back to article macOS High Sierra more like 'Cry Sierra' for Mac-wielding beta testers

Apple's next version of the macOS, High Sierra, aka 10.13, is due for general release next week, and users running the beta have already noticed a pair of issues that could cloud the rollout. The Cupertino phone flinger says that the Apple File System (APFS), a technology unveiled last year for the Mac, is going to cause some …

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hard locks attract workarounds, workarounds become a honeypot for malware.

    My biggest criticism of macOS Sierra and macOS High Sierra, is the hard locks preventing installs on older iMac 24'' 2008/2009 Models. These hard locks preventing installation, just attract workarounds, and the workarounds become honeypots for malware. Apple's greed is compromising user's Security. There is no need for a hard lock, just a warning during install.

    The newer iMac 21'' late 2009 uses virtually the same hardware as the 24'' early 2009 model, A 2.66GHz Core2Duo Penryn Processor with Nvidia 9400M Graphics, yet the early 2009 24'' model is hard locked from installing macOS Sierra / High Sierra. The reason, an incompatible Broadcom Wifi Card. It's annoying because it's an easy fix in terms of replacing the Broadcom 94321 PCI-e Wifi Card with a Broadcom PCI-e 94322 PCI-e Wifi Card, just a straight swap. Or easier, a plug-in USB Wifi Card.

    The 24'' 2008/2009 Models also have no direct replacements in terms of screen resolution/quality, so if you're used to that size of screen, or have external monitors to match, the is no easy upgrade solution.

    Drop the hard locks Apple. These excellent classic 24'' iMacs don't deserve to end up in Landfill.

    1. Blotto Bronze badge

      Re: Hard locks attract workarounds, workarounds become a honeypot for malware.

      Apples greed in releasing a free OS?

      They already know it won't work fully on some machines so prevent those machines from loading the free software.

      I just can't see how releasing a free OS in late 2017 that prevents installation on machines they know it won't work properly on from early 2009 can be seen as greed. How can releasing a free os 8 years after the machines shipped be called greed?

      Maybe time for an upgrade (doesn't need to be brand spanking new, just new to you!!)

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Hard locks attract workarounds, workarounds become a honeypot for malware.

        If they just shipped them with the right drivers then the problem would be resolved in most cases.

        1. Blotto Bronze badge

          Re: Hard locks attract workarounds, workarounds become a honeypot for malware.

          @Dan55

          No drivers exist for the hardware in question, even the hackers resort to hardware changes.

          https://www.tonymacx86.com/threads/some-broadcom-mini-pcie-wifi-devices-unsupported-in-macos-sierra.201746/

          "there is no solution- this kext will not load in macOS Sierra"

          If people are told it won't work then Apple will get far fewer complaints than if they let people install the free software who then find out they can't connect to the net, can't uninstall the OS and Apple and their customers are left with an expensive hardware replacement trip to the Apple Store.

          Far easier to say no it won't install as hardware is incompatible, which is the truth, and let some savvy customers hack around to get the OS to install, build a hackintosh or buy a new Mac.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Hard locks attract workarounds, workarounds become a honeypot for malware.

            Blotto, you've just answered it for me.

            Isn't that the point, the Hackintosh crowd easily get around it by faking the serial to match an iMac 2009 21.5'' (or a mac that runs macOS Sierra), the legitimate iMac 24'' Crowd don't, hence the only people you're hurting are genuine Apple Customers, by such hard lock methods on macOS Sierra/High Sierra.

            It's not a difficult concept, you give genuine Apple Customers the choice (a warning), with the caveat, they are on their own, when a user of an older iMac attempts to install, not a hard lockout.

          2. Charlie Clark Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Hard locks attract workarounds, workarounds become a honeypot for malware.

            No drivers exist for the hardware in question, even the hackers resort to hardware changes.

            Yes, Mr Fuckwit, it's not as if Apple couldn't recompile the drivers…

          3. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: Hard locks attract workarounds, workarounds become a honeypot for malware.

            Yes. You do understand the kext doesn't work in Sierra but Apple could have easily supplied a working kext but decided not to.

            That's why people have to change some hardware in a 2007-2009 iMac, so it works with Sierra's more limited range of drivers.

        2. nelmat

          Re: Hard locks attract workarounds, workarounds become a honeypot for malware.

          It has nothing to do with drivers, it's old incompatible hardware, firmware can't magically turn a bluetooth card to version 4 for example...

