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M1 Surprises 😳
#57486 12/31/20 08:32 PM
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EXTERNAL BOOT VOLUMES
I have been able to successfully create a second bootable volume on the internal HD in my M1 Mac mini, but as of this date I have been unable to create a bootable external boot volume. 🀬 I am not alone in that difficulty, there are dozens of threads in support forums all reporting similar results. The common error is
Quote
error 104 dsNeedToWriteBootBlocks need to write new boot blocks
Which I interpret to mean the installer is not creating the boot image.
From my experience and network searches I have learned….
  • You need to forget everything you knew about creating an external boot volume on an Intel Mac as it is not applicable, isn't available, or simply doesn't work on an M1 Mac 😑
  • If there is an equivalent to permitting booting from an external drive on an Intel Mac, no one has found how to access it on an M1 Mac ❓
  • I have found no reports of successfully creating an external boot drive via the Recovery Disk installation but it will create a bootable volume group on the internal drive πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ
  • 100% of the few successes reported have been on Thunderbolt connected drives πŸ€” and a 100% failure rate on USB connected drives. (there is speculation USB simply isn't fast enough πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ )
  • The only successful external installs I have read about resulted from using the macOS 11 or 11.0.1 installer from the App Store not the Recovery Drive 😳
  • From those successes there are reports indicating an option boot may not be successful either but changing the boot drive in System Preferences is reliable.

This remains a work-in-process.

SIP:
It is still possible to disable SIP (System Integrity Protection) on M1 Macs using crsutil but…
  • It has to be done in Terminal while booted from the Recovery Drive on a boot volume by boot volume basis
  • Disabling SIP also disables iOS apps on the M1 Mac πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ


SETTINGS SCOPE:
Settings which were for an entire system on Intel Macs, are set on a on a boot volume by boot volume basis on M1 Macs including:
  • Gatekeeper options
  • SIP (System Integrity Protection)
  • Beta test authorization

and these can only be set while booted from the Recovery Drive.



Make intentional errors β€”
Otherwise the Great Spirit realizes you have fulfilled your purpose on earth.

β€” Navajo saying
Re: M1 Surprises 😳
joemikeb #57487 12/31/20 10:16 PM
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Whenever Apple introduces a new OS version or machine configuration I invariably marvel over some of the new "features" and wonder if they've got a "Department of Cockeyed Ideas" that dreams them up.

I wonder if, for instance, disabling SIP will be perpetuated in clones (when and if cloning ever becomes possible)?


The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire
Re: M1 Surprises 😳
artie505 #57488 01/01/21 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by artie505
I wonder if, for instance, disabling SIP will be perpetuated in clones (when and if cloning ever becomes possible)?
I can see how that could go either way, but I suspect the reason it goes one way or the other has far more to do with Apple's plans for macOS 12 than compatibility with macOS 10. For what it is worth, I am finding the boot volume by boot volume settings useful in troubleshooting. Sort of like the traditional test account on steroids.

My primary issue at the moment is the inability to create a bootable external drive. If that can't be worked out, clones per. se. are almost useless.



Make intentional errors β€”
Otherwise the Great Spirit realizes you have fulfilled your purpose on earth.

β€” Navajo saying
Re: M1 Surprises 😳
joemikeb #57489 01/01/21 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by joemikeb
My primary issue at the moment is the inability to create a bootable external drive. If that can't be worked out, clones per. se. are almost useless.

I thought Mike Bombich of Carbon Copy Cloner fame has said that indeed, the only way (for now) to create a bootable external drive, was to use Apple's Installer first to install the OS on the external drive then use CCC to clone the Data volume. Clunky but bootable. You as much said this in your fifth bullet point above.


