[GUIDE] HOW-TO: Create a MacOS Catalina 10.15.0 USB Installer Drive w/Clover

Joined
Sep 30, 2018
macOS
10.15.0
Mobo
Gigabyte Z370n WiFi
CPU
Core i5-8400
GPU
Intel UHD 630 4k + MDP
#1


HOW-TO: Create a MacOS Catalina 10.15.0 USB Installer w/Clover Bootloader
On my Hackintosh I have a “vanilla” install of MacOS Catalina, meaning I've kept MacOS untouched and have done all the modifications necessary outside of the actual operating system. To install the latest MacOS I had to create my own USB Installer Drive, and I decided to write a guide on how it's done. Be aware that I did not do an OS upgrade - for this I wiped my SSD clean and started with a blank hard drive, so this is exactly how I would have built a brand new Hackintosh machine.

!!--IMPORTANT--!!
I DO NOT GUARANTEE THAT THIS WILL WORK WITH YOUR SYSTEM!

Especially if you are not using the exact same hardware I am. Due to the nature of how Hackintoshing works, nothing is a guarantee. Please be aware of this before you start, and understand that if you encounter any problems I might not be able to help you resolve them.​

PROCEEDING BEYOND THIS POINT YOU UNDERSTAND IT'S ALL ON YOU =)

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NOTE: This was tested and confirmed working 100% on my Vanilla Hackintosh Deluxe i5-8400 z370n build . There are extra kexts included that I did not need for my build, but might be needed for yours, so I added them anyways. The kexts selected are based off of Hackintosher's original 10.14 EFI folder from here.
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I. What You'll Need
Here's a list of everything you'll need to create the installer:

A. Mac Desktop or MacBook Laptop with a current Mac operating system (High Sierra or Mojave) to download the installer file and create the actual USB flash drive installer
B. MacOS Catalina Installer file (downloaded using your Mac, see Step II below)
C. Blank USB Flash Drive, 16GB minimum, ideally USB 2.0, but USB 3.0 can work (8GB is no longer enough space, the Catalina installer itself is over 8GB in size)
D. InstallDiskCreator to create a USB installer
E. Clover Bootloader to modify the EFI Partition of the USB drive
F. Clover Configurator for some final EFI file modifications


II. Download macOS Catalina 10.15.0 Installer.dmg File From the App Store
On a current working Mac, open up the App Store and search for "MacOS Catalina". Click "Get" and let Catalina download. When it's done, the "Install MacOS Catalina" window will automatically pop-up. Just type "Command + Q" to quit the installer. The actual .dmg installer file will be in your Applications folder, for reference. You can just leave it here for the next step.



III. Create a "Standard" MacOS Catalina 10.15.0 USB Installer Flash Drive

Now it's time to create the actual USB Installer Flash Drive. Before we create the installer, we must prep the actual flash drive first using Disk Utility.



1. Plug your flash drive into a Mac and open the Disk Utility app.
2. In the left column of Disk Utility, make sure to select your USB flash drive.
3. Click the ERASE button at the top of the window.

Make sure to set the following settings:

Name: Anything (I just use "CatalinaUSB" for easy reference.)
Format: Make sure to select "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)"
Scheme: Important! Select "GUID Partition Map"

4. Double-check the settings, then click ERASE and let Disk Utility do the job.

When Disk Utility is finished, go ahead and close Disk Utility. You now have a USB flash drive prepped and ready. For the next step let's forget using terminal commands - instead download and open InstallDiskCreator. This is the same exact app I used to make my MacOS Mojave installer when I first built my Hackintosh, and it works just the same for the new MacOS Catalina.

5. Using InstallDiskCreator is pretty self-explanatory - just plug-in your USB flash drive, open InstallDiskCreator, and you'll see the window shown below. Make sure your USB drive is selected at the top and simply click the "Create Installer" button at the bottom to begin.

After about 10 minutes or so you'll have a "Standard" (unmodified) MacOS Catalina USB Installer flash drive.




