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Re: Carbon Copy Cloner Status
joemikeb #57774 02/04/21 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by joemikeb
By-the-way, just when you thought it was safe to move to Big Sur macOS 11.3 is now in beta, just 24 hours after the public release of macIS 11.2.

Yeah, I saw that a little while ago. Most of its "features" are worthless to me, as 1) I do not use Safari at all (prefer Brave), and 2) I do not own an M1-based Mac. But there could be some useful security-related features that would be needed.

I will say, though, that everything is real solid with V11.2. As I mentioned before, it seems faster. Plus, one minor annoying bug I was having with V11.1 had to do with printing within Brave. But that could have been an application-related issue. In any event, that issue is gone.

Re: Carbon Copy Cloner Status
MartyByrde #57806 02/07/21 09:07 PM
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Well, my "project" of installing V11.2 of Big Sur onto my Mac Mini did not go 100% as well as I expected, and I am actually back on Catalina. Here is what I did:

1. As usual, ran Onyx and Tech Tool Pro (V13.0.2, the latest one).
2. Did 2 SuperDuper! backups to my two separate Samsung 850 Pro 512 gig SSDs.
3. Restarted the Mini from one of those backups.
4, Used Disk Utility there (the version that comes with Catalina; may have some bearing on my issue that I'll mention below) to Erase and Format (as APFS) the 256 gig internal SSD inside the Mini.
5. Migrated to the latest version of the Big Sur installer, OS 11.2, and proceeded to do a fresh, clean installation of Big Sur onto that internal SSD.
6. At the completion of the installation, was offered, as usual, the ability to migrate files, folders, applications, settings, etc. from a choice of 3 sources. I (of course) chose the latest SuperDuper! backup that I had just completed, and as expected, all went well.
7. Restarted the Mini, and again as expected, started up without a hitch "into" V11.2 of Big Sur.
8. Granted Fill Disk Access to Onyx and Tech Tool Pro (along with some other system preference settings).

OK, so far, so good. Tested a few apps, and no issues. Launched Tech Tool Pro, and chose to create an eDrive. Once again, no issues with that. But when I selected "Restart eDrive", the eDrive did not show in my choice of startup devices. Only the one for OS 11.2. (I did verify that the eDrive had files on it). Tried again, but no go. When I restarted the Mini and held down the Option key, the eDrive did show up as a choice. After I selected it, the boot up process continued, but when it got to using the eDrive, could not do anything at all. Nada, Not a thing.

Checked the Micromat forums, and some folks were having an issue that they could not create the eDrive (seems most of them had to do with space issues, although not in all cases). Also, at least one person had the issue I had, ie, could not do anything with the eDrive. I have subsequently sent an EMail to the "help" area of Micromat, but with it being the weekend, of course am not expecting an answer right away.

When I first tried to "move" back to Catalina, and after re-starting the Mini from the SuperDuper! backup, I used Disk Utility there (again, version that comes with Catalina) to Erase and Format (as APFS) the internal SSD. But after doing a restore, etc., restarting the Mini (now on Catalina), launched Tech Tool Pro, but it would not let me create an eDrive, as there was not enough ?space? available. Even tried to do all that by doing a SuperDuper! restore. Same issue. What I finally did was a 3 step process:

1. Restart my Mac from my other external SSD that had Big Sur on it.
2. Launched Disk Utility from there to Erase and Format (as APFS) the internal SSD inside the Mini.
3. Followed Steps 3 through 8 above), except for step 5, migrated to the latest version of the Catalina installer, OS 10.15.7. And then of course for step 7, restarted the Mini into OS 10.15.7, ie, the latest version of Catalina.

All is well, and I was able to create the eDrive.

So, it seems there is at least one anomaly: to fully Erase and Format a drive that already has Big Sur on it, one must use the version of Disk Utility that comes with Big Sur (this has never happened to me before). Also, from previous versions of the Mac OS, I remember reading that when one does a clean fresh installation of the new Mac OS, it will first Erase and Format the drive one is trying to install the OS on. One question I have is that if the device has already been Erased and Formatted "properly" (ie, in the case of Catalina and Big Sur, formatted as APFS), when one launches the full installer, will it do another Erase and Format?

And the other unknown right now is the Disk Utility issue. Given that I erased and formatted the internal SSD with the Catalina version of Disk Utility, could that possibly be the reason why I could not create a usable eDrive? Will have to wait to hear from Micromat about that.

Last edited by MartyByrde; 02/08/21 02:08 AM.
Re: Carbon Copy Cloner Status
MartyByrde #57809 02/07/21 10:46 PM
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I have no experience with Big Sur on Intel Macs and there are definite differences, but from posts I have seen on other product support, web sites macOS 11.2 apparently broke some things associated with external boot drives that were working in 11.1. It appears the problem revolves around changes in the utility used to bless a boot drive. I have also seen reports similar to yours about the version of Disk Utility used to erase a volume. In both cases, early results indicate both issues are fixed in the current macOS 11.3 beta. Given macOS 11 is the biggest rework of Apple's OS since Mac OS X, you may have made the switch one update too soon. πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ

Bootable external drives on M1 Macs is altogether another matter given the sensitivity to drive type (SSD) and connection (Thunderbolt 3) and port (directly connected to either of the Thunderbolt 4 ports). I was hoping macOS 11.3 would have an update to the ASR utility for M1 Macs and therefore enable cloning, but no joy yet. πŸ™…β€β™‚οΈ



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

β€” Navajo saying
Re: Carbon Copy Cloner Status
joemikeb #57811 02/08/21 01:04 AM
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Originally Posted by joemikeb
I have no experience with Big Sur on Intel Macs and there are definite differences, but from posts I have seen on other product support, web sites macOS 11.2 apparently broke some things associated with external boot drives that were working in 11.1. It appears the problem revolves around changes in the utility used to bless a boot drive. I have also seen reports similar to yours about the version of Disk Utility used to erase a volume. In both cases, early results indicate both issues are fixed in the current macOS 11.3 beta. Given macOS 11 is the biggest rework of Apple's OS since Mac OS X, you may have made the switch one update too soon. πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ

Bootable external drives on M1 Macs is altogether another matter given the sensitivity to drive type (SSD) and connection (Thunderbolt 3) and port (directly connected to either of the Thunderbolt 4 ports). I was hoping macOS 11.3 would have an update to the ASR utility for M1 Macs and therefore enable cloning, but no joy yet. πŸ™…β€β™‚οΈ

Thanks for that excellent insight, joemikeb. Will be interesting to see what Micromat tells me. Also, will keep looking at the Tech Tool Pro forums. I just wish I had left OS 11.1 on my external Samsung SSD, installed Tech Tool Pro V13.0.2, and tried to create an eDrive.

Apple sure is making life more and more difficult. Issues with Disk Utility, and shutting out SuperDuper!, along with making hassles for CCC. And here we thought Windows was bad!

Last edited by MartyByrde; 02/08/21 02:05 AM.
Re: Carbon Copy Cloner Status
joemikeb #57818 02/08/21 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by joemikeb
I have no experience with Big Sur on Intel Macs and there are definite differences, but from posts I have seen on other product support, web sites macOS 11.2 apparently broke some things associated with external boot drives that were working in 11.1. It appears the problem revolves around changes in the utility used to bless a boot drive. I have also seen reports similar to yours about the version of Disk Utility used to erase a volume. In both cases, early results indicate both issues are fixed in the current macOS 11.3 beta. Given macOS 11 is the biggest rework of Apple's OS since Mac OS X, you may have made the switch one update too soon. πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ

Any chance you are "allowed" to provide links to those sites? They could be both informative and useful.

