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Old 02-01-2020, 02:43 PM
johnbarnesiii johnbarnesiii is offline
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Default Installing older OSX onto external HD to run earlier PT version?

Hi guys, I was using PT 12.5 on my iMac. Now that I’ve updated to OS Catalina, I’m running into compatibility issues with both the software as well as some plugins.

Instead of updating all plugins and software to latest version, I’m wondering if I can simply buy an external hard drive and load an older version of OSX onto it in order to get my PT 12.5 to work again?

I found a link online that explains how to install OS X onto an external drive: https://www.google.com/amp/s/m.wikih...-Drive%3famp=1

Just not sure if there’s anything else I need to know or do prior to starting this process?

Thanks for any insights!


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Old 02-01-2020, 03:02 PM
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Default Re: Installing older OSX onto external HD to run earlier PT version?

If your computer is old enough to run with the older OS then why not
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Old 02-01-2020, 03:09 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: Installing older OSX onto external HD to run earlier PT version?

No info on what iMac you have.... which would have been useful.

If your sessions will stay on the current internal boot/system drive you can leave them there. As long as you are not trying to boot an older version of macOS/OS X that does not support the APFS filesystem that the internal drive likely uses. Just going back to Mojave is fine.

Do **not** use the system migration assassin (assistant) to migrate apps or drivers, from your current boot disk. You need to reinstall all that again on the external drive, including Pro Tools, ILM, and you should also reinstall all your plugins... if they are compatible with what's installed on the other drive you can set them up to point to the sample libraries on the internal drive. **Do** use the system migration assassin to move/copy your user account from the internal to external drive... or do this manually, but you have to make sure that the user id (not just name) on the accounts match or you will have all sorts of problems. You could set up the home directory only say being on the internal drive, or two separate home directories one on each boot drive... either way you need to make a decision where all your personal files, sessions etc. are going and how you are backing them up.

If you want as fast a boot/app start etc. experience as on an a recent iMac internal SSD then you need an external Thunderbolt 3 NVMe/PCIe 3 SSD. Like the Samsung X5. Like the internal PCIe/NVMe SSD these are much faster than a SATA SSD.... but a SATA SSD can work as well, as long as you don't expect the same performance.

If you have extra space on an internal SSD then you can install the other OS on a new container/partition there. More reliable than external SSDs and their vunerable USB/Thunderbolt cables.

You need to actually have access to the macOS/OS X installer. If you just want to go back to Mojave hopefully you have an installer saved or it's still available to you in the Apple Store. Go check on that now. If not you may need to go beg Apple Support for access.

If things were not working with Catalina you should be able to just roll back to your last clone/backup. If you are not making clones/backups start by getting that started now... backing up to multiple other removable drives.. and then you will need to also back up your new bootable external drive. Especially if you are new to this it's easy to totally screw yourself up when installing a new OS... get backups working before you start doing brain surgery.

If you want to roll back OS versions significantly you need to work out what the oldest version of OS X/macOS is supported on your iMac. There are multiple web sites that describe that. You cannot run older versions than the oldest version officially supported.

If you have a iMac Pro you have to do additional gymnastics to deal with the T2 security chip to allow booting off an external drive.

Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 02-01-2020 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 02-01-2020, 06:33 PM
johnbarnesiii johnbarnesiii is offline
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Default Re: Installing older OSX onto external HD to run earlier PT version?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl Ramm View Post
No info on what iMac you have.... which would have been useful.

If your sessions will stay on the current internal boot/system drive you can leave them there. As long as you are not trying to boot an older version of macOS/OS X that does not support the APFS filesystem that the internal drive likely uses. Just going back to Mojave is fine.

Do **not** use the system migration assassin (assistant) to migrate apps or drivers, from your current boot disk. You need to reinstall all that again on the external drive, including Pro Tools, ILM, and you should also reinstall all your plugins... if they are compatible with what's installed on the other drive you can set them up to point to the sample libraries on the internal drive. **Do** use the system migration assassin to move/copy your user account from the internal to external drive... or do this manually, but you have to make sure that the user id (not just name) on the accounts match or you will have all sorts of problems. You could set up the home directory only say being on the internal drive, or two separate home directories one on each boot drive... either way you need to make a decision where all your personal files, sessions etc. are going and how you are backing them up.

