Why You Should Not Install Beta Operating Systems

I decided to go with the Mac OS Monterey beta version of the operating system because there were a few things I want to try. Mainly I was interested in the application Shortcuts which just arrived since WWDC and is in Monterey. With the first beta I put on there, everything was working fine. I didn’t really get around to trying out the Shortcuts application much. It seems quite strange to have it on the Mac instead of on iOS. I need to get my head around it and see what can be done with it.

With the second version of the beta operating system there was a big change in my way of working due to the application Drafts crashing as soon as I tried to open it. This is my text capture application which I use all the time. It’s particularly good because I can have all my text snippets all in one place. Everything synchronises across to all my devices. I had to wait for two weeks for the next beta to arrive. I couldn’t wait to get my sticky fingers on it and upgrade. That’s where the problems started.

I started the install of the new beta operating system in the evening before going to bed. I was expecting to get up in the morning and find everything was all sorted out ready to go. Instead I saw a screen showing it had stopped completely. I left it for the rest of the day and still nothing happened. This was just before going away on a trip to the mountains so I had to leave it alone. When I got back I would need to do some recovery work to get it up and running again.

How to Recover from a Botched Operating System Install

I did a search to find out what I needed in terms of special keystroke combinations to do the recovery. It’s quite simple, all you need is Command R. You press that while the computer is starting up and wait until you see the Apple symbol on the screen. On the first try, nothing was happening as it was spending ages scanning the disks. So I performed unbelievable yoga contortions to get to the back of the computer and disconnected all of the external disks. I’m pretty sure I have too many disks connected. On the other hand, you can never have too much backup and storage space. I think I have to change some of them from physical magnetic discs to SSD’s. This is possible now that the price of SSD’s have dropped. I could quite easily get a couple of 2 TB disks.

As soon as I had disconnected the disks I got the dialogue box to show a few options. The one I was interested in was the option to reinstall the latest beta software, macOS Monterey. The first information dialogue told me I would have to wait 2 ½ hours for the install to complete. Five minutes later it told me it would take four hours. No problem, I don’t care how long it takes just a long as the job is done right. In the end it did only take about 2 ½ hours. I was able to get the computer working again and reconnect all of the hard drives and we’re back in business!

macOS Monterey Back in Business Again

I’m happy to see that the application Drafts is once more fully functioning. All of my data is fully available and most importantly, DragonDictate is still working properly. I’ll have another year of using the best dictation system for the Mac. It’s still a huge shame that Nuance have discontinued development of the software for the Mac. The possible replacement of it with Voice Control found in the accessibility settings of the Mac is not quite up to the same level of dictation as we get with DragonDictate. We have to keep our fingers crossed Apple will continue improving the dictation service. Otherwise I would have to install a virtual machine on the computer and run Windows and the Windows version of DragonDictate. That would be extremely annoying and would cost money. I’m fairly sure that the DragonDictate I have now is not going to work on the new Apple Silicon Macs. This Intel iMac is still working great and it’s not really necessary to make any upgrades for a good few years.

Good and Geeky

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