[SOLVED] Trying to switch from High Sierra to Catalina - Fresh install or update?

Drewbie

New member
Joined
Apr 7, 2021
macOS
10.13.6
Mobo
Asus Prime X299-Deluxe
CPU
4GHz 14-core 28-thread Intel Core i9-7940X
GPU
Radeon Vega Frontier
#1
Hey everyone, so here's my situation in a nutshell. Years ago I had someone build me a Hackintosh. I have plenty of experience with building Non-hackintosh computers, some programming knowledge, etc; so I'm not a complete neophyte. However I had never done a Hackintosh before and asked someone else to build me one. This person is no longer around and I need to update my OS as program makers are beginning to phase out design for High Sierra.

This site has a myriad of tutorials and the like, and I feel like I've jumped straight into the deep end with only a mild understanding of how to swim. Thus, I have questions:

1) Should I just do a fresh install of Catalina? Will that delete all of the High Sierra data and apps I have installed on my main drive? I would really hate to lose all these apps. (assume some of them are not readily available anymore but will still work on Catalina...)

2) Is there a way to update the OS that would remove the High Sierra build and allow me to keep everything I have (almost as if I were updating properly on a genuine mac)?

Any advice, help, or direction-pointing would be amazing. Thank you all so much!
 

Railgun

Active member
Joined
Jul 4, 2020
macOS
10.16.0
Mobo
GigaByte Z490 Gaming X
CPU
i7 10700
GPU
Sapphire RX580
#2
I recommend always work/test on a spare drive. If that is not possible, build a Catalina installer thumb drive to see if you can boot from it and that way you can workout any issues with the boot loader. I suggest going with OpenCore boot loader.
  • Know that moving to Catalina from High Sierra, you will loose 32bit apps & plugins etc.
  • You may want to research regarding you graphics card to see compatibility and if the ports you want to use are working for others. There are some recent posts on this forum regarding Vega issues.
 
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Drewbie

New member
Joined
Apr 7, 2021
macOS
10.13.6
Mobo
Asus Prime X299-Deluxe
CPU
4GHz 14-core 28-thread Intel Core i9-7940X
GPU
Radeon Vega Frontier
#3
I recommend always work/test on a spare drive. If that is not possible, build a Catalina installer thumb drive to see if you can boot from it and that way you can workout any issues with the boot loader. I suggest going with OpenCore boot loader.
  • Know that moving to Catalina from High Sierra, you will loose 32bit apps & plugins etc.
  • You may want to research regarding you graphics card to see compatibility and if the ports you want to use are working for others. There are some recent posts on this forum regarding Vega issues.
Yeah, I just received a second SSD to clone my startup HD onto and plan to test on that. Thanks for replying so quickly; I really appreciate it.
 

Railgun

Active member
Joined
Jul 4, 2020
macOS
10.16.0
Mobo
GigaByte Z490 Gaming X
CPU
i7 10700
GPU
Sapphire RX580
#4
Make sure you backup your EFI... I am not familiar with Clover but you would copy/save that.

I use Carbon Copy Cloner which I note to you, will not clone contents of an EFI partition (at least in my case I use the OpenCore boot loader).

OpenCore - one would just copy the EFI folder to the EFI partition.
Clover boot loader requires to be installed (but I believe after that one can copy the needed files into it). It has been a while since I had to work with clover but I did run my previous hackintosh using clover for 14 years.
 
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Drewbie

New member
Joined
Apr 7, 2021
macOS
10.13.6
Mobo
Asus Prime X299-Deluxe
CPU
4GHz 14-core 28-thread Intel Core i9-7940X
GPU
Radeon Vega Frontier
#5
So I don't want to get too ahead of myself as it has only been one day so far and something else could always go wrong. (fingers crossed)

HOWEVER, I cloned my original HD and ran the process on the cloned HD. I followed this install guide almost to a T- https://hackintosher.com/guides/guide-to-fresh-installing-macos-catalina-on-a-hackintosh/

Because I already had a working MacOS on the HD and wanted to "upgrade" instead of doing a fresh install and losing all my customizations, data, etc, I skipped the Disk Utility step on the reboot (where they mention either partitioning or erasing the destination drive). I followed every other step and it worked like a charm: All my apps, customizations, wallpaper, everything was still there only now on the Catalina OS instead of the High Sierra OS.

Shout out to everyone who makes this site possible and @Railgun: thanks for the EFI tip on the clone. It was a lifesaver. I used Clover and just mounted the EFI for the source and destination drives and easily copied over the EFI folder.

Thanks a million.
 
Likes: Railgun