MacOS where the **** did it go?

edited March 2018 in Off-topic

I have a MacMini, and wanted to grab the latest OS, but not install it until I’d tried it under Virtual Box. So, selecting download for the file from the Mac App Store, I waited until it was complete, only to find no such file in my Downloads folder.

I did find what I thought was the right thing, labelled MacOS Installer, or something close to that, in the Applications folder. But nothing I was able to do would copy this to an external drive.

In the end I just gave up. Perhaps I am doing something silly, or just have the wrong location. Either way it seems like Apple go out of their way to put the OS file somewhere hard to find.

So, MacGuru’s, is there a quick and easy way to find the right file and copy it to an external drive?

Comments

  • It's downloaded to the Applications folder and named Install macOS what ever version.
    Personally I'm a bit annoyed that the installer gets deleted after installation...

    I usually re-download the installer after every major system update so in those rare cases I would need to do a re-install I always have the latest version already downloaded (i also make a bootable USB-Stick of it just in case).

  • edited March 2018

    @Samu said:
    It's downloaded to the Applications folder and named Install macOS what ever version.
    Personally I'm a bit annoyed that the installer gets deleted after installation...

    I usually re-download the installer after every major system update so in those rare cases I would need to do a re-install I always have the latest version already downloaded (i also make a bootable USB-Stick of it just in case).

    >

    Yes, I can see it in the Applications folder, Samu. But trying to drag and drop to an attached external HDD does nothing. Selecting copy for the file seems to work, but then there is no command to paste into the external drive.

    It is annoying that a perfectly legitimate download is so tricky to use as I intend. I do not usually have any problem copying to and from the drive. Unless....

    it occurs to me that this may be the old problem of incompatibility with regard to formatting. I must go back and check whether last time the drive had an outing, it was formatted as NTFS. What I need to do is copy the file to the drive and still have that drive readable from Windows, where I have Virtual Box installed.

  • Which error does it report? Also, tell us more about the external drive

    It should not stop you from copying or moving that file ('Install macOS High Sierra.app') to another drive. Probably, it has something to do with the target file system

  • yugyug
    edited March 2018

    Ok, didn't see your last comment before posting mine. MacOS can't write to NTFS drives unless you have Paragon NTFS or something similar installed.

    It can write to FAT32-formatted drives, but you'll have to split the file into several parts because FAT32 does not support files larger than 4GB

  • @Zen210507 said:

    Yes, I can see it in the Applications folder, Samu. But trying to drag and drop to an attached external HDD does nothing. Selecting copy for the file seems to work, but then there is no command to paste into the external drive.

    What 'format' does the target drive have? macOS can not write to NTFS drives by default.
    If it's an old FAT32 drive you'll bump into issues with >4GB files(exFAT is recommended for cross platform).

    Do you have a USB-Stick to copy to or a NAS?
    (Sorry double post forgot to refresh the page).

  • @yug said:
    It can write to FAT32-formatted drives, but you'll have to split the file into several parts because FAT32 does not support files larger than 4GB

    >

    Yes, I always forget that these giant companies will not agree on common ground. :)

  • @Samu said:
    What 'format' does the target drive have? macOS can not write to NTFS drives by default.

    >

    That was the problem with regard to writing to the external HDD. Once I had reformatted to exFat, both the Mac and PC could read and write to and from it. But now there is another problem...

    I got as far as pointing Virtual Box at the external drive, and folder containing ‘installMacOS-app’ but where is the actual setup file?

  • @Zen210507 said:

    I got as far as pointing Virtual Box at the external drive, and folder containing ‘installMacOS-app’ but where is the actual setup file?

    This is where you actually need to create a bootable USB-Stick and tell VirtualBox to boot from that device.
    Prior to DVD-Drives disappearing from Mac's the installer included a *.dmg file that could be burned or 'mounted' in virtual machines.

    Follow these instructions to make a bootable USB Stick and select that disk as a boot-device in VIrtualBox.
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201372

  • @Samu said:
    Follow these instructions to make a bootable USB Stick and select that disk as a boot-device in VIrtualBox.
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201372

    >

    Right-ho, will have a crack at that tomorrow. Thanks for your help. :)

  • Hi! Zen210507, I also have a mac mini 2012 - my sincere suggestion for you, just install high sierra. I was on Mountain Lion for soo long because I wouldn't want to lose my midi interface (a Roland one - I was expecting that they would release drivers for it, but after many years waiting in vain, I decided to not expected none from them).
    So far so good, no complains. Now I can use the latest Logic, DP, Live. Finale. I intend to get Dorico (next). And I am preparing to get all of my main apps to 64 bits (the ones that are only 32 bit - I'll change or expect that the developer makes it 64), before the next Mac OS (OS X 10,14).