If you want as fast a boot/app start etc. experience as on an a recent iMac internal SSD then you need an external Thunderbolt 3 NVMe/PCIe 3 SSD. Like the Samsung X5. Like the internal PCIe/NVMe SSD these are much faster than a SATA SSD.... but a SATA SSD can work as well, as long as you don't expect the same performance.

If you have extra space on an internal SSD then you can install the other OS on a new container/partition there. More reliable than external SSDs and their vunerable USB/Thunderbolt cables.

You need to actually have access to the macOS/OS X installer. If you just want to go back to Mojave hopefully you have an installer saved or it's still available to you in the Apple Store. Go check on that now. If not you may need to go beg Apple Support for access.

If things were not working with Catalina you should be able to just roll back to your last clone/backup. If you are not making clones/backups start by getting that started now... backing up to multiple other removable drives.. and then you will need to also back up your new bootable external drive. Especially if you are new to this it's easy to totally screw yourself up when installing a new OS... get backups working before you start doing brain surgery.

If you want to roll back OS versions significantly you need to work out what the oldest version of OS X/macOS is supported on your iMac. There are multiple web sites that describe that. You cannot run older versions than the oldest version officially supported.

If you have a iMac Pro you have to do additional gymnastics to deal with the T2 security chip to allow booting off an external drive.


Darryl, wow thanks for all the info! I had no idea it was that involved. I’m wondering now if simply upgrading my plugins and PT version may be an easier solve? Only drag is, I had the perpetual license for PT 12.5. If I choose the Catalina route and upgrade, I’d be facing going the subscription based method. Between that and upgrading my plugins, obviously more costly. Still, may be worth it. Must think on this. Thanks again for the great insights!


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Old 02-01-2020, 08:01 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: Installing older OSX onto external HD to run earlier PT version?

It is actually not hard, but you do need to think through a few things and be careful. And yes OK for a first time go at stuff like this might take a while, but once you have this sort of stuff done a few times it takes me ~1 hour to get a whole new boot disk set up.... assuming I have every installer ready to go.

Again I will reemphasize if you are not creating backup/clones today solve that right now. I highly recommend carbon copy cloner to external 7200 rpm HDD for backup.

The obvious question is if upgrade cost is an issue why upgrade macOS to Catalina? And if that was a mistake then just go back to Mojave (but which practically if you do not have a recovery backup you should do by doing a full clean install onto a spare partition or drive, testing everything out then cloning back over your boot drive).

Want to stay on Catalina... some dealers still seem to have perpetual upgrades they can sell... call around real soon if you do not want to end up on a subscription.
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Old 02-02-2020, 12:12 AM
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Default Re: Installing older OSX onto external HD to run earlier PT version?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnbarnesiii View Post
If I choose the Catalina route and upgrade, I’d be facing going the subscription based method. Between that and upgrading my plugins, obviously more costly. Still, may be worth it.
As Darryl said, some resellers might still have old stock reinstatements available, worth a try. And even if they did not, the update plan route and subscription would not differ much as you no longer have the option to let your update plan lapse so it too is kind of a subscription. Obviously there is value for keeping the permanent license so that is why think fast if you think this would be best for you.
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Old 02-02-2020, 05:04 AM
musicman691 musicman691 is online now
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Default Re: Installing older OSX onto external HD to run earlier PT version?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JFreak View Post
As Darryl said, some resellers might still have old stock reinstatements available, worth a try. And even if they did not, the update plan route and subscription would not differ much as you no longer have the option to let your update plan lapse so it too is kind of a subscription. Obviously there is value for keeping the permanent license so that is why think fast if you think this would be best for you.
Sweetwater currently still has the reinstatement plan for a permanent license for $299 US.
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