Trying Big Sur from external boot drive question

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
OP James C. Murray Senior Member • Posts: 2,083
Re: Trying Big Sur from external boot drive question

Rich42 wrote:

James C. Murray wrote:

If I clone my internal drive, (Carbon Copy Cloner), to an external SSD, boot from it and update it to Big Sur am I likely to have any problems other than perhaps reduced speed?

I would like to try this to see where I may have problems with apps, Capture One 20 in particular. The idea of course is being able to return to my internal Catalina OS if things do not work out.

Capture One are advising to hold off on Big Sur until they can say there are no problems and I am not about to ignore their advice.


Edited to add that I am using a late 2015 iMac with Catalina at the moment.

I suggest mounting the blank drive either via USB C or USB A port, downloading Big Sur and directing the install to the external drive.

The install will complete and boot into the Big Surface drive. Then it will prompt you to run migration assistant to bring all your programs and settings to the Big Sur drive.

That's what I've done. With no problems.

I use Super Duper all the time for (bootable) backups and installs. I see no advantage to cloning your Catalina install to an external drive, booting, into that and upgrading that volume with Big Sur.


Thank you for the reply, your suggestion is something I had not thought of but it looks clean and makes a lot of sense. I went looking into Migration assistant to learn a bit more and came across the procedures recommended for a clean install. While that is probably a bit more than I need for what I want to do at the moment it does point me in a good direction when I replace the current machine.

Thanks again.

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