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Last active July 3, 2019 21:11
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How To Clean Install High Sierra on APFS-formatted main HD

Clean Install High Sierra on APFS-formatted main HD

Installation Steps

  1. From 10.11 or 10.12 systems, format an external hard drive with at least 500gb with "Mac Os Extended Journaled".
  2. Download High Sierra Beta and install it in the external hard drive.
  3. When the system reboots and finishes installation, it will boot from the external HD. Go to Preferences and change Startup Disk to be main HD.
  4. Reboot and press Option key when the computer makes a beep and select external HD to boot from it.
  5. Once booted again into external HD, format main HD to be APFS.
  6. Download High Sierra Beta from external HD booted system and install it in main HD.
  7. Upon restart the main HD will be clean installed with High Sierra Beta and APFS formatted.


The traditional way of installing the OS image into a external flash drive does not seem to work for the time being. Here's a couple of things I tried before arriving at steps above:

My base OS was El Capitan (10.11), when you download High Sierra Beta from there, it merely downloads ~20mb. So, since you don't get the full installer right away, I decided to simply install High Sierra Beta over 10.11. This worked, so I tried to do a recovery boot, reformat the HD to APFS and then install High Sierra Beta. This didn't work. You'd get error:

Could not create a preboot volume for APFS install.

At this point, I reverted back to my Time Machine backup. Looking around I found a way to create a bootable High Sierra Beta installation image. It involved trying to install it somewhere and before restarting the machine, close the installer (see forum post for reference). Following these steps I created a external bootable High Sierra Beta installation image of Beta 5. I tried to install this and it didn't work. You'd get error:

macOS could not be installed on your computer

The path /System/Installation/Packages/OSInstall.mpkg appears to be missing or damaged.

Looking at the /var/log/install.log I found it had these messages:

MacBook-Pro OSInstaller[544]: Couldn't mount disk image! (error code 2)
MacBook-Pro OSInstaller[544]: OSIInstallElement <OSIMountPayloadElement: 0x7f9caf0181d0> 
errored out:Error Domain=NSOSStatusErrorDomain Code=2 "kCFHostErrorUnknown / kCFStreamErrorSOCKS4SubDomainResponse / 
kCFStreamErrorSOCKS5BadState / kCFStreamErrorDomainMacOSStatus / siInitVBLQsErr / dsAddressErr / scCommErr / 
ENOENT: Query the kCFGetAddrInfoFailureKey to get the value returned from getaddrinfo; lookup in netdb.h / 
Error code is the status code returned by the server /  / OSStatus type from Carbon APIs; interpret using <MacTypes.h>  /
VBLqueues for all slots could not be initialized. / address error / communications error, operation timeout  / 
No such file or directory"

After this, I decided to revert back again and use the steps above.

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