  • @joaoluiz14 said:
    Hi! Zen210507, I also have a mac mini 2012 - my sincere suggestion for you, just install high sierra.

    >

    Yes, I probably will do that.

    But the purpose of the current experiment is to get OSX working via Virtual Box, itself running on Windows.

    I’ve tried going the other way, having Windows run on the Mac via Parallels Desktop coherence Mode, and it was rather hit and miss.

  • I understand you. In the past I've used bootcamp because I wanted to use sonar (I like the playlist of it to play midi files in a live scenario). But now I can do this with my iPad using another app. And now sonar is probably dead (what a pitty). I was happy when they announced that they would make a mac version of sonar, but soon after they went back.
    Now a days I intend to be as far as possible from windows..... only mac and ios. I want joy and peace in my life.

  • @joaoluiz14 said:
    Now a days I intend to be as far as possible from windows..... only mac and ios. I want joy and peace in my life.

    >

    This is Windows 7 64-bit. :) I wouldn’t touch Windows 10 at this time.

  • @Samu said:
    Prior to DVD-Drives disappearing from Mac's the installer included a *.dmg file that could be burned or 'mounted' in virtual machines.

    If you right-click the installer and select Show package contents, you'll find the DMG file inside one of the folders. As far as I remember, it's called InstallESD.dmg

  • @yug said:

    @Samu said:
    Prior to DVD-Drives disappearing from Mac's the installer included a *.dmg file that could be burned or 'mounted' in virtual machines.

    If you right-click the installer and select Show package contents, you'll find the DMG file inside one of the folders. As far as I remember, it's called InstallESD.dmg

    That's true but it's but as far as i racal it's no longer enough to create a bootable system (it needs stuff from the BaseSystem.dmg as well). So the hassle of creating a bootable drive has gotten worse, before it was enough to burn the DMG if the InstallESD.DMF using DiskUtility and boot from that.

    Also getting macOS to boot under VirtualBox needs a bit of tweaking...
    https://www.howtogeek.com/289594/how-to-install-macos-sierra-in-virtualbox-on-windows-10/

  • @Samu said:
    Also getting macOS to boot under VirtualBox needs a bit of tweaking...
    https://www.howtogeek.com/289594/how-to-install-macos-sierra-in-virtualbox-on-windows-10/

    >

    Oh great, just read your link and spotted this -

    “The only thing not working is sound, which for some reason is highly distorted or nonexistent.”

    That means it isn’t worth continued effort to me. I was intending not only to try the latest IOS out, but also run Logic Pro X. Thanks anyway. Knowing the above has saved me some time and a whole heap of frustration.

  • @Samu said:

    @yug said:

    @Samu said:
    Prior to DVD-Drives disappearing from Mac's the installer included a *.dmg file that could be burned or 'mounted' in virtual machines.

    If you right-click the installer and select Show package contents, you'll find the DMG file inside one of the folders. As far as I remember, it's called InstallESD.dmg

    That's true but it's but as far as i racal it's no longer enough to create a bootable system (it needs stuff from the BaseSystem.dmg as well). So the hassle of creating a bootable drive has gotten worse, before it was enough to burn the DMG if the InstallESD.DMF using DiskUtility and boot from that.

    Oh, I didn't know that. It definitely has gotten worse since I tried it a few years ago

  • @yug said:
    Oh, I didn't know that. It definitely has gotten worse since I tried it a few years ago

    >

    You’re not kidding.

    Hating to be beaten by any computer or system, I spent half the morning trying different ways to accomplish what should be an easy goal: an image of MacOS running under one or the other virtual software soutions.

    In this quest I tried Virtual Box and VW Ware, applying half a dozen laborious methods, entering commands via Mac Terminal, and when that failed miserably, using a couple of apps specifically intended to create an image from a legitimately downloaded MacOSX. When none of this worked, I even took a brief look for a MacOS VM torrent, but found only dead ends from dead heads wanting to sell me crap.