IV. Install Clover Bootloader into the USB Installer Flash Drive's EFI Boot Partition
Next, we have to install the Clover Bootloader into the USB installer you just made for Hackintosh use.

1. Download and open Clover Bootloader - for this tutorial we'll be using version 2.5k r5070.


2. Select "Continue", "Continue", then select "Change Install Location...".


3. In the "Select a Destination" screen, make sure to select the USB flash drive you just made, then click "Continue" again.


4. Next, click "Customize." and in the "Package Name" window, do the following (use screenshots below for reference):

CHECK Clover for UEFI booting only
CHECK Install Clover in the ESP

Under "UEFI Drivers > Recommended Drivers":
UNCHECK AudioDxe
CHECK DataHubDxe
CHECK FSInject
CHECK SMCHelper

Under "UEFI Drivers > File System Drivers":
CHECK ApfsDriverLoader
CHECK VBoxHfs

Under "UEFI Drivers > FileVault 2 UEFI Drivers":
CHECK AppleImageCodec
CHECK AppleKeyAggregator
CHECK AppleKeyFeeder
CHECK AppleUITheme
CHECK FirmwareVolume

Under "UEFI Drivers > Additional Drivers":
CHECK PartitionDxe






5. Click "Install" and allow Clover Bootloader to do the installation. Wait until the installation is complete.


IV. Add Additional Files to the USB Installer Flash Drive's EFI Boot Partition
After Clover Bootloader does its thing, the USB installer is almost ready - but there's a few more files to add first. To do this you will have to mount the USB drive's EFI Partition using Clover Configurator.

1. Download and open Clover Configurator - for this tutorial we'll be using version 5.6.1.0.


2. In the Clover Configurator window, click "Mount EFI" on the left hand column under the "TOOLS" section.

3. Under the "EFI Partitions" section find the name of your USB Installer you just made (mine was named "Install macOS Catalina") and click the "Mount Partition" button on the far right (you will have to enter your system password to continue).


4. Once the EFI Partition of USB Installer is mounted, click on the "Open Partition" button. A Finder window with the USB Installer's EFI Partition will open up. Go ahead and delete the contents only of the EFI Folder, as you will replace them shortly.

5. To get the install working properly you'll need the correct kexts and config.plist file. To help you out I went ahead and created a preconfigured EFI folder add-on that contains the kexts and a basic config.plist you'll need to get started. You can download the .zip file here. Unzip, then copy the contents over to your USB flash drive's EFI folder (the empty folder you cleared out in step 4 above), making sure the directory structure is correct.
NOTE: I also included a preconfigured config.plist file to get you started, as well as the missing AptioMemoryFix.efi driver that for some reason isn't available in the current Clover Bootloader installation.

6. After you have the config.plist and kexts in the right locations, you're done. The macOS Catalina 10.15.0 USB Installer Flash Drive is ready to go =)


V. Post Installation Recommendations
After you get MacOS 10.15.0 Catalina installed and running, I strongly recommend you consider doing the following things:

1. Copy the EFI Partition from the USB Installer Flash Drive to MacOS Main Drive
In order to have your Hackintosh boot up on its own (without requiring the USB installer flash drive plugged in), copy the contents of the USB flash drive's EFI Partition to your MacOS' main SSD drive's EFI Partition by following Step 5 of Hackintosher's Mojave Walkthrough here.

2. Map Your USB Ports For Your Own Custom .kext File
Although having USBInjectAll.kext helps get things rolling, relying on it for long-term use and optimized USB 3.0 functionality/speed is very inconsistent and not a reliable option. This was evident while using macOS Mojave, where practically every Mojave update would break USB functionality until someone in the Hackintosh community would figure out a new port limit patch.

The correct solution is to specifically tell MacOS to only use specific USB ports of your choosing (within the 15 port limit) for reliable and consistent USB functionality along with the correct USB speeds based on the type of USB port. This is done by using the USBMap script to create your own kext file that not only replaces the USBInjectAll.kext, but specifically tells your system which USB ports to use and at what USB speed. For Moree info on how to do this, see my post USB Port Mapping For Full Speed USB 3.0.
 