Re: Carbon Copy Cloner Status
MartyByrde #57823 02/08/21 08:15 PM
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OK, here is the reply I just received from Micromat regarding my eDrive issues:

"Thanks for the message. It sounds like the problem may be with the user that was active when the eDrive was created. This issue is quite common issue, especially when a user account has been migrated through multiple systems like a previous machine or earlier operating systems. To address this, one solution is to create a new admin user, and then log in as that user to create your eDrive. The reason we recommend creating a new admin user account and creating the eDrive from there is because it will utilize new ACL’s & Permissions and is a far simpler solution than the alternative of reseting the ACL’s on your account. (The New Admin User Account is just for the purpose of troubleshooting the eDrive creation failure.)

To create a new admin user open System Preferences and then select the Users & Groups preference pane (β€œAccounts" in 10.6 and earlier). Click the lock icon to unlock the preference pane so you can make changes. Next, click the plus icon at the bottom of the users column to create the new account. Change New Account from Standard to Administrator, and fill in a new username and password (It's ok to use the same password - makes it easier to remember.) Click Ok.

Once the new user has been created, log out (from the Apple menu) of you current user account and then log back in as the new user and open TechTool Pro from your Applications folder (you can skip signing into iCloud, etc.) Launch eDrive from the Mode menu and create a new eDrive partition, while logged into the new admin user account. Your new device will be based on the new user, so any time the eDrive requests a username and password, it will be the ones you just set up."

Sounds like a lot of work. I already responded to them, in that I am going to wait until V11.3 of Big Sur arrives before I try the move again. I also asked them if they are testing V13.0.2 of Tech Tool Pro with V11.3 (in beta) of Big Sur. I'll report on what they tell me.

By the way (forgot to mention this to Micromat), I've never had an issue regarding my User Account and making the eDrive. Seems like a strange excuse, but the way Apple has been doing things recently, who knows?

Last edited by MartyByrde; 02/08/21 08:25 PM.
Re: Carbon Copy Cloner Status
MartyByrde #58245 03/09/21 06:27 PM
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Looks like there is a newer version of Carbon Copy Cloner, V5.1.25, released on February 1st:

https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/7032/carbon-copy-cloner

I assume this version works the same as V5.1.23 with Intel-based Macs, ie, one can backup/clone a Big Sur volume onto an external SSD as usual (no work arounds necessary).

Re: Carbon Copy Cloner Status
jchuzi #58246 03/09/21 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by jchuzi
I'm using CCC with Big Sur and, if you follow your customary procedure of reformatting the APFS volume and cloning everything, all will be well. One caveat: Let CCC erase the destination volume as part of the cloning procedure rather than use Disk Utility to reformat and then use CCC. That worked better for me than reformatting with Disk Utility and then cloning with CCC.

jchuzi,

Would appreciate it if you could let us know if you are using the latest version of Carbon Copy Cloner, V5.1.25, that was released on February 1st, and that it works fine with Intel-based Macs and Big Sur. Sure would be helpful!

Last edited by MartyByrde; 03/09/21 08:04 PM.
Re: Carbon Copy Cloner Status
MartyByrde #58247 03/09/21 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by MartyByrde
jchuzi,

Would appreciate it if you could let us know if you are using the latest version of Carbon Copy Cloner, V5.1.25, that was released on February 1st, and that it works fine with Intel-based Macs and Big Sur. Sure would be helpful!
Yes and yes. All is well with that version of CCC, Intel, and Big Sur.


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: Carbon Copy Cloner Status
jchuzi #58248 03/10/21 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by jchuzi
Originally Posted by MartyByrde
jchuzi,

Would appreciate it if you could let us know if you are using the latest version of Carbon Copy Cloner, V5.1.25, that was released on February 1st, and that it works fine with Intel-based Macs and Big Sur. Sure would be helpful!
Yes and yes. All is well with that version of CCC, Intel, and Big Sur.

Thank you! That is definitely re-assuring! Now, as long as Tech Tool Pro "plays nicely" with V11.3 of Big Sur I'll be making the move.

Thanks again.

Re: Carbon Copy Cloner Status
MartyByrde #58446 03/26/21 11:18 PM
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CarbonCopy Cloner Version 5.1.26-b4 (6173) successfully clones M1 Macs! I haven't stress tested it yet, and may not, but I am booted from a CC clone as I type this! πŸ˜ŽπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ŒπŸŒˆβœ¨πŸ’₯



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

β€” Navajo saying
Re: Carbon Copy Cloner Status
joemikeb #58449 03/26/21 11:58 PM
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Does that version of CCC clone Big Sur on Intel Macs? By this, I mean the ability to clone the system, not just data.

