Coffee lake clean update with OpenCore from Catalina to Monterrey (upgrade OpenCore for dummies)

Coffee lake clean update with OpenCore from Catalina to Monterrey (upgrade OpenCore for dummies)

After a couple of days of digging and learning I was finally able to upgrade to macOS Monterrey on my hackintosh. Even though reading the dortania guide for updating and researching was great again, I also found myself thinking "there's got to be a simpler way". Today I found it and I want to share it with you. This post will be really useful if you're a dummy like who doesn't really understand much of what you're doing or if you've forgotten everything since the last time you hackintoshed.

Things I used:

OpenCore 0.7.8 (it's the one currently covered by Dortania, so I thought it was the stabler one)


OpenCore Auxiliary Tools


My build:

Intel i5-8400

MSI Z370 PC Pro

Radeon RX580 8GB Sapphire Nitro+

16gb DDR4 RAM

Kingston SATA SSD(And other drives I use on Windows)

This guide won't work for AMD as far as I've read. I'd also have to add that I don't use Bluetooth or WiFi. I have an Ethernet connection so I "had it easy".

The steps I wanted to accomplish were the following:

  • Update OpenCore
  • Prepare a USB Drive to test the udpated OpenCore
  • Test the new EFI on an USB drive
  • Backup macOS an external drive via Time Machine
  • Install macOS Monterrey via the setting update menu. And it worked!


Step 1: Update OpenCore

First was updating OpenCore. This is where I spent 90% of my two days, and it was all because I was trying to follow Dortania's guide which is amazing but understandingly vague as it has to work in SO many cases. I was about to give up when I found this guide by 5T33Z0.

You need to get your EFI folder and copy it in order to update it. For that, I used mountEFI. It's fairly simple. You run mountEFI.command (using the right click -> open method) and select your macOS drive. After that, close the terminal and go to Finder->EFI. Copy the EFI folder and paste it on your desktop or wherever you want to work. That's going to be the new and updated EFI folder and we are going to be placing it back at the end. Before we continue, go back to the finder and eject that EFI drive so we don't get confused with it later.

After that, you just follow 5T33Z0's guide to update OpenCore with OpenCore Auxiliary Tools and it's completely painless. Best experience ever which only left me with minor issues like updating kexts (which you can also do via OCAT) and mapping the USB (which is REALLY important). You won't have to update most of the kexts but I would recommend it. You can also update them after you upgrade to macOS Monterrey, EXCEPT for the USBMap.kext which is mandatory.

It seems that since Big Sur 11.3+, Apple changed the way it reads the USBs and requires them to be declared. That is about as technical as I can get about it. I found this really cool video by TechNolli explaining a very easy and foolproof way to map the USBs in your computer using HackinTool. Basically what you do is map the external (and usable) USBs and then the utility exports everything as a kext. You declare the kext using ProperTree or OCAT and that's it! (All of these steps are explained in the video, don't worry).


Step 2: Prepare the USB drive (skip if you know how)

After I was done, it was time to try this out on a USB drive before changing my EFI (just in case). You just need a thumb drive. Now, this is where I learnt that I had been wasting my time. If you're updating, you don't need to create an installer on the USB to try out the EFI. We're only updating OpenCore here, the Monterrey update will be handled by macOS directly. So, don't download the installer yet (if you already have, that's ok).

You need to format the USB drive as macOS Extended Journaled for it to have an EFI drive where you can load OpenCore. For whatever reason, my Disk Utility. app did not allow for me to do that. macOS Extended Journaled simply wasn't displayed as an option, so I had to go with plan B: Terminal. And it's really easy.

You open up the Terminal and tipe the following:

diskutil list

This displays a list of all the drives in your computer. In my case, I have a lot (and you might to!). The way you identify it is because it says "external". If you have many external drives connected and are not sure which one is the thumb drive, disconnect them and type diskutil list to find it.

Now that we know disk5 (in my case it's 5, could be any number for you) is the thumb drive, we are going to format it with this command:

diskutil erasedisk JHFS+ MyDrive disk5

So, we tell diskutil to erase the content of the drive and format it with JHFS+ which is Mac Os Extended (journaled). Then we enter the name we want to give our drive and finally we target the disk where we are going to run this command. Be specially careful to select the thumb drive as this command erases everything on the disk.

After that, macOS will format the drive but we won't see the EFI folder right away. We need to mount it with the utility mountEFI. It's fairly simple. You run mountEFI.command (using the right click -> open method) and select your thumb drive. Its named disk5 (or whatever your number was) just as in diskutil. After that, press q and lets continue.

Go to finder and go to the new EFI we've mounted. It should be empty. Copy the EFI folder we generated on Step 1. It should look something like this (minus the Microsoft folder):


Step 3: Test the EFI on your thumb drive.

Now it's time to test our OpenCore update. We're going to restart so move this guide to your phone or secondary computer while we do this.

We restart the computer and hit F10, F11 or whatever gets you into your MOBO boot menu. Once you're there, select the thumb drive to boot. If all went well, it should take you to an OpenCore menu. Select your macOS drive and boot macOS Catalina from there. If it booted, you're really close to the finish line. We're just going to backup our macOS drive just in case, and after that we're going to copy the EFI folder to our macOS EFI drive.

If it didn't work, you're going to have to troubleshoot it and I'm unfortunately not your guy for that. Check out Dortania and 5T33Z0's guide for common issues and/or ask in reddit or forums for help.


Step 4: Backup macOS an external drive via Time Machine

I'm not going to explain this as it is well covered EVERYWHERE. This is a link to the Apple Support site.


Step 5: Install macOS Monterrey

First of all, we need the updated EFI folder on our macOS drive. To do that, we're going to use mountEFI again. First, we'll mount our thumb drive to copy the EFI folder we created to our desktop (skip if you have the new EFI folder in your desktop already). Then we'll eject the drive as we don't need it anymore.

Now we'll mount the macOS EFI drive using mountEFI. We have to delete the EFI folder it contains and paste the new one.

Before we update, I recommend you restart your computer and try to boot from your macOS drive directly. It should work, but just in case.

After that, we download the installer for macOS Monterrey from the App Store and let it run. It took almost 2 hours for my update to complete. Don't panic if it says "only one minute left" for like half an hour, it'll continue eventually. Your computer will reboot several times, but OpenCore will automatically select the macOS install boot, so you can go and chill out for those two hours or you can try and see if you can get the computer to work faster just by looking at it.


And that's it! I hoped it worked for you. I'm not a wise technical person and I may not be able to answer a lot of questions about this guide, but if you have them I urge you to read the guides and rewatch the videos I've placed in this guide. For a non tech person like me it was super hard to follow Dortania sometimes so I tried to create this simpler version of an update guide and I hope it's of some use for anyone.

Good day/night and happy hacking!

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