Using recovery mode to disable SIP, BUT restart & shutdown commands don't work

I’m a veteran user of TotalSpaces 2 & have disabled SIP many times with terminal to allow TotalSpaces to work under Catalina. But after replacing my internal SSD with a larger one, I find I can no longer disable SIP. Actually I can enter the command & get a response, BUT the restart and shutdown commands don’t work now. So the SIP change is not saved. Forcing a restart does so without the saved command to disable. ??? help!

Running Catalina, do the following:

  1. open a terminal window and type csrutil status. You should get a response of System Integrity Protection status: disabled.
  2. If it comes back as enabled, it’s time for the Restart, Command R movement once again. (I understand you’ve done this a number of times, but humor me please). Press and hold Command R when the screen goes totally dark. Don’t wait, just press them and show the machine who’s boss.
  3. When the Recovery window appears, select Utilities from the top bar (I know, I know, but someone else may have never done this before).
  4. When the drop-down menu appears, select Terminal.
  5. in the terminal window, type csrutil disable
    You should get a message that SIP is disabled. (that’s the hope anyway)
  6. In the terminal window, type reboot and theoretically the machine will reboot.
  7. After the machine reboots, log in, open a terminal window and type csrutil status.
  8. It should give you the SIP disabled message.
  9. Back through the shutdown/Command R routine once again.
  10. Recovery Window / Utilities / terminal.
  11. In the terminal window, type the following: csrutil enable --without debug —without fs
    that’s the entire command, those are double – and you can do it all on one line.
  12. You’ll get the stern warning that you’re using a non-standard SIP configuration. Tell the machine “so what!” and type reboot in the terminal window.
  13. Log in, open a terminal window and type csrutil status. It should come back with unsupported configuration, but big deal.
  14. If you are manually loading Total Spaces, do it now, if you have it load in the Users & Groups / Login Items list, check to see if it’s loaded. As long as you are staying with Catalina you will no longer have to do the recovery step to update or modify Total Spaces. Unfortunately, that’s not true of Big Sur (or Big Slur, depending on how you feel about the new beta).
  15. If it is still non-functional, it’s time for the nuclear option. Back up everything, go to recovery mode, open Disk Util, highlight Macintosh-HD Data, select the Minus sign at the top of Disk Util to delete the volume (you did make a back up, right?). Once the Data disk is no longer present, highlight Macintosh HD, select Erase, select a name you like (Macintosh HD is my favorite), select APFS for the file system, and watch it delete everything. Install a new copy of Catalina and it should work.
    I actually assume you’ve already tried all of this, but sometimes installing a new copy of the OS fixes lots of strange problems. BTW, have you created other partitions on your new drive or used the default install to take care of using the disk?

Ken, THANK YOU! I actually only got thru the first 6 steps - when I typed reboot at step 5 I got the expected reply the SIP was disabled BUT I got a new reply also relating to the system: “Volume/Clone of Mac SSD is busy updating; waiting for lock”. That volume refers to a external drive I use to clone my disk. As soon as I saw that message, I knew that somehow it was hanging due to my external disk. I rebooted again in Recovery and repeated the disable (machine had hung up) & using steps 1-6 & when I typed reboot it went back to loading TotalSpaces 2 perfectly. So I’ve got it back (the utility I find hard to live without). I’m thinking part of the remaining steps you gave me were to partially re-enable SIP - yes? If so, I’m debating on quitting here or continuing your steps. FWIW, this is my 2013 imac which I see won’t meet Apples requirements for Big Sur. So no more big version changes for it. Thanks again!

I’m thinking part of the remaining steps you gave me were to partially re-enable SIP - yes? If so, I’m debating on quitting here or continuing your steps.

That’s correct. Once you do the Recovery/csrutil enable --without fs --without debug, you no longer have to go through the Recovery/disable/reboot song and dance ever again. BTW, Big Slug is a PITA. Apple is using a virtual disk for the system disk so you can’t do a “sudo mount -uw /” and then “cd /System/Application” /sudo rm -rf .app any longer. The sneaky b*$tards. :smiley: