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Guide to Make OS X Mountain Lion bootable vmdk


Step by Step instructions to create OS X Mountain Lion 10.8 Bootable .vmdk to Install Mountain Lion in VMware, Windows host.

This article explains how to create a bootable OS X 10.8 mountain Lion .vmdk image for VMware Workstation 8 on Intel based Windows 7 computer. This article is first part of the series and we’ll teach you how to install OS X Mountain Lion on VMware in second part (check our step by step guide here).

Requirements :

  • FakeSMC.kext (Download Here) (Mirror 1)
  • Intel Core Processor based System with minimum 4 GB of RAM (for smooth operation).
  • Working copy of 10.6 / 10.7 virtual machine in VMware 8.
  • Mac OS X Mountain Lion 10.8 Installer.
  • Patience and Time.


Q: Why I Need a bootable vmdk ?

Ans: We need to create a bootable installer image which can be used as a boot loader and installation medium to install OS X Mountain Lion in VMWARE.

Q: Requirements ?

Ans: We need a working Snow Leopard (10.6) [Instructions Here] or Lion (10.7) Virtual Machine in VMware. Latest version of VMware Workstation (ver. 8) [Download Here]. You can download a free trail, for initial setups. Afterwards you can use VMware Player to run the VM.

Q: Can I download pre-built bootable vmdk?

Ans: We don’t encourage you to download vmdk file from file sharing sites, though you can easily find it on Google (Mac OS X Mountain Lion bootable vmdk). Personally we prefer to buy (Mountain Lion @ $20) a copy from Apple and create our own vmdk.

Note : If you like our work, encourage us by sharing this post on Twitter, Facebook, Google + as much as you can.

Video Tutorial

Instructions to create Mac OS X Mountain Lion bootable vmdk :

Step One : Launch VMware, navigate to your 10.6 / 10.7 VMware installation and attach a new 6 GB (minimum) virtual hard disk (VMDK) file. I made a 8 GB partition on my installation.

  • Click on edit virtual machine setting
  • Hardware  >  Add  >  Hard Disk  >  Create a new Virtual Disk > Next  1 Add HDD
  • Specify disk capacity 6 GB and Check (Store virtual disk as a single file)   vmdk
  • Write down disk file name, i.e. Mac OS X Server 10.6 (experimental)-2.vmdk [note disk name may vary]   vmdk 2

Step Two : Power up your 10.6 / 10.7 VMware machine, and press Initialize in the pop-up window. Now open Disk Utility, select VHDD you created in previous step, click on partition tab and use following settings.

  • Volume Scheme : 1 Partition
  • Name : MLI  (or whatever you want)
  • Format : Mac OS X Extended
  • Options : Apple Partition Map

Partitioning VHDD

  • Now hit apply button and enter your password when asked.

Step Three : Now attach the Mountain Lion Installation media .app / .dmg / .iso  you downloaded from Apple or file sharing sites to VMware virtual machine.

  • If you have .app downloaded from Apple App Store >> Right-click on the installer and hit “Show Package Contents”. Navigate to Contents > SharedSupport and locate a disc image file called “InstallESD.dmg”
  • If you have .dmg downloaded from file sharing sites >> Move it to your 10.6 / 10.7 VMware installation and double click to mount.
  • If you have .iso downloaded from file sharing sites >> Burn the .iso to a disk and mount the DVD in your physical drive (make sure your drive is connected to VMware.) or mount .iso with demon tools virtual DVD drive.

Step Four : Now mount the base system image from terminal using the following command.

cd /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ ESD

open BaseSystem.dmg


Step Five : Go to Disk Utilities and select the source and destination as shown below to start the restore – this will copy the entire base system to 5GB hard disk.

  • Click on Restore, Drag the Mac OS X Base System.dmg found on your desktop to the Source Window.
  • Drag your VHDD (renamed as MLI in step two ) to the Destination Window and Click Restore.
  • It’ll give you a warning about Erasing it click on Erase. Check the following screenshot to understand this step better.      