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mrfatcatt

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macOS
10.13.3
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CPU
coffee lake 4.0
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nvidia gtx 1070
#2
install disk creator is complaining about USB key, getting a error encounter.. Tried key in different ports.. this is same key used to make Mojave and hs install disc
 
Joined
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macOS
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Gigabyte Z370n WiFi
CPU
Core i5-8400
GPU
Intel UHD 630 4k + MDP
#3
install disk creator is complaining about USB key, getting a error encounter.. Tried key in different ports.. this is same key used to make Mojave and hs install disc
Can you grab a screenshot of the error? I've been using the same USB key since I first installed HS on my Hackintosh build too.
 

mrfatcatt

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10.13.3
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#5
key is 8 gigs, but it wouldn't install the installer on a hard drive either

also,I have a samsung usb 3 key , it won't mount on Mojave at all but it works fine on my pc....I ask for help in the forums but no one has responded...I don't know why its not mounting

thanks
 
Joined
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macOS
10.15.0
Mobo
Gigabyte Z370n WiFi
CPU
Core i5-8400
GPU
Intel UHD 630 4k + MDP
#6
key is 8 gigs, but it wouldn't install the installer on a hard drive either

also,I have a samsung usb 3 key , it won't mount on Mojave at all but it works fine on my pc....I ask for help in the forums but no one has responded...I don't know why its not mounting

thanks
There's the problem.

I did say above "B. Blank USB Flash Drive, 16GB minimum" - MacOS Catalina installer is actually 8.1GB in size, so there's no way it will fit on an 8GB flash drive.

Try a 16gb flash drive, and (because we're dealing with Hackintoshing) I'd recommend a USB 2.0 drive as well, which will not have some of the problems during install that some USB 3.0 flash drives encounter.

EDIT: I've updated the first post to reflect this info.
 
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mrfatcatt

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nvidia gtx 1070
#7
yeah thanks, well ill work on the post for trying to get this usb 3 mounted and probably will get a 16 usb 2 key

thanks
 
Joined
Oct 27, 2019
Mobo
Gigabyte Z390 Designare
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radeon vii
#8
hello I've been studying and prepping my usb boot disc and for some reason when i finish step 5 clover is not creating and EFI. So when I open Clover Configurator to mount there is no EFI to mount, any ideas? Apparently I'm using a USB 3.0 that's probably it.

One more thing should I delete existing efi folder before I drag preconfigured efi or just leave it?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 30, 2018
macOS
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Mobo
Gigabyte Z370n WiFi
CPU
Core i5-8400
GPU
Intel UHD 630 4k + MDP
#9
hello I've been studying and prepping my usb boot disc and for some reason when i finish step 5 clover is not creating and EFI. So when I open Clover Configurator to mount there is no EFI to mount, any ideas? Apparently I'm using a USB 3.0 that's probably it.

One more thing should I delete existing efi folder before I drag preconfigured efi or just leave it?
I added extra info in the first post after reading your questions, here's the answers:

1. You might have to create the USB installer again, but first start by formatting the USB drive using the following settings:

Name: Anything (I just use "CatalinaUSB" for easy reference.)
Format: Make sure to select "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)"
Scheme: Important! Select "GUID Partition Map"

2. Go ahead and delete the contents only of the USB Drive's EFI Folder, then copy the contents of the .zip file I provided over to USB flash drive's EFI folder (the empty folder you just cleared out above), making sure the directory structure is correct.

*The above info has been ammended to the "III. Create a "Standard" MacOS Catalina 10.15.0 USB Installer Flash Drive" and "IV. Add Additional Files to the USB Installer Flash Drive's EFI Boot Partition" sections.
 
Joined
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Mobo
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CPU
i9900k
GPU
radeon vii
#11
So for some reason bios does not want to boot the USB installer its there boot option 1 uefi partition 1. I tried updating the bios from f7 to f8 on the z390 designare but no dice. Any ideas would be helpful. Bios settings.

