If you’re interested in running macOS Sierra, but you don’t want to pay ridiculous prices for a normal Mac, then a Hackintosh just might be for you. Right now (2016), the newest iteration of OS X is 10.11, known as macOS Sierra. In this guide, we’ll show you how to install macOS Sierra on your PC with the newly released “macOS Sierra Installer”.
Read this article completely once before beginning any procedures. Most of the troubleshooting information is included in this article
There are few ways of installing a Hackintosh, but Hackintosh Sierra Installer is the most convenient way to set up your Hackintosh
1 Why Use Hackintosh Sierra Installer
- You do not need a real Mac: All other methods of Installing Sierra require extensive knowledge + a Real mac because those guides are based on macs, but Sierra Installer never require a mac, you can setup a Hackintosh without the need of a real mac. You can set up everything from a Windows / Linux computer.
- You can install it on a hard drive that already has Windows installed: By default, the macOS installer will not work with hard drives that were initially formatted in Windows. Therefore, if your computer’s hard drive already has Windows installed on it, you will not be able to install macOS on there, but Sierra Installer automatically patches this so you can bypass this limitation. The patch is called MBR Patch.
- macOS Sierra Installer Support More Hardware (Including AMD): Sierra Installer Supports a far range of Hardware including limited AMD Support, most audio, wireless and ethernet drivers will be installed automatically.
- Post Installation is Easier: Just like windows you have to install drivers to make macOS perfect, which is pretty hard for beginners but Sierra Installer automatically do this for you by installing most drivers automatically, and Sierra Installer also installs the Bootloader for you, but you may have to install additional drivers manually in case Sierra Installer couldn’t install the driver for you.
2 Features of Sierra Installer
- Supports AMD Processors
- Auto Installs Ethernet Drivers
- Auto Installs WiFi Drivers
- Auto Installs Audio Drivers
- macOS Sierra USB Fixes
- NVME Patch for non-Apple NVMe SSDs
3 Ready to Hackintosh Sierra? Here are the requirements
- A CPU (AMD / INTEL) with SSE4.1 Support: Without SSE4.1 Instruction set Sierra will not run.
- A Computer/Laptop purchased after the year 2011: Sierra Installer Supports a vast range of Hardware, but anyhow Apple dropped support for older Hardware so there is a possibility of Kernel Panics, but it does not mean that you cannot run but you have to try yourself.
- An existing Computer with Mac, Linux or Windows Operating System: This is the computer where you will download and set up Sierra Installer. The computer can run either Windows or macOS; both operating systems will work.
- A Hackintosh-compatible computer with an empty hard drive: This is the computer where you will install macOS Sierra. It can be the same computer as the one mentioned in the previous point. If your computer already has macOS installed, Sierra Installer will update macOS normally, without deleting any of your apps or files. macOS Sierra needs its own hard drive partition, a minimum of 10 GB of space is required, but at least 50 GB of space is recommended. It is preferred that you use an empty hard drive for this, but if your computer already has Windows installed on your hard drive, be sure to create an appropriate hard disk partition for macOS Sierra by following steps given below.
- Hackintosh Sierra Installer (Free): Sierra Installer is a bootable distro of macOS Sierra which has been modified to work with PCs You will need to use a BitTorrent client to download the disk image file containing Hackintosh Sierra Installer.
- An empty USB drive (6 GB or larger): In this guide, you will write Hackintosh Sierra Installer onto a USB drive, and boot your computer from that drive to install macOS Sierra. The USB drive must be at least 6 GB in size. Since you will need to erase all of the files on the USB drive, make sure to back up its contents first. You can reuse this USB drive for normal stuff after you finish installing Sierra.
- TransMac: ($48, 15-day free trial): If you are using a Windows computer to set up Sierra Installer, you need to use TransMac to write the disk image file onto your USB drive. You can download the free trial.
- Restore Sierra.pkg (available with Sierra Installer): If you are using a Mac to set up Sierra Installer, you need the unique “Restore Sierra” app to write the disk image file onto your USB drive.
4 Create your Sierra Installer USB drive from Windows
Plug your USB drive into your computer, and open TransMac. Find your USB drive in the left-hand column of the TransMac window. Right-click on the USB drive, and click “Format Disk for Mac.” This will delete all of the files on your drive and prepare it for macOS.
Once your USB drive is done formatting, right-click it again and click “Restore with Disk Image.” A file selection window will pop up; choose your Sierra Installer disk image file, and proceed. Now, TransMac will write Sierra Installer onto your USB drive.
This will probably take 20-40 minutes, though it may take longer, depending on the speed of your USB drive. Once TransMac finishes, your USB drive will contain a fully bootable version of the macOS Sierra installer.