  • Installation process will take 10-20 minutes, after installation you’ll end up with 2 “Mac OS X Base System” drives on your desktop.
  • Figure out which one is your VHDD by Right-Click > Get Info and check the capacity as an indicator. Rename your VHDD back to MLI for further convenience.

Step Six : Copy the installation packages from Mac OS X Install ESD to MLI.

  • Open MLI and navigate to System > installation and you’ll find a link to Packages remove it, and create a new folder called  “Packages“.
  • Go to the original Mac OS X Install ESD (you mounted in step three) and copy the contents of Packages to the folder you made in previous step.

Step Seven : Copy the kernelcache file to MLI and Modify the plist file to enable the kernelcahce

  • Copy kernelcache from the Lion installer image to your installer image aka MLI with following command.
cp /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ ESD/kernelcache /Volumes/MLI/kernelcache

  • Navigate to MLI > Library > Preferences > SystemConfiguration and open com.apple.Boot.plist file with TextEdit.
  • Enter following string and save the file.
<key>Kernel Cache</key>




Step Eight : Install FakeSMC.kext

  • Copy FakeSMC.kext to MLI >> System >> Library >> Extensions

Step Nine : Flag the system as a server installation.

  • Again, in order to boot an OS X volume in VMware, it needs to be a server. The system checks for the existence of a file in a specific location; you can imitate a server installation simply by creating that file.
cd /Volumes/MLI/System/Library/CoreServices

sudo touch ServerVersion.plist

  • That’s it, our bootable Mountain Lion installer image is ready and it can boot in VMware without any boot loaders. Shutdown the running 10.6 / 10.7 virtual machine and remove the VHDD from virtual machine.
  • Now locate .vmdk file we created in Step One, so we can attach to another VM to boot and install Mountain Lion.

That’s it. Now continue to part two


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Comments ( 10 )

Have Something To Say ?

  1. Andrew March 6, 2013 Reply

    Sahm: The password for the user account you are trying to use cannot be blank. Please go into system preferences and set a password for the account. You should find that when you re-run the command with the new password it will correctly create the ServerVersion.plist file.

  2. Sahm January 19, 2013 Reply

    Thanks for Tutorial.

    In step 9, it asks for Password. I tried everything but nothing works.

    Can you let me now what is the password.


  3. Sahm January 19, 2013 Reply

    Thanks for Tutorial.

    In Step 9, it asks for a Password. I tried everything nothing works.

    Can you please let me know what is the password.


  4. Darky November 7, 2012 Reply

    It hangs loading the installer for me directly after the mouse (round colored thing) is loaded. It still moves, but I waited for up to 6 hours but the grey loading symbol stopped moving…
    Tried it several times. What could I have done wrong?

  5. Bukraat September 22, 2012 Reply

    i follow setpes as mention above and insatll ML. after installation Vmware pc doesnot boot its hang at atrtup screen why?

  6. Joan August 25, 2012 Reply

    Sorry, I mean in this post, you said that we have to copy FakeSMS. But in your second post we install it. Because I feel that just by copying it will be useless because we will install it later anyway.

  7. Joan August 25, 2012 Reply

    Why do we have to install FakeSMC.kext by copying it in step 1 while we will install it in different way in step 2?

  8. Dudefella July 29, 2012 Reply

    Thanks, I appreciate the guide. Looking forward to part 2, since I haven’t been able to use the vmdk to install Mountain Lion yet. I’m not sure where to go from here.

  9. Aladin July 28, 2012 Reply

    Thank you for your help , it’s very helpfull but you know it’s not easy espacially if it’s your first experience with mac os ! and when you don’t have a running mac os installation on vmaware , so it will be great if you make a video , and/or share some download links, or best of all , to share with us your fresh clean vmdk installation with xcode 4.3 and we will be greatfull 🙂 thank you anyway

  10. gopal July 28, 2012 Reply

    can you make a video on it?

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