Getting full copy of High Sierra

Texas_Toast

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I have an MacBook Pro with Mountain Lion and a new-ish Retina with Sierra.

@Mr_Brightside_@ was nice enough to help me figure out how to download a copy of Sierra in this thread...

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/where-does-my-appleid-take-me.2089244/


Now I would like to get a copy of High Sierra, but maybe not in the way you think.

I do not want to just upgrade my Retina from Sierra to High Sierra.

Instead, I want to download a full copy of High Sierra, so that I can then build an "installer" so I will have the ability to install High Sierra as much as I want.

FWIW, I am trying to learn more about macOS and I want to install it, do some things, uninstall it, then reinstall it, and so on.

I suspect that if I just tried to upgrade from Sierra to High Sierra, that I wouldn't be able to grab the actual full copy of High Sierra and make an installer out of it.

Can someone help me figure out how to do this?

Also, I'd prefer downloading it and making an installer on my old MacBook Pro with Mountain Lion, that was if I screw anything up, I don't break my Retina!

Thanks!.
 

DeltaMac

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Let me assure you - if you upgrade from Sierra to High Sierra (or upgrade from some older version of OS X to High Sierra), then you, at some point, will download exactly what you want - a full installer.
Some may say that because there's not so much in visible changes from Sierra to HS, then you only have to update. This is inaccurate, it still is a full upgrade, and not just an update to Sierra.
So, the normal way to proceed (and I have done this a dozen times, just for High Sierra):
Launch your App Store.
From the Featured tab, go to the High Sierra page, either from Quick Links, or click on the macOS High Sierra icon to open the High Sierra page.
Click the Download button. If the top header button says "Install", then you already have High Sierra downloaded. Look in your Applications folder for the app "Install macOS High Sierra". If you see it, then you already have it. Proceed to make a bootable installer! You are ready.
If the button says "Download", then click on that, and wait. It's more than 5GB, so will take a few minutes. The installer app will automatically launch when the download finishes. Just Quit the app, and continue on with creating a bootable installer.
A 16GB USB flash drive is ideal - but 8GB size will work fine, too. I see that 8GB are getting to be less common, and the 16GB are cheap - less than $10.
Once you have a bootable installer made, test it to make sure it will actually boot.
Then, back up the downloaded installer (still in your Applications folder) to an external drive, in case you need it again soon.
Finally, when you are sure you have a working bootable installer, delete the installer app from your Applications folder (unless you don't mind having an app that you don't use take up more than 5GB space on your boot drive :D )

BTW, upgrading to High Sierra on a retina WILL screw up your system, at least in one way. The SSD file system will be converted to the new APFS, and will NOT be visible if, for some reason, you boot to a system older than Sierra.
It's all part of the fun of High Sierra, and probably not a big issue for the normal user.
My suggestion, more than at any other time with OS X, is to be sure that you have a full backup before you upgrade. Things happen sometimes when doing a major system upgrade, and you need to be sure that you have a way back, just in case your upgrade "goes south" on you.
 
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Bart Kela

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Instead, I want to download a full copy of High Sierra, so that I can then build an "installer" so I will have the ability to install High Sierra as much as I want.
I just went to the Mac App Store and downloaded the High Sierra Installer.

I used the standard command line invocation to create a bootable USB installer thumb drive which subsequently used to install onto three different Macs. Very simple.

I have been doing this for several years for each new macOS release. I always download the installer then create a bootable USB installer thumb drive. I don't install from the installer file in the Applications folder.
 

Texas_Toast

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Let me assure you - if you upgrade from Sierra to High Sierra (or upgrade from some older version of OS X to High Sierra), then you, at some point, will download exactly what you want - a full installer.
On my Retina, if I clicked on High Sierra, I figured it would just do an "update" like when you do a "security update" or when you update your antivirus software.

Apparently clicking on the link under Software Update downloads the whole High Sierra OS installer?


Some may say that because there's not so much in visible changes from Sierra to HS, then you only have to update. This is inaccurate, it still is a full upgrade, and not just an update to Sierra.
When I turn on this old MBP or my Retina, I often get pop-ups that come from "Software Update".

