Installing macOS High Sierra on a MacBook Pro or other Mac that is not supported by High Sierra

By: ( +David Herron; Date: April 12, 2018

Tags: Mac OS X

Apple has declared certain older Mac computers unsupported by newer versions of macOS. In my case, I attempted to install macOS High Sierra on a mid-2009 MacBook Pro, but the installer failed in a very strange way. I constructed a USB installer using the normal process to make a macOS installer, then rebooted the computer to run the installation, but instead the screen simply went blank and the computer turned itself off. In other words installing macOS High Sierra on this mid-2009 MacBook Pro failed in a strange way. After a couple dozen macOS installs on different computers under my belt, I'd never seen this behavior. After some duckduckgoing the cause was found to be this screen capture - that the computer was not supported by High Sierra - and fortunately there was a relatively simple solution.

Getting to see that message took some digging.

The initial behavior was - insert the USB drive holding the macOS Installer in the USB port, reboot the computer, hold down the Option key, and select the installer drive. Normally booting off the installer this way launches the installation program, and we would then proceed with the installation.

Instead - the computer showed a grey screen with this symbol:

The macOS Prohibitory symbol

According to ( the Apple support knowledge base, the Prohibitory Symbol is shown when "your Mac couldn't find a valid System Folder to start up from." This didn't make sense since the installer USB drive does have a System folder.

Initially the suggestions I found said to reset the NVRAM, the PRAM or the SMC, and even to do a complete reset of the computer. A complete reset is performed by unplugging the battery pack, the power supply, and then holding down the power button for awhile, presumably to drain off any held energy in capacitors. None of that resetting made any changes - the macOS High Sierra installer still failed to start in a strange way.

After some additional searching I found a suggestion to boot by using Command+S ...

Booting that way showed the above screen, telling me "This version of Mac OS X is not supported on this platform!"

I don't know what "Reason: Mac-F2268AC8" means, but the other message clearly means the mid-2009 MacBook Pro is not supported by macOS High Sierra.

By coincidence I had watched a video yesterday concerning the ( macOS High Sierra Patcher Tool for Unsupported Macs As the name suggests, it an application which patches a macOS High Sierra installer to allow installing High Sierra on an unsupported Mac.

Click through to that link, and you'll find a complete set of instructions. The basic idea is to:

  • Download the macOS High Sierra Installer using the Apple App Store
  • Insert a USB drive into a USB port
  • Execute the Patcher tool, and perform these steps
    • Select the Installer
    • Select the USB drive
    • Click the START button - this builds the installer drive, and applies the necessary patches
  • Boot off the installer USB drive as normal for a macOS installation
  • Perform an installation using the installer
    • Notice there is an extra window on the screen
    • If desired you can use that window to launch Disk Utility to reformat the hard drive
  • After installation, boot again off the installer drive. You'll find a window that can launch a Post-Install Tool that applies patches. Run this tool.

An issue that arose during those machinations is that after running the installation I got a screen saying macOS could not be installed on your computer. That was solved by resetting the system clock, see: Installing MacOSX when the installer says: OS X could not be installed on your computer. No packages were eligible for install.

Afterwards, reboot the computer normally, and you'll be greeted with the normal macOS setup screens.

The following video gives an overview and some results.

