Here’s detailed steps on how to install macOS High Sierra on a hackintosh using the Clover method with the HFS Method.
Apple introduced a new file system called Apple File System (APFS). When High Sierra is installed the drive is automatically converted over to APFS, but there is a way to disable it easily and keep the drive as HPFS by editing an XML file during the install.
As to why a hackintosher would want to disable is because they may encounter problems where their drive isn’t able to handle errors properly becuase they don’t have Apple’s custom firmware. Two out of the three times I’ve tried to use APFS the drive became unbootable for some unknown reason, therefore I recommend people use HFS if they want a more reliable hackintosh, however you can still use APFS if you want to play around with it. If you do make sure you have apfs.efi in your EFI and skip the APFS conversion step when you get to it
To follow this guide you must have first:
- Created a High Sierra Install Image on a USB Flash Drive
- Configured the Boot Partition of the USB Flash Drive
- Changed BIOS Settings for High Sierra Compatibility
- Clover Configurator or another EFI mounter.
Step 1: Booting the USB Installer
Boot into the UEFI of the macOS USB flash drive installer to load the Clover Boot Menu.
- You are now in the Clover Menu. Use the arrow keys to verify Boot OS X Install from Install macOS High Sierra is selected
- Press Enter
- Installer will now slowly load…
Step 2: Format & Install
When the installer loads we will want to properly format the disk as GUID for hackintosh usability before beginning the install.
- Press Continue when the installer appears
- Select your language
- Select Disk Utility from the install menu
- Select Show All Devices from the drop down menu by pressing the View button at the top left top left corner. (Note: NVME drive not showing?)
- Select the disk you will be installing macOS and erase it with the following settings:
- Name: (It can be named anything you want)
- Format: Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
- Scheme: GUID Partition Map
- Press Erase
- Close Disk Utility
- Install macOS High Sierra
Note: While macOS is being installed screen may go black the display is just sleeping you cap press a key on your keyboard or wiggle a mouse to wake screen
After the installer is finished the computer will restart and you’ll want to get back into the Clover Menu.
Step 3: Disable APFS Conversion
There is now a second option in Clover, which under normal circumstances we would select, however before that we must disable the APFS conversion from taking place. If you plan to use APFS and have the necessary apfs.efi in your EFI folder you can skip this step.
- Select Boot OS X Install from Install macOS High Sierra again like you did in Step 1.
- Open Terminal through Utilities at the Top Menu Bar once installer finishes loading.
- Type the following into Terminal and press enter after each line is entered:
ls -1 /Volumes
ls -1 /Volumes will list the available volumes. We want the name of the drive set in step 4.2 for the line below
Replace “Hackintosh” in the line above if you named your drive something else when you formatted it as GUID.
cd "macOS Install Data"
- minstallconfig.xml will populate in terminal…
- Use the arrow keys to highlight to the ‘t’ in true
- Press the DELETE key on your keyboard 4 times to carefully removing t, r, u, e
ion your keyboard to enter insert mode
- Type in false
- Press Esc key
- If entered correctly press
:wqto save or
:q!if you messed up. (If you mess up and typed
:q!you can try again by reentering: vi minstallconfig.xml)
- Close Terminal on completion
- Restart computer from the Top Silver Menu Bar
Step 4: Complete the Installer
- Reenter the Clover Menu on restart
- Select Boot macOS Install from “Hackintosh”
- Setup will finish the High Sierra install…
Note: On a 10.13.3+ installer I had to run Boot macOS Install twice the first time it rebooted with 18 minutes remaining; the second time it completed.
Step 5: First Boot
After install is finished computer will automatically restart.
- Select Boot macOS from “Hackintosh”
- Select Language
- Select Keyboard
- Select My computer does not connect to the Internet
- Select Don’t transfer any information
- Agree to the Terms and Conditions
- Fill out Login information
- (Optional) Choose Customize Settings at Express Set Up if you don’t want to be tracked.
- macOS High Sierra will boot for the first time…
Step 6: Configuring the EFI Partition
Now that we’re in macOS we want to be able to load macOS without the USB flash drive plug. To be able to boot macOS from the drive it’s installed on the folder in the EFI partition of the flash drive needs to be copied over to the EFI partition of the boot drive.
- Open Clover Configurator
- Mount the EFI of the Flash Drive
- Press Open EFI or navigate to the EFI location in finder
- Copy the EFI Folder onto your desktop
- Open Finder and Eject the Flash Drive
- Using Clover Configurator Mount the EFI of the Disk you just installed Mac OS on
- Press Open EFI or navigate to the EFI location in finder
- Paste the EFI over the existing EFI on the disk
- Select Merge when it prompts you with a menu saying that the folder EFI already exists
You will now be able to boot macOS without the USB Flash Drive
Recommendation: Delete the Folder called APPLE in your EFI Folder if it exists. This folder is created automacially on EFI partition of the flash drive during the install and may cause issues for the hackintosh. The folder will eventually be recreated, however you only need to delete it once after installing macOS.
Fully Working Hackintosh
After macOS is running on your hackintosh there may be things that aren’t working such as audio, ethernet and wifi and graphics acceleration. If you followed one of our Build Guides return to that guide in order to get everything working. Otherwise check out the guides on how to get various things working.