    The end conclusion I’ve reached is that stuff I can do backwards on a PC is deliberately made next to impossible by Apple, on a Mac. If, for example, I had two Mac’s, and wanted to put an install image on a USB key for the second one, rather than do another 5+go download, I’m screwed.

    Right now I’m thinking is it worth this amount of hassle. I might sell my very well specified MacMini, and wash my hands of everything Apple except this iPad. I’d probably put the cash toward a Dell inspirion 27 7000. I could add my existing pair of 24 inch Del screens on either side. Nice idea, eh? *

    *Except, due to the conspiracy between Microsoft and hardware manufacturers, I’d probably have to accept Windows 10. Oh dear...

  • @Zen210507 said:

    @Samu said:
    Also getting macOS to boot under VirtualBox needs a bit of tweaking...
    https://www.howtogeek.com/289594/how-to-install-macos-sierra-in-virtualbox-on-windows-10/

    >

    Oh great, just read your link and spotted this -

    “The only thing not working is sound, which for some reason is highly distorted or nonexistent.”

    That means it isn’t worth continued effort to me. I was intending not only to try the latest IOS out, but also run Logic Pro X. Thanks anyway. Knowing the above has saved me some time and a whole heap of frustration.

    I was missing my macmini and Ableton live but it seems BM3 with the proper workflow is finally bringing a chance for me. What a PITA macOS and iOS evolution...

  • @Dubbylabby said:
    I was missing my macmini and Ableton live but it seems BM3 with the proper workflow is finally bringing a chance for me. What a PITA macOS and iOS evolution...

    >

    I have BM3, but thus far haven’t got on very well with it. But I’m sure if I put in the effort it would be fine.

    Really, the only thing I use the Mac for is Garage Band and Logic Pro X. If I could get Logic for either the iPad or in a PC version, that would make the Mac totally redundant for me. But Tim Cook will have an original idea before there is ever a way to run Logic on a PC. :)

  • edited March 2018

    @Zen210507 said:

    @Dubbylabby said:
    I was missing my macmini and Ableton live but it seems BM3 with the proper workflow is finally bringing a chance for me. What a PITA macOS and iOS evolution...

    >

    I have BM3, but thus far haven’t got on very well with it. But I’m sure if I put in the effort it would be fine.

    Really, the only thing I use the Mac for is Garage Band and Logic Pro X. If I could get Logic for either the iPad or in a PC version, that would make the Mac totally redundant for me. But Tim Cook will have an original idea before there is ever a way to run Logic on a PC. :)

    More or less what I was using it mine 2 years ago (Mainstsge, Traktor and Pages... in fact avoiding Ableton).
    I was considering get one once again due to “Ableton export” feature in Blocs (and beat repeat stutter feature in Launchpad :trollface: ) but I’m expending some short sessions with BM3 and it revenues good results. I’m far from want to “mix and master” so no need for Auria or Cubasis feats/complexity... but I will keep updating results when I finish porting my first Blocs project into it and record some audio over and how it feels :wink:

  • @Zen210507 said:

    @yug said:
    Oh, I didn't know that. It definitely has gotten worse since I tried it a few years ago

    You’re not kidding.

    Hating to be beaten by any computer or system, I spent half the morning trying different ways to accomplish what should be an easy goal: an image of MacOS running under one or the other virtual software soutions.

    In this quest I tried Virtual Box and VW Ware, applying half a dozen laborious methods, entering commands via Mac Terminal, and when that failed miserably, using a couple of apps specifically intended to create an image from a legitimately downloaded MacOSX. When none of this worked, I even took a brief look for a MacOS VM torrent, but found only dead ends from dead heads wanting to sell me crap.

    The end conclusion I’ve reached is that stuff I can do backwards on a PC is deliberately made next to impossible by Apple, on a Mac. If, for example, I had two Mac’s, and wanted to put an install image on a USB key for the second one, rather than do another 5+go download, I’m screwed.

    Last time I tried, I've managed to install MacOS under Vmware Fusion on my Mac Mini without any problems. It was about 3-4 years ago and the version was 10.10 if I remember correctly.

    So, my suggestion - don't bother with the latest version. Just download an older version and start from there. It should be easier to create an install image for one of the older versions. Then, I believe if you want, you'll be able to upgrade to a newer version the same way you upgrade your non-virtual MacOS.

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