On a Mac since 1984.
Currently: 27" iMacs, Macbook Air, macOS 10.15.x,; iPhones, iPods and iPads galore!
Re: M1 Surprises 😳
Ira L #57490 01/01/21 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Ira L
I thought Mike Bombich of Carbon Copy Cloner fame has said that indeed, the only way (for now) to create a bootable external drive, was to use Apple's Installer first to install the OS on the external drive then use CCC to clone the Data volume. Clunky but bootable. You as much said this in your fifth bullet point above.
Unfortunately Mike's solution does work on M1 Macs. I just spent the last four hours trying to create a bootable external drive with zero success. What I have learned is:
  • The App Store installer does not work any better than the Recovery Disk installer, just a bit differently.
  • Either installer requires a password for an admin user on the system to install on any drive/volume on the system
  • Copying user settings is an option when initiating the installation.
  • Whether the user data is copied or not, if the authorizing account is on an encrypted volume the install fails with the error unable to transfer ownership
  • Once the installer is downloaded the full installation took 18Β½ minutes to the first boot attempt. (The installer claims 54 minutes)
  • Even if the installer completes normally the external volume boot fails with an error 104 (dsNeedToWriteBootBlocks)
  • I went through the steps to create a bootable thumb drive using the command line and Apple's own tool for creating a bootable drive. The process completed successfully, but the drive will not boot.

If I sound discouraged, I am. I have no idea what to try next.



Make intentional errors β€”
Otherwise the Great Spirit realizes you have fulfilled your purpose on earth.

β€” Navajo saying
Re: M1 Surprises 😳
joemikeb #57491 01/02/21 02:12 AM
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The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire
Re: M1 Surprises 😳
artie505 #57492 01/02/21 06:10 PM
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It seems that the gist of the article is "If you’re trying to create and use a bootable external disk for M1 Macs, I therefore recommend that you don’t waste your time discovering which USB-C SSDs might be compatible: go straight for a Thunderbolt 3 enclosure".
Even with that the author makes it sound as if it is a less than perfect procedure.


On a Mac since 1984.
Currently: 27" iMacs, Macbook Air, macOS 10.15.x,; iPhones, iPods and iPads galore!
Re: M1 Surprises 😳
Ira L #57493 01/02/21 07:57 PM
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As I read it, the author says the procedure works just fine to create an external that will boot an M1, barring the issue with ejecting the data volume.

And, theoretically, anyhow, CCC should be able to clone your data volume to the newly created installation.

Sounds like a solution, albeit an expensive one.


The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire
Re: M1 Surprises 😳
Ira L #57494 01/02/21 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by artie505
I found Booting an M1 Mac from an external disk: it is possible – The Eclectic Light Company.

Is it at all helpful?
Thanks for the input Artie, the Eclectic Light article was my troubleshooting starting point:
Originally Posted by Ira L
Even with that the author makes it sound as if it is a less than perfect procedure.
You got that right Ira, in fact, I would say it is FAR less than perfect. 😠
  • I am installing to a Samsung X5 SSD that is TB3.
  • If I validate the installation using a user on an encrypted volume the installation quits with the error "Unable to transfer ownership of the volume"
  • If I validate using a user on an unencrypted volume the installation apparently completes normally, but when the system attempts to boot the newly installed volume the boot fails with a 104 error.
  • If I am able to run the install without validating from an existing user on the system (which is NOT easy) the newly installed volume boot fails with an error 104.
  • The I get the same result using the Recovery Drive, the installer downloaded from the App Store, and a bootable thumb drive (which is nothing more than the recovery drive with the installer already downloaded but it does save time)

By-the-way using either the downloaded installer package or the bootable thumb drive created from that downloaded installer package to a high speed SSD such as the Samsung X5 only takes 18Β½ minutes, so I have been able to make lots of trials in a surprisingly short length of time. And before you ask, I have downloaded the installer twice and recreated the thumb drive three times just in case I made an error there.

Color me bumfuzzled! 😫

I am wondering if this is not a case where the hardware development got ahead of the software developers' ability to foresee all the possible ramifications of changes that were being made or possibly too much bleed over from the iOS/iPadOS side (wait, Apple's building is round so maybe it would be the iOS/iPadOS ring) of the house.



Make intentional errors β€”
Otherwise the Great Spirit realizes you have fulfilled your purpose on earth.

β€” Navajo saying
Re: M1 Surprises 😳
joemikeb #57495 01/03/21 02:21 AM
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Originally Posted by joemikeb
You got that right Ira, in fact, I would say it is FAR less than perfect. 😠

You seem to be saying that despite the fact that the article's author presents the procedure as a sure thing, you can't get a bootable volume under any circumstances?