  • BIOS > Windows 8/10 Featues > Other OS
  • BIOS > CSM Support > Disabled (Also check that secure boot is disabled)
  • Peripherals > Initial Display Output > PCIe Slot 1 (or iGPU if you don't have descrete graphics)
  • Peripherals > Intel Platform Trust Techonology > Disabled
  • Peripherals > Thunderbolt Configuration > TBT Vt-d Base Security > Disabled
  • Peripherals > Thunderbolt Configuration > Thunderbolt Boot Support > Disabled
  • Peripherals > Thunderbolt Configuration > Security Level > No Security
  • Peripherals > Thunderbolt Configuration > Discrete Thunderbolt Configuration > Thunderbolt USB Support > Enabled
  • Peripherals > Thunderbolt Configuration > Discrete Thunderbolt Configuration > GPIO3 Force Pwr > Enabled
  • Peripherals > USB Configuration > Legacy USB Support > Enabled
  • Peripherals > XHCI Hand-off > Enabled
  • Peripherals > Network Stack Configuration > Network Stack > Disabled
  • Chipset > Vt-d > Disabled
  • Chipset > Internal Graphics > Enabled
  • Chipset > DVMT Pre-Alloc > 64M
  • Chipset > DVMT Total Gfx Mem > 256M
  • Chipset > Audio Controller > Enabled
  • Chipset > Above 4G Decoding > Enabled
  • Power > Erp > Disabled
  • Power > RC6 > Enabled
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 30, 2018
macOS
10.15.0
Mobo
Gigabyte Z370n WiFi
CPU
Core i5-8400
GPU
Intel UHD 630 4k + MDP
#12
First thing I'd try is:
1. Remove your video card.
2. Peripherals > Initial Display Output > iGFX or iGPU
3. Chipset > DVMT Pre-Alloc > 128M
 
Joined
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Mobo
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CPU
i9900k
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radeon vii
#13
pulling the card didn't work. i got the installer to boot but now its hanging at apple logo. Im gonna try remaking the usb for the 57th time ugh
 
Joined
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#14

totroi

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Intel i7 6500U
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Intel HD 520
#16
Guys, I think I screwd up things. I was running the macOS on my HP Laptop, but I still had to boot by usb.

So I decided to follow Step 5 of this tutorial (I made things with older guides on several foruns) and now I can't boot anymore, not from HD and not even from USB.

I guess when I first mounted the EFI, I was already mounting the HD one, not the usb one, since I had only one option to mount. So that's where I think things went south, but is there a way I can boot again at least from my pendrive? All files are intact there.
 

totroi

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Joined
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macOS
10.15.0
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HP 8131 Intel Skylake-U
CPU
Intel i7 6500U
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Intel HD 520
#17
Guys, I think I screwd up things. I was running the macOS on my HP Laptop, but I still had to boot by usb.

So I decided to follow Step 5 of this tutorial (I made things with older guides on several foruns) and now I can't boot anymore, not from HD and not even from USB.

I guess when I first mounted the EFI, I was already mounting the HD one, not the usb one, since I had only one option to mount. So that's where I think things went south, but is there a way I can boot again at least from my pendrive? All files are intact there.
I got to boot by going to EFI mode on BIOS and plugging the USB while I was there, it was the only way I got it to recognize the USB... Thanks be to God
 
Joined
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macOS
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Gigabyte Z370n WiFi
CPU
Core i5-8400
GPU
Intel UHD 630 4k + MDP
#19
Can't even see if your USB drive is showing in the upper half of that window
 
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totroi

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Mobo
HP 8131 Intel Skylake-U
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Intel i7 6500U
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Intel HD 520
#20
Can't even see if your USB drive is showing in the upper half of that window
Sorry about that. It does show on the desktop, both partitions on the usb (I used a tonyx86 guide that had this dual partition method, since I have only one 32gb pendrive available). It shows on the os but not on "Mount EFI" from Clover Configurator.