Os X Catalina Clean Install

  

Catalina and Big Sur split the startup drive into two Volumes, an OS volume and a Data volume. When you install, it creates a new volume for the data and names it the same as the OS volume, but adds '- Data.'

Apple’s latest macOS, Catalina, has just been released to the public last October 7, 2019 and you can now install it on your Mac, as long as your device meets the hardware requirements. First revealed during the WWDC 2019 conference in San Jose, California, macOS Catalina introduces some new exciting features and functionalities.

Clean Install on Non-Startup Drive. This is the easiest of the clean install options. Use this method when the target for the macOS Catalina installation isn’t the current startup drive, such as an external drive or partition you will use to house the Catalina operating system independent of your current Mac’s startup volume. To perform a clean re-install in Catalina, once in Recovery Mode, you need to delete your Data volume, that’s the one named Macintosh HD - Data, or something similar if you’re using a custom name, and to erase your System volume. In Recovery Mode select the Macintosh HD - Data volume at the left of Disk Utility’s window then use the. Clean install macOS 10.15 on a non-startup disk drive. If you don’t have a free, non-partitioned drive, you can install Catalina on a non-startup drive. Here are three easy steps: Step 1. Erase your non-startup drive. If you install Catalina on a new drive, this is not for you. With the release of macOS Catalina 10.15, a lot of Mac users are enthusiastic to install the newest Mac operating system. Just like the previous versions of macOS, some were able to upgrade without a hitch, but several users encountered various issues during downloading and installation of the update.

As we say goodbye to iTunes, macOS Catalina brings in new apps and features to the table, including Apple Music, Podcasts Books, and TV. Another major feature is Sidecar, which can turn your iPad into another display. For ordinary users, this means getting a secondary display for free. For developers, on the other hand, this secondary screen can be used as a drawing tablet using supported apps.

With the release of macOS Catalina 10.15, a lot of Mac users are enthusiastic to install the newest Mac operating system. Just like the previous versions of macOS, some were able to upgrade without a hitch, but several users encountered various issues during downloading and installation of the update.

Some users experienced slow downloading of the update, while others got error messages when installing Catalina, including:

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  • Storage system verify or repair failed
  • This copy of the Install application can’t be verified. It may have been corrupted or tampered with during downloading.
  • An error occurred while preparing the installation. Try running again.
  • Copy of install macOS application is damaged and can’t be used to install macOS.
  • There is not enough free space on the selected volume.

This guide will give you a detailed rundown of the most common macOS Catalina installation and update errors encountered by Mac users when upgrading or installing macOS Catalina, along with the instructions on how to deal with these hiccups.

Why macOS Catalina Won’t Install

Various problems can occur during the installation of macOS Catalina. If the installation won’t start, seems to freeze midway , or never seems to complete, then it means that there must be something wrong somewhere.

The first main reason why users can’t install macOS Catalina is compatibility problem. If your Mac doesn’t support macOS Catalina, you won’t be able to proceed with the installation. You need a fairly recent Mac to be able to run macOS Catalina. Here are the Mac models that support the newest macOS:

  • MacBook (2015) and later
  • MacBook Air (2012) and later
  • MacBook Pro (2012) and later
  • Mac Mini (2012) and later
  • iMac (2012) and later
  • iMac Pro (2017) and later
  • Mac Pro (2013) and later

If your device is not on this list, then you’re sure to run into problems when installing Catalina.

Another thing you need to check before installation is your available storage space. You will need around 6.5 GB just to download the installer. Once you’ve downloaded it, the amount of space you will need during the installation depends on whether you’re doing a clean install or an upgrade.

A clean install will eat up around 20 GB of storage. On top of that, you have to make room for apps, user data, and user updates. An upgrade install, on the other hand, will only take up 6.5 GB of space for the installer, plus some installation files that the installer will copy to your startup drive.

If you’re tight on storage space, you should consider removing unneeded apps and files on your Mac. You can uninstall the apps one by one, and delete cache files and data using Mac repair app. Make sure you have at least 25 GB of free space to be able to install macOS Catalina successfully.

Aside from compatibility issues and insufficient storage, poor internet connection, incomplete or corrupted installation files, hard disk problems, and faulty software can also cause issues during the installation of macOS Catalina.

Installation Checklist for macOS Catalina

Before proceeding with the installation, it is necessary to spend some time ticking off the checklist below. These steps will not only prevent errors from happening, but also ensure that your data remains safe in case something goes wrong.