Is there a difference between that and going to the "App Store"?

In the thread I posted in my OP, @Mr_Brightside_@ had posted links to Sierra and I believe Mountain Lion that seemed to take me somewhere different. It seemed like those links pointed to some download repository.



BTW, upgrading to High Sierra on a retina WILL screw up your system, at least in one way. The SSD file system will be converted to the new APFS, and will NOT be visible if, for some reason, you boot to a system older than Sierra.
It's all part of the fun of High Sierra, and probably not a big issue for the normal user.
My suggestion, more than at any other time with OS X, is to be sure that you have a full backup before you upgrade. Things happen sometimes when doing a major system upgrade, and you need to be sure that you have a way back, just in case your upgrade "goes south" on you.
Thanks for the warning!
 

Starfia

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Correct – when you "upgrade" to High Sierra from Sierra, you download a full standalone installer from the Mac App Store, then you run it.

If you want to create a standalone installer, you can use a special terminal command before running it, as described here:

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201372

(Also, agreed about the cautionary note – High Sierra makes some fundamental changes to the file system on some devices, and I don't think downgrading is generally recommended anyway unless you're prepared to do a clean install from an erased hard drive.)
 
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DeltaMac

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Older OS X versions, such as Mountain Lion, still have the separate function of Software Update, with its own dedicated window for installing security updates, for example. After Mountain Lion, the App Store provides the visible update functions for the system, and provides updates for both the system, and any apps that you have installed through the App Store.

But, you asked if the Updates tab provides the full installer. It only does the full installer, if you have not upgraded to High Sierra. If you are already booted to High Sierra, then updates to High Sierra would be incremental. You can always download the full installer from the Featured page, even if you are already running High Sierra (until High Sierra is replaced by whatever system version follows High Sierra)
 
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Texas_Toast

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Actually, what I was afraid might happen, apepars to be happening...

I am on my old MBP with Mountain Lion, and I started to download High Sierra from the App Store > Featured.

About 30 MB into my download, a window popped up in from of me that says...

macOS High Sierra
To set up the installation of macOS High Sierra, click Continue."

I do not want to install High Sierra on my old Mac, or my new Mac for that matter! I just want a full copy of High Sierra so I can make a USB thumbdrive installer.

What is going on here?
 

DeltaMac

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The download will sometimes result in just a "stub" app - a few MB, about 30MB, I think.
Running that will download the rest, but does not give you what you need - that complete full installer.
The app, with whatever is downloaded, will show in your Applications folder, but will be way too small.
Quit the installer, get info on the installer app. If the size is less than 5.2 GB, drag that app to the trash (empty the trash so it is gone), then try to download again.
 

Texas_Toast

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The download will sometimes result in just a "stub" app - a few MB, about 30MB, I think.
Running that will download the rest, but does not give you what you need - that complete full installer.
The app, with whatever is downloaded, will show in your Applications folder, but will be way too small.
Quit the installer, get info on the installer app. If the size is less than 5.2 GB, drag that app to the trash (empty the trash so it is gone), then try to download again.
What would happen if I clicked "Continue"?

(I assume it will try to install High Sierra, right?)

When I did this a couple of weeks ago with Sierra, I ended up with a 5.02 GB file in my Application folder.

I assume that downloading a full-copy of High Sierra would be very similar, right?
 

DeltaMac

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If you click "Continue", then the install starts - as you would expect...
You are also correct that the High Sierra installer will be more than 5GB.
I have occasionally got that result. Delete that small file, and try the download again.

Just a reminder, if the button to start the process says "Install", and not "Download", then you haven't deleted the old, small installer yet. You should get the large download that you really want, but might take a couple of attempts.
(Current download will be about 5.21 GB, just in case you need to check... )
 

Texas_Toast

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@DeltaMac

Are you sure part of the problem isn't that I'm running Mountain Lion?

I deleted the last file, emptied the Trash, rebooted, and this time instead of a "Get" button there was a "Download" button.

When I clicked on that, in a matter of a few seconds the same annoying pop-up window appears... :mad:

(I'd prefer getting a full copy of High Sierra using this old Mac in case I break something...)
[doublepost=1514053155][/doublepost]Okay, now I am getting scared...

