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System extension blocked- Big Sur
#57852 02/11/21 04:00 PM
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kevs Online OP
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After Big Sur Upgrade, only weird message was Seagate system extension, block. I have 3 external Seagates, but they seem to be working just fine.

I emailed Seagate, no response, who knows when get back. Is this big concern?

Re: System extension blocked- Big Sur
kevs #57858 02/11/21 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by keys
After Big Sur Upgrade, only weird message was Seagate system extension, block. I have 3 external Seagates, but they seem to be working just fine.

I emailed Seagate, no response, who knows when get back. Is this big concern?

Big Sur is really picky about kernel extensions, but if everything is working correctly then I wouldn't worry. I am just trying to figure out why you would need a system extension for any Seagate drive? What kind drives are these?

However, if this happens again the general procedure when you get a notification that any extension did not load:

ON BOTH INTEL AND M1 MACS:
  1. Go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General
  2. Click on the padlock icon and enter your admin user password
  3. Check the box to approve the developer and allow the extension to load
  4. There will be a pause while the extensions cache is rebuilt


ON M1 MACS
  1. If prompted after approving the developer (see the preceding), completely power down and wait at least 10 seconds
  2. Press and hold the power key until the prompt on the screen reads "Startup Options Loading"
  3. When prompted select an administrative user and enter that user's password
  4. If the Volume Security app does not appear open it from the Apple Menu
  5. Select the boot volume you are installing the kext on
  6. Set the option to permit third party extensions
  7. Select startup options from the menu bar
  8. Select your boot volume
  9. click Continue and the system should reboot and theoretically the extension will load


NOTES:
  • There are ongoing issues with a precious few kernel extensions that M1 Macs refuse to load and must be corrected by the extension developer. Contact the app developer, not Apple.
  • On M1 Macs the volume security only has to be set once.
  • On M1 Macs the Security Setting is for a single boot volume and each boot volume must be set individually. (I will be curious to see how that applies to clones, if and when Apple gets the ASR app fixed for M1 Macs.)
  • Once the extension loads it may be necessary to go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy and enable various services for the app.


joemikeb • moderator
Re: System extension blocked- Big Sur
joemikeb #57863 02/11/21 07:38 PM
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Thanks Joe this is on my older 2015 Imac. (laptop has not arrived yet). Getting iMac on Big Sur so they match.

Everything working ok. Eternal Seagates are 3 to 8TB.

So I'll just not worry about it. ok?

Re: System extension blocked- Big Sur
kevs #57864 02/11/21 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by kevs
Thanks Joe this is on my older 2015 Imac. (laptop has not arrived yet). Getting iMac on Big Sur so they match.

Everything working ok. Eternal Seagates are 3 to 8TB.

So I'll just not worry about it. ok?

As long as everything is working that might be okay. While it might not hurt to keep them; if they are not needed, or are too far out of date' they could become a problem in the future and even a real pain in the backside on your M1 when you get it. Frankly I cannot imagine any reason a driver would be required for a disk drives on a Mac unless it was setup for NAS (Network Attached Storage) or they are drivers to provide read & write access on Windows formatted drives. Hopefully someone else will chip in here if they know of any other reason for Seagate drives to have their own kernel extension. I have a sneaking suspicion they are a hangover from long past that were on the drives when you got them and likely are no longer needed.

NEXT STEPS
  1. What does Disk Utility say the format of the Seagate drives is?
  2. You might download and run the latest version of Etrecheck (even better use Etrecheck Pro if you have it) and see what it has to say about the extensions. It should tell you what extensions are installed and if they are loaded or not. I am guessing that at least one of the three kexts (kernel extensions) will not show up as it would be the one that was flagged as uninstalled the others may appear as "not loaded". When you have done that, copy the section of the report on Kernel Extensions and paste it into a reply here and everyone will have a better idea of what is going on and if there is anything to be concerned about.


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Re: System extension blocked- Big Sur
joemikeb #57866 02/12/21 01:11 AM
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Thnks Joe, I don't know what NAS (Network Attached Storage) mean, or extension or anything really.