  • Back up your Mac, especially your iTunes media library since Catalina will no longer have iTunes.
  • Take note of the 32-bit apps on your Mac . You will need to update them to the 64-bit version after upgrading, or find an alternative for them.
  • Delete old Install macOS files from your Applications folder. These old macOS installation files may cause error during the upgrade.
  • Remove all external drives and accessories.
  • Plug in your Mac’s power adapter.
  • Connect to a stable Wi-Fi network.

Once you’ve completed these steps, you can now proceed with the upgrade.

How to Upgrade to macOS Catalina

The easiest way to download and install macOS Catalina is through the App Store on your Mac. Just open the App Store and search for macOS Catalina. Click the install button to start downloading, then click Continue.

You can also visit the macOS Catalina website and download the installer from there. The installer will be downloaded to the Applications folder on your Mac. Once downloaded, the installer will open by itself. Just follow the onscreen instructions to proceed with the installation. You might be asked to log in using your admin username and password during the process.

As long as your device is compatible with Catalina and you’ve followed the instructions, you’ll be able to successfully install the new macOS on your Mac. But if you encounter any error during the download or installation, refer to our guide below to sort out the issue.

How to Fix Common Download Errors for macOS Catalina

Downloading the installer is the first step of the installation process. The installer takes up 6.5GB of storage, but you will need more space to be able to run the new macOS smoothly. If you have Automatic Updates enabled, the installer might already be downloaded on your device.

If the installer has not yet been downloaded, go to the Apple menu > System Preferences > Software Update to download Catalina.

If the downloading process gets stuck or is taking a long time to complete, here’s what you can do:

Install

Osx Catalina Clean Install

  1. Go to the Apple Server status website and check if the macOS Software Update‘s button is green. If not, then there’s probably some issues with the website, so you might need to try upgrading some other time.
  2. If the macOS Software Update is green, but you’re still having download problems, check your internet connection. Consider switching to a wired internet connection if possible.
  3. If the download is stuck for a long time, cancel it by clicking the X button.
  4. Switch to a different DNS server and retry the download again.

It might take a few attempts for the downloading to be successful, especially in the early days of the release of the update.

How to Fix Errors When Preparing for the Installation of macOS Catalina

Once you have successfully downloaded the installer to your device, the system then prepares your Mac for the installation process. There are users who encountered errors during this stage and came across the Error occurred preparing the installation. Try running the applicationagain message.

The first thing you need to do when you encounter this error is to reboot your Mac. You might need to restart your system a couple of times to deal with this problem. If the error doesn’t go away after rebooting, here are some steps you can try:

Check Your Mac’s System Date and Time.

An incorrect system time usually gets in the way of a lot of system processes, including updates. To make sure your Mac’s date and time are correct, follow the instructions below:

  1. Go to the Apple menu > System Preferences > Date & Time.
  2. Tick off Set Date and Time Automatically.
  3. If the option is already checked, uncheck it then reboot your Mac.
  4. Go back to the Date and Time panel and check the option again.
  5. Next, try re-installing macOS Catalina.

Re-Download the Installer.

If the step above did not work, you might have to delete the macOS Catalina installer on your Applications folder. Find the Install macOS file in the Applications folder and move it to the Trash. Empty the Trash and reboot. Once your Mac restarts, try downloading the installer and then run the install process again.

Delete the Installinfo.plist File.

If you encounter the Copy of install macOS application is damaged and cant be used to install macOS error during the preparation of the installation, the best workaround is to delete the installinfo.plist from the installer package, then try re-installing.

To delete the installinfo.plist file, check out the steps below:

Os X Catalina Clean Install
  1. Go to the Applications folder and look for the installer package for macOS Catalina. It is usually named Install macOS.
  2. Right-click on the file and select Show Package Contents.
  3. Click on Contents > SharedSupport.
  4. Delete the Installlnfo.plist inside the folder.
  5. Type in your admin password to confirm the action.
  6. Click on the installer to run it again.

How to Fix Catalina Installation Errors on Mac

After preparing your Mac, the system then proceeds to the installation process. There are different errors you might encounter at this stage, so you need to take note of the error message and at which stage it happened.

Here are some of the errors you may encounter during the installation process.

Stuck at Setting Up Screen

When you’ve been stuck with the Setting up your Mac message for several hours or you encounter the dreaded spinning wheel, the best way to deal with this is to restart your device. Press the power button to shut down your Mac, then press it again to reboot.

Storage Space Problems

If you failed to optimize your storage space before the installation, you might come across errors related to insufficient storage space. You might see the macOS Could not be installed, the target disk is too small message or the There is not enough free space on the selected volume error.