If I go to Apple > App Store > Quick Links > High Sierra then I see this...

upload_2017-12-23_10-16-46.png



Notice how the button now says "Installed".

WTF?!!!!!!!!

Did I just install High Sierra the first time I tried this?

The first time the button said "Get".

Then after I deleted the app and emptied the Trash and rebooted, it said "Download".

On my third attempt it says "Installed".


Under my Applications folder I see...

Install macOS High Sierra.app 19.5 MB


What in the hell is going on??
 

DeltaMac

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If you have High Sierra "installed", then you would be booted to that new system.
What do you have NOW in your Apple menu/About This Mac?
 

Texas_Toast

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If you have High Sierra "installed", then you would be booted to that new system.
What do you have NOW in your Apple menu/About This Mac?
Apple > About this Mac says 10.8.5, but you saw the screenshot above.

Hopefully that "Installed" button just means that I downloaded that 19MB mini-installer file.

I looked at the link you provided, and several people said on older OS like Mountain Lion had similar problems due to outdated firmware.

If I try this on my Retina, can I 100% certain that by going to Apple > App Store > Quick Links > High Sierra and clicking on "Download" that it will ONLY download High Sierra and not install unless I run the installer?

If I knew that to be true, I think trying this from my Retina might solve the problem, other than I'd prefer to download on this old MBP.
 

DeltaMac

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I think I can be certain, when I say that if you click "download", that High Sierra will download.
When the download is complete, it will automatically launch the installer app, and a window will open, with the High Sierra default background, and a button that you can click "Continue", which will let you set up the installation of High Sierra.
When you see THAT window, if you press Continue, then that will start the install for your upgrade to High Sierra. It does NOT install automatically, until you click the continue button to start the process, which includes selecting the volume that you want to use for the installation. SO, you will get several chances to NOT install during that process, even after clicking Continue. Go to the Install macOS High Sierra menu, and choose Quit from that menu to, well, quit the installer.
And, now you will have the installer app, so you can do whatever you need to do with that. First step, copy the app to another directory, or better, to an external drive, where you can keep the app (if you run it to upgrade, it will delete itself - and you will need to download it AGAIN when you next need it. If you have it saved somewhere else, then use the app to create a bootable installer on a USB flash drive (or other bootable partition), then that's your goal!
 
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Bart Kela

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Neither macOS nor iOS will upgrade from one major version to another without user input. The user must accept the Terms and Conditions of Use (a.k.a. Software License) and which probably has boilerplate text about waiving the right to indemnify Apple if the software upgrade renders certain apps useless, etc.

This is not unique to Apple. If you try to update Windows 7 to Windows 10, you would have to click through a similar software license agreement.

You will not wake up to your Mavericks Mac running High Sierra one morning; it will not auto-install. You must manually accept the Terms and Conditions of the license agreement.

If I recall correctly, when the window pops up for a macOS upgrade, the "Decline" button is the highlighted one. You must deliberately move the mouse pointer to the "Accept" button and click that button.

There is nothing new with this. Apple has been requiring this opt-in software license acceptance for years (if not decades).

Same thing for many apps, even iTunes. You cannot make certain upgrades without specifically accepting the Terms and Conditions of Use.
 
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Texas_Toast

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There's several different fixes on this page.

Best, I think, is to try the terminal command
Code:
sudo softwareupdate --clear-catalog
The problem seemed to be my old MBP and its outdated firmware.

I just tried downloading High Sierra on my Retina and it worked with no issues.

5.21GB

When I have time, I will make an installer for both Sierra and High Sierra.

Hopefully then I can play around with each and try and become smart all of you gurus!

Thanks.
[doublepost=1514240740][/doublepost]
Neither macOS nor iOS will upgrade from one major version to another without user input. The user must accept the Terms and Conditions of Use (a.k.a. Software License) and which probably has boilerplate text about waiving the right to indemnify Apple if the software upgrade renders certain apps useless, etc.
Just wanted to be 100% certain, because I have read that once you install APFS, that your hard-drive is stuck that way forever!