5 Create your Sierra Installer USB drive from Mac
Follow this step if you are setting up Sierra Installer on a Mac or existing Hackintosh (How to Create your Sierra Installer USB drive from Windows). Plug your USB drive into macOS, and open Disk Utility (located in Applications -> Utilities in your main hard drive). Select your USB drive in the sidebar of Disk Utility and erase the drive, with the “Format” set to “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” and “Scheme” set to “GUID Partition Map.” You can rename the drive any way you want (Mine is named “KingMaker” in the image below).
Next, make sure that your Hackintosh Sierra Installer disk image file is in the same folder as “Restore Sierra.pkg.” If “Restore Sierra.pkg” is still in a ZIP file, double-click that file to unzip it.
Double click on “Restore Sierra.pkg” to start the app. By default, the app will be aimed at your computer’s main hard drive (mine is named “Mac” in the image above). You do not want this– instead, click through the installer until you reach the page with the “Change Install Location” button. Select the drive that you format (It is named “KingMaker” in the example below)
Press the enter / return key. The app will ask for your system password. After you enter your password, it will begin writing the Hackintosh Sierra Installer disk image onto the USB drive. This will probably take 20-40 minutes, though it may take longer, depending on the speed of your USB drive. Once it finishes, your USB drive will contain a fully bootable version of the macOS Sierra.
NOTE: “Restore Sierra.pkg” is very glitchy. If you cannot find the “Change Install Location” button on the first time that you run the package, restart your computer and re-run the package.
6 Create your Sierra Installer USB drive from Linux
You have to install dmg2img; use apt-get or yum to install dmg2img
sudo apt-get install dmg2img
sudo yum install dmg2img
Uncompress Sierra DMG with dmg2img, then restore the uncompressed image to USB, Change the variables below as you need (Warning: The following is just an example do not copy and paste)
dmg2img -v -i /path/to/Hackintosh-Sierra-Zone.dmg -o /path/to/Hackintosh-Sierra-Zone-Uncompressed.dmg dd if=/path/to/Hackintosh-Sierra-Zone-Uncompressed.dmg of=/dev/sdb bs=1M
Create a hard drive partition for macOS with Windows
Boot into Windows Vista or Windows 7, and type “partition” into your Start Menu search bar. Choose “Create and Format hard drive partitions” to open the Disk Management utility in Windows.
You will see a bar displaying the partitions on your hard drive. Right-click on the emptiest partition in the hard drive that you want to install OS X on, and click “Shrink.” This will allow you to shrink the size of that partition so that you have extra space on your hard drive to create a new partition for Mac OS X.
Once the shrinking process is complete, you should now have some unallocated on your hard drive. Right-click the Unallocated section of your hard drive’s bar, and choose “New Simple Volume.”
A helper will pop up. From here, format the Unallocated space as an NTFS volume (or an exFAT volume; it should not matter since you will be wiping this partition in macOS Installer anyways).
7 Make PC Ready for Hackintosh Installation
- Disconnect USB Devices: Unplug all USB-connected devices from your computer before you begin the setup (except your keyboard and mouse). A faulty external USB hard drive can cause your Hackintosh bootloader to give you EBIOS errors on startup.
- Unplug any Extra Hard disks: Open up your computer and unplug any extra internal hard drives that your computer has, besides the hard drive that you are installing OS X on. (Just unplug the hard drive SATA & Power cables from your motherboard.)
- Backup Your Data: You should always take care of your data, Sierra Installer will not damage your data but always be safe.
8 Set up your motherboard’s BIOS
Essentially, the BIOS (or UEFI) is the settings page for your computer’s motherboard. From here, you can fiddle with how your computer hardware works it is often necessary to change a few basic settings in the BIOS or UEFI to get macOS up and running.
The BIOS standard is used by motherboards from before 2012, while the UEFI standard is used by motherboards made after that.
To access BIOS / UEFI Setup, press and hold Delete on a USB Keyboard while the system is booting up
- Load Optimized Defaults
- If your CPU supports VT-d, disable it
- If your system has CFG-Lock, disable it
- If your system has Secure Boot Mode, disable it
- Set OS Type to Other OS
- If your system has IO SerialPort, disable it
- Set XHCI Handoff to Enabled
- If you have a 6 series or x58 system with AWARD BIOS, disable USB 3.0
Save and exit.
For more information view Hackintosh UEFI Settings article. The above settings are for UEFI Based Motherboards If you’re setting up #Hackintosh on a legacy Motherboard follow Hackintosh Legacy BIOS Settings.
9 Boot Into Hackintosh Sierra Installer
Restart your Hackintosh, and plug in your Hackintosh Sierra Installer USB drive. Press the key to change boot device (F8 / F1 / F10); the key varies with motherboard If things go well, your computer will boot from the USB drive instead of booting from your normal hard disk. You will then be able to view the Sierra Installer boot menu.