Something's wacky somewhere. confused


The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire
Re: M1 Surprises 😳
artie505 #57496 01/03/21 03:59 AM
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Originally Posted by artie505
Originally Posted by joemikeb
You got that right Ira, in fact, I would say it is FAR less than perfect. 😠

You seem to be saying that despite the fact that the article's author presents the procedure as a sure thing, you can't get a bootable volume under any circumstances?

Something's wacky somewhere. confused
You got it. That is exactly what I am saying. Had I started with a clean new system the resukrts might have been different, but I did try from a clean installer. He was also installing 11.0.1 and all I can get is 11.1. Another complication is my system is encrypted, but it still should work and there are lots of reports similar to mine. 🀬

Last edited by joemikeb; 01/03/21 04:08 AM.


Make intentional errors β€”
Otherwise the Great Spirit realizes you have fulfilled your purpose on earth.

β€” Navajo saying
Re: M1 Surprises πŸ‘ πŸ‘
joemikeb #57506 01/04/21 03:58 AM
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SUCCESS

The solution was to discard all the sage advice. I successfully created a bootable clone from the bootable thumb drive using an OWC Envoy Pro USB 3.1 Gen 2 SSD connected to a USB 3.0 port. It was slow, taking several hours for complete recovery, but it is bootable and 100% complete including a full restore from the Time Machine backup. How practical this would be to do very often is a subject of conjecture but more on that tomorrow. Right now it is past my bedtime.



Make intentional errors β€”
Otherwise the Great Spirit realizes you have fulfilled your purpose on earth.

β€” Navajo saying
Re: M1 Surprises πŸ‘ πŸ‘
joemikeb #57509 01/04/21 03:57 PM
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PROGRESS REPORT

I switched the Envoy Pro from a USB 3.0 port to a USB 3.1 Gen 2 port (have you any idea how hard it is to find a USB 3.1 gen 2 hub?) and unsurprisingly it is nearly twice as fast as it was on the USB 3.0 port. It boots reliably and works well. It is not a true clone of course and whether it will survive the data volume being cloned from the internal volume is yet to be determined. (One step at a time.)

FINDINGS TO DATE

  • It is possible to create a bootable external drive for an M1 Mac but it may take some experimentation to find a combination of installer, target drive, and port connection that works for you. πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ
  • After the initial install completes there are several tasks that must be performed to have a fully functioning system and multiple reboots are required.
  • Best case this is NOT a replacement for a real ASR clone (I hope Apple is diligently working on that)
  • Running the installer from a Thumb Drive would be my suggestion. You can find instructions for that in this osXDaily article. Your Flash drive should have a bare minimum of 16GB, have a reasonably fast read rate, and preferably both Type A and C USB connectors.


TO BE DETERMINED

  • Will a bootable external drive survive cloning the data volume from the internal drive?
  • Were the previous failures related to the installer, the connection port, or the target device, all of the above, none of the above, karma?
  • Is there a reliable combination for creating external boot drive for an M1 Mac?


MORE TO FOLLOW



Make intentional errors β€”
Otherwise the Great Spirit realizes you have fulfilled your purpose on earth.

β€” Navajo saying
Re: M1 Surprises πŸ‘ πŸ‘
joemikeb #57510 01/04/21 10:03 PM
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MORE TEST RESULTS
  1. I have been completely unsuccessful in creating a bootable external drive on a Thunderbolt drive
  2. I have been successful in creating a bootable external SSDs on two external drives with USB 3.1 gen 2 connections to Tunderbolt 3 ports
  3. I have been successful in creating a bootable external SSDs on two external drives with USB 3.1 gen 2 connections to USB 3.0 ports
  4. I have been successful in creating a bootable external SSDs on two external drives with USB 3.1 gen 2 connections to USB 3.1 gen 2 ports
  5. My Samsung Thunderbolt 3 SSD refuses to mount on any USB port
  6. I have not attempted to create a bootable drive on rotating rust (HD) media
  7. All attempts used a bootable flash drive installer created using these instructions from OS X Daily


CONCLUSIONS
  1. With the right media and connection it is not difficult to create a bootable external drive for M1 macs given the right combination of connecting media, drive media, and installer
  2. Contrary to other reports I was completely unsuccessful using the Thunderbolt ports to create the drive
  3. The failure of the Samsung X5 SSD to mount is curious given Thunderbolt's compatibility with USB 2.0 through 4. I have to explore this further.


