have been heard on the Moon.
That's assuming that they had other means to get the word out that Apple's upgrade killed their Mac. Not everybody has multiple computers/devices for internet communication.

And I doubt that the Mac Mini (Late 2018) users make up a huge percentage of the particular macOS upgrade users group. But I could be mistaken and surprised.


- Patrick
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True, Patrick, but using that logic nobody would ever find out when there are problems because they can't get out. Surely ONE 2018 Mini is in the hands of the technical press somewhere? It only takes one.
 

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By "unusable" I wasn't thinking about "bricked"

And maybe unusable was too strong a word.

But I'm only guessing as to what actually happens in practice.
I know when I change resolutions with my Mini/monitor combination, I either end up with bigger text and only part of the desktop is on the screen or smaller text hard to read.
I don't really know what the situation here is, but you're right - can't be that bad/annoying since I haven't read about any of this in the main stream media.
 
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It only takes one.
True Jake, especially when it's in the right place at the time, and with a user who knows how to get the word out. But they are a minority bunch.

EdIT:
But one thing is sure, Apple's latest OS upgrades, Fall 2019, both macOS and iOS, will probably go down in history as one of their worst public releases ever from what I read.


- Patrick
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Yeah, it was a huge change, dropping 32 bit, changing how the drive is structured, tightening up security, more integration with iOS devices. One wonders if they should have staged this release over multiple smaller drops instead of one big splash followed by "fix" releases. If it were me, I'd drop public Beta testing and concentrate on quality testing from trusted sources. Throwing it out there and expecting the average user to actually test and report back doesn't have the rigor that a release this big needs.

That said, given how big the changes were, it's surprising there are not more issues. I think saying, "probably go down in history as one of their worst public releases ever" is a bit over reacting, but if you haven't installed it yourself, all you can rely on are the over-active pundits. For me, once I had the 32-bit software sorted out the upgrade went well.
 

Slydude

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If it were me, I'd drop public Beta testing and concentrate on quality testing from trusted sources.
Why are you trying to spoil my fun? What did I ever do to you?:)

Throwing it out there and expecting the average user to actually test and report back doesn't have the rigor that a release this big needs.
I've never considered the Public Beta, from Apple or anyone else, to be intended for the "average" user. I know some users treat it that way but anyone who spends more than 5 minutes reading on the web can find numerous instances where users are warned about the perils of running beta software.
 
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I was just reading the other day how Apple's software development teams are now going to be using a completely different method considering the reminders how so many of their recent OS releases were so bad and most needing another almost fix.

I would say that needing seven or eight updates within a month is pretty pathetic and Apple seems to agree, hence the change!!! Time will tell.


- Patrick
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I would say that needing seven or eight updates within a month is pretty pathetic and Apple seems to agree, hence the change!!! Time will tell.
When did they make 7-8 updates in a month? Catalina is only at 10.15.1, even now, so no 7-8 there.
 

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I was just reading the other day how Apple's software development teams are now going to be using a completely different method considering the reminders how so many of their recent OS releases were so bad and most needing another almost fix.
Do you have any idea what the different method is vs what they do now?

Company I worked for before I retired ran hundreds of thousands automated software test cases on every release plus weeks of manual testing- but that was "industrial" software that ran global communication systems and ATM switches, so we couldn't afford any but the most minor bugs.
We also didn't give the software away for free even though it would only run on proprietary switches.
 
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Do you have any idea what the different method is vs what they do now?
Found it:
Inside Apple’s iPhone Software Shakeup After Buggy iOS 13 Debut
Bloomberg - Are you a robot?
Apple Inc. is overhauling how it tests software after a swarm of bugs marred the latest iPhone and iPad operating systems, according to people familiar with the shift.
Also same place for:
The initial version of iOS 13 was so buggy that Apple has had to rush out several patches. In the first two months of iOS 13, there have been eight updates, the most since 2012 when Federighi took over Apple’s iOS software engineering group. The company is currently testing another new version, iOS 13.3, and there’s already a follow-up in the works for the spring.
Just to answer the question:
When did they make 7-8 updates in a month?
Well, just a few weeks difference...


- Patrick
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Thanks Patrick - nice article.

Apple seems to have the same general problem my company had software engineers always want to work on the new, hot and sexy features, very few, if any, are happy working on improving the existing code. No glory in that, I suppose.
Maybe Apple needs to create a monetary incentive to help with that problem - it's not that hey are short of funds.

The one thing I missed in the article is any reference to software verification using automated test programs - I assume Apple runs those on every release; trying to cover all the different combinations and permutations manually is just impossible.
 
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Ah, I thought we were talking about macOS. That's what runs on the Mini that is the subject of this thread, after all...
 
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