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Make macOS High Sierra (10.13) installer USB from 19MB stub

mathewhillier Mar 13th, 2018 (edited) 1,065 Never
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  1. Create a macOS High Sierra (10.13) bootable installer USB stick (including starting from the 19MB installer stub).
  2.  
  3. This technique does not require any third party tools unlike the OSX daily post below.
  4. It does require access to a Mac in order to use the App store and use of Terminal.
  5.  
  6. Step by step procedure:
  7.  
  8. Download the MacOS High Sierra installer from the App Store.
  9.  
  10. When done, find the installer file in the /Applications folder.
  11.  
  12. NOTE!!! Some users only get a stub installer of 19MB instead of the full 5.2GB installer package.
  13. See apple reason here https://support.apple.com/en-ph/HT201372 that "If you’re creating a bootable installer for macOS High Sierra, download from a Mac using High Sierra, Sierra 10.12.5 or later, or El Capitan 10.11.6.".  
  14. Downloading when on other versions gives you the small installer stub.
  15. If you got the 19MB installer stub see 'a' below.
  16. If you got the 5.2GB full installer jump down to 'b' below.
  17.  
  18. a) Starting from the 19MB stub installer:
  19.  
  20. You will need to recreate the full installer from the separate parts.
  21. To do so we will use the installer stub app to grab all the files from Apple and then abort the install before it does anything else.
  22.  
  23. Run the 19MB stub installer (/Applications/Install macOS High Sierra).
  24. Choose the install disk and click 'install' (it won't actually install yet!).
  25. It will download the remaining install files and place them under /macOS Install Data (i.e. look for the folder in the root of your hard drive 'Macintosh HD').
  26. When it has finished downloading all it needs, the installer screen will then ask you to restart the Mac - but don't! At this point ABORT the install by quitting the installer app.
  27.  
  28. Next we will recreate the full installer from all the downloaded parts. This will restore the ability to create an install media USB. Do the following:
  29.  
  30. Open Terminal and run: sudo -s
  31. Enter admin credentials to gain root permissions.
  32. Then copy and paste the following 3 commands:
  33.  
  34. mkdir /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\ Sierra.app/Contents/SharedSupport
  35.  
  36. cd /macOS\ Install\ Data
  37.  
  38. find . -mount | cpio -pvdm /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\ Sierra.app/Contents/SharedSupport
  39.  
  40. You now have a full installer package in your Applications folder!
  41. Continue with the steps below...
  42.  
  43. b) Starting from the 5.2GB full installer:
  44.  
  45. You need a blank USB stick. Note that the USB stick will be completely wiped as part of the process.
  46. Apple recommends at least 12GB of available storage.
  47.  
  48. You can now use the createinstallmedia command to create the installer USB stick (in the following example the USB stick volume is named "MACOS" - change this to match the volume name of your USB stick). Example command:
  49.  
  50. /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\ Sierra.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/MACOS --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\ Sierra.app
  51.  
  52. You will be asked to confirm the command by typing Y.
  53.  
  54. It will do its stuff resulting in a USB labeled 'Install macOS High Sierra'.
  55. Enjoy...
  56.  
  57.  
  58. References:
  59. A discussion post by "Crazy Forthreed December 11, 2017 at 7:28 pm" at http://osxdaily.com/2017/09/27/download-complete-macos-high-sierra-installer/ for the combining commands.
  60. Apple https://support.apple.com/en-au/HT201372 lists createinstallmedia commands for each version of OSX/macOS.
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