Making a High Sierra USB Installer Entirely From Scratch in Windows
This is a proof of concept tutorial, to show it's possible to create a vanilla High Sierra installer, entirely from scratch, in Windows (even without App Store downloaded "Install macOS High Sierra.app" from a real Mac ). @PikeRAlpha's link to Apple's Software Catalog provides us with all the URLs necessary to download the needed files directly from Apple instead of some dubious source from the internet...
8GB or larger USB drive
Boot Disk Utility v2.1.2017rev021b from @CVAD
TransMac (free 15 day trial)
Paragon Hard Disk Manager Free
Download Installer Files Directly from Apple
1) Browse Apple's Regular Software Catalog and find the URLs to download the following 6 installer files...
(Hint - search page for "InstallESD" to find its URL and others nearby)
to a folder named "SharedSupport" on your Windows NTFS drive. A browser download manager (eg Chrono for Chrome, dTA for FireFox) is handy since InstallESD is >4GB ---> allows you to pause/resume interrupted download...
2) Rename InstallESDDmg.pkg to InstallESD.dmg
3) Edit InstallInfo.plist with WordPad/text editor to remove the chunklistURL and chunklistid keys for InstallESD, and renaming it from InstallESDDmg.pkg to InstallESD.dmg (example of edited file attached to this post)...
Note: You can verify the SHA1 checksum of your InstallESD.dmg and BaseSystem.dmg with the correct ones at this website.
Boot Disk Utility to format the Installer USB and Restore OS X Base System HFS partition
1. Format USB with BDU & latest Clover ---> creates boot files in CLOVER partition + second FAT partition
2. Extract 4.hfs from \SharedSupport\BaseSystem.dmg with BDU --> save to it's local folder
3. Restore 4.hfs to USB second partition with BDU ---> 2nd partition becomes bootable "OS X Base System"
Paragon Hard Disk Manager to extend HFS Partition to its Full Extent Open Paragon Partition Manager Free and resize the second partition of the USB drive to the full size allowed. Don't forget to apply the changes at the end...
Transmac to Copy "SharedSupport" folder to OS X Base System
1. Open the TransMac program and navigate to the HFS+ Volume/Install macOS High Sierra.app/Contents folder. Right click anywhere in the empty space on the RHS pane and select "Copy Here"...
2. In the next stage, select the "SharedSupport" folder we created above as the "Files and Folders to be copied to the Mac Volume"...
Clover configuration is required now. The default config.plist (in the Clover FAT32 partition of the USB) maybe sufficient to boot your machine if you’re lucky. If not, the hackintosh-vanilla-desktop-guide has some good explanations on the various settings available and also offers sample configuration files based on CPU type. Also, look at the Clover Wiki, Clover Instructions and Clover Configuration Thread for pointers and edit /EFI/Clover/config.plist accordingly with Wordpad or Notepad.
The location of the important configuration files for Clover are summarized below
DSDT.aml with or without SSDT.aml--->EFI/CLOVER/ACPI/patched (don't need one if your DSDT is auto patched by Clover in config.plist)
Kexts eg FakeSMC, NullCPUPowerManagement --->EFI/CLOVER/kexts/<osx version> or /Other. NB BootDiskUtility by default already has FakeSMC.kext installed here. You may need to add VoodooPS2Controller for your laptop keyboard/trackpad to work.
If UEFI booting, you will most likely need one of the OsxAptioFixDrv-64 drivers copied from /EFI/CLOVER/drivers-off/drivers64UEFI to /EFI/CLOVER/drivers64UEFI.
If you want to use the installer to run High Sierra in Windows on VMware, you can follow my guide to set up the Virtual Machine and replace Clover's default config with EFI_Clover for VMware (which is compatible to run in VMware). In the screenshots below, I have attached the USB Installer (in this case PhysicalDrive7) to my macOS Virtual Machine. Reboot the system to the USB installer to install High Sierra ...
What happens if we don't have access to TransMac or Paragon Hard Disk Manager?
Not a problem, as long as we get "OS X Base System" bootable, we can launch terminal from the Utilities Menu to copy the SharedSupport folder over to the Installer app. In essence, we will build the full installer app = 5GB+ on the target HD eg "Macintosh HD", by copying both the "small" installer app = 15MB (on "OS X Base System") and the SharedSupport folder from the NTFS volume (mounted in this example on /Volumes/DATA)...
-bash-3.2# cd /
-bash-3.2# cp -R Install\ macOS\ High\ Sierra.app /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/
-bash-3.2# cp -R /Volumes/DATA/SharedSupport /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/Install\ macOS\ High\ Sierra.app/Contents/
...then start installation with the startosinstall utility...
-bash-3.2# /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/Install\ macOS\ High\ Sierra.app/Contents/Resources/startosinstall --volume /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD --converttoapfs NO --applicationpath /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/Install\ macOS\ High\ Sierra.app
The above steps can be automated with the attached "startosinstall.command" script, which will assemble "Install macOS High Sierra.app" on "Macintosh HD" and launch the startosinstall utility targeting the "Macintosh HD" volume. Copy/download to "Macintosh HD", then run in terminal (after attaching DATA USB with /Shared Support folder)...
cd "/Volumes/Macintosh HD"
chmod +x startosinstall.command
Updated Download Links for macOS Mojave 10.14.5_18F132
Browse Apple's Regular Software Catalog and find the URLs to download the following 6 installer files...
Note: In Mojave, Apple has removed the --converttoapfs NO and --applicationpath arguments from the startosinstall utility....
eg to use startosinstall for the above section "What happens if we don't have access to TransMac or Paragon Hard Disk Manager?", the syntax is now
-bash-3.2# /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/Install\ macOS\ Mojave.app/Contents/Resources/startosinstall --volume /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD
This basically means that for Mojave, the default installation will always convert the target volume to the apfs file system.
Hello all, I have a working hackintosh....ok.....but it takes a lot to boot and according to the boot.log there are a few problems. One of them is a black screen that stays on for a long time. I would like to ask anyone in this community some help to fine tune my machine. Boot.log and config.plist attached
Any help would be appreciated.
hi folks! i'm just checking for opinions here on a Clover based install of High Sierra. currently i can't boot directly from the internal drive on my hackbook, an ASUS ROG GL502-VS laptop (with the replaced WiFi card), though i can boot from the USB bootloader/installer
i installed 10.13.6 fine using a prepared vanilla installer on HFS+ (not APFS), but my configuration is somewhat unusual. i have two drives. the first SSD has the Windows system, the second has two partitions with the 2nd partition holding the macOS system. when i ran Clover installer i could not use the UEFI option to copy to the EFI partition because it couldn't find one on that drive. so it installed the EFI folder on the root of the macOS partition instead.
however, after a bit of tinkering around, i found out that there is an existing EFI partition on the primary drive called SYSTEM. it has a EFI folder and underneath that is a Windows folder, a Boot folder, and one called APPLE. i can mount this partition with Clover Configurator and copy files to it, but i don't know if this is a good or risky solution. i was thinking i would manually copy the CLOVER folder and the uefi64.boot file to this partition , making sure not to overwrite anything existing. using the UEFI setup, i can create a boot path from the SYSTEM partition to the Clover boot file, but i'm just curious if this is a useful solution or not, and i don't want to ruin the existing Windows 10 installation for sure. any advice appreciated!