Apple addresses macOS Big Sur upgrade issues impacting 2013 and 2014 MacBook Pro models

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in General Discussion
Apple on Thursday published a support document detailing steps users should take if they encounter problems installing macOS Big Sur on certain MacBook Pro models.

macOS Big Sur


According to reports earlier this week, some users are facing issues when installing Big Sur on their 13-inch MacBook Pro from late 2013 or mid 2014.

Specifically, updates in some cases result in a permanent black screen or a screen bearing a circle with a line through it, a problem that does not resolve itself when restarting the machine in Safe Mode. Attempts to use Apple's Internet Recovery tool have also been unsuccessful.

Apple in today's Support Pages document acknowledges the issue and offers a potential workaround.

If an impacted Mac does not start properly, Apple says to:
  1. Press and hold the power button on your Mac for at least 10 seconds, then release. If your Mac is on, it turns off.

  2. Unplug all external devices from your Mac, including any displays and USB accessories, and remove any card inserted in the SDXC card slot. Then turn your Mac on.

  3. If the issue persists, reset the SMC as described for notebook computers with a nonremovable battery.

  4. If the issue persists, reset NVRAM or PRAM.
To reset the SMC, users must simultaneously press the Control and Option keys on the left side of the keyboard, and Shift on the right side of the keyboard for seven seconds, then also depress the power button. Next, users hold all four keys for another seven seconds, release them, and press the power button to turn on their Mac.

Resetting NVRAM and PRAM requires users to shut down their machine, hold Option, Command, P, and R until the Apple logo appears and disappears twice, or about 20 seconds.

Apple instructs MacBook owners to contact Apple Support if the above techniques do not work. The company adds that the Support Pages document will be updated when it has a more comprehensive solution.

Big Sur saw release last week, but the launch was quickly marred by installation, app runtime and cascading server issues.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    ClassicGeekClassicGeek Posts: 21unconfirmed, member
    That’s not the correct way to reset SMC for the specified models. What you have described is the method for MacBooks with the T2 security chip. 

    dewmembenz1962fastasleepsphericurahara
  • Reply 2 of 16
    fred1fred1 Posts: 834member
    I’m glad to know about this fix, but it doesn’t look easy to do. And of course the scary part is: “Apple instructs MacBook owners to contact Apple Support if the above techniques do not work.”
    I think I’ll wait for a software fix from Apple, even if it takes weeks. Are the new features in Big Sur really worth it?
    Dontmentionthewar
  • Reply 3 of 16
    fred1 said:
    I’m glad to know about this fix, but it doesn’t look easy to do. And of course the scary part is: “Apple instructs MacBook owners to contact Apple Support if the above techniques do not work.”
    I think I’ll wait for a software fix from Apple, even if it takes weeks. Are the new features in Big Sur really worth it?
    Indeed, I’m also a MacBook Pro late 2013 user and will also wait for the next BS version before installing.
    It’s the same thing as with Catalina last year .
  • Reply 4 of 16
    fred1 said:
    I’m glad to know about this fix, but it doesn’t look easy to do. And of course the scary part is: “Apple instructs MacBook owners to contact Apple Support if the above techniques do not work.”
    I think I’ll wait for a software fix from Apple, even if it takes weeks. Are the new features in Big Sur really worth it?
    I used to update to the latest OS X/ macOS on day 1. However, as I started using my iPhone and iPad more, I didn't find the pressing need to update immediately now. I updated to Catalina a good 2-3 months after it was released. I am holding off Big Sur for a while, till all the teething problems are addressed. 

    That may all change once I get a new MBP 16" sometime next year, though. 
  • Reply 5 of 16
    I used to update to the latest OS X/ macOS on day 1. However, as I started using my iPhone and iPad more, I didn't find the pressing need to update immediately now. I updated to Catalina a good 2-3 months after it was released. I am holding off Big Sur for a while, till all the teething problems are addressed. 

    That may all change once I get a new MBP 16" sometime next year, though. 
    Same here but back when I was a Windows user. After one XP update that borked my Dell 8100 and three days rebuilding software on the sodding thing I stopped doing that. What made it worse that I was working in Saudi at the time and the internet was iffy to say the least out in the middle of nowhere. In the end, I drove the 100+ miles into Jeddah and used the internet at a Hotel to D/L everything.

    I bought a MBP 16in in August and updated MBP No 2 (2015 15in) to Big Sur earlier this week (full TM backup done first naturally) and so far it is fine but I'll keep the 16in device away from Big Sur until Feb/Mar at the earliest. Can't see the need for widgets on the desktop when 99.99% of the time I have apps open that cover it all or almost all.

  • Reply 6 of 16
    fred1 said:
    I’m glad to know about this fix, but it doesn’t look easy to do. And of course the scary part is: “Apple instructs MacBook owners to contact Apple Support if the above techniques do not work.”
    I think I’ll wait for a software fix from Apple, even if it takes weeks. Are the new features in Big Sur really worth it?
    Indeed, I’m also a MacBook Pro late 2013 user and will also wait for the next BS version before installing.
    It’s the same thing as with Catalina last year .

    Yep - I’m also a 13” late 2013 MBP user.  Gonna wait at least until next incremental update just to be safe.  It is nice to know there is something you can do though.
  • Reply 7 of 16
    Unfortunately, the steps in the article are incorrect. To reset the SMC on the affected models you need to first press Shift, Control and Option/Alt on the left, then press the power button and hold all four buttons for 10 seconds. Secondly, to reset the NVRAM you need to first power on the Mac and then hold beep the buttons named in the article. Also, these buttons should be held until the startup chime in heard twice (as these are older Macs, there should be a startup chime), or for 20 seconds if there’s no startup chime. These steps are in the linked Apple support document.
  • Reply 8 of 16
    I now wait six months or so to update to the latest OS. After having learned my lesson from issues like these, to device drivers and major software that I need not working after upgrades,I like to wait a while for developers (incl. Apple) to fix and update all of the problems that those brave zero-day installers reveal.
  • Reply 9 of 16
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,897member
    An upgrade issue for potentially ALL users is the ridiculous spacing of text and icons in Mail. Clearly this is in anticipation of touchscreen Macs, but we need to be able to use tighter spacing on non-touch hardware. Not happy!
  • Reply 10 of 16
    This has the all the symptoms and signs of a fubar-ed UEFI/firmware upgrade at the beginning of OS install process...
  • Reply 11 of 16
    cpsro said:
    An upgrade issue for potentially ALL users is the ridiculous spacing of text and icons in Mail. Clearly this is in anticipation of touchscreen Macs, but we need to be able to use tighter spacing on non-touch hardware. Not happy!
    I kept hearing that criticism of the spacing during the Big Sur beta but when I installed it on two of my macs it was virtually unnoticeable to me. So I guess YMMV on this one. 
  • Reply 12 of 16
    cpsro said:
    An upgrade issue for potentially ALL users is the ridiculous spacing of text and icons in Mail. Clearly this is in anticipation of touchscreen Macs, but we need to be able to use tighter spacing on non-touch hardware. Not happy!
    Not sure what you're referring to.  Spacing is ok on all my Macs (mini's, 16" & 13" MacBook Pros).  Apple has explicitly stated the UI changes came "naturally" and there is not a touchscreen Mac coming - stated this in the past week or two in an interview.
  • Reply 13 of 16
    I think I'm just about done with Apple.   For the most part my Macbook Pro has been good.  My complaint is every time there is a new release to the OS there are new bugs or the old ones have not been addressed.    My Macbook is a 2014 model.   The only reason I attempted to upgrade to Big Sur is to hopefully have the activity screen bug fixed.   Only message I got was something about missing files after proceeding with the update.  I'll limp along till January and go back to Windows on a new computer.

    If that wasn't enough, my new Iphone SE has bugs too.   When using the phone there are no buttons to  mute the phone or put it on the speaker.    Today after an upgrade those buttons are still missing.   You can count me as someone going back to an Android.   
  • Reply 14 of 16
    I have a late 2013 MacBook Pro which went to the black screen when rebooting during installation of Big Sur. None of the recovery options work because the machine never gets as far as booting up. No chime, no nothing to indicate if anything was happening. Eventually the machine did boot and installation completed. Once on the MBP works fine. Just don't ever reboot if you're in a hurry.

    I have since reinstalled Catalina but the boot problem still persists. Something has happened to the firmware during the Big Sur install. Advice to reset NVRAM/PRAM or SMC does little good, though it may have eventually given me back the chime, even if it never got any further than that.

     I've run in verbose mode to see if I could track down from the system log anything that might be causing the problem. But the boot process never reaches the point of logging anything. So my system log only showed successful boot and shutdowns with none of the failed in-between attempts!

     What I've found is that if I leave the MBP switched on at the black screen, plugged in to AC, eventually it will boot. I think it may need to be physically hot before it will boot - this can take anything from 1 to 4 hours! I haven't quite pinned it down. I just keep checking every hour or so if I can press the power button to shut down and then boot up. I am typing this message on my MBP after it going "black" for about an hour and a half between shutdown and reboot.

     I had an appointment with an authorise repair service today, only to be told that if it's a hardware problem, then it can't be fixed as it's a "vintage" model. Hopefully the engineers will track down the issue and a future revision to Big Sur will fix it. Until then, I won't be shutting down unless absolutely necessary, and will continue using Catalina.
    edited November 2020
  • Reply 15 of 16
    I installed macOS OS Big Sur last night on my 2014 Mac mini. Everything seemed to be working properly until I opened up the computer today and was unable to connect to the Internet. Initially, I thought it was a Wi-Fi issue, but I was also unable to connect using ethernet or my cellular hotspot. I tried everything suggested in multiple articles that I read but to no avail. This including resetting the PRAM and SMC, shutting down, unplugging all devices and power, rebooting, etc.

    I finally came across an article that suggested that I add the openDNS IP address. I did so and was able to connect. However, after removing the openDNS IP address, I was unable to connect again. Then, I noticed in the DNS panel of the advanced section of my network settings that there were two IP addresses filled. I recognized them as addresses that were generated by my wireless router and was unclear why they were filled in the panel, because they should be selected based on availability or dynamically for Ethernet. So, I deleted the IP addresses from the DNS panel and the problem now appears to be completely resolved. I am able to connect via Wi-Fi and ethernet.

    To do what I did, go to the network section of system preferences and select ethernet and advanced and remove the IP addresses from the DNS panel and then do the same thing for Wi-Fi. 
    edited November 2020
  • Reply 16 of 16
    I bought a new Mac earlier this year and had the worst experiences trying to install Big Sur.  Left computer on to upload overnight but in the morning it took 16 minutes for computer to open (black screen and bar below) and it was still using Catalina.  Every time I opened up computer it took about 16 minutes for me to get my screen back.  Tried again last night to install and timer kept changing once it got to "supposed" finish and still no upgrade and I couldn't access computer as screen was black.  Finally this morning after a few miserable attempts of it not installing it FINALLY did.  Not too impressed since my computer is only about 9 months old.
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