Wacom, Adobe, IMAC Catalina and reverting back to Mojave

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Adobe, Wacom and IMAC issues. I made the huge mistake of updating to Catalina and since then I've had nothing but headaches from my IMAC. Granted the IMAC isn't a great computer at all but with 32gb of RAM I feel that it should be able to run without the Wacom getting jammed up while generating previews. Recently I got the new Sony A7R4 and my computer completely choked on the files.  Then when Bridge or Lightroom started to generate previews for those files my computer completely jammed up and the Wacom stopped working. Not the Apple mouse. Just the tablet.  Then there's Adobe Premiere. Working in 4k is a joke and  the tablet is unusable. Making small edits causes long pauses with the tablet as well.

I tried dealing with Wacom tech support but they suck. Here's their "tech support" :
1)Update the driver. Update the OS
2)Delete the preferences.
3)Change the privacy settings blame Catalina
4)Create a second user
5)Reinstall the OS.
6)Deny issues with the Wacom driver and blame the computer.

I just gave you the complete Wacom script so no need to contact Wacom. That's what they'll have you do. Without even asking about the specs on the computer or what apps you're using. 

So has anyone had these issues and tried revert back to Mojave? Is that even possible? I'm desperate to figure this out. I feel like my computer has gone back in time ten years when you can to load images into bridge and then leave the room for an hour while it generated previews. 
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Brian Berman

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Posted 2 months ago

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David Converse

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If you have a Time Machine or other backup software clone of your Mojave installation, you can revert to that. Otherwise you would have to reinstall Mojave from scratch.

Once you get Catalina updated to 10.15.3 and get permissions figured out, it should run ok. The biggest reported issues are with permissions and security settings.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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I've seen the same issues with Wacom on Catalina when using lots of CPU for encoding DVD's in Toast or doing practically anything else that uses significant amounts of the computer's resources, so I agree it's a Wacom/Catalina issue rather than an Adobe one. Unfortunately that's not much help in terms of getting it fixed.

David, which permissions/security settings are you suggesting for Wacom to stop lagging?
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David Converse

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Wacom had to update their drivers to 64-bit and Apple made some changes to how tablets and Ink work together. In my quick testing, I haven't seen a problem but I stayed on Mojave for production.

OP, you may want to make an appointment at the Apple Store if you can to have them look things over.
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Carlos Cardona

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Or hire your friendly neighborhood Mac IT guy to come over?
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Thanks David. My local Apple store is a few hours away, and I'm about the most techie person around these parts! LOL At some point, it'll be my excuse to upgrade my aging iMac and hope for the best. I should try it on my laptop really.
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David Converse

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I used to work for Apple and the folks are really helpful if you can get there.

For some perspective, my production computer is a 2011 21" iMac, maxed out with 32GB of RAM and a Thunderbolt dock. I used to use a 2011 13" MacBook Pro for production. I have about 350,000 images in my Lightroom Classic catalog and have no problems working with both Lightroom and Photoshop open. I'm stuck on High Sierra so I'd need a newer computer for Mojave or Catalina, but what I have works well. I see people complaining about performance on much newer hardware and can only wish I had that problem.
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Brian Berman

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While the people at the Apple store try to be helpful I don't think they're necessarily knowledgable when it comes to this sort of stuff. For example my issue is I just bought the newest Sony a7r4 and the raw files are so large that the computer gets completely bogged down with them to the point that the tablet stops working. When I walked over to the Apple Store in NYC in SOHO there was one person there who did a lot of photos but doesn't have the same work load that I have. So he was perplexed by my issues and then eventually disappeared to sell someone an Apple watch. And that's what most customer service is geared towards. Not professionals with tens of thousands of images and 170mb decompressed raw files trying to generate previews. And then doing 4k video editing. The imac is a joke. Even with 32gb of ram is still crawls for no apparent reason. Looking at Activity Monitor not even 75% of the ram is being used and still the computer completely freezes. I'm getting that tower soon.

The issue is with Catalina. Apple decided that everyone needed to get on board 64bit whether they wanted to or not. And that created this waterfall of performance issues. I'm fully updated on OSX, Adobe and Wacom. I've done all the troubleshooting with Wacom. I've deleted the preferences. I've done all the privacy settings. Adobe customer service is a joke if you're a pro like me. It's like the three stooges and they  blame each other for the issues. Wacom hasn't updated their driver in almost 2 months.

