2017 Mac Models: "macOS Sierra is already installed on this Mac"

powellbc
Contributor II

We got a new 2017 MBP in and I need to build a new netboot disk and install image for remediation purposes. When I try to do this I get an error in the app store when trying to download the Sierra installer that reads "macOS Sierra is already installed on this Mac." The macOS build on these Macs is 16F2073.

Is there a way to force the download of the installer? I tried modifiers like command and option with no luck. I could boot into recovery but getting the install.dmg off will be difficult without a plethora of dongles I don't have.

22 REPLIES 22

nvandam
Contributor II

Are you trying it from the purchase history section? Or just in the main store? I'm thinking if you try to do it from purchase history, assuming you've downloaded it before, it will still give a warning but give you the option to download.
I've tried doing this and it does turn out it's not in my purchase history. Good to know.

powellbc
Contributor II

That is not an option because the Sierra installer is no longer tied to an Apple ID.

mikeh
Contributor II

It's likely that even if you were able to download the installer, it wouldn't work on these new models, which have a hardware-specific build of 10.12.5. The next release of Sierra will most likely reunify these hardware-specific builds into the standard installer.

In our shop, we don't particularly worry about these hardware-specific builds, and just wait for the next release before building our NetBoot and install images. It does cause problems for deployment until we can deploy the reunified image, but we just fall back to manual enrollment, and then use Imaging to deploy the required packages without the OS image.

DEP (if you can use it, that is) can solve this problem for good, by eliminating the need for imaging altogether.

powellbc
Contributor II

Our bookstore sells student laptops with some software pre-loaded and our workflow is to netboot them to install the software but not manage them. We ended up doing the old process I read about way back when with these interstitial builds: Early 2015 macs - can not download "Install OS X Yosemite".

ChupSuy
New Contributor III

Anyone found a workaround on this yet? I'm sitting in the situation where we have to Image like 200 of these iMac 2017 aka iMac 18,1 .. while it is possible, just unbox & manual enrolling these, it is not the way we would like go.. sadly I have no physical access to this new hardware so booting these into recovery & trying to capture the installESD as kinda hard..

bainter
Contributor

Do not use the following procedure, I leave it here as an example of what not to do!!

FYI, I used AutoDMG to create a 10.12.5 Build 16F73 installer, but added the macOSUp10.12.5 updater from:

[https://support.apple.com/kb/DL1921?locale=en_US](link URL)

otherwise known as macOS Sierra 10.12.5 Update for 2017 iMacs.

Via Target Disk mode, mounted a 2017 MacBook Pro and restored it to the proper 10.12.5 Build 16F2073. Filevault'd and appears in working order.

66e050ae6ddb408cbef208c12eb0f835

ChupSuy
New Contributor III

Bainter: THX for the tip, you saved me a ton of headache .. this workaround works flawless to create a 2017 supporting NetBoot & base image.. 🙂

powellbc
Contributor II

I posted a link to a different process on June 8th. Either way, a pain.

bainter
Contributor

@ChupSuy I just found this posting by @mapurcel

[https://www.jamf.com/jamf-nation/discussions/24596/recovery-partition-and-2017-macbook-pros](link URL)

I can't test this on my 2017 MBP right now due to a lengthy file transfer.

bainter
Contributor

Unfortunately, I verify using the above process with AutoDMG using the Build 16F73 Installer and updating with macOS 10.12.5 Update for 2017 iMacs to create the build 16F2073 installer results in no functioning Recovery or Diagnostics. Filevault does continue to function.
Invoking Recovery (restart MBP with Command R) results in no boot icon. Pressing D to invoke diagnostics at boot up yields a date/time stamp and "Failed to Initialize Product Drive. Status = E"

StoneMagnet
Contributor III

@bainter What boot volumes do you see as available if you restart the MBP with the option key held down? It's my understanding FV2 requires a functional recovery partition, so how FV2 works for you without being able to boot a recovery partition with command-r is a mystery.

