High Sierra - our yearly warning [UPDATED WITH WARNING INFO]

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Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:05 pm
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High Sierra - our yearly warning [UPDATED WITH WARNING INFO]

[NOTE] - see our blog post on how to work around a couple of bugs in macOS High Sierra that cause Insteon PowerLinc and RFXCOM devices from working on some systems.

[WARNING] - see this post below for potential crippling issues with High Sierra (though there may be a workaround).

Rather than post, AGAIN, a repeat of what we always say, I'm just going to link to the Sierra post.

Short version: don't do it unless you have no choice. Wait at least a couple of bug fix releases (unfortunately, it appears that all releases through10.13.6 still have the bug). Indigo, for most people, is mission critical and upgrading a mission critical computer to a brand new major release is just not wise. We have done testing and haven't found anything, but our testing doesn't cover every conceivable configuration (it's not possible). We'll fix any issues that are identified (assuming there is a fix), but it may not be very fast. Because the operation of some of your devices will depend on drivers from Apple or other 3rd parties, there may be some things that we just can't fix.

We will post follow-ons on this topic as we hear of issues.

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Posted on
Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:09 pm
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Re: High Sierra - our yearly warning

First issue report: we had a user that had an issue with a very old PowerLinc 1132U connecting to Indigo 6 after upgrading to High Sierra. After several attempts with both Indigo 6 and Indigo 7, he got it working. This sounds suspiciously like USB issues that we've seen with almost every macOS release for the past several years (and which we can't fix - it has to be a fix from Apple). Apparently USB is very tricky for an OS...

We HIGHLY recommend that you wait for a couple of dot releases before upgrading.

Also, reflectors are broken in Indigo 6 on High Sierra (Apple made changes in Python that we had to address in Indigo 7). We dropped support well before High Sierra shipped so we won't be updating Indigo 6.

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Posted on
Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:08 am
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Re: High Sierra - our yearly warning

Another High Sierra issue report:

PeteVis wrote:
Over at the SecuritySpy forum, users are warning about High Sierra.

Apparantly when locking the screen (as you would with i.e. a headless mac mini server where Indigo runs), High Sierra stops processing apps that are running in the foreground or background.
Maybe it's a bug, or maybe a feature... but it could be a big problem for users like me who have Indigo on a seperate Mac tucked away in the closet...


Here is the thread on the SecuritySpy forum where they are discussing it.

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Posted on
Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:22 pm
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[WARNING] Apparent driver issues

[WARNING] We've now had several reports of both PowerLincs and Z-Wave interfaces not connecting after the High Sierra upgrade (but mostly PowerLincs). This is a very common issue with new macOS releases and is one of the primary reasons we suggest waiting. Try the typical things:

  1. Reboot with the interface connected
  2. Reboot with the interface disconnected, then plug it in after you've booted up
  3. Make sure it's plugged directly into a USB port on your Mac
  4. Unplug other USB things except Keyboard/Mouse
  5. Try plugging the interface into a USB 1 or 2 hub (not USB 3) that's connected to your Mac

We also have heard a report that rebooting the Mac in recovery mode to run Disk Utility repair can help:


Sometimes one of the above will lead to a solution. Other times, unfortunately, there is no option but to wait until a bug fix release from Apple to solve the issue.

If you have a PowerLinc 2413U, then you should also try the typical signal noise diagnostics: run a long extension cord from another room to your PowerLinc and if that works then you have signal noise probably on the circuit the 2413U is plugged into (check the signal troubleshooting page for tips). Also try a different USB cable.

The problem on the PowerLinc side seems to manifest itself with the following errors in the Event Log:

Code: Select all
Error resending previous command (failure response)
Error unknown command bytes received 0E 01 (ignoring)
Error resending previous command (busy or unexpected command)
Error resending previous command (failure response)
Error unknown command bytes received 0E 01 (ignoring)
Error resending previous command (busy or unexpected command)
Error resending previous command (failure response)
Error unknown command bytes received 0E 01 (ignoring)
Error resending previous command (busy or unexpected command)


though some users report that the PowerLinc doesn't even show up in the serial port popup. So far we haven't heard of anyone working around these issues and but it definitely seems to be a problem for some users (but not all). We'll post more information as we hear about it here on this topic.