Ok I'm in DU

1 APFS.
And OS extended Jouranled.

2
SB External Physical Volume • Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
GUID partition Map

3 same as 2

Can't imagine any of these have anything to do with new Laptop coming, unless I try to access stuff via home network, which I don't too too much, but sometimes...(rare)

Re: System extension blocked- Big Sur
kevs #57868 02/12/21 01:22 AM
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Originally Posted by kevs
Thnks Joe, I don't know what NAS (Network Attached Storage) mean, or extension or anything really.

Ok I'm in DU

1 APFS.
And OS extended Jouranled.

2
SB External Physical Volume • Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
GUID partition Map

3 same as 2

Can't imagine any of these have anything to do with new Laptop coming, unless I try to access stuff via home network, which I don't too too much, but sometimes...(rare)

For #1, is the drive partitioned? Seems that way, as you state DU is saying APFS and OS Extended Journaled. A volume is formatted as one or the other, not both.

Re: System extension blocked- Big Sur
kevs #57872 02/12/21 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by kevs
Ok I'm in DU

1 APFS.
And OS extended Jouranled.

2
SB External Physical Volume • Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
GUID partition Map

3 same as 2

What that tells me is no proprietary kernel extension would be needed to deal with third or fourth party disk formats that are normally not writeable in macOS. Personally I think you can probably ditch the three Seagate extensions and you will never miss them, but I would like to double check. So I would still like to see the Etrecheck report. FWIW, I share Marty's curiosity about the drive 1 format, not that it makes any difference in the current situation. All we are doing here is preventing potential problems when you switch to the M1 Mac which is far more allergic to ill-formed kernel extensions.


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Re: System extension blocked- Big Sur
joemikeb #57874 02/12/21 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by joemikeb
...I share Marty's curiosity about the drive 1 format....
An APFS partition for macOS and an OS Extended (Journaled) partition for Time Machine?


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Re: System extension blocked- Big Sur
artie505 #57875 02/12/21 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by artie505
Originally Posted by joemikeb
...I share Marty's curiosity about the drive 1 format....
An APFS partition for macOS and an OS Extended (Journaled) partition for Time Machine?

Although I have not done any backups while testing V11.2 of Big Sur on a separate external Samsung SSD, my other two external Samsung 512 gig SSDs have 3 partitions each: two of them, formatted as APFS, are for my SuperDuper! backups (Catalina-based) for each of my Intel-based Macs. The third partition, formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled), has miscellaneous files on it. When I finally move on to Big Sur (should be V11.3, but depends upon the situation with Tech Tool Pro), I plan on having the same 3 partitions, although the ones for my backups (looks like that will be for Carbon Copy Cloner, as there is still no Big Sur version of SuperDuper!) will need to be made somewhat larger. I'm assuming that should work just fine.

Re: System extension blocked- Big Sur
MartyByrde #57876 02/12/21 08:13 PM
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Joe, drive one is APFS, solid state Mac HD, guid partition. But not Seagate. I sent another ticket to Seagate from their site, seems very slow to responding:

https://www.seagate.com/contacts/

Good point, years away, but eventually this imac will go to new chip.

Sorry, drive 1 as I dig in and click insode more I do see it has 4.5 TB Mac Journaled extended also like others. Some of these small partitions I did, a few years ago, may be unnecessary now, and with new naming scheme, just confusing, don't fully understand it all..

Re: System extension blocked- Big Sur
kevs #57877 02/12/21 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by kevs
Sorry, drive 1 as I dig in and click insode more I do see it has 4.5 TB Mac Journaled extended also like others. Some of these small partitions I did, a few years ago, may be unnecessary now, and with new naming scheme, just confusing, don't fully understand it all..
I hear that! In my case it is a collection of re-purposed drives from old computers scattered all over my desktop that I have resorted to attaching labels with drive name, particulars, and contents on just to keep track of which is which. When I set up my M1 Mac mini I had to create a Numbers spreadsheet to organize what device is connected to which port on which hub to keep everything straight.

Rather than partitioning your external drives, I urge you to consider reformatting them to APFS and using volumes rather than partitions. Once you get the hang of using APFS volumes and how they can be tailored to your personal organizational style, you will wonder how you ever got along without them.


joemikeb • moderator
Re: System extension blocked- Big Sur
joemikeb #57879 02/12/21 09:21 PM
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Joe thanks, don't have stomach to change anything on these drives. They have ton of space. That said, they all say APFS on them now.. so maybe Mac OS did this anyway.. They all have the confusing Container, and Data thing going (which I still don't) understand.

