peterter
Contributor
Contributor

When trying to upgrade a VM from macOS 10.12.6 to 10.13.4, getting error

Jump to solution

On VMWare Fusion, I have a VM with macOS 10.12.6 (Sierra) and I'm trying to upgrade it to 10.13.4 (Newest High Sierra).

When the install begins, it asks to choose a partition.

When trying to choose the only partition I have ("Macintosh HD"), a tooltip error pops up:

"You may not install to this volume because the computer is missing a firmware partition."

This VM is almost empty, with no tweaking of the hardware parameters.

The Fusion version is 10.1.1

Has anyone experienced this?

Screen Shot 2018-04-10 at 13.20.57.png

0 Kudos
1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
dariusd
Leadership
Leadership

It appears that Apple have changed their macOS Installer in 10.13.4 to require that the target disk for an upgrade be an "internal" disk, and unfortunately our virtual SATA hard disks are currently considered "external".  (This can be seen in the guest's Disk Utility, or in System Information under Hardware > Storage.)

We're still investigating a long-term solution, but in the meantime, here's a workaround:

  1. Shut down the macOS 10.12.x virtual machine.
  2. If you have any concerns about the following steps, it's highly recommended that you back up your virtual machine.  A snapshot is not a backup!
  3. Go into the virtual machine's Settings, and choose General, then change OS from macOS 10.12 to macOS 10.13.
  4. Close the Settings window.
  5. IMPORTANT: Close the virtual machine's window.
  6. In Fusion's Virtual Machine Library, right-click (or Ctrl+click) on the VM, then hold the Option key and choose the Open Config File in Editor option which appears.
  7. Go down to the very bottom of the file.
  8. Add a new line containing the following:
    ahci.port.hotplug.enabled = FALSE
    Other options in the file probably have double-quotes around them... They aren't strictly necessary here, but if you do add them, be very careful to check that you are inserting straight quotes and not "66"-"99" style smart/typographic quotes.  (In TextEdit, untick Edit > Substitutions > Smart Quotes.)
  9. Save the file and close the TextEdit window.
  10. In Fusion's Virtual Machine Library, double-click on the VM to open it and power it on.
  11. Once macOS 10.12.x is started, locate the macOS 10.13.4 installer and launch it.  It should now be possible to proceed with the installation.
  12. After the upgrade is complete, power off the VM.
  13. Repeat steps 5 through 9 to remove the ahci.port.hotplug.enabled option.

Your virtual machine should now be successfully upgraded to macOS 10.13.4.

Hope this helps!

--

Darius

View solution in original post

0 Kudos
13 Replies
dlhotka
Champion
Champion

I believe that its missing a recovery partition.

0 Kudos
peterter
Contributor
Contributor

The thing is, I had an old macOS upgrade file for 10.13.2, and it worked.

Only the 10.13.4 gives this error...

0 Kudos
A_VAN_GENT
Contributor
Contributor

So that would be a new restriction coming from 10.13.4 ? But where can we find a 10.3.2 image ? I have bought a Fusion 10 license so that I could upgrade a VM, and now I am blocked;;;

0 Kudos
1GTLBJS
Contributor
Contributor

I got the same “You may not install to this volume because the computer is missing a firmware partition.”

message when I tried to upgrade a 10.12 Sierra guest to 10.13 High Sierra on a 10.12.6 host.

(I also got the message trying to create a new install 10.13 guest.)

Previously I had never done a 10.13 install or upgrade on the host.

After doing a 10.13 install from the host to an external drive, I shut down, disconnected the external drive, rebooted back to my normal 10.12.6 install.

After that, the 10.13 upgrade in the guest worked fine.

Based on minimal testing, the 10.13 guest seems to be working fine under 10.12.6.

This was all under VMware Fusion Pro 10.1.1.

0 Kudos
peterter
Contributor
Contributor

So, if I understood correctly, you updated your host to 10.13.4, and then it also worked on the guest?

My host is currently 10.13.3...

