As of December 25, 2017, my recommendation is this:
Do not update to High Sierra, even on ‘approved’ legacy systems it can wreak endless amounts of near catastrophic issues (or catastrophic if you have no background in computer support and/or don’t backup your system regularly) that can and will slurp up hours of your time just trying to get your system functional again.
TL:DR – Let this Apple Pie finish baking 😉
Now I know if I’d read this, I’d be like “yeah, what does she know, she’s just whining cause things messed up and they won’t for me, cause i’ll do it right”
From the get go, I should have known it would hate on me. Trying to be an early adopter a few months ago, I clicked the ‘install beta now’ button for my 2013 MacBook pro. Lucky for me I got an error code, and since my Laptop is mostly used for data transfer on site, invoicing, blogging, emailing etc… I didn’t think much of it and figured ‘when it’s ready it’ll work’.
Then a couple weeks ago, noting the cool updates coming down pike for FCPX 10.4, and the integration with VR, Steam and Vive, I thought huh, might as well give it a go (on my primary editing machine). It was a well meaning idea but fraught with obstacles (more like levels of hell but i digress)
Obstacle 1. High Sierra as has a sneaky tendency to corrupt your hard drive, and has a real thing for SSD boot drives. Not all was lost, although that boot drive caused the kernel panic of doom and reboot loop, i was able to copy it over to a 10k spinning drive and (in theory) find the offending conflict (possibly Quartermaster and cnidari).
How’d I do that magical feat that did NOT include wiping and reformatting my boot drive? Well, I did a clean installation on the spinning drive and then migrated the data over from the corrupted SSD (yes, this means you do need to have access to a handful of hard drives and another functional computer). I then repeated the procedure after wiping (yes, it had to be done) the SSD boot drive and migrating everything back to it (minus the conflicts it caught and hopefully mostly sorting the file management system)
Obstacle 2. The new file system has a tendency to bugger up your external drives as well (it seems this isn’t just on legacy systems so just be wary of what you connect) back up back up back up, I can’t say that enough. If you do get a drive that won’t mount and you can’t fix the permissions, don’t panic, again, with a spare computer, extra hard drives and some nice recovery programs you can do some magical data recovery and volume repair. Remember what i said about slurping up your time? Yes. this takes time either way. That said, only two drives out of 22 so far ended up with the funky file management corruption issue, my SSD boot drive and one 3TB media drive.
Obstacle 3. High Sierra doesn’t work with everything yet, and some of the stuff it does work with can be buggy at best. Yeah yeah, I realize I’m singing the sad song of the early adopter but I’ve never had so many issues with an OS update before in my life and i’ve been hacking on Mac’s since the early 90’s.
Obstacle 4. If you are a 360 video stitcher and editor, don’t do it. Don’t get caught up in the hype. Final Cut 10.4 will still be there in a few months and hopefully High Sierra will be more stable. Why pray tell? Because the number one stitching program won’t work. Autopano Video Pro 3.0 won’t work with High Sierra at the time of writing. So yeah, you can use all the cool 360 tools in FCP 10.4, but if you can’t stitch your 360 footage, what good is it to you? Luckily i have 2 editing machines, one still running boring old regular Sierra so I’m currently stitching on one computer and editing on the other.
Obstacle 5. New builds are coming out at a mile a minute, fixes and futzes it seems, and that means if you are trying to install a new Nvidia GPU, you might face some challenges. Of course some of the headaches I’ve encountered were partially caused by me (silly things like getting the 1070 ti that is freshly minted vs the 1070). Also follow the protocol for setting things up exquisitely, in the exact order.
Ok, i’m done for now, and yes, this was more of a bitch session than anything, but consider yourself warned.
At the end of the day I’ve been able to make it all work and play nice, and yes, new FCP 10.4 is smoking fast, and yes it’s cool to have Nvidia driver and HTC Vive working, but the cost in time and angst would have been better spent doing basically anything else.
So, before you get all excited about High Sierra, do a quick search for things like ‘boot loop’ ‘kernel panic’ ‘black screen of death’ ‘HDD corruption with High Sierra’ ‘file management high sierra’ and check to see if your favorite programs actually run with it, its a subtle on the outside, but massive on the inside type of change. Basically the Tardis of System upgrades 😉