MacOS Catalina + User Error Broke my Mac

In the beginning, I started an update to Catalina

It was a Thursday evening when I had the bright idea to download the new MacOS, Catalina to my 2014 MacBook Pro. The day before, I had updated my work laptop and decided to update my personal laptop. The update was still going when I was ready to get to sleep   so I decided to leave it going while I slept. After all, there wasn’t much more to go, surely it’d be done by the morning. 

When it’s almost finished but not done yet.

The next day, I woke up only to find that my Mac was stuck in the same place as I had left it the night before. I decided to go powered it down and restart the download – Or so I thought it would be that easy. Once I powered down, I was met with a strange looking login that I’d never seen before. Disk Password – WTFudge?! I began to panic. What did I do? Why did I have to be so impatient? Is it broken forever? All of these thoughts and more were powered through my mind. 

Disk Password? WHYYYYY?! WHATTTT???

I did the only thing I knew I could do – Post on social media  and then I started googling! I searched loads of things.

I settled on a few good ones.

A sneak peak at my browser history

Meanwhile, a friend from work whom used to work at a Apple store was also giving me tips to try out – She suggested creating a bootable drive. Which was a great idea but I didn’t have any storage device that had about 16GB of space available. Ultimately, I had to get back to work so I powered down my laptop. At lunch, I went and bought a 1TB external drive. That evening I wasn’t able to work on it much so I saved it for Saturday. Saturday evening, I began looking at how to make this bootable drive situation work out but instead came up on another error when I was trying to do an internet recovery. I decided to reach out to my friend whom quickly gave me some solutions to try out and offered to help when we got back into the office on Tuesday. Grateful for the advice, I looked up one of the articles she had sent me about NVRAM – I tried those steps and I was finally able to move passed that globe screen I had seen way too many times. I was excited but still weary I’d get stuck somewhere else. 

At this point, I already made the decision that I was okay with erasing my Mac since everything currently on it was accessible on the internet or cloud somewhere. However, I didn’t want to unless it was necessary so after I was able to access Disk Utility I tried to install MacOS. It didn’t work sadly, my guess is I shut down the original download at a point where it was doing some stuff to the drive and now I was at the point of no return. So I opted to erase my Mac. It was a sad day and my heart was racing hoping that would allow my Mac to be usable again. 

I looked up a YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6rNJBvA5yk&t=61s about erasing the Mac and how to rename the drive and such (I had no idea since I’d never had to do this with a Mac before – My old Dell computers broke all the time back in the day…I don’t know whether it was because I was younger back then or what but I was real confident with taking those computers apart and fixing them. I guess this is also different since the Mac was way more expensive). At any rate, I was able to follow along and boot my Mac with Maverick OS (the original OS is came with when I purchased the machine a few years ago). It looked so old LOL! 

Luckily, I had the Catalina MacOS installer on an external drive and was able to download from there. It downloaded very quickly on my “New Old Mac”. I then started my usual ritual, use Safari to download Chrome and downloaded my terminal. 

Over the next few days, I wanted to get Final Cut Pro installed so I could edit videos. I downloaded from the Apple Store but it kept failing saying it couldn’t be downloaded. I was once again annoyed! Geez, why won’t the things just work! Went back to Google – There were a few articles about how Catalina could affect FCP version xxx and the solution was to have a separate drive with Mojave MacOS installed and download FCP from there. I waiting the next day to try that. I downloaded the latest version of the Mojave download. I was curious so I went back to the Apple Store and attempted to download FCP from there and it worked! I don’t remember doing anything different but I didn’t care, it worked and now I can spend my weekend editing and hopefully filming.