0 Kudos
dariusd
Leadership
Leadership

It appears that Apple have changed their macOS Installer in 10.13.4 to require that the target disk for an upgrade be an "internal" disk, and unfortunately our virtual SATA hard disks are currently considered "external".  (This can be seen in the guest's Disk Utility, or in System Information under Hardware > Storage.)

We're still investigating a long-term solution, but in the meantime, here's a workaround:

  1. Shut down the macOS 10.12.x virtual machine.
  2. If you have any concerns about the following steps, it's highly recommended that you back up your virtual machine.  A snapshot is not a backup!
  3. Go into the virtual machine's Settings, and choose General, then change OS from macOS 10.12 to macOS 10.13.
  4. Close the Settings window.
  5. IMPORTANT: Close the virtual machine's window.
  6. In Fusion's Virtual Machine Library, right-click (or Ctrl+click) on the VM, then hold the Option key and choose the Open Config File in Editor option which appears.
  7. Go down to the very bottom of the file.
  8. Add a new line containing the following:
    ahci.port.hotplug.enabled = FALSE
    Other options in the file probably have double-quotes around them... They aren't strictly necessary here, but if you do add them, be very careful to check that you are inserting straight quotes and not "66"-"99" style smart/typographic quotes.  (In TextEdit, untick Edit > Substitutions > Smart Quotes.)
  9. Save the file and close the TextEdit window.
  10. In Fusion's Virtual Machine Library, double-click on the VM to open it and power it on.
  11. Once macOS 10.12.x is started, locate the macOS 10.13.4 installer and launch it.  It should now be possible to proceed with the installation.
  12. After the upgrade is complete, power off the VM.
  13. Repeat steps 5 through 9 to remove the ahci.port.hotplug.enabled option.

Your virtual machine should now be successfully upgraded to macOS 10.13.4.

Hope this helps!

--

Darius

0 Kudos
peterter
Contributor
Contributor

Thank very much for you detailed answer!

Apple never stops surprising us with unexpected "features"... Smiley Happy

I already upgraded from 10.12.6 to 10.13.2 and from there to 10.13.4 and it worked this way - it's longer but possible.

I hope your answer will help other people, meanwhile I'm flagging it as "correct" (I have faith in you brave VMWare guys, dealing with macOS internals).

0 Kudos
1GTLBJS
Contributor
Contributor

To clarify, I'm running 10.12.6, I installed 10.13 on an external drive, rebooted back to 10.12.6 on the internal drive, then I was able to update the 10.12 guest to 10.13 without getting the "firmware partition" complaint.

0 Kudos
tibbus
Contributor
Contributor

Hey @dariusd , I've tried this for Vmware Workstation on Windows 10 and the VM doesn't boot up anymore `Attempting to start up from: ....`

Any solution for Windows host ?

0 Kudos
RDPetruska
Leadership
Leadership

Hey @dariusd , I've tried this for Vmware Workstation on Windows 10 and the VM doesn't boot up anymore `Attempting to start up from: ....`

Any solution for Windows host ?

What guest OS? What Workstation version?

You should probably post your issue as a new question in the Workstation forum...

0 Kudos
tibbus
Contributor
Contributor

Workstation version : VMware Workstation 12 Pro  (12.5.5 build-5234757)

Host : Windows 10

Guest OS : macOS 10.12.6

0 Kudos
dariusd
Leadership
Leadership

Hi tibbus,

We only support macOS guests when running inside VMware Fusion or VMware ESXi, and running on Apple-branded hardware (in order to comply with Apple's Software License Agreement).  We can't provide assistance with other configurations here in the forums.

Thanks,

--

Darius

0 Kudos
LLkLRk
Contributor
Contributor

Attempting to use these instructions to upgrade an OS X 10.10 image to 10.13.4 failed. Reverting the OS in Settings > General from 10.13 to 10.10, however, fixed the problem and allowed me to upgrade to 10.13.4 using an Install Mac OS X.app.

0 Kudos