TBD
  • Will an external drive survive having a revised data volume cloned to it via CCC?



Make intentional errors β€”
Otherwise the Great Spirit realizes you have fulfilled your purpose on earth.

β€” Navajo saying
Re: M1 Surprises πŸ‘ πŸ‘
joemikeb #57511 01/05/21 06:15 PM
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A thorough summary of your situation. Thanks, joemikeb. smile

In light of your third "Conclusions" and your #2 conclusion being contrary to other reports, do you suspect a problem with your Samsung SSD?


On a Mac since 1984.
Currently: 27" iMacs, Macbook Air, macOS 10.15.x,; iPhones, iPods and iPads galore!
Re: M1 Surprises πŸ‘ πŸ‘
Ira L #57512 01/05/21 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Ira L
In light of your third "Conclusions" and your #2 conclusion being contrary to other reports, do you suspect a problem with your Samsung SSD?
It had occurred to me the Thunderbolt 3 standard is very broad and as a result there have been some very different performance and other variations, particularly in the PC realm. (We haven't seen that nearly as much in Macs as Apple has always rigorously adhered to the maximums permitted in the standard.) I would be tempted to speculate Samsung used a more minimal approach to the standards if it weren't for the fact that I attempted to create a bootable volume on an OWC Aura Thunderbolt 3 SSD that exhibits a performance curve very close to the internal SSD in the previous Intel Mac mini and if anything the Samsung install got further along than the OWC install.

Using the flash drive installer should have eliminated any software variations but I did NOT connect directly to a Thunderbolt 4 port and instead used either a daisy chained or distributed connection which potentially might have made a difference. At that point the number of possible permutations starts to expand dramatically and I am not inclined to spend the time and energy it would take to explore all of the possibilities. I have succeeded in meeting my objective of reliably creating a bootable external drive for my M1 Mac mini and I am confident in my conclusion "...it is not difficult to create a bootable external drive for M1 macs given the right combination of connecting media, drive media, and installer", or perhaps I should have been more emphatic in expressing my caveat. πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ

I wonder if Apple's difficulty getting their ASRΒΉ utility to work on the M1 Macs might be related to the difficulty so many users are encountering creating bootable external drives? My success using the slower USB 3.x devices has also led me to speculate the speed with which the M1 SoC moves data internally might be creating timing errors that are contributing to the problem, but that seems unlikely.

β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”-

ΒΉApple Software Restore β€” the BSD utility used by Carbon Copy ClonerΒ© to create bootable macOS 11 clones.



Make intentional errors β€”
Otherwise the Great Spirit realizes you have fulfilled your purpose on earth.

β€” Navajo saying
Re: M1 Surprises πŸ‘ πŸ‘
joemikeb #57514 01/06/21 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by joemikeb
"...it is not difficult to create a bootable external drive for M1 macs given the right combination of connecting media, drive media, and installer"

If I may slightly digress in view of your conclusion to share a favorite among math professors: so the professor had been lecturing non-stop for half an hour and the blackboard is completely covered with equations, symbols and notation. "And it is obvious…" the professor says while turning to look at the board. The professor stares at the board for a minute, two minutes, four minutes. "Yes, it's obvious." grin

[if it requires explanation, then just keep moving along smirk ]


On a Mac since 1984.
Currently: 27" iMacs, Macbook Air, macOS 10.15.x,; iPhones, iPods and iPads galore!
Re: M1 Surprises πŸ‘ πŸ‘
Ira L #57516 01/06/21 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Ira L
Originally Posted by joemikeb
"...it is not difficult to create a bootable external drive for M1 macs given the right combination of connecting media, drive media, and installer"

If I may slightly digress in view of your conclusion to share a favorite among math professors: so the professor had been lecturing non-stop for half an hour and the blackboard is completely covered with equations, symbols and notation. "And it is obvious…" the professor says while turning to look at the board. The professor stares at the board for a minute, two minutes, four minutes. "Yes, it's obvious." grin