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Posted on
Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:25 pm
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Potential USB issue workaround?

We think we've identified the issue: it's actually a macOS bug that occurred with some Macs back when El Crapitan first shipped. We believe it has to do with how Apple implemented USB3 on some Macs, but the problem seemed limited to the Z-Stick in that release. We managed to recreate the issue with the PowerLinc where you'd see these types of errors in the Event Log:

Code: Select all
Error resending previous command (failure response)
Error unknown command bytes received 0E 01 (ignoring)
Error resending previous command (busy or unexpected command)
Error resending previous command (failure response)
Error unknown command bytes received 0E 01 (ignoring)
Error resending previous command (busy or unexpected command)
Error resending previous command (failure response)
Error unknown command bytes received 0E 01 (ignoring)
Error resending previous command (busy or unexpected command)


The workaround is to plug your PowerLinc into a USB2 hub (not a USB3 hub though). Yes, this is opposite of conventional wisdom, and I did mention it in the post above. I have a Dynex hub (like this one though the model # is slightly different) that seems to work well with the Series 2 Z-Stick and now with the PowerLinc.

If you are one of the unlucky ones that are experiencing this Apple bug and you can't go back to Sierra or earlier until Apple fixes it, try a USB2 hub and see if that doesn't correct the issue.

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Posted on
Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:46 am
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Re: High Sierra - our yearly warning [UPDATED WITH WARNING I

Here's a customer's report via email:

Updated to MacOS 10.13.2 and USB Serial Issues started immediately.


Followed by:

Reverting the MacOS did address the USB Serial failures, so 10.13.2 is clearly broken.


Just another piece of evidence.

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Posted on
Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:33 am
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Re: High Sierra - our yearly warning [UPDATED WITH WARNING I

Apple has patched the Meltdown exploit in High Sierra, Sierra, and El Capitan so you don't have to upgrade to High Sierra. Apple has said that the Spectre flaw will be mitigated by releasing a patched Javascript engine with Safari which I would expect would be available for at least those 3 OS releases.

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Posted on
Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:33 am
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Re: High Sierra - our yearly warning [UPDATED WITH WARNING I

A note about the USB2 hub workaround as reported by a user:

sarahcat wrote:
“After a couple of possible security exploits, I upgraded to High Sierra for my Mini running Indigo. The Gen5 Z-Wave interface initializes perfectly, but my Insteon Dual Band MODEM now requires the USB connection to be physically unplugged and ‘re-plugged’ when I restart the Mini, after the High Sierra MacOS install.
The behavior appears consistent and repeatable, so far. I’m using Jay and Matt’s favorite USB2 hub.

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Posted on
Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:14 am
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Re: High Sierra - our yearly warning [UPDATED WITH WARNING I

For those of you who are tired of the constant macOS reminder to install High Sierra, forum member sparker has pointed out an article on how to stop it. Thanks for the link!

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Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:58 am
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Re: High Sierra - our yearly warning [UPDATED WITH WARNING I

A user report on the latest 10.13.3 OS release, and it's not good:

jalves wrote:
Another data point: I just updated my Indigo machine to 10.13.3 and after the restart i had to do the unplug/replug routine for the Insteon and RFXCom devices. Once I did that everything worked just fine. FWIW, the Insteon interface is plugged directly into the Mini, while the RFX device is plugged into a USB hub.


and

jalves wrote:
I was on 10.13.2 before the upgrade. That's the only thing I changed - (the upgrade to .3). I've experienced the same issue at times using 10.13.1 & .2. Just to further muddy the waters, there have been some restarts than didn't require the unplug/replug exercise.


Note that the RFX uses the same FTDI chipset that the PowerLinc uses - that seems unlikely to be a coincidence.

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Posted on
Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:35 am
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Re: High Sierra - our yearly warning [UPDATED WITH WARNING I

Unfortunately, we just received a report from a user who upgraded from 10.13.4 to 10.13.5 that the upgrade undid the workaround (which we expected) and that the bugs are still present. Reapplying the workaround should fix it again. We're really hoping Apple doesn't propagate this bug into Mojave and in fact will eventually fix it in High Sierra.

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Posted on
Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:57 pm
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Re: High Sierra - our yearly warning [UPDATED WITH WARNING I

The bugs are still present as of 10.13.6 unfortunately.

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