This happens because you do not have enough space on your Mac. Free up some storage first before proceeding with the installation. You might need around 20GB to 25GB of space for macOS Catalina to run efficiently on your Mac.

Network Access Error

Os X Catalina Clean Install Free

If you see a Code=551 error anytime during the installation process, you need to check your network settings. This error happens to devices with overactive firewall or those installed with third-party security software, such as VPN and antivirus. If this happens, disable this software first before trying to reinstall macOS Catalina.

Os X Catalina Clean Install

Installation Doesn’t Complete

Sometimes, your Mac gets stuck with the x minutes remaining screen during the installation. When you encounter this problem, click the X button to exit the installation process and check your console logs. It is possible that your user account is corrupted, preventing your system from completing the installation process.

The only way to deal with this is to create another admin user account and install macOS Catalina using that account.

Mac Fails to Start After Update

You might think that everything is over once you finish the installation process and your Mac restarts. But sometimes, errors can still happen even after the installation has been completed. Some users reported getting stuck with a black screen, while others encounter the spinning wheel during the restart following the update.

This error is usually caused by incompatible or corrupted kext files. Kext or Kernel Extension files are the drivers for macOS. To check whether kext files are causing the error, move all of them out of your Extensions folder before rebooting your Mac.

To move your kext files, follow the steps below:

Os X Catalina Clean Install
  1. Boot your Mac into Safe Mode by holding down the Shift key until you see the Apple logo.
  2. Open Terminal under the Utilities folder, then copy-paste the following command:

mkdir ~/Extensions-Backup && sudo mv /Library/Extensions/* ~/Extensions-Backup/

Once done, restart your Mac in normal mode and see if it goes through.

If All Else Fails, Do a Fresh Install.

If you’re still having issues despite following the guide above, you may need to do a fresh install of macOS Catalina. To do this:

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Press Power + Command + R keys to bring up the macOS Utilities screen .
  3. Click Reinstall macOS.
  4. Select Disk Utility > Erase HDD.
  5. Install the macOS Catalina from here.

Remember that erasing your HDD will delete all of your files and settings, so make sure you have a backup before doing a fresh install. This should hopefully take care of common macOS Catalina installation problems.

So, you’ve decided to download an older version of Mac OS X. There are many reasons that could point you to this radical decision. To begin with, some of your apps may not be working properly (or simply crash) on newer operating systems. Also, you may have noticed your Mac’s performance went down right after the last update. Finally, if you want to run a parallel copy of Mac OS X on a virtual machine, you too will need a working installation file of an older Mac OS X. Further down we’ll explain where to get one and what problems you may face down the road.

A list of all Mac OS X versions

We’ll be repeatedly referring to these Apple OS versions below, so it’s good to know the basic macOS timeline.

Cheetah 10.0Puma 10.1Jaguar 10.2
Panther 10.3Tiger 10.4Leopard 10.5
Snow Leopard 10.6Lion 10.7Mountain Lion 10.8
Mavericks 10.9Yosemite 10.10El Capitan 10.11
Sierra 10.12High Sierra 10.13Mojave 10.14
Catalina 10.15

STEP 1. Prepare your Mac for installation

Given your Mac isn’t new and is filled with data, you will probably need enough free space on your Mac. This includes not just space for the OS itself but also space for other applications and your user data. One more argument is that the free space on your disk translates into virtual memory so your apps have “fuel” to operate on. The chart below tells you how much free space is needed.

Note, that it is recommended that you install OS on a clean drive. Next, you will need enough disk space available, for example, to create Recovery Partition. Here are some ideas to free up space on your drive:

  • Uninstall large unused apps
  • Empty Trash Bin and Downloads
  • Locate the biggest files on your computer:
Mac os catalina clean install deutsch

Go to Finder > All My Files > Arrange by size
Then you can move your space hoggers onto an external drive or a cloud storage.
If you aren’t comfortable with cleaning the Mac manually, there are some nice automatic “room cleaners”. Our favorite is CleanMyMac as it’s most simple to use of all. It deletes system junk, old broken apps, and the rest of hidden junk on your drive.

Download CleanMyMac for OS 10.4 - 10.8 (free version)

Download CleanMyMac for OS 10.9 (free version)

Download CleanMyMac for OS 10.10 - 10.14 (free version)

STEP 2. Get a copy of Mac OS X download

Normally, it is assumed that updating OS is a one-way road. That’s why going back to a past Apple OS version is problematic. The main challenge is to download the OS installation file itself, because your Mac may already be running a newer version. If you succeed in downloading the OS installation, your next step is to create a bootable USB or DVD and then reinstall the OS on your computer.