Last edited by jchuzi; 03/27/21 03:06 PM.

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: Carbon Copy Cloner Status
jchuzi #58452 03/27/21 04:08 PM
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Given:
  • M1 Mac mini
  • macOS 11.3 beta 5
  • Carbon Copy Cloner ersion 5.1.26-b4 (6173)
  • Sansung X5 500GB external drive (Thunderbolt 3)
  • Connection via Thunderbolt 4 port on M1 Mac mini


Procedure:
  1. Launch CCC
  2. Source drive: Macintosh HD (internal drive on M1 Mac mini)
  3. Target: Test (Samsung X5 SSD)
  4. click Clone
  5. Three options offered: Erase and clone, clone only the data volume, create a new volume on an APFS formatted drive and clone to it.
  6. assuming the first option is chosen, acknowledge the drive will be erased and all data on it will be lost


Results:
😁 πŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ πŸ‘ A bootable clone of Macintosh HD on Test. πŸ‘Œβš‘οΈ πŸ‘

Observations:
  1. I haven't tried the third option yet, but from experience, it should be possible to have multiple boot volumes on the same internal or external drive
  2. The process overall is faster than a file-by-file clone (and it appears the data volume is a file-by-file copy) but significantly longer than ASR was in Catalina
  3. I believe this is a macOS 11.3 beta 5 issue and have reported it as such, but System Preferences > Startup drive only shows the current boot drive as a startup option. To boot from the clone requires Shutting Down completely, Pressing and holding the power button until the message "Loading Startup Options" appears and selecting the boot drive there.
  4. Beats h3πŸ’πŸ‘ out of cloning the data volume and then installing the OS.



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

β€” Navajo saying
Re: Carbon Copy Cloner Status
joemikeb #58453 03/28/21 02:22 AM
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FWIW, I can only get up to CCC 5.1.25 on the Bombich website.....is your 5.1.26 version a beta?


Freedom is never free....thank a Service member today.
Re: Carbon Copy Cloner Status
MacManiac #58454 03/28/21 01:48 PM
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Carbon Copy Cloner 5.1.26-b4 is the fourth beta release of 5.1.26. It is available via CCC > Preferences > Software update and checking the box labeled "inform me of beta releases".

TESTING UPDATE

I cloned my system to an SSD connected via USB 3.1 gen 2, the data transfer rate was roughly 10% of what I see installing to a Thunderbolt 3 SSD.

RESULTS:

2 out of 2 attempts at the conclusion of the clone procedure, Big Sur popped up a warning the data volume had been improperly disconnected and when I attempted to boot from the drive I received a "validation error." The same error I get from Thunderbolt SSDs that are not directly connected to one of the Thunderbolt 4 ports on the M1 Mac mini.

CONCLUSION:

Bootable external SSDs must be directly connected to either of the two Thunderbolt 4 ports on M1 Macs.



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

β€” Navajo saying
Re: Carbon Copy Cloner Status
joemikeb #58486 04/05/21 10:42 PM
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LATEST RESULTS:

CONFIGURATION:
M1 Mac mini with Samsung X5 1TB SSD attached directly to one of the two Thunderbolt 4 ports using an OWC Thunderbolt 3 cable, macOS 11.3 beta 5 (20E5224a), CCC Version 5.1.26-b4 (6173).

ISSUES:
  1. The clones are not exact clones of the source drive. There are kernel extensions, notably SoftRAID 6.0.1, installed on the source drive. The SoftRAID kernel extension is not installed in the clone although it does appear in /Library/StagedExtensions
  2. In order to install a kernel extension it is necessary to set the Security Policy for that particular volume. When I attempt to do that on the clone the system reports β€œNo Administrator Was Found” and does not change the Security Policy for that boot volume. Therefore it is impossible to induce the kernel extension to install.
  3. This one is harder to nail down, but if I leave the cloned drive connected and the computer booted from the source drive I am encountering random system crashes. These crashes typically occur overnight and it appears to happen whether the clone volume is mounted or not.
  4. The clone does not appear in System Preferences > Startup Drive, but it does appear as a Startup option.