bainter
Contributor

@StoneMagnet Option key down only reveals the boot volume (ComputerName). However, once you select the Computer, it now displays the circle with slash. Filevault was functional as I DisableFDEAutoLogin to get the second loginwindow. When the 2017 MBP mounts via target disk mode on another Mac, it does prompt for the Filevault unlock password and proceeds as expected.

gabe2385
New Contributor III

I was able to create a bootable image using the instruction from this website, https://pkg.fm/blog/create-a-forked-sierra-autodmg-image I tested on the new 2017 MBP with touch bar and the new 2017 iMac and had no issues so far.

StoneMagnet
Contributor III

@bainter I misunderstood your comment that FileVault "continues to function". While you have a FileVault encrypted boot volume you don't have the required Recovery Partition on the drive so that you can actually boot the machine.

bainter
Contributor

@StoneMagnet Boy has this been a nightmare. Did not research properly here at JAMF, otherwise would have avoided spreading bad info to @ChupSuy and others. Was under the gun to deliver this MBP to a user waiting for it before heading out to sea.

After restoring the MBP with the AutoDMG'd/updated installer, I set about configuring it, enabling Filevault, recording the recovery key, then rebooting it showed it was operating normally. Filevault login succeeds, then second loginwindow appears. "diskutil cs list" showed the appropriate partitions were there.

It wasn't until I restarted, invoked Internet Recovery (failed) then Diagnostics (failed) that revealed a problem. Then pressing Option at the restart showed only the ComputerName, selecting it displayed the circle with slash, (no bootable volume). It stayed in that loop through restarts, rendering it unusable.

Took the MBP to the Apple Store, I asked the Genius to restore to build 2073 image, since I had no access to it. Once that was accomplished, all was well. He informed me they had received an internal briefing in which if the SSD volume or other component was formatted or affected beyond a certain point, the MBP would need to go to depot-level to be repaired. Not sure exactly what he meant and I couldn't wait for elaboration.

jwiswell
New Contributor II

@bainter - Most likely the Genius meant that depending on how far gone it was they'd have to physically replace the SSD, which I'm guessing they can't do in store.

StoneMagnet
Contributor III

@bainter I definitely understand your frustration. I still have scars from dealing with imaging issues on Fusion drive equipped iMacs.

@jwiswell FYI, the Touch Bar model MBPs don't have a replaceable SSD module like earlier MBPs - it's now soldered to the motherboard. Just another reason to hope you don't keep the machine longer than the AppleCare period.

pcrandom
Contributor

Slight tangent: Has anyone seen the 16F2104 build of macOS 10.12.5? According to https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204319 the 13-inch should have come with 16F2073.

I got a 2017 (Kaby Lake) 13-inch MacBook Pro w/Touch Bar and it came with 16F2104. When I search on that, I only get a handful a results, as opposed to searching for 16F2073, which gets lots of search results.

I used @rtrouton's article from 2012, to capture a custom InstallESD, which was also 16F2104. I was able to build a base image with AutoDMG, build a netboot image with AutoCasperNBI, and it netboots both the new models and old Macs.

I just got a new 2017 15-inch MacBook Pro w/Touch Bar, and it came with 16F2073. I'm assuming 16F2104 will work on it, but I'm still curious about the difference.

rstasel
Contributor III

So, just tried this, and AutoCasperNBI is saying it can't read OS version, so it's not progressing.

How did you get past that?

pcrandom
Contributor

@staze - Sorry, I forgot a half-step in the process. I pointed AutoCasperNBI to the base image generated by AutoDMG using the captured InstallESD; I didn't use the captured InstallESD itself with AutoCasperNBI.

rstasel
Contributor III

Ahhhh... that makes sense.

Okay, will try that next. Thanks!

rstasel
Contributor III

Hey @pcrandom,

That worked great, thank you!