If when these drives get replaced I learn all that for sure.

I would guess I could use them another 10 years? The are about 4-5 years old now.

Re: System extension blocked- Big Sur
kevs #57899 02/13/21 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by kevs
Joe thanks, don't have stomach to change anything on these drives. They have ton of space. That said, they all say APFS on them now.. so maybe Mac OS did this anyway.. They all have the confusing Container, and Data thing going (which I still don't) understand.

If when these drives get replaced I learn all that for sure.

I would guess I could use them another 10 years? The are about 4-5 years old now.

I found this grocery analogy helpful (here is the relevant part):
"A brief refresher: APFS is Apple’s modern, SSD-optimized replacement for the once-modern filesystem that’s been in use for many years. APFS is much more sophisticated than HFS+, allowing more flexibility for how data is structured and kept secure and separate, as well as offering particular features suited to SSD. The units of measure on an APFS formatted drive are containers, which are collections of volumes. In HFS+, drives were partitioned solely into volumes. One way to think about it: HFS+ was a carton of eggs, each egg a volume. APFS is a box that contains cartons of eggs.

Each APFS container has a fixed portion of the drive’s storage space allocated to it (as in partitioning) or can fill the entire drive. But volumes within a container share the container’s allocation dynamically. In most cases, adding volumes to an existing container makes more sense than adding containers, because volumes can grow or shrink without any work on your part. This allows the greatest flexibility."


On a Mac since 1984.
Currently: 27" iMacs, Macbook Air, macOS 10.15.x,; iPhones, iPods and iPads galore!
Re: System extension blocked- Big Sur
Ira L #57902 02/13/21 07:19 PM
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Thanks Ira yeah, dont understand the container thing yet. And APFS, on non SSd drives right too?

Re: System extension blocked- Big Sur
kevs #57903 02/13/21 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by kevs
Thanks Ira yeah, dont understand the container thing yet. And APFS, on non SSd drives right too?

Tried to offer you assistance with the Apple Mail extension Mail Tag/Mail Suite, but you have yet to acknowledge if my post on that thread helped you. But, I'll try here also.

Big Sur requires APFS formatting. But with traditional Hard Disk Drives (HDD), that could be an issue. Here are the results of a google search of "APFS formatting on traditional hard drives OK?":

https://www.google.com/search?q=APFS+formatting+on+traditional+hard+drives+OK%3F&oq=APFS+formatting+on+traditional+hard+drives+OK%3F&aqs=chrome..69i57.12871j0j1&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

I am certainly no expert about this, so maybe an expert like joemikeb can "chime in".

Re: System extension blocked- Big Sur
MartyByrde #57907 02/13/21 10:23 PM
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ok Marty thanks Lot!

Re: System extension blocked- Big Sur
MartyByrde #57911 02/14/21 01:22 AM
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I am not inclined to spend hours (or even days) writing a definitive dissertation on data storage, storage media, and formats. Neither do I think you would want to spend the time it would take to read it. For the sake of brevity, suffice it to say:
  • HFS+ format is optimized for Hard Drives (a.k.a. HDs or Rotating Rust).
  • APFS format is optimized for Solid State Drives (a.k.a. SSDs, Nvme, and half a dozen other names)
  • An HD may be formatted either HFS+ or APFS but data access will be faster if it is formatted HFS+ and periodically optimized.
  • An SSD may be formatted either HFS+ or APFS and there will be little or no noticeable speed penalty in either format
  • MacOS 11 (Big Sur) is completely dependent for its operation on structures and functions that are unique to APFS and the boot drive must be formatted APFS.
  • When you are running macOS 11, external (non-boot) drives may be formatted either HFS+ or APFS
  • A PARTITION is a physical allocation of contiguous space on a drive
  • A CONTAINER is an allocation of space on a drive but it is not necessarily contigous space, and has at least one volume
  • A VOLUME is a named directory that may contain multiple folders and files and can be assigned specific characteristics such as Encrypted, access privileges, etc. that are inherited by all the files and folders in the volume. A working analogy for a Volume would be a folder that mounts like a drive.
  • A VOLUME GROUP is a volume containing two or more volumes