      2. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: How can releasing a free os 8 years after the machines shipped be called greed?

        Because they spent effort locking it down rather than just giving a warning, and in doing so they introduced a reason for non-malware writers to try and crack the lock. Plenty of people know the "risks" of running on older hardware, some of them have the nous to be able to break Apple's lock. Once broken the lock then introduces potential vulnerabilities for all users.

        Apple's only motivation in introducing the Lock is to stop older machines being upgraded. It's a greedy attempt to force users to buy new machines.

        It's not tricky.

        1. Blotto Bronze badge

          Because they spent effort locking it down rather than just giving a warning

          @Sabroni

          it doesn't work on those machines in the current release (sierra) & won't work on the forthcoming release (High Sierra) either.

          What are you and the OP complaining about?

          El captain is still supported on those machines, and the next release (High Sierra) hasn't even shipped yet.

          Boo Hoo, companies current and future free software won't work on my machine from early 2009.

          Ask most Android users if they can upgrade to the latest free version off Android, and then ask if their handset manufacturer is greedy.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Because they spent effort locking it down rather than just giving a warning

            "What are you and the OP complaining about?"

            Firstly, it's not unusual for Apple product lines to get to 4-5 years old without a refresh/still on sale. Who's the skinflint here? The point being made is the incompatibility is very minor, the Wifi card - not a reason to lock out the whole iMac. USB Wifi Dongles are available that work.

            How many more ways do we have to spell out to you. Hard locks attract workarounds, workarounds acts as honeypots for malware, it's not a difficult concept. It seems you are the only one finding this difficult to understand. A Potential warning on install of macOS is adequate, instead of a hard lockout for older machines.

            Perfectly good kit ends up in Landfill, for very minor "artificial reasons" (expect the usual reply, you can recycle via Apple). It's the same with soldered SSDs, many users will be reluctant to resell their machines with the SSD built in, again Apple know this.

            If Apple wants to artificially obsolete things why not just give free iMessage subscription for 3-4 years, make it paid subscription afterward, it's already used as the activation method for macOS to kick out Hackintosh or is that just too upfront transparent?

            People can then choose transparently if they want a 4 year shelf life device or not, none of this backdoor artificial locking out of devices.

        2. Blotto Bronze badge

          Apple's only motivation in introducing the Lock is to stop older machines being upgraded

          @sabroni

          "Apple's only motivation in introducing the Lock is to stop older machines being upgraded. It's a greedy attempt to force users to buy new machines."

          The OP has already stated the reason is due to incompatibility with hardware in those early 2009 machines.

          That's like saying apple has been greedy by no longer supporting 32 bit apps in iOS, or no longer supporting PPC, or windows is being greedy by only supporting new cpu's with their next OS, actually that last one can be seen as being greedy.

          Apple's reputation is about making systems that just work and don't need an expert to meddle with on a frequent basis. Installing this OS on those 2009 systems will cause them a support headache requiring the owner to purchase additional hardware to support a free OS update.

          At least they checked and know ahead of time what system's are not compatible.

          Hardware update for clueless owners is tricky, telling everyone the free OS won't install on incompatible systems is also tricky.

          Understanding why Apple have taken this approach is not tricky.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hard locks attract workarounds, workarounds become a honeypot for malware.

        "Maybe time for an upgrade (doesn't need to be brand spanking new, just new to you!!)"

        Firstly, it's Apple's choice to give it away for free, I'd happily pay to keep the 24'' iMac current because there is no like for like replacement for the 24'' 1900x1200 display.

        It's Apple loss because it's perfectly possible to run Windows 10 on these iMac 24's. Takes a bit of work, but does work, and doesn't require 3rd party workarounds.

        You have missed the point completely. Windows 10 uses 'soft locks' (lack of fingerprint drivers for instance, Validity FP Readers, poor Touchpad drivers - lack of two-finger scrolling) which act as inconveniences in terms of upgrades, macOS uses hard locks, to force obsolescence.

        There is absolutely no need to have hard locks on Apple's macOS upgrades because as said, those workarounds that appear all over youtube+other sites acts as honeypots for malware, and Apple know this.

        Some of these videos describe a process very similar to the iffy telephone support calls, in terms of downloading and installing software, all because Apple use a hard lock.

        Apple shouldn't be putting their users in harm's way. Hard locks do that.

