Catalina --eraseinstall Installs Big Sur

armenh
New Contributor II

I have a one step Self Service policy that we use to wipe Catalina machines. Since Big Sur came out, the --eraseinstall command is downloading and installing Big Sur. Has anybody encountered this or figured out how to stop it from happening? Thanks!

9 REPLIES 9

monosodium
Contributor

What is the full command?

sdamiano
Contributor II

--eraseinstall is a flag applied when executing the startoinstall command inside of the macOS installer app. This means that Big Sur is likely being downloaded first and then the flag is ran.

Do you have more context as to how this is being ran? Where does the installer file come from? Are you using a script or another method?

armenh
New Contributor II

First I run a pkg that puts the Catalina installer into Applications. It is followed by the below command:

'/Applications/Install macOS Catalina.app/Contents/Resources/startosinstall' ‑‑eraseinstall
--agreetolicense --forcequitapps --nointeraction

armenh
New Contributor II

I should also add that I have a similar policy that follows the exact same workflow but does not include --eraseinstall that we use for upgrading to Catalina. This works correctly and does not install Big Sur.

sdagley
Honored Contributor II

@armenh Have you verified the .pkg you install is in fact the macOS Catalina installer for both of your workflows? As @sdamiano states above the --eraseinstall is simply a parameter to the startosinstall so it's not going to change what version of macOS is being installed. You should also be aware that if a Mac is already running Big Sur that you can not use the --eraseinstall option with the startosinstall tool in the Install macOS Catalina.app to downgrade to Catalina. That will require booting from a USB installer for macOS Catalina (if the Mac is capable of running Catalina)

armenh
New Contributor II

I'll double check what's in the pkg but if the command is pointing to /Applications/Install macOS Catalina.app/Contents/Resources/startosinstall , how could that be installing Big Sur accidentally?

Andrew_N
New Contributor II

That could happen if you have the Big Sur installer named "Install macOS Catalina.app" which would have been a user making an error renaming files at some point. What version of the installer app do you have?

armenh
New Contributor II

I tried to replicate it and could not, my test systems successfully wiped and reinstalled Catalina.

I have two policies. The first which is an upgrade to 10.15.7 that users have been using for weeks with no issues. The second, which I've been testing, is the 10.15.7 --eraseinstall. They both pull from the same .pkg that deposits the Install macOS Catalina.app into /Applications.

Could the issue be that if the Install macOS Big Sur.app is present on the system, it will opt to use that one instead of the Catalina one even if startosinstall is launched from another .app? I will try to test that.

armenh
New Contributor II

After revisiting this issue, it seems that if the user has downloaded the Big Sur installer and it was located in the /Applications folder, the erase install will ignore the Catalina installer and install Big Sur.