How to download older Mac OS X versions via the App Store


If you once had purchased an old version of Mac OS X from the App Store, open it and go to the Purchased tab. There you’ll find all the installers you can download. However, it doesn’t always work that way. The purchased section lists only those operating systems that you had downloaded in the past. But here is the path to check it:

  1. Click the App Store icon.
  2. Click Purchases in the top menu.
  3. Scroll down to find the preferred OS X version.
  4. Click Download.

This method allows you to download Mavericks and Yosemite by logging with your Apple ID — only if you previously downloaded them from the Mac App Store.

Without App Store: Download Mac OS version as Apple Developer

If you are signed with an Apple Developer account, you can get access to products that are no longer listed on the App Store. If you desperately need a lower OS X version build, consider creating a new Developer account among other options. The membership cost is $99/year and provides a bunch of perks unavailable to ordinary users.

Nevertheless, keep in mind that if you visit developer.apple.com/downloads, you can only find 10.3-10.6 OS X operating systems there. Newer versions are not available because starting Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.7, the App Store has become the only source of updating Apple OS versions.

Purchase an older version of Mac operating system

You can purchase a boxed or email version of past Mac OS X directly from Apple. Both will cost you around $20. For the reason of being rather antiquated, Snow Leopard and earlier Apple versions can only be installed from DVD.

Buy a boxed edition of Snow Leopard 10.6
Get an email copy of Lion 10.7
Get an email copy of Mountain Lion 10.8

The email edition comes with a special download code you can use for the Mac App Store. Note, that to install the Lion or Mountain Lion, your Mac needs to be running Snow Leopard so you can install the newer OS on top of it.

How to get macOS El Capitan download

If you are wondering if you can run El Capitan on an older Mac, rejoice as it’s possible too. But before your Mac can run El Capitan it has to be updated to OS X 10.6.8. So, here are main steps you should take:

1. Install Snow Leopard from install DVD.
2. Update to 10.6.8 using Software Update.
3. Download El Capitan here.

“I can’t download an old version of Mac OS X”

If you have a newer Mac, there is no physical option to install Mac OS versions older than your current Mac model. For instance, if your MacBook was released in 2014, don’t expect it to run any OS released prior of that time, because older Apple OS versions simply do not include hardware drivers for your Mac.

But as it often happens, workarounds are possible. There is still a chance to download the installation file if you have an access to a Mac (or virtual machine) running that operating system. For example, to get an installer for Lion, you may ask a friend who has Lion-operated Mac or, once again, set up a virtual machine running Lion. Then you will need to prepare an external drive to download the installation file using OS X Utilities.

After you’ve completed the download, the installer should launch automatically, but you can click Cancel and copy the file you need. Below is the detailed instruction how to do it.

STEP 3. Install older OS X onto an external drive

The following method allows you to download Mac OS X Lion, Mountain Lion, and Mavericks.

  1. Start your Mac holding down Command + R.
  2. Prepare a clean external drive (at least 10 GB of storage).
  3. Within OS X Utilities, choose Reinstall OS X.
  4. Select external drive as a source.
  5. Enter your Apple ID.

Now the OS should start downloading automatically onto the external drive. After the download is complete, your Mac will prompt you to do a restart, but at this point, you should completely shut it down. Now that the installation file is “captured” onto your external drive, you can reinstall the OS, this time running the file on your Mac.

  1. Boot your Mac from your standard drive.
  2. Connect the external drive.
  3. Go to external drive > OS X Install Data.

Locate InstallESD.dmg disk image file — this is the file you need to reinstall Lion OS X. The same steps are valid for Mountain Lion and Mavericks.

How to downgrade a Mac running later macOS versions

If your Mac runs macOS Sierra 10.12 or macOS High Sierra 10.13, it is possible to revert it to the previous system if you are not satisfied with the experience. You can do it either with Time Machine or by creating a bootable USB or external drive.
Instruction to downgrade from macOS Sierra

Instruction to downgrade from macOS High Sierra

Instruction to downgrade from macOS Mojave

Instruction to downgrade from macOS Catalina

Before you do it, the best advice is to back your Mac up so your most important files stay intact. In addition to that, it makes sense to clean up your Mac from old system junk files and application leftovers. The easiest way to do it is to run CleanMyMac X on your machine (download it for free here).

Visit your local Apple Store to download older OS X version

If none of the options to get older OS X worked, pay a visit to nearest local Apple Store. They should have image installations going back to OS Leopard and earlier. You can also ask their assistance to create a bootable USB drive with the installation file. So here you are. We hope this article has helped you to download an old version of Mac OS X. Below are a few more links you may find interesting.