« Build your own inexpensive super-computing cluster with Raspberry Pi 3's HP Chromebook x2, worlds first detachable screen Chromebook tablet/notebook »
2016 Election 2018 Elections Acer C720 Ad block Air Filters Air Quality Air Quality Monitoring AkashaCMS Amazon Amazon Kindle Amazon Web Services America Amiga and Jon Pertwee Android Anti-Fascism AntiVirus Software Apple Apple Hardware History Apple iPhone Apple iPhone Hardware April 1st Arduino ARM Compilation Artificial Intelligence Astronomy Astrophotography Asynchronous Programming Authoritarianism Automated Social Posting AWS DynamoDB AWS Lambda Ayo.JS Bells Law Big Brother Big Data Big Finish Big Science Bitcoin Mining Black Holes Blade Runner Blockchain Blogger Blogging Books Botnets Cassette Tapes Cellphones China China Manufacturing Christopher Eccleston Chrome Chrome Apps Chromebook Chromebox ChromeOS CIA CitiCards Citizen Journalism Civil Liberties Climate Change Clinton Cluster Computing Command Line Tools Comment Systems Computer Accessories Computer Hardware Computer Repair Computers Conservatives Cross Compilation Crouton Cryptocurrency Curiosity Rover Currencies Cyber Security Cybermen Cybersecurity Daleks Darth Vader Data backup Data Formats Data Storage Database Database Backup Databases David Tenant DDoS Botnet Department of Defense Department of Justice Detect Adblocker Developers Editors Digital Nomad Digital Photography Diskless Booting Disqus DIY DIY Repair DNP3 Do it yourself Docker Docker MAMP Docker Swarm Doctor Who Doctor Who Paradox Doctor Who Review Drobo Drupal Drupal Themes DVD E-Books E-Readers Early Computers eGPU Election Hacks Electric Bicycles Electric Vehicles Electron Eliminating Jobs for Human Emdebian Encabulators Energy Efficiency Enterprise Node EPUB ESP8266 Ethical Curation Eurovision Event Driven Asynchronous Express Face Recognition Facebook Fake News Fedora VirtualBox Fifth Doctor File transfer without iTunes FireFly Flash Flickr Fraud Freedom of Speech Front-end Development G Suite Gallifrey Gig Economy git Github GitKraken Gitlab GMAIL Google Google Chrome Google Gnome Google+ Government Spying Great Britain Green Transportation Hate Speech Heat Loss Hibernate High Technology Hoax Science Home Automation HTTP Security HTTPS Human ID I2C Protocol Image Analysis Image Conversion Image Processing ImageMagick In-memory Computing InfluxDB Infrared Thermometers Insulation Internet Internet Advertising Internet Law Internet of Things Internet Policy Internet Privacy iOS iOS Devices iPad iPhone iPhone hacking Iron Man iShowU Audio Capture iTunes Janet Fielding Java JavaFX JavaScript JavaScript Injection JDBC John Simms Journalism Joyent Kaspersky Labs Kext Kindle Kindle Marketplace Large Hadron Collider Lets Encrypt LibreOffice Linux Linux Hints Linux Single Board Computers Logging Mac Mini Mac OS Mac OS X MacBook Pro Machine Learning Machine Readable ID Macintosh macOS macOS High Sierra macOS Kext MacOS X setup Make Money Online Make Money with Gigs March For Our Lives MariaDB Mars Mass Violence Matt Lucas MEADS Anti-Missile Mercurial MERN Stack Michele Gomez Micro Apartments Microsoft Military AI Military Hardware Minification Minimized CSS Minimized HTML Minimized JavaScript Missy Mobile Applications Mobile Computers MODBUS Mondas Monetary System MongoDB Mongoose Monty Python MQTT Music Player Music Streaming MySQL NanoPi Nardole NASA Net Neutrality Network Attached Storage Node Web Development Node.js Node.js Database Node.js Performance Node.js Testing Node.JS Web Development Node.x North Korea npm NVIDIA NY Times Online advertising Online Community Online Fraud Online Journalism Online Photography Online Video Open Media Vault Open Source Open Source and Patents Open Source Governance Open Source Licenses Open Source Software OpenAPI OpenJDK OpenVPN Palmtop PDA Patrick Troughton PayPal Paywalls Personal Flight Peter Capaldi Peter Davison Phishing Photography PHP Plex Plex Media Server Political Protest Politics Postal Service Power Control President Trump Privacy Private E-mail server Production use Public Violence Raspberry Pi Raspberry Pi 3 Raspberry Pi Zero ReactJS Recaptcha Recycling Refurbished Computers Remote Desktop Removable Storage Republicans Retro Computing Retro-Technology Reviews RFID Rich Internet Applications Right to Repair River Song Robotics Robots Rocket Ships RSS News Readers rsync Russia Russia Troll Factory Russian Hacking Rust SCADA Scheme Science Fiction SD Cards Search Engine Ranking Season 1 Season 10 Season 11 Security Security Cameras Server-side JavaScript Serverless Framework Servers Shell Scripts Silence Simsimi Skype SmugMug Social Media Social Media Networks Social Media Warfare Social Network Management Social Networks Software Development Software Patents Space Flight Space Ship Reuse Space Ships SpaceX Spear Phishing Spring Spring Boot Spy Satellites SQLite3 SSD Drives SSD upgrade SSH SSH Key SSL Stand For Truth Strange Parts Swagger Synchronizing Files Tegan Jovanka Telescopes Terrorism The Cybermen The Daleks The Master Time-Series Database Tom Baker Torchwood Total Information Awareness Trump Trump Administration Trump Campaign Twitter Ubuntu Udemy UDOO US Department of Defense Video editing Virtual Private Networks VirtualBox VLC VNC VOIP Vue.js Walmart Weapons Systems Web Applications Web Developer Resources Web Development Web Development Tools Web Marketing Webpack Website Advertising Weeping Angels WhatsApp William Hartnell Window Insulation Windows Windows Alternatives Wordpress World Wide Web Yahoo YouTube YouTube Monetization