I will upgrade to High Sierra soon, but am not quite ready yet.

Thanks!
 

Bart Kela

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Just wanted to be 100% certain, because I have read that once you install APFS, that your hard-drive is stuck that way forever!
I don't know where you read that but that statement is incorrect. Remember that not everything you read on the Internet is correct.

There is a lot of misinformation on the Internet, not just here at MacRumors, but pretty much anywhere.

You can reformat any drive; whether or not you want to make a backup of your data is up to you.

I recently downgraded a 2013 MacBook Air running High Sierra (APFS formatted SSD) back to Sierra (HFS+ formatted SSD). Of course, it required me to reformat the SSD back to the legacy HFS+ filesystem.

One cannot run Sierra on an APFS-formatted filesystem though.
 

Texas_Toast

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I don't know where you read that but that statement is incorrect. Remember that not everything you read on the Internet is correct.

There is a lot of misinformation on the Internet, not just here at MacRumors, but pretty much anywhere.

You can reformat any drive; whether or not you want to make a backup of your data is up to you.

I recently downgraded a 2013 MacBook Air running High Sierra (APFS formatted SSD) back to Sierra (HFS+ formatted SSD). Of course, it required me to reformat the SSD back to the legacy HFS+ filesystem.

One cannot run Sierra on an APFS-formatted filesystem though.
If and when I'm ready for High Sierra and APFS, I'm sure to be back with lots of questions!
 

Bart Kela

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I suggest you start with the Apple Support website as your primary source of information and not random stuff you read on the Internet. Also, look for reputable sites with longer form, well-documented content.

"I read somewhere on the Internet that..." is often precursor to some sort of misinformation, especially if the source is not provided.

Q&A forums like this one here at MacRumors are occasionally (but not always) decent sources of information. They are often better at troubleshooting actual problems when they are well detailed and documented. Q&A forums are not structured to be ideal tutorials or primers on topics.

Just be judicious about why you come to the Q&A forum.
 

Fishrrman

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If you're not getting "the full installer", the answer is in post 17 above. Did you read it?

That said, I'd avoid High Sierra for the moment. Still a work-in-progress.
Stick with Low Sierra -- mature product.
Or... even with El Capitan.
 

Texas_Toast

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If you're not getting "the full installer", the answer is in post 17 above. Did you read it?
I did read it.

And here is what I said in post #18... ;)

The problem seemed to be my old MBP and its outdated firmware.

I just tried downloading High Sierra on my Retina and it worked with no issues.

5.21GB



That said, I'd avoid High Sierra for the moment. Still a work-in-progress.
Stick with Low Sierra -- mature product.
Or... even with El Capitan.
Okay, good advice.

However, I just bought another Retina and wanted to play around with Sierra and High Sierra on that test laptop.

That is why I was asking for help with the High Sierra installer.

On my primary MBP (Retina), I am more than happy with Sierra for now!
 

hallux

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Apr 25, 2012
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Just wanted to be 100% certain, because I have read that once you install APFS, that your hard-drive is stuck that way forever!
I don't know where you read that but that statement is incorrect. Remember that not everything you read on the Internet is correct.
Yup, I can personally attest that it's possible as I've done it. It requires use of a Terminal command while booted to Recovery but it CAN be done.
 

serr

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Mar 8, 2010
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SOLUTION FOR FULL INSTALLER DOWNLOAD!

This is a solution if you are only able to download the 22MB "stub" installer file.
Also note that the Dosdude1 download tool is missing firmware updates for some models that need an update for the new APFS disk format. The Dosdude1 solution keeps itself offline (to skip signed file verification?). Maybe that's why? Whatever is going on there, the Dosdude1 download tool will download the packages and assemble an installer .app file that does not verify with the Apple createinstallmedia command.

This solution posted by prisstratton works:
https://7labs.io/tips-tricks/macos-high-sierra-direct-download.html


Note that the official Apple downloaded installer still has the bugs that call some unibody style models unsupported and will still fail for these. The Dosdude1 patched installer seems to work for all of these. (I think bug fix this was his first aim.) You may need a two step operation to update the firmware in some models followed by the patched installer.
 
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