Perseverance, Analytics, Search expressions and a little luck.

Alex Schiessl's photo
Alex Schiessl

Published on Nov 1, 2021

7 min read

Pair perseverance, some good analytic skills, the ability to build the right search expressions and a little luck and you most likely get a success story.

So as many of you already know, Apple put some speedy new hardware out on the marketplace, coming with it a new version of their OS, called macOS Monterey.

After watching the Apple Live event on Youtube I went to view the aftermath of Luke Miani stream and saw him spent thousands and thousands of $ for the new Apple hardware. Of course he is a Youtuber who make his living around videos about Apple hardware, but you also could see, the somewhat critical, Apple fanboy and the little child that wants what it wants and it wants it now.

As a grown up, I'm hopefully no longer in the phase "I've to have it, cause it is new and shinny. And very speedy, too.".

I did the thing a grown up should do, at least what I think they should do, assess the situation, gather information, think about the options and alternatives and eventually after weighing facts, arguments and reasons come to a decision.

Ok my decision was, that the new MacBook Pro's are not for me, at least for now. Yes they have many good new things I like and want. Like speed, more memory, a larger screen, Magsafe cable again, more extension ports and most important they got rid of the awful touchpad, I could not stand.

In the beginning I was ready to shelve out the big bugs (keep in mind in Germany you have to pay a 19% luxury tax and some extra money for a Media device) for a somewhat pimped 14" MacBook Pro. But then the cruel awakening came, when they showed the stupid notch in the screen. Yes it was a technical reason, why they did it, but where is the "Function follows Design" approach? I accept a notch in a smartphone, cause of the space and you still want some goodies on the screen side. But for a Notebook this is a no go, at least for me. And of course the notch became a somewhat issue prone "feature", soon, too.

I use my menubar to display a lot of extra information, and of course you could hide some information in the Control Centre, but I don't want to do the extra click. All I want to do ist lift my eyes a little bit and see the information. And hence, I don't like loosing screen real estate in my menubar. That means for me the Notch is a "No buy argument". And I hope Apple is listening and get rid of it sooner than later, at least make it a configurable option.

Anyhow that meant, I do not have to rob my bank account to buy me a new gadget from Apple. But that also means I'm stuck with my Apple MacBook Pro late 2013, running the last supported OS macOS Big Sur. Not getting new hardware meant, I at least want the new OS macOS Monterey. But after investigating I learned that my MacBook Pro was no longer supported for that OS. And as most of you know, that's sooner or later the end of macOS on my machine.

Cause if Apple decides to stop making security fixes for that OS, you should not use it any longer. So I accepted the fact, that I have to switch to Linux sooner or later on my MacBook Pro. At least I can use one feature Apple is still the best, sustainability. Which other computer hardware producer, produces hardware that is still usable after 5+ years. And my MacBook Pro is no exception. It is in good shape, display is still fine, keyboard is in order, battery still has a good state and the CPU is still decent enough to run and do my tasks. I admit I use my MacBook Pro mainly for programming, writing, conceptional work, surfing and once in a while it goes with me on a trip.

Shortly, after settling with my decision to keep Big Sur and switch to Linux in an appropriate timespan, I stumbled over a Youtube video from Mr. Macintosh, in which he described how to get macOS Monterey on unsupported Mac's. And it was a great inspiring video. So since we have a public holiday in my state in Germany on 1.11.2021, I started the process to throw macOS Monterey on my "unsupported" MacBook Pro.

But as usual, Youtubers makes it sound easy and it looks always so polished with them. Of course I ran into problems.

First I wanted to do an image from my MacBook Pro SSD, but for some reason my external SSD was 1 GB to small for it. So I did a new TimeMachine backup, which took forever. After that and the download of macOS Monterey was finished I created the bootable USB as described in this article. Then I continued with the steps which involves the OpenCore Legacy Patcher. And what did you know I was at the point to install macOS Monterey.

So of course I wanted just the update install. But as soon as I pressed the "continue" button my MacBook Pro froze and nothing happened. I rebooted a couple more times to see if it was a hick up or a consistent pattern. And it was a pattern. I then, deleted the internal SSD to see if this is the problem that prevents the install process. And since I had made a TimeMachine backup after all it shouldn't be a problem and I don't loose any data. But no success, yet.

So naturally after all that rebooting and deleting of the SSD, I thought that I did something wrong with the steps to create the bootable USB stick. So I started over. But this time during the "createinstallmedia" command, I got an error. Ok once again, erase and do it, again. But the Disk Utility said the USB stick is no longer erasable. I was puzzled, what is the problem!? But as it seems the 16 GB USB stick was bad and I was lucky to get one try out of it. Neither under Linux or Windows I was able to revive that USB stick again. So the broken macOS install was because of a broken USB stick. Luckily I had an old Windows 7 16 GB stick laying around and even it was not used for many years, it still worked.

Start over time. After spending already hours and hours preparing, rebooting, analysing, searching, reading, watching Youtube videos, I started from the beginning with a new 16 GB USB stick. And after a hour or so, I was at the same point I was hours before. But this time pressing the "continue" button lead to success, after another 3+ hours I was booting into macOS Monterey, eventually.

Wow, that was hard, nothing compared to previous macOS updates. Never have I spent so many hours for an OS upgrade. But it was a success. Of course there was a moment of horror, when I tried a reboot (without USB stick present) and I got an error message (blinking folder with a question mark and a link below) from apple on the screen. So naturally I thought "F*ck, your Mac is bricked!", but after watching the Mr. Macintosh video again on my iPad, I knew I forgot one after-install step. It was the copy of the OpenCore to the internal SSD EFI partition. After that was done, reboot was no issue any more.

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So as I wrote in the title, perseverance, analysing the problems and informations, build good search expressions for the search engines that deliver the informations and tools you need, and of course some lucky accidents helped me have success and having macOS Monterey on my MacBook Pro late 2013. Ok I have now a somewhat hacked piece of hardware, but I kept one otherwise deemed "retired" Apple hardware alive.

And it also showed that without all these knowledgeable, nerdy geeks and Youtubers no success would have been possible so my special thanks go to Mr. Macintosh , dortania and all the people behind the OpenCore Legacy Patcher & Website and Dinesh from TechNClub , for making my success even possible.

As always apply this rule: "Questions, feel free to ask. If you have ideas or find errors, mistakes, problems or other things which bother or enjoy you, use your common sense and be a self-reliant human being."

Have a good one. Alex

 
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