        Why would anyone landfill a perfectly good iMac 24'' + separate 24'' Apple Display, when a simple Wifi card replacement would allow that machine to run macOS High Sierra, as it's then no different, in hardware terms to the late 2009 iMac 21''.

        Blotto, a few of us, quite like Apple stuff, but we're not so obsessed we need the next new, shiny thing. Security updates are all I'm interested in, and in terms of El Capitan, they will finish soon enough, 2018.

        1. Andy Taylor

          Re: Hard locks attract workarounds, workarounds become a honeypot for malware.

          Last time I looked, these iMacs would still happily run Sierra.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Hard locks attract workarounds, workarounds become a honeypot for malware.

            Andy, you're purposely spreading FUD. iMac 24'' 2008/2009 don't run Sierra, they are hard locked out, if you try to install. OP is correct.

          2. Andy Taylor

            Re: Hard locks attract workarounds, workarounds become a honeypot for malware.

            Mea culpa, I meant El Capitan. They'll still run El Capitan.

          3. anothercynic Silver badge

            Re: Hard locks attract workarounds, workarounds become a honeypot for malware.

            Incorrect. They do *not* run Sierra.

      4. Charlie Clark Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: Hard locks attract workarounds, workarounds become a honeypot for malware.

        They already know it won't work fully on some machines so prevent those machines from loading the free software.

        It would work fine if they included the drivers. If the hardware doesn't support a particular feature (and there hasn't been much in x86 since 2008 to warrant this) then that particular feature can be disabled.

        Apple frequently uses system upgrades to fix bugs in existing releases that it subsequently no longer maintains. The Bluetooth bugs in Lion that were only fixed in Mountain Lion are an example, but there are plenty of others.

        The free upgrade strategy fits in well with built-in obsolescence: your system is more than five years old so you should buy a new one. While it certainly makes commercial sense there's no denying that this is annoying for customers. And older installs are often in places with multiple machines. I only recently ditched my 2006 Mac Mini that I kept around as a potential backup device. Selling premium hardware on the basis of its quality and then denying it upgrades will degrade the image over time. Not that Apple cares that much for users since it discovered consumers…

    2. WallMeerkat

      Re: Hard locks attract workarounds, workarounds become a honeypot for malware.

      2009 and 8 years later a free OS wont work anymore?

      Sheer luxury!

      I bought one of the early Mac Minis in 2005 as a PPC dev machine, back then each release of OSX was paid for, and a year later they switched to Intel processors, Leopard was the last OS update a mere 2 years later!

    3. nelmat

      Re: Hard locks attract workarounds, workarounds become a honeypot for malware.

      These classic machines won't suddenly stop working on the 25th.

      It's not reasonable to expect Apple to check new software on machines nearing eight years old. Software compatibility over four years is great service, it's not money grabbing at all. The wifi card and bluetooth are incompatible on machines eight years old and the average user doesn't want to pull an iMac to pieces.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hard locks attract workarounds, workarounds become a honeypot for malware.

        The 21.5'' 2009 iMac (which runs Sierra) uses exactly the same Bluetooth drivers as the early 2009 24'' iMac (which doesn't run Sierra), its the only the Wifi Card that is not compatible as OP has stated, bluetooth works fine, though it's not verson 4, but a cheap Chinese dongle will get you Bluetooth 4, if you really want it.

  3. Hans 1 Silver badge

    he reason, an incompatible Broadcom Wifi Card. It's annoying because it's an easy fix in terms of replacing the Broadcom 94321 PCI-e Wifi Card with a Broadcom PCI-e 94322 PCI-e Wifi Card, just a straight swap. Or easier, a plug-in USB Wifi Card

    I agree, however, macOS "just works" and you cannot expect John Doe to know how to do that ... some Doe's cannot even use a screw driver....

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Who are you talking to?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My main concern is APFS

    I had a heads up from one of our suppliers that they were not yet 100% certain of their ability to work with APFS because it wasn't spectacularly well documented. There was some general documentation, but there was apparently precious little known about low level calls and recovery processes for developers to work with.

    It appears our strategy of waiting 6 months with any major changes to hardware and software will get a new workout :).

  5. Small Wee Jobbie

    Does anyone really....

    Not wait until 10.x.1 comes out???

    Normally a short wait and a Load of bugs squashed...been my way of handling an OS X upgrade since 9.2

    Damn I feel old

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Does anyone really....

      I normally wait until 10.x.3 because the fixes in .1 and .2 tend to break other stuff.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Does anyone really....

