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What Can an iMac Pro 18 Core Do? Require Special Restoration Procedures when Semi-Bricking Itself

See the MPG recommendations for iMac Pro, backup, peripherals. Not sure which Mac to get or how to configure it? Consult with MPG.

See also What Can an iMac Pro 18 Core Do? Go into Infinite Reinstall Loop and What Can an iMac Pro 18 Core Do? Destroy Its Boot Volume Rendering Itself Unbootable.

Those behaviors are bad enough that I deemed the iMac Pro unsuitable for professional use. That’s because the first and primary requirement for professional use is reliability, and its corollary: the ability to quickly and easily recover from unlovely events. The iMac Pro as yet violates those requirements.

Here’s the latest fiasco, which MPG has not experienced, but which is common enough for Apple to document a complex recovery process. Can you imagine me in my Sprinter photography adventure van 300 miles from an Apple Store having to deal with this at 20K/sec internet? I’d be forced to drive home 500 miles. I would be a fool to reply upon an iMac Pro that cannot even boot from an external drive without special configuration, and cannot boot at all from devices that any other Mac can.

Apple Configurator: Restore iMac Pro

In certain circumstances, such as a power failure during a macOS upgrade, an iMac Pro may become unresponsive and must be restored. The requirements for doing an iMac Pro restore are:

[complex restoration procedure which presumes Apple Configurator and high speed internet]


As stated before, the iMac Pro is in truth a science fair project released at least 6 months too early. MPG recommends against the iMac Pro at this point in time and will not recommend it until and unless these outrageous issues are put to rest.

In the meantime, the 2017 iMac 5K is the machine of choice. Groups with dedicated IT professionals and spare iMac Pros in case of problems might feel differently and that is OK. But as the sole machine one depends on, the risks of downtime are unacceptable at this juncture. Right now, I cannot even bring macOS up to date on the loaner 18 core iMac Pro.

Consider that Apple still issues two different supplementary updates: supplementary update for the iMac Pro (only), and supplementary update for all other Macs. Then see What Can an iMac Pro 18 Core Do? Go into Infinite Reinstall Loop. Obviously, the iMac Pro cake is half baked. The iMac Pro brings unwanted and unneeded “features” that are in fact bugs for my usage, but Apple thinks this is Really Cool. Someone tell Apple that a pro machine is not an iPhone X. This poor judgment only becomes worse with haphazard software development and testing.

Don H writes:

Boy, those steps for recovering the iMac Pro look like any number of factors could defeat the process. This is the money quote:

"Note: You won’t see any screen activity from the iMac Pro.”

So if the screen goes blank and stays that way for 5, 10, 20 minutes are you just supposed to wait it out? What a terrible way to conduct something that is already user-hostile.

So the long-term questions are:
1) What if all future Macs adopt this brittle procedure?
2) What if the user population simply accepts this as normal at some point?

It’s a crappy situation all around. If the Macintosh platform becomes untenable, what are the alternatives? (Part of the reason I stay current on the state of computers is to be able to recognize when it’s time to stockpile older models and use them for the rest of my life. I refuse to switch to ‘computing as a service' [also spying platform], which is the direction things seem to be heading.)

MPG: my thoughts run along similar lines.

Dennis K writes:

[unprintable]. I just read through Apple's "instructions" on restoring the iMac Pro. I'm surprised that they don't recommend doing it only during certain phases of the moon or specify the need to first split open the belly of a virgin goat and read the entrails. And I'm very much in line with Don H's comment: "... recognize when it’s time to stockpile older models and use them for the rest of my life." My primary machine is still a 2012 vintage Mac Pro - the last of the big towers. Yeah, it's not as fast as the newer stuff but, with a bunch of upgrades from OWC - memory, SSD's - it does what I need to do.

Last year we saw the beginning of the end for Sears, a company that, IMO, was the "original" Amazon 50+ years ago - you could buy ANYTHING from them at the store or from the catalog. As much as I hate to say it, I believe we're now witnessing the end of Apple. Sure they're still making money selling phones but I really wonder how much longer that can last, if the people on the phone side of the business have the same competency level as the staff doing the computer stuff. But HEY, at least the stuff LOOKS GOOD!?

MPG: Apple is like a huge train of taconite pellets—so much inertia that it will take a long time to slow down. Well, maybe a guano train heaped over with shiny stuff. The pros and serious users long responsible for Apple’s success are finding new offerings a bitter pill, including me.

Dan M writes:

Thank you for the information you’ve been providing on the state of Apple’s computer.

I bought my first macbook pro 17” in 2009, and my second in 2011. I’m saving up for a refurbished 2015 macbook pro retina 15” which I think will be my last mac laptop unless the hardware improves significantly, and I don’t consider the 2016/2017 models improved by any stretch of the imagination.

Also, your warnings on osx 10.13 have been useful. Only one person I told didn’t listen to me and he ended up borrowing my 10.12 installer after his laptop was left literally unusable.

What are the alternatives for the future? Some linux distribution? As much as I love running linux for servers, it’s an exercise in frustration as a desktop environment. Windows 10 or some later variation? It’s bad, but not windows vista/8.x levels of bad and there is always Cygwin I can install.

It’s a real shame Steve Jobs died before his time. I think that were he still alive, we wouldn’t be seeing this rapid slide into pure stupidity.

MPG: hang on for dear life? The Titanic did sink, it just took a while for people to catch on. To a certain extent, think of computers like toasters: buy 'em and update only what is absolutely necessary.

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