So I sit down at my desk yesterday all hyped to upgrade to the latest version of Ableton Live 10. Once I'm ready to launch the app and see if it works, I get this error message.
OSX too old

Depression! Of course this would happen to me. Since I run a Hackintosh on a custom build, upgrading my OSX is always somewhat of a perilous adventure. I built this computer in January 2015, and getting it up and running as a Hackintosh took a ton of work.

Found my tweet for 2015 just for kicks. So now, I start looking into how to upgrade my OSX, but the rabbit hole only leads deeper. Unibeast? Clover? Chamelon, Chimera, UEFI, and now APFS? Something, something, video card, kext... The plethora of jargon and acronyms break through the dam staving off the nightmares from Hackintosh-Setup Past. I take in a deep breath and prepare to embark on this Upgrade Mission.

The Upgrade Process

Some quick specs since YMMV

Intel i7 4790k

ATI Radeon R9 280x

Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD7-TH

Hard Drive
Intel 730 Series 2.5" 480GB SATA 6Gb/s SSD

0. Backup!

I always run a full backup by cloning my disk before starting on upgrades because something always goes terribly wrong. This time was no exception, as I didn't copy some drivers over correctly on the first attempt and was unable to boot to my original system for a few hours. I had to boot into my backup and do some sleuthing before things were up and running smoothly. So long story short, always backup!

I used Carbon Copy Cloner. The free trial should be fine.
Carbon Copy Cloner

Took me about an hour.

1. Update Clover

So I'm already running on the Clover bootloader, which allows for a pretty easy OS upgrade. The first thing I did was upgrade to the latest version by downloading the Clover Configurator and using the Update tab on the left.

Update Clover

And follow the install prompts...

Once Clover was successfully updated, I rebooted to make sure I could still boot into my machine.

2. Update Mac Model

So unbeknownst to me, I was using a super old Mac Model number for my setup. Ideally, you find the model that has the closest specs to your machine starting from the CPU. I was set on some old Mac Pro from 2008 (I just picked it randomly when I first built this machine). Now, since Macs from 2008 and earlier aren't supported on Sierra and above, I was forced to update. I followed this guide about updating SMBios on Tonymacx86 after finding the correct Mac Model at Every Mac.

Tonymacx86 SMBios Upgrade Guide

Every Mac for model lookup

I went with 14,1 since it matches my ATI video card and i7 4790k CPU.

3. Upgrade to Sierra 10.12

I decided to take the safer route of upgrading to 10.12 Sierra first before going to 10.13 High Sierra.

I was running OSX El Capitan 10.11.15, and I followed this guide to upgrade directly to Sierra (for Clover users).

Tonymacx86 guide for upgrading from El Capitan to Sierra

Since Sierra is pretty old now, you have to download it from a special link provided by Apple Support.

Download Sierra from the App Store

The only thing I had to do that wasn't mentioned in the Tonymacx86 guide is copy over my custom kexts from my 10.11 installation. For me, these were kept on my EFI partition at /EFI/CLOVER/kexts...

EFI Kexts

So 10.12 would be used for Sierra, and 10.11 is what I'm currently on. I didn't copy these at first and I ran into a kernel panic on boot. The stack trace showed that AppleIntelE1000e.kext was probably the culprit.

Ahh.. stack traces...

Kernel Extensions in backtrace: ...
com.insanelymac.driver.AppleIntelE1000e(3.3.3) ...

So to fix this, I booted into my cloned backup, mounted the EFI partition of my main disk, and then copied over the kexts I mentioned above into the folder of my new OS version number (10.12 for Sierra).

Was a real relief when this worked.

Sierra was working fine after.

4. Upgrade to High Sierra

Similar process as above - follow the guide, copy the kexts, and upgrade directly from the App Store!

Tonymacx86 guide for upgrading from Sierra to High Sierra

Note: I did the APFS method, which upgrades your file system to a newer format. You should only use this if you're using an SSD and not a HDD.

Everything was up and running fine afterwards. I think onboard audio doesn't work out of the box, but it's not a problem for me since I use a USB audio interface. There's a post here that talks about installing audio drivers.

5. Boom


Now I'm happily on High Sierra, and I just installed Ableton Live 10.