How to opt out of APFS in High Sierra

High Sierra brought the new Apple File System to replace the existing Hierarchical File System for our hard drives. Mac’s have custom firmware to handle error handling for APFS and custom hackintoshes do not, which can lead to unforseen problems in the future.

If you don’t want to use the new Apple File System you can opt out of it by using a script to disable it when installing High Sierra. This only applies to people installing High Sierra on SSD’s and NVME drives as convential spinning HHD’s will remain as HFS, a decision Apple decided to make, because of poor performance of APFS on HDD’s.

Avoid the version

To avoid the APFS conversion when updating to High Sierra from an already existing version of macOS you trigger the installer with a terminal command instead of through the normal High Sierra Install app when it pops up after downloading.

To avoid being forced to use APFS during a fresh install of macOS High Sierra you edit a key-value during the second part of the install to stop the conversion to APFS by changing ConvertToAPFS from true to false.

I recommend people stay away from APFS for now  until the compatibility issues with APFS are understood and workarounds are developed.


Prepare the EFI for High Sierra

If you have a hackintosh you will need to prepare the EFI before you install High Sierra, otherwise you can skip this step. You need to update all the kexts files in your EFI partition you can do that using the Kext Page.

Hackintosh Download Kexts

Also for those of you that are going to use the iGPU on your CPU. If you have a th Gen Intel 6XX iGPU you need to open your config.plist and add the boot flag -disablegfxfirmware  under Boot/Arguments.

Prevent APFS on High Sierra Fresh Install

To prevent the APFS conversion when fresh installing High Sierra an extra step is required between the first and second part of the hackintosh install by editing a key-value in a XML file called minstallconfig.xml through Terminal by booting the first part of the installer twice.

1. Repeat Boot OS X Install from Install macOS High Sierra
  1. Through the Clover Menu select Boot OS X Install from Install macOS High Sierra like you normally would for the first part of the installer.
  2. Go through the steps to start the Installer after it finishes loading up.
  3. When the first part of the install finishes and your back at the Clover Menu select Boot OS X Install from Install macOS High Sierra again like in step 1
2. Disable APFS with Terminal
  1. Open Terminal from the Utilities drop down menu at the top.
  2. Replace “disk_drive_name” in line 2 with whatever your boot drive is named when you use ls -1 /Volumes to get the names. Input the following one line at a time in Terminal pressing enter after each line is typed:
    ls -1 /Volumes
    cd /Volumes/disk_drive_name
    cd "macOS Install Data"
    vi minstallconfig.xml
    
  3. In this example as listed using ls -1 /Volumes my drive_name is “Hackintosh”

  4. minstallconfig.xml contents will now populate in terminal…
  5. Find this code:
    <key>ConvertToAPFS</key>
        <true/>
    
  1. Use the arrow keys to highlight the ‘t‘ in
  2. Press the DELETE key on your keyboard 4 times carefully only removing t, r, u, e
  3. Press the letter i on your keyboard to enter insert mode
  4. Type in false
  5. Press the ESC key
  6. The result should look like this:
    <key>ConvertToAPFS</key>
        <false/>
    
  7. Type :wq to save or type :q! if you messed up and want to start over.
3. Continue Installer

Following the steps above properly will ensure you can remain on a Hierarchical File System (HFS). You can now continue the installer normally.

  1. Close Terminal when finished with everything
  2. Restart computer using the silver menubar at the top.
  3. Boot to Clover Menu to proceed with second part of the installer.
  4. Select Boot macOS Install from …

 

Leave a Reply

16 Comments on "How to opt out of APFS in High Sierra"

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Jeff K
Guest
Jeff K

I cloned it to another SDD using CCC which turned into HFS. That was pretty simple for me.

Nikolay Kuchumov
Guest
Nikolay Kuchumov

The “terminal command” link isn’t working

Nikolay Kuchumov
Guest
Cgreg
Guest
Cgreg

When I go back into the install from Clover it just goes straight to the install. It doesn’t give me any options for terminal.

Any ideas?

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Make sure you’re booting back into the usb in clover and not the ssd you’re installing to.

tatsuya
Guest
tatsuya

Thanks it worked flawlessly !

J.B. Armstrong
Guest
J.B. Armstrong

When I enter in the command, cd “macOS Install Data”, I get a response that there is no such directory. Is there a reason for this?

Jim
Guest
Jim

i get this too

jamie
Guest
jamie

Seems to be a formatting problem with your website.
Commands are:

ls -1 /Volumes
cd /Volumes/disk_drive_name
cd “macOS Install Data”
vi minstallconfig.xml

Jasp
Guest
Jasp

Excellent, thanks a lot.

andrewko
Guest
andrewko

Also, when you messed up editing file, instead of using “:q!” (discard&quit), you can just use command “:e!”, it reloads original version of the file.

sunny
Guest
sunny

will this work on Mojave?

3ftomi
Guest
3ftomi

It doesn’t worked for me on Mojave

Tony0012
Guest
Tony0012

My keyboard does not have the letter ( i ) to enter insert mode, please be more specific when doing a tutorials, remember that not everybody is an expert like you.
I can’t edit the F file just because I can’t find the way to enter insert mode and write “false”

and I looked for images of Apple keyboards on internet thinking that maybe that letter was exclusive of Apple keyboards and nothing.

Please be a little more F specific daammit.