Get in Touch
Back to main blog page
Mac startup flashing folder

Catalina boot-up issues on some older Macs

19th November 2019 | posted by David Acland

There's been a number of reports Catalina boot-up issues on some older Macs after running the macOS upgrade. After the upgrade process, the affected Macs display a flashing ? on startup.

We felt it was important to share this information to help reduce the risk of more people getting stuck with a serious problem.

It's suspected that the EFI is corrupting, with the fix being a main Logic Board replacement, with no combination of keyboard commands is resolving the issues.

The Macs people have reported with this issue include:

  • 2015 MacBook Pro
  • Mid-2014 MacBook Pro
  • Late-2013 MacBook Pro
  • Mid-2012 MacBook Pro
  • 2012 Mac mini

This isn't a definitive list of potentially "at risk" devices and so caution should be taken before considering an OS upgrade.

In many cases, these Macs will be classed as either "vintage" or "obsolete" by Apple (link here).  If this is the case, replacement parts may not be an option.

Although the people affected seem to have been unlucky, this reinforces the Moof recommendation to take a cautious approach to macOS updates.  If this were to affect a number of your organisation's Macs, it could be very costly to resolve.

Some example Apple discussion threads can be found here:

Threads can be found here:

  • https://discussions.apple.com/thread/250728927
  • https://discussions.apple.com/thread/250745000
  • https://discussions.apple.com/thread/250716026
  • https://discussions.apple.com/thread/250719221

Other Articles

Time machine – Back to the future!
13th February 2020

The following are the notes from the presentation given by James Bousfield to the LAA’s…

blog image
MacAD UK 2018 – Shields up, Captain?
21st February 2018

Update, 2018.03.30: Added link to YouTube Video Hi All, I had the pleasure of delivering…

What’s changed in the new CIS Benchmarks for Catalina and Mojave?
9th April 2020

As some of you may have spotted, CIS (https://www.cisecurity.org/) released new security benchmarks for Catalina…

blog image
Meraki, Apple Classroom and ‘Not-shared’ shared iPads
13th June 2018

Hi all, and welcome to yet-another, "I figured out something for a client and thought…

Case Study – Moorhouse Consulting
7th May 2020

Moof have been working with Moorhouse for over 4 years, the CFO Jon Russell was…

About moof IT

moof IT are an Apple focused IT company providing a full range of services to over 150 clients including user support, device management, infrastructure and security.

Contact Info

Tel: 0203 983 4444

Email: hello@moof-it.co.uk

London: 1st Floor 20 Noel Street London W1F 8GW

Manchester: The Sharp Project, Thorp Rd, Manchester M40 5BJ

Surrey: Unit 9B, Southbridge House, Southbridge Place, Croydon CR0 4HA

Social Media