Apple has fixed a serious macOS Big Sur bug that caused data loss

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It was reported last week that Mac owners who upgraded to macOS Big Sur were experiencing data loss due to a bug during installation. It’s now been reported that the quietly-released build for macOS Big Sur 11.2.1 has fixed the issue and will no longer attempt to install the OS with insufficient space available.

According to Mr. Macintosh, Mac users have been complaining about the issue since as far back as November 2020. Despite a few data recovery solutions being available to aid those affected by the bug, many had to resort to a full wipe and reinstallation of the macOS, resulting in any data that hadn’t been backed up being lost.

Patched for now

The problems were initially caused by the fact that macOS didn’t check if you had sufficient drive space before starting the installation process, causing the installer to display an error message. An initial upgrade to Big Sur requires a minimum of 35.5GB to be available on the drive, plus 13GB for the macOS Big Sur installer itself (making 48.5GB in total).

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If you didn’t have that much space available then you were likely to run into some issues. This resulted in the Mac becoming stuck in the Boot Recovery Assistant environment, with no way to recover some users being unable to boot up their Mac, with the only solution being to delete files from the internal disk or to wipe the entire disk as a final resort. 

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