Issues with downgrade (2017 Macs)

petterihiisila

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 7, 2010
80
28
Finland
I gave High Sierra a try, but would like to downgrade to Sierra for now. MacBook 12" 2017 with "i5" Kaby Lake.

The problem is, the restore partition would now clean-install 10.13 beta again, and I don't want that. And it also appears the App Store version of Sierra 10.12.5 is not compatible with the latest MacBook. Now THAT was surprising. "This version of macOS 10.12.5 cannot be installed on this computer."

I did try to create a USB drive from a 10.12.5 image I had, but the MacBook won't boot from it. It does work on my older 2015 MacBook. And there doesn't seem to be a 2017-compatible Sierra for MacBook available anywhere. I've got a clone of a working Sierra installation for 2015 MacBook, but that wouldn't boot this machine either.

I guess I'll stick with High Sierra for a while longer then. If you can think of alternatives, I'd be curious to know. Apple Support recommended waiting until a compatible Sierra version appears to App Store, but had no inside information about the date.
 

chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
8,180
2,512
I gave High Sierra a try, but would like to downgrade to Sierra for now. MacBook 12" 2017 with "i5" Kaby Lake.

The problem is, the restore partition would now clean-install 10.13 beta again, and I don't want that. And it also appears the App Store version of Sierra 10.12.5 is not compatible with the latest MacBook. Now THAT was surprising. "This version of macOS 10.12.5 cannot be installed on this computer."

I did try to create a USB drive from a 10.12.5 image I had, but the MacBook won't boot from it. It does work on my older 2015 MacBook. And there doesn't seem to be a 2017-compatible Sierra for MacBook available anywhere. I've got a clone of a working Sierra installation for 2015 MacBook, but that wouldn't boot this machine either.

I guess I'll stick with High Sierra for a while longer then. If you can think of alternatives, I'd be curious to know. Apple Support recommended waiting until a compatible Sierra version appears to App Store, but had no inside information about the date.
You need to either use internet recovery or wait for 10.12.6 to restore your iMac to Sierra. The 2017 Macs use a custom version of 10.12.5 that isn't available on the App Store.
 

petterihiisila

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 7, 2010
80
28
Finland
It's going to be the "wait" option. Internet recovery by default offers 10.13 beta, after High Sierra has updated the recovery partition. Then again, this beta isn't so bad. It's not a big pain to stick with it, but I'd rather use Sierra, it gave me better battery life.
 

petterihiisila

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 7, 2010
80
28
Finland
Actually I had forgotten there’s an online recovery option. Using it right now, Sierra coming up. Gotta wipe the APFS disk first, but this seems to be the solution. Thanks!
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,160
5,521
OP wrote:
"I gave High Sierra a try, but would like to downgrade to Sierra for now. MacBook 12" 2017 with "i5" Kaby Lake."

This is why before trying out a new upgrade, one ALWAYS creates a bootable cloned backup of the "old" OS by using either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper.

IF you had done this, it would be trivial matter of:
1. Booting from the cloned backup
2. Re-initializing the internal drive
3. RE-cloning the cloned backup BACK TO the internal drive
All done!
 

petterihiisila

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 7, 2010
80
28
Finland
OP wrote:
"This is why before trying out a new upgrade, one ALWAYS creates a bootable cloned backup of the "old" OS by using either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper.
Good advice ... in a general case.

As I said in the OP, I had a bootable clone as a sparse bundle ready to go. Made it with SuperDuper like always. CCC is also fine.

You see: a bootable clone made with 2015 rMB is not bootable in 2017 rMB. The general workflow fails.

It’s now being solved. Internet Recovery takes hours, but it’s chugging along. I was even able to install that dBrand skin while doing it. Damn that Dragon Skin looks good on Rose Gold.
 

cudifying

macrumors member
Jul 5, 2016
48
15
Do you have any news on this? I tried doing internet recovery but that resulted in an error :( I have no idea what to do anymore. All I want to do is downgrade high Sierra to sierra
 

cudifying

macrumors member
Jul 5, 2016
48
15
Have you tried the suggestion in post #4?

See the Start up from macOS Recovery section:
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204904
I think I did yes. Is this different from Internet Recovery?

Internet Recovery uses Option + Command + R right? if there is a difference I will try again. However I am almost certain I tried both key combinations.


I just tried again. it shows High Sierra as the latest available OS. When I tried to select it, it said Recovery servers could not be contacted. Im not sure it can get any worse from here on out
 
Last edited:

CoastalOR

macrumors 68020
Jan 19, 2015
2,455
899
Oregon, USA
I think I did yes. Is this different from Internet Recovery?
Internet Recovery uses Option + Command + R right? if there is a difference I will try again. However I am almost certain I tried both key combinations.
I just tried again. it shows High Sierra as the latest available OS. When I tried to select it, it said Recovery servers could not be contacted. Im not sure it can get any worse from here on out
"Is this different from Internet Recovery?" Yes.
Per post # 4 and the link in my post, you need to use Shift-Option-Command-R (your new Mac shipped with OS 10.12.5 which is newer than 10.12.4), if you want to install the OS that shipped with your Mac.

I have not encountered your problem, but according to the "How to reinstall macOS" Apple Support instructions, this is the way to recover your original 10.12.5 macOS. If the Shift-Option-Command-R does not work then I would recommend contacting Apple Support.
 

cudifying

macrumors member
Jul 5, 2016
48
15
"Is this different from Internet Recovery?" Yes.
Per post # 4 and the link in my post, you need to use Shift-Option-Command-R (your new Mac shipped with OS 10.12.5 which is newer than 10.12.4), if you want to install the OS that shipped with your Mac.

I have not encountered your problem, but according to the "How to reinstall macOS" Apple Support instructions, this is the way to recover your original 10.12.5 macOS. If the Shift-Option-Command-R does not work then I would recommend contacting Apple Support.
Copying from my own thread:

I WAS ABLE TO DO IT. 3:30 in the morning and I just booted into Sierra. I will update this post in a few hours, all credit however goes to reaperx321 on reddit. He had the same issue on his 2016 MB and walked me through it all step by step.

It involved using Internet Recovery twice in a row and erasing the main drive twice. Will update with a more detailed post in the morning.
 

petterihiisila

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 7, 2010
80
28
Finland
It involved using Internet Recovery twice in a row and erasing the main drive twice. Will update with a more detailed post in the morning.
Glad it worked out. I was able to do it with one Internet Recovery round. It was untrivial to get rid of the APFS partition at first, but Sierra's terminal version of "diskutil apfs deleteContainer", combined with a few erase attempts via Disk Utility GUI was able to wipe off any signs of APFS. From there it was just the long wait to get Sierra chunks downloaded via the regular GUI.
 
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