REALITY CHECK:

I installed macOS 11.3 beta 5 on a second Samsung x5 SSD, and…
  • It appears in System Preferences > Startup Drive
  • I successfully changed its security policy
  • It was mounted overnight and there was no System crash
  • I have not attempted to install the SoftRAID kernel extension yet


CAVEAT:

I am fully aware many, even all, of these issues may be in Apples domain, so I have submitted trouble reports to both Apple and Mike Bombich.

I have had a thought about the overnight crashes: The Samsung X5 used for the clone is a 1TB model and appears to get a lot hotter than the 500GB model I installed to, so heat in the drive is a potential suspect. I wish I could afford this OWC drive to compare against. The Samsung is in a solid plastic case with no apparent heat sink or cooling and they get WARM, where OWC's enclosure is all heat sink. But that will have to wait until my birthday or Christmas.



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

β€” Navajo saying
Re: Carbon Copy Cloner Status
joemikeb #58487 04/06/21 05:14 PM
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TALK ABOUT A RESPONSIVE DEVELOPER‼️

I received Mike Bombich's response to my problem report less than 24 hours after sending it. I thought I would share his response with FineTunedMac.

Originally Posted by Mike Bombich
Thanks for the report, it has almost completely convinced me that this is not really even worth the effort. Apple's "External Boot" solution is no longer the solution that we grew up with, they've allowed it to languish while making too many changes to macOS too quickly.

  1. The clones are not exact clones of the source drive. There are kernel extensions, notably SoftRAID 6.0.1, installed on the source drive. The SoftRAID kernel extension is not installed in the clone although it does appear in /Library/StagedExtensions
    Originally Posted by Mike Bombich
    At the end of the procedure, it's impossible for the volumes to not be identical. Immediately following the clone, however, Apple's APFS replication utility calls upon the bless utility to "personalize" the OS on the destination. This involves code signing the kernel extension cache using a machine-specific identifier stored in the M1's security enclave, and possibly rebuilding the kernel cache (given your observations, I suspect the kernel cache must have been rebuilt). I can't have any influence on this part of the procedure, Apple has wrested control of this from every third-party.
  2. In order to install a kernel extension it is necessary to set the Security Policy for that particular volume. When I attempt to do that on the clone the system reports β€œNo Administrator Was Found” and does not change the Security Policy for that boot volume. Therefore it is impossible to induce the kernel extension to install.
    Originally Posted by Mike Bombich
    If you attempt to boot from the volume, you should be prompted to grant administrator rights to one of the users on that volume.
  3. This one is harder to nail down, but if I leave the cloned drive connected and the computer booted from the source drive I am encountering random system crashes. These crashes typically occur overnight and it appears to happen whether the clone volume is mounted or not.
    Originally Posted by Mike Bimbich
    It could be an overheating issue, but I think it's more likely that these are simply bugs in the "External Boot" solution that Apple hasn't sorted out yet. We were already seeing a lot of issues when people were simply installing macOS onto external devices (specific to M1 Macs, not too many issues on Intel Macs).
  4. The clone does not appear in System Preferences > Startup Drive, but it does appear as a Startup option.

Originally Posted by Mike Bombich
This one is definitely a macOS bug. Of all of the issues you've noted, this one could be resolved pretty easily if Apple would just apply some resources to it. At least there is a simple workaround:

Some Big Sur startup volumes don't appear in the Startup Disk Preference Pane

IN CONCLUSION

Originally Posted by Mike Bombich
We're not staking the future of our product on the reliability of Apple's External Boot solution. I hate to lose this functionality – frankly it was a huge feature that separated Macs from PCs. But if Apple is going to let it languish like this, we (CCC devs) have to move on. On that note, I'm pretty stoked about some new functionality we have coming in the near future.

