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[Guide] Avoid APFS conversion on High Sierra update or fresh install

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As you already know, macOS High Sierra includes a new file system APFS. If your system drive is solid state, the installer will convert from HFS+J to APFS in both a fresh install scenario and an update scenario.

Fortunately, there a ways around this automatic conversion. It is controlled by the ConvertToAPFS option in /macOS Install Data/minstallconfig.xml.


Update scenario

The update scenario is a little bit easier than the fresh install procedures, as there is a command line tool we can run that sets ConvertToAPFS false with a command line option.

After downloading the 10.13 installer, instead of running it, quit.

Then in Terminal:
Code:
/Applications/"Install macOS High Sierra.app"/Contents/Resources/startosinstall --converttoapfs NO --agreetolicense
The system will copy some files, then reboot, and you'll be able to start the installer (without APFS conversion) by booting the "Boot macOS Install from ..." option in Clover.


Fresh install scenario

Refer to this guide for an overview of the installation process from USB:
https://www.tonymacx86.com/threads/guide-booting-the-os-x-installer-on-laptops-with-clover.148093/

The process involves creating an installer USB with createinstallmedia, then booting that USB (via Clover on the same USB). You then run the installer create an HFS+J partition suitable for macOS with Disk Utility, then point the installer to that partition.

Even though you create a new HFS+J partition, if the target is an SSD, the installer will still convert it to APFS.

To avoid that, after running the installer, and upon the first reboot where you would be normally directing Clover to boot the next stage of the installer by selecting "Boot macOS Install from ...", instead boot the "install_osx" partition on USB again. When that is finished booting, choose Terminal from the Utilities menu.

Now, in Terminal, navigate to your target volume:
Code:
# list /Volumes to remind yourself of the name you gave it
ls -l /Volumes
# then change your working directory to it (in my case, I used '1013')
cd /Volumes/1013
# now change to the "macOS Install Data" directory
cd "macOS Install Data"
Now, still in Terminal, edit the minstallconfig.xml file with vi:
Code:
vi minstallconfig.xml
You will find code:
Code:
    <key>ConvertToAPFS</key>
    <true/>
Your goal is to change the true to false.

If you know how to use vi, this will not be a problem. Otherwise, follow the instructions below very carefully:
- arrow such that the cursor is at the 't' in 'true'
- press the Del key (forward delete) four times (this removes 'true')
- press i (this puts vi into insert mode)
- type 'false' (without the quotes)
- press Esc (this takes vi out of insert mode)

The result should look like:
Code:
    <key>ConvertToAPFS</key>
    <false/>
If the file looks good:
- press ':wq' (without the quotes) and press enter (':wq' saves the file and exits vi)

If the file doesn't look right, don't save it:
- press ':q!' (without the quotes) and press enter

That's it! Now you're ready to quit Terminal, reboot, and continue the installation process by booting the "Boot macOS Install from ..." partition. When you're done, you'll have a fresh install on HFS+J instead of APFS.


Background information

https://forums.developer.apple.com/thread/48793
http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/topic/324194-pre-release-macos-high-sierra/page-191#entry2497909
Looks simple enough. Great guide. I personally think its better to stick with HFS+ on a Hack anyway.
 
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I did; now it refuses to download installer information to target volume. Not sure what's going on. Will continue to investigate.
If you want to re-download installer from AppStore, you need to delete any previous downloaded HighSierra installer, also if you moved it in another directory..
 
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I cant find minstallconfig.xml
,Where is it,?

Help me plz!
 
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Install completed. Previously working WiFi, e.g. compatible card per guide, is not not recognized in High Sierra. Verbose boot shows IO80211 subscription failed. Per DPCIManager card is Broadcom BCM43224 802.11a/b/g/n with vendor ID 14E4, and is linked to FakePCIID.kext.
 
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RehabMan

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I don't know why, I have no issues
 

Feartech

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Just like to add that I used this method and as I don't need apfs.efi, the system boots up quicker as well :)
 
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Anyone have dual disk/dual boot systems? I have osx on one SSD with clover on it and another with windows 10 ntfs fs.
will apfs try anything funny with the second drive or would it be smart to force high sierra to use the original filesystem and not the new one. just curious. thanks
 
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