Last edited by joemikeb; 02/18/21 05:09 PM. Reason: added analogy for a volume

joemikeb • moderator
Re: System extension blocked- Big Sur
joemikeb #57913 02/14/21 01:43 AM
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Originally Posted by joemikeb
I am not inclined to spend hours (or even days) writing a definitive dissertation on data storage, storage media, and formats. Neither do I think you would want to spend the time it would take to read it. For the sake of brevity, suffice it to say:
  • HFS+ format is optimized for Hard Drives (a.k.a. HDs or Rotating Rust).
  • APFS format is optimized for Solid State Drives (a.k.a. SSDs, Nvme, and half a dozen other names)
  • An HD may be formatted either HFS+ or APFS but data access will be faster if it is formatted HFS+ and periodically optimized.
  • An SSD may be formatted either HFS+ or APFS and there will be little or no noticeable speed penalty in either format
  • MacOS 11 (Big Sur) is completely dependent for its operation on structures and functions that are unique to APFS and the boot drive must be formatted APFS.
  • When you are running macOS 11, external (non-boot) drives may be formatted either HFS+ or APFS
  • A PARTITION is a physical allocation of contiguous space on a drive
  • A CONTAINER is an allocation of space on a drive but it is not necessarily contigous space, and has at least one volume
  • A VOLUME is a named directory that may contain multiple folders and files and can be assigned specific characteristics such as Encrypted, access privileges, etc. that are inherited by all the files and folders in the volume
  • A VOLUME GROUP is a volume containing two or more volumes

Very good and definitive post. Did not ask for a PHD dissertation on data storage, storage media, and formats. Your post is easily good enough!

Re: System extension blocked- Big Sur
joemikeb #57921 02/15/21 06:09 AM
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thanks Joe.

thanks Joe, hold onto this Still when see container, and data etc more, and name of drive at top seems more confusing that used to be..

Re: System extension blocked- Big Sur
kevs #57923 02/15/21 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by kevs
thanks Joe.

thanks Joe, hold onto this Still when see container, and data etc more, and name of drive at top seems more confusing that used to be..

It is a bit more complicated because there are additional layers of abstraction in APFS, but those layers provide for greatly enhanced, security and efficiency in utilizing expensive media. Probably because of my background in academia I tend to think of it as a "Harvard style" outline where APFS has added a couple of extra levels to HFS+ and will get along easily thinking of APFS nd HFS+ as being essentially the same. The average user can get along happily without ever noticing those additional layers. The so-called Power User will be curious and have some reason to be aware of the additional layers and three impact on data organization and structure. Only developers have any real reason or need to be aware of the actual functioning of any of these layers.


joemikeb • moderator
Re: System extension blocked- Big Sur
joemikeb #57926 02/16/21 03:53 AM
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Thanks Joe, I just see in DU, and Super Duper more stuff: Container, Data, and non Data, so super annoying to me. But I trust ifs a good thing. I just have follow more carefully what people say to click...

Re: System extension blocked- Big Sur
kevs #57962 02/18/21 12:28 AM
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Finally in from Seagate:

Thank you for reaching out to Seagate. My name is Mrudula and it is my pleasure to assist you today with your Seagate portable hard drive. Please know that it is my goal to make you a very satisfied customer.

I certainly understand that the upgrade to Big Sur, has left you with a pop up saying something blocked(system extension, in this case), that's quite scary at the first glance.
However, this is a common scenario that we encounter, when we are trying to install some supporting drivers in our machine.

Could you please help us understand:
1. What format is the external drive?
2. If you can read/write to and from the drive?

Please be reminded that, if the drive is working fine, and is showing no issues, you may choose to ignore the error message.
Should you see any other issues, that is hindering the performance of the drive, you may please reach out to us back.

Seagate places great value on all our customers and it is our goal to provide exceptional customer service and product satisfaction. Please let us know if you have any additional questions. Alternatively, you can call us at 1-800-SEAGATE (1-800-732-4283)for further assistance.

Re: System extension blocked- Big Sur
kevs #57965 02/18/21 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by kevs
Thanks Joe, I just see in DU, and Super Duper more stuff: Container, Data, and non Data, so super annoying to me. But I trust ifs a good thing. I just have follow more carefully what people say to click...
That is very true because the level selected can change the options available to you in Disk Utility. But generally any accidents I have are because I read what I expected, not what was actually written 😳🤔🤦🏻‍♂️🤬


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