This is the Clover Boot loader of Hackintosh Sierra Installer (UEFI / EFI), Hackintosh Sierra Installer also can be boot from Chameleon by pressing number 2 in legacy mode (How to boot Hackintosh Sierra Installer Installer with Chameleon).
If you do not manage to reach the Hackintosh Sierra Installer menu, check your motherboard’s BIOS settings to make sure that the changes you made in Make PC Ready for Hackintosh Installation and Set up your motherboard’s BIOS were properly applied. If they were, but you still cannot boot from the Sierra Installer USB drive, try changing the USB Port to another switch between (USB 3.0 & USB 2.0) If all else fails, try using a different USB drive for Hackintosh Sierra Installer.
If you are trying to Install on PC with AMD Processor with Clover Boot-loader, you must use (you will have to type the boot-flag)
kcsuffix=amd or kcsuffix=amd1
As the boot flag. Which flag you need depends on your specific processor, so test one flag at a time. For Chameleon Boot-loader you have to type
Kernel=kernel.amd or Kernel=kernel.amd1
At the Sierra, Installer Menu select “Hackintosh Sierra” from the menu (Sometimes the name will not be visible) and press the key enter (return key). The installer screen will take several minutes to load. Usually, you will end up in Language Chooser Menu like the following picture
In the worst case scenarios, instead of loading the macOS Sierra installer, you may end up with a dark gray screen that tells you to restart your computer (a kernel panic), or you may end up with a small crossed-out sign (a loading error). If you get a kernel panic / loading error (or if the Mac OS X installer just won’t start within 10 minutes), you will need to enter some boot flags.
To enter boot flags, manually restart your computer by pressing your computer’s power button. Then, once you have booted back into the Sierra Installer menu, try typing any necessary boot flags before pressing the enter / return key. Check out our list of common boot flags and our guide to fixing boot problems with the verbose mode for reference.
10 Fixing “No packages were eligible for install” in Sierra Installation
Before installing open Terminal (Utilities > Terminal)
run the following command. It will fix No packages were eligible for install problem, this must be done before clicking Install.
11 Install Hackintosh Sierra Installer
You need to use Disk Utility to erase a hard drive partition so that macOS Sierra can install itself on it. In the sidebar of Disk Utility, choose the hard drive partition where you want Sierra installed, and erase it by using the “Erase” tab. You can also just erase the entire hard drive (this is the preferred solution if you do not plan to dual-boot Windows and Sierra from the same hard drive).
In the Image of Disk Utility above Entire Hard disk Named “Apple SSD macOS-0 SSD Media” is being erased into a Single Partition with Volume name Mac. You can also erase separate volumes. When erasing, the format should be set to “Mac OS Extended (Journaled).” You can also partition the hard disk by using Disk Utility’s Partition tab.
On the installation page for macOS, the hard disk / disk partition should now be showing up. Select it, and then click the “Customize” button on the bottom left. This is where using a distro becomes useful: Sierra Installer allows you to install extra Hackintosh drivers and kexts, straight from the Sierra installer.
However, choosing the right options from this page can be tricky, so unless you are certain about which drivers and kexts you need to install for your computer, I do not recommend installing too much stuff from here.
The default selection will enable Mac OS X to boot from the hard drive without any assistance, and automatically enable audio and ethernet. For most computers, that will be enough.
If you have a compatible Graphics card, unselect “Backup Graphic Kexts.” (If you are using nVidia Maxwell or Pascal card you may need nVidia Webdriver)
When your computer already has Mac OS X installed, and you are simply updating it to Sierra, you can uncheck all of these options. macOS treats Sierra as just another update– there’s no need to reinstall all of your kexts and drivers.
Once you are done with the “Customize” page, install Sierra. This will take at least 30 minutes.
12 Boot into macOS Sierra
Once the installation finishes, remove your Hackintosh Sierra Installer USB drive and restart your computer. At the boot screen, you will see an icon with the name of the volume for the hard drive where you installed Sierra. Select it (use the arrow keys on your computer) and press “Enter.” Sierra will boot.
Once again, if you get a kernel panic / loading error when you try to boot your new Sierra installation (or if the installation simply won’t start within 10 minutes), you will need to enter some boot flags. To enter boot flags, manually restart your computer by pressing your computer’s power button. Then, once you have booted back into the Sierra Installer menu, try to type any necessary boot flags before pressing the enter / return key. Check out our list of common boot flags for Hackintosh and our guide to fixing boot problems in verbose mode for reference.
Once Sierra has booted successfully, click through the Sierra setup screens until you reach the desktop. From here, Sierra Installer will work its magic, and automatically install the rest of the Hackintosh-specific kexts and drivers.
Wait several minutes, while this process works in the background. Once you receive a notification saying that the installation has been completed, You may have to tweak and install some kexts to make your Hackintosh work properly try Googling.
Once that is done with, you should be running a fully functional copy of Hackintosh macOS Sierra on your PC.