[if it requires explanation, then just keep moving along smirk ]

To continue the digression: On the first day of class, one of my professors had an equation completely filling over fifty feet of chalkboard with a single equation. He walked in, turned to the class and said, "The solution is intuitively obvious" erased the board and walked out of the room. We then spent the entire semester working through that equation step-by-step. Shortly before the end of the semester, it was revealed that one of the fundamental assumptions of the equation had been proven to be false and the equation was being withdrawn from the literature. That was fine with me as I never understood the 🀬 thing. We were given credit for the course, but no grade. 🀯. true story



Make intentional errors β€”
Otherwise the Great Spirit realizes you have fulfilled your purpose on earth.

β€” Navajo saying
Re: M1 Surprises πŸ‘ πŸ‘
joemikeb #57519 01/07/21 01:17 AM
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To continue with the "math" digression, I majored in Mathematics in college, and have BS and MS degrees in Math. I never had a bad professor in any math course I took, and definitely never one taking the entire class time to discuss one equation. To me, that would have been counter-productive.

On the other side, I used to teach Mathematics part-time at some schools (mostly community colleges), and I also never pulled such a stunt. Unfortunately, as time went on, the students wanted to do less and less work, and began to feel more and more entitled to being "rewarded" for not doing much. I did not succumb to that, but it sure was disappointing. I have so many stories I could tell!

Last edited by MartyByrde; 01/07/21 02:14 AM.
Re: M1 Surprises πŸ‘ πŸ‘
MartyByrde #57530 01/07/21 07:28 PM
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The class I referred to was a graduate level course in Economics and the equation purported to describe market behavior.



Make intentional errors β€”
Otherwise the Great Spirit realizes you have fulfilled your purpose on earth.

β€” Navajo saying
Re: M1 Surprises πŸ‘ πŸ‘
joemikeb #57533 01/07/21 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by joemikeb
The class I referred to was a graduate level course in Economics and the equation purported to describe market behavior.

Hmm, "providing" such a farce is bad enough, but in a graduate level course? And getting credit for the course without doing anything! What a sham!

Last edited by MartyByrde; 01/07/21 09:32 PM.
Re: M1 Surprises πŸ‘ πŸ‘
MartyByrde #57534 01/07/21 10:18 PM
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I am very fond of this comment: "Economists exist in order to make astrologers look good."


Jon

macOS 11.2.3, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365
Re: M1 Surprises πŸ‘ πŸ‘
jchuzi #57535 01/07/21 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by jchuzi
I am very fond of this comment: "Economists exist in order to make astrologers look good."

Good one!

Some of my favorites for Mathematicians:

"Proof is trivial"

"It is clear that ..."

"It can be easily shown"

And here is one from a math text:

"I never came across one of Laplace's 'Thus it plainly appears' without feeling sure that I have hours of hard work before me to fill up the chasm and find out and show how it plainly appears".

Re: M1 Surprises πŸ‘ πŸ‘
MartyByrde #57536 01/07/21 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by MartyByrde
Hmm, "providing" such a farce is bad enough, but in a graduate level course? And getting credit for the course without doing anything! What a sham!
It was the professors first and only semester at the university. The dean felt he had to do something for the class members who had spent so many hours, slogging though the equation proof, not to mention the tuition and fees, thus credit for three semester hours but no grade as he had nothing to rate our work on and the professor had already left town.

Last edited by joemikeb; 01/07/21 11:59 PM.


Make intentional errors β€”
Otherwise the Great Spirit realizes you have fulfilled your purpose on earth.

β€” Navajo saying
Re: M1 Surprises πŸ‘ πŸ‘
joemikeb #57537 01/08/21 03:29 AM
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Originally Posted by joemikeb
Originally Posted by MartyByrde
Hmm, "providing" such a farce is bad enough, but in a graduate level course? And getting credit for the course without doing anything! What a sham!
It was the professors first and only semester at the university. The dean felt he had to do something for the class members who had spent so many hours, slogging though the equation proof, not to mention the tuition and fees, thus credit for three semester hours but no grade as he had nothing to rate our work on and the professor had already left town.

Still a weak excuse, at best. The students needed to complain, so that the jerk could have been removed/replaced

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