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Carlos Cardona

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Before you try to uninstall Catalina (or anything else that'll take hours), try Onyx to rule out a corrupt cache or application state, instructions below (I was a Mac IT pro for 25 years).

Download the free Onyx (https://www.titanium-software.fr/en/o...), select the Onyx version for your OS, download, run it, reboot.

In Onyx run almost everything in the Maintenance tab, deselecting things you may not want deleted, like Launch Services . Hit the "Options" button across from Internet and deselect more stuff like Cookies & Other Site Data, Browser History, Form Values, etc. (most of these are OFF by default). If you don’t know what something is, google it, or don’t run it, or ask me), then hit Run Tasks. After it's done it will ask for a reboot.

Also try to fix any directory damage by running Disk First Aid from Disk Utility: boot into Recovery Mode, (hold down Command-R when booting). When you're in Recovery Mode go to the Utilities menu and launch Disk Utility, say Repair Disk. When done go to Apple Menu for Startup disk and restart normally.

If Disk Utility says it can't fix it, run Disk Warrior ($120), (https://www.alsoft.com) from an external boot drive, reboot.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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I'm not convinced that'll help with this one. This was a completely fresh install on a newly formatted drive a month or so back.
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Carlos Cardona

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Yes, sounds like what you said, awaiting a newer 64-bit Wacom driver! But the Onyx once over can't hurt, and it may fix a lurking problem.
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eartho, Champion

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Victoria, the other issue of course, is that Lightroom after all these years, is a resource plunderer which makes any type of multitasking nearly impossible. Whether it's writing metadata, rendering previews or exporting images, Lr will max out all available resources and not leave any room for users to do other tasks on their machine. It's kind of a joke now and it's hard to imagine who they believe their users are that we can walk away from our machines while Lr tries to get its work done. Some of us have jobs to do and we're losing money by not being able to multitask...
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Brian Berman

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EH. I just updated to 10.15.3, tried Onyx and went to Adobe Bridge and turned on 100% previews to purposely tax the processor. And boom the tablet refused to work. I guess 32gb isn't enough? Or it's the driver? Or an Adobe update? Whatever the case it's immensely disappointing that these products have become so sketchy. Apple, Adobe and Wacom have gone so downhill lately.
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eartho, Champion

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is that an ssd in the iMac or maybe it's a slow hdd? All of Apple's OS from High Sierra on run terribly on spinning drives...
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Brian Berman

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I was crossing my fingers that the ssd vs spinning hard drive wasn't the problem but I could see that. It blows my mind that Apple would obsolete-out a regular hard drive. My computer is only 3.5 years old. What's worse is that Wacom won't just concede that the issue is their driver and would rather blame corrupt preferences or that you need to reinstall the OS. Both total wastes of time.
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Brian Berman

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Although, the Apple mouse works fine when the Wacom doesn't work at all. 
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eartho, Champion

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Well, the worst part is that Apple is still even offering a slow 5400rpm hdd as an option in their un-upgradable machines. That's absolutely crazy! Like, nothing else is going to provide a bad UX than having a 5400rpm drive. 1TB or Flash chips would probably cost them less than $100. It's a bad joke, really.
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Brian Berman

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I'm considering getting one of these OWC SDD upgrades to see if that could fix the issue. I'm beginning to think that's the problem. The lag always happens when I'm doing something to a 4k video file or generating previews from large raw files.  https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ssd/owc/imac-27-inch/2013-2019
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Brian Berman

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I guess I'll have to cross my fingers and hope for a better driver? I just followed all of the recommended steps AGAIN from Wacom "tech support" which amounted to copying and pasting the usual steps into a reply email, created a new user and then tried to use the tablet. I got the same results. whenever I taxed the processor like when editing 4k video in Premiere (and the previews downsized to 1/4 quality) the tablet was unusable. Not the apple mouse. Just the tablet. Just a bummer that Wacom has become so mediocre the last couple fo years. I used to really like Wacom but now every time there's an update, which I will avoid like the plague moving forward, the tablet gets so buggy.
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eartho, Champion

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eh. Wacom has never been great in the drivers dept. Usually takes them years to fix things and sometimes it never gets fixed. If you think OSX + Wacom is bad, try using Windows for a real nightmare.