        Given this converts your hard drive to a new filesystem, it's probably best to skip 10.13 completely and wait till 10.14(.3)...

        1. WolfFan Silver badge

          Re: Does anyone really....

          You get APFS only if you have a SSD. The release version of 10.13 won't boot from a SSD formatted HFS+, and also won't boot from a spinning drive or a Fusion drive formatted APFS. The installer automatically updates SSDs to APFS and automatically does NOT update spinning drives or Fusion drives to APFS, and refuses to install on a spinning or Fusion drive already formatted APFS. You get to reformat. Good luck with that, you'll need a bootable USB device with the 10.13 installer, and a complete backup, as the version of Disk Utility which ships with older versions of macOS makes a dog's dinner of APFS-formatted drives.

  6. big_D Silver badge
    Angel

    Nuke it and start again

    As this is a beta, it should be running on a test machine, just nuke it and do a fresh install...

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Nuke it and start again

      Well yeah, just restore the Time Machine system image. One would hope that that the sort of user who plays with Betas knows how to back up.

  7. Dave 126 Silver badge

    > The Fusion drives, offered in Mac Mini and iMac models sold from 2012 to 2017, marry solid-state and hard disk drive (HDD) hardware within a single enclosure.

    'Fusion Drives are not physical devices. 'Fusion Drive' is a name given to a feature of Apple's Logical Volume Manager whereby partitions on a normal HDD drive and a normal SSD are combined into a pool. The user will see them as one drive with MacOS tiering them, replicating the most often used files onto the faster physical drive. Unlike pooled storage on Windows, a system can boot from a Drive.

    It was one of the things Apple picked up when they were flirting with ZFS.

    https://www.anandtech.com/show/6679/a-month-with-apples-fusion-drive/7

  8. Nimby
    Devil

    What?

    Apple pushes forward with a faulty "protection" mechanism that only serves to protect Apple from 3rd party developers, not to protect Apple consumers from Bad Things? Why I am shocked. Shocked! Surely that has never happened before!

  9. Mike Moyle Silver badge
    Devil

    Obvious solution:

    Anyone who figures a workaround for this immediately makes it open source. We're always told that the "many eyes" theory makes open source inherently safer than anything!

    So, problem solved.

  10. Matthew 17

    I've been running it since beta 5

    I have a MBP that I use as a guinea pig / test platform to ensure that all my soft and hard ware will operate correctly before I update my production machines. The only bug I've still not seen fixed is the nightshift mode seems all over the place, flicking on and off, but the rest of the platform seems decent and nearly all my software now works.

    I have to say though that I'm hugely impressed with APFS it's been a massive speed boost to the performance of the machine. Normally I wait for a .1 release but sod it I've been seduced by speed.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's called a BETA for a reason

    Seriously - do people really not know why Beta software exists?

    The BETA isn't stable, 100% working and identical to the final version?!

    Oh the horror!LOL

    1. qoureno

      Re: It's called a BETA for a reason

      totally agree. I f9r once just like to take that kind 9 risk, I have a functioning time machine n stuff. But that have still surprised me, I still cannot access my main ssd drive directly. all system files are present, it all works. but I even got the messages that my ssd named whatever got forcefully disconnected, and that is my MAIN internal drive. and that I have no permission to access time machine, both were pretty much mended after the restart I forced after installation of beta 5. wtf. and the system looked funny before the restart, as if I got no desktop. just the wallpaper, n the bar at the top showed Finder n some highly limited set of options.

      xD

  12. Eponymous Howard

    Beta software not fully functional, you say?

    Blimey. Whatever next.

    1. qoureno

      nukes in space. look at Syberia.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    basically, the reason why I havent been able to access my root hard drive as a folder ever since I updated to beta 5, is it because of this pseudo security measure ?

    after the update, my system files all disappeared, only to reappear after a restart. ofc I realized immediately, before the restart, that they r still there, even tho the system indicated that the main drive had been plugged off. lmao. and after the restart and some tampering all is okay, seemingly. as I cannot access my hard drive directly. I had a shortcut in m6 Finder for the ssd drive, and now it is not working, simply put. “cann9 find the source”

  14. Mick Russom

    between the new mac’s loss of magsafe, the horrific new keyboard, the horrible touch bar which killed the ESC key and high sierra apple is on timeout. I own 5 macbook pro laptops, 3 retinas. fu apple. you jumped the shark, clean up this mess.

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