At least cloning works albeit it is not fully effective, and limits the usefulness of a clone as a backup alternative. There are a few more tests I want to conduct…
  • I have seen the prompt Mike mentioned to grant administrator rights, but it has not bee consistent
  • If I grant administrator rights on a clone, can I then change the volume Security Policy?
  • If I can change the volume Security Policy, can I successfully install kernel Extensions
  • If I get all that working can I clone back to the internal drive without going through a lot of rigamarole?


All of this and I wasn't that much of a fan of clones to start with. πŸ™„ FWIW I still rely on Time Machine as my primary backup which is why I was so anxious to get the SoftRAID drivers working.



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

β€” Navajo saying
Re: Carbon Copy Cloner Status
joemikeb #58488 04/08/21 06:13 PM
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MORE CLONE TESTING

TEST OBJECTIVE: To determine any further limitations to bootable clones and determine the true usefulness of a boot drive clone.

TEST SYSTEM CONFIGURATION:
  • M1 Mac mini, 16 GB memory, 500 GB Storage
  • MacOS 11.3 beta 5 (or 6 -- I have lost count)
  • Carbon Copy Cloner Version 5.1.26-b4 (6173)
  • Samsung X5 1TB Thunderbolt 3 SSD Samsung X5 500GB Thunderbolt 3 SSD


FINDINGS:
  • The only way to create a bootable clone requires allowing ASR to erase the target drive.
  • The System volume cannot be updated by any method and remain bootable.
  • Kernel Extensions -- as opposed to user extensions -- do not clone and have to be installed after cloning
  • The source volume security settings are not included in the clone, which inhibits installation of kernel extensions
  • I have been unsuccessful in all attempts to change the security settings of a cloned volume but I can easily change the security settings of an external drive that was created by the installer.
  • No matter how the external boot drive is created, whether by cloning or intalling the OS, the first time it is booted, all of the applications will be verified. (Given the 490,000+ files/items/objects in Xcode, it can take an annoyingly long time to verify just by itself).
  • Running a CCC clone to a previously cloned volume works (in this case CCC only clones the data volume), but all the applications must be re-verified the next time you boot from the volume
  • Apple's new 1 True Recovery Volume in macOS 11 (Big Sur) is a major improvement.
  • Compare volume structure of the internal drive with that of the cloned drive and a installed drive and you will see there are two containers (APFS partitions) iBootSystemContainer and RecoveryOSContainer, on the internal drive that do not appear on either of the external drives. Obviously the internal drive provides functionality that is not available on either of the external drives. I cannot verify this, but I have read that without these present in the system, the system is not bootable. (NOTE: this needs to be tested with a full macOS 11.3 installer when it is released, the results may be different.)
  • The Data volume on mounted external drives tend to unexpectedly dismount when not in use.


CONCLUSIONS:

  1. Bootable external Thunderbolt 3 or 4 SSDs are possible in macOS 11 M1 Macs running Big Sur.
  2. Those can be created either by installing or cloning from the internal drive.
  3. Any loss of contact with the "iBootSystemContainer" in the internal drive will render the system unbootable from any drive (this can be restored, but the process require using a second M1 Mac.)
  4. Clones are less functional than external drives created by installing from the Recovery Assistant, due to kernel extension and security policy issues.
  5. Bootable external boot drives are not as useful as they were in previous versions of macOS, but they are still viable.


FWIW β€” MY PERSONAL CHOICES:

  • Time Machine together with Apple's 1 True Recovery Drive remain my primary backup and disaster recovery tool set
  • I will continue to keep a copy of the latest full installer on a bootable thumb drive for deep disaster recovery purposes
  • For testing purposes I will install macOS on external drives rather than use clones because of limitations in clones.
  • I will continue to clone my data volume on the theory that in the event of a disaster, recovery might be faster than using Time Machine.
  • I remain eager to see Mike Bombich's "exciting new features" in Carbon Copy Cloner.



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

β€” Navajo saying
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