How to make a macOS 10.15 Catalina flash drive installer

This guide will walk you through creating a bootable installer for macOS Catalina on a USB flash drive for the purpose of installing Catalina on a hackintosh compatible computer.

Prerequisites:

  1. Catalina downloaded from the Mac App Store
  2. 16GB+ USB Flash Drive – Catalina installer is slightly larger than 8GB and so a 16GB or larger flash drive is required.
  3. Computer running macOS  – Access to a macOS is needed to create a flash drive installer of Catalina. If you don’t have an existing hackintosh or a Mac the alternative is to install macOS with a virtual machine on windows or borrow a Mac from  friend or family.

Part 1: Transferring Catalina Installer to USB

To get a working Catalina installer onto a USB flash drive it must first be formatted into a scheme that allows for an EFI Partition.

Step 1: Formatting the USB Drive

In order to create a bootable macOS installer the USB flash drive must be formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) which will add a second hidden EFI partition needed to create a boot loader.

  1. Insert a USB Flash Drive
  2. Open Disk Utility
  3. Select the Flash Drive on the left column
  4. Click Erase
  5. Set the following settings:
    • Name: Hackintosher
    • Format: Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
    • Scheme: GUID Partition Map
  6. Click Erase
  7. Click Done upon finish

Step 2: Transferring the Catalina Installer

Afterwards the the Catalina Installer downloaded from the Mac App Store is ready to be placed on the USB drive using Terminal.

  1. Verify Install macOS Catalina is in the /Applications folder
  2. Open Terminal through spotlight or launchpad
  3. Paste the following into Terminal entering your password if prompted:
    Catalina 10.15 Public Release:

    sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Catalina.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/Hackintosher /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Catalina.app --nointeraction

    Catalina Beta Release:

    sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Catalina\ Beta.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/Hackintosher /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Catalina\ Beta.app --nointeraction
  4. Do not close Terminal, the installer will transfer over slowly and can take awhile especially if you are using USB 2 bus speeds

Part 2: Configuring EFI Partition for a Catalina Hackintosh

We will now mount the hidden EFI Partition created when the flash drive was formatted.

Mount EFI Partition

  1. Download Clover Configurator
  2. Open Clover Configurator
  3. Select Mount EFI under TOOLS
  4. Click Mount Partition for Install macOS….
  5. Click Open Partition (This is where the EFI Folder will go)

Create or Download a EFI Folder

Catalina requires a number of changes to an EFI Folder is placed in the mounted EFI partition containing the bootloader that allows a hackintosh to load macOS Catalina. A new EFI folder can be created with either Clover or OpenSource.

However Catalina may require a number of changes to a new or existing EFI folder in order to be compatible. If you are not familiar with the requirements to make a working Catalina bootloader then you may use the preconfigured EFI folder available here:

  1. Delete the folder called EFI  in the partition you mounted (If it exists)
  2. Download Hackintosher-Catalina-10.15-EFI.zip
  3. Unzip Hackintosher-Catalina-10.15-EFI
  4. Copy the unzipped EFI folder
  5. Paste the EFI folder downloaded from this website into your mounted EFI partition or /Volumes/EFI

Note: The EFI folder above if from a test build and may require you to change the ig-platform-id, change or remove the EC rename and, add kext or remove kexts you don’t need. A full Catalina Install guide with a cleaned up EFI is coming soon.

Related:

  • Catalina is Now Available for Download on the App Store – Whats New

Leave a Reply

17 Comments on "How to make a macOS 10.15 Catalina flash drive installer"

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Peter Germann
Guest
Peter Germann

Thanks a million for sharing your insights. Your website is the easiest and best for creating a hackintosh.

There are a few bugs in Catalina even on real MACs. I noticed that my multi USB adapter doesn’t work anymore! Also my SD card takes a long time to be noticed but it was fine before.

I tried installing Catalina a few months ago already but there were a few issues so I removed it.

Hackintosh:
Machine one is a Gigabyte H370 series, i5,512 Gb Nvme, HD 630 which is simply home use.
On this machine, the default (HD 630) graphics simply didn’t work. I could not figure out what I did wrong. After multiple attempts, I gave up.

I am also running a Gigabyte H270, i7, 1TB ssd, AMD 8gb card which is awesome for work.
On this machine everything worked but I noticed that I could not connect the usb which contained my backup OS. USB only worked in 2.0 mode.

As I am using the same EFI for both machines, I was a bit bummed that Catalina didn’t work.

I will take a look at the EFI you have given above though…

Thanks for your efforts, they are appreciated!

Friend
Guest
Friend

+1000^000

Javier
Guest
Javier

I tried this and it worked perfectly to install Catalina.

I just changed the IDs on the manifest, but used the same kext.

(8700k, RX 590)

Everything works – imessage, airdrop, GPU.

The only thing is that iCloud is asking me to log in again almost every hour, could be related? maybe an ID that I forgot to change?

Javobal
Guest
Javobal

I noticed the Hackintosher-Catalina-10.15-EFI was configured for a dedicated graphics card, so i changed that value to the integrated graphics card value and tried applying some of the old configs ( from the Mojave guide) that used to work but i am still seeing the screen like in a “pink” color. i have an Asus z370-G and a i5-8400 and everything else is working perfectly. Could you please list the config for an integrated graphic build ? Thanks !

simonet
Guest
simonet

Change symbios : MacMini 8.1

Miii
Guest
Miii

I did update not clean install.
After install I don’t have audio vis integrated audio card, only via HDMI.
I have gigabyte z270x ultra gaming Motherboard with Realtek® ALC1220 audio.
I have AppleALC.kext in kext folder and before update everything worked fine with these kexts.
How can I get audio to work via motherboard integrated audio card? What could be the problem?

johnsmith
Guest
johnsmith

Hello guys,
I’m a newbie here. I wonder if samsung 981a NVME can install this macOS version?
Thanks!

Vinny
Guest
Vinny

Hackintosher, I’m running ROG Strix Z270 with 7700 and RX580. Your Catalina-10.15-EFI won’t allow me to boot. What do I need to reconfigure or even better do you have and EFI you can share.
-Thanks

Guest
lyrix

How long till you release that new guide? also, can someone advise me on what configurator settings to change for the config.plist of my system: i3 9100, uhd 630.

SeriusNtentions
Guest
SeriusNtentions

For some reason at about 60% the Apple logo is replaced by the dreaded do not enter for my USB Catalina Boot USB. I skipped Mojave so I am eager to try Catalina. I’ve erased and restarted my thumb drive twice!

Brian D
Guest
Brian D

Thank you!

Kingmix
Guest
Kingmix

Do someone have installed this on B360-F board?