Using VMware Fusion Professional Version 11.5.3 on a MacBook Pro running macOS High Sierra, I did the following to create a new macOS High Sierra virtual machine:
- Open VMware Fusion.
- Press ⌘N (File > New).
- From Finder, drag an drop the Install macOS High Sierra.app application bundle onto the Select the Installation Method window of VMware Fusion.
- On the Create a New Virtual Machine window, click the Continue button.
- On the Finish window, click the Customize Settings button.
- In the Save As: sheet, follow thru as appropriate to then click the Save button.
- Wait for the Creating installation medium… This may take a few minutes. sheet to disappear, as this then shows the window for the virtual machine and its Settings window.
- In the Settings window make the appropriate changes, i.e., Processor & Memory, Hard Disk (SATA), not Hard Disk 2 (SATA) as that's the temporary installer vHDD, etc.
- Note: If the default vHDD is not large enough you'll need to delete the default one, not resize it, and add a new right-sized one in its place. You will then also need to partition and format it (actually erase it) using Disk Utility from the maxOS Utilities window before you select Install macOS during the install process.
- After making the appropriate changes to the settings, close the Settings window.
- Click the play button on the virtual machine window and the macOS install process begins.
When you get to the macOS Utilities window, if you added a larger vHDD, select Disk Utility and click the Continue button, then preform the following steps:
- Select: VMware Virtual SATA Hard Disk Media
- Click the Erase button.
- On the Erase ... sheet, change Name: from Untitled to e.g.: Macintosh HD
- On the Erase ... sheet, click the Erase button.
- Click the Done button.
- Close Disk Utility.
Otherwise, select Install macOS and click the Continue button.
Continue to follow thru as appropriate with the install of macOS until the install of the OS is finished.
At this point you should now have a new macOS High Sierra virtual machine which you can choose to the finish clean building by manually installing the apps you need/want, and then restore your data from backup, or another option is to try using Migration Assistant instead.
As a side note, before you start the install, I'd make a copy of the virtual machine's configuration file and a copy of Hard Disk 2 (SATA) the temporary installer vHDD as you might find it useful if you choose to go the cloning route. These file are found within the document bundle of the virtual machine, e.g.,:
- macOS 10.13.6.vmx
- Temporary Installation Source Disk.dmg
- Temporary Installation Source Disk.vmdk
As a result of issues the OP was having, as discussed in the comment thread, I've come up with a workaround that works as tested.
Before the Install:
If you're having an issue with VMware Fusion creating the installation media you can try the following workaround. This assumes the copy of the Install macOS High Sierra.app application bundle is not actually damaged.
First, make a macOS USB Installer following the directions in: How to create a bootable installer for macOS
For macOS High Sierra you'll need an 8 GB USB Flash Drive formatted as Mac OS Extended with nothing valuable on it as it will be erased during the creation process.
The following command shows the syntax, e.g.:
sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\ Sierra.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/MyVolume
After creating the macOS USB Installer you'll use
vmware-rawdiskCreator to create a raw disk VMDK of the macOS USB Installer to manually add to the configuration file of the macOS High Sierra virtual machine following the directions in: Creating a raw disk VMDK and adding it to the Virtual machine in Fusion (2097401)
What I did:
/dev/disk4s1 on /Volumes/Install macOS High Sierra (hfs, local, nodev, nosuid, journaled, noowners)
# Relevant line above from the mount command, other lines omitted for brevity.
% vmware-rawdiskCreator print /dev/disk4
Nr Start Size Type Id Sytem
-- ---------- ---------- ---- -- ------------------------
1 2 15633406 BIOS AF HFS+
% vmware-rawdiskCreator create /dev/disk4 1 'Install macOS High Sierra' lsilogic
% ls -l *.vmdk
% -rw------- 1 me staff 32256 Jun 14 17:34 Install macOS High Sierra-pt.vmdk
% -rw------- 1 me staff 772 Jun 14 17:34 Install macOS High Sierra.vmdk
# The path to vmware-rawdiskCreator omitted for brevity.
# /dev/disk4s1 is what the USB Installer is on my system and will vary from system to system.
I moved the
Install macOS High Sierra-pt.vmdk and
Install macOS High Sierra.vmdk files to within the document bundle of the virtual machine and edited the configuration file, e.g.
macOS 10.13.6.vmx, adding the following lines:
sata0:2.present = "TRUE"
sata0:2.fileName = "Install macOS High Sierra.vmdk"
sata0:2.deviceType = "rawDisk"
suspend.disabled = "TRUE"
I also edited
bios.hddOrder to be:
bios.hddOrder = "sata0:2"
When starting the virtual machine with a raw disk VMDK you'll be prompted with a password dialog box stating, VMware Fusion requires administrative privileges for accessing Boot Camp disks.; however this is a generic message displayed for any raw disk VMDK, not just when running a Boot Camp install as a virtual machine.
After the install is finished the lines added to the configuration file can be removed and reset
bios.hddOrder to, e.g.,:
bios.hddOrder = "sata0:0"
During the Install:
If your copy of the Install macOS High Sierra.app application bundle was downloaded before October 24, 2019, when Apple's security certificates used to sign software expired, you will get the error message This copy of macOS High Sierra application is damaged, and can't be used to install macOS during the install process after selecting Install macOS and clicking the Continue button.
The workaround, assuming the copy of the Install macOS High Sierra.app application bundle is actually not damaged, is to temporally disconnect the Network Adapter of the virtual machine, so it cannot communicate with an NTP Time Server, and temporally set the date to any date before October 24, 2019.
This can be done before selecting Install macOS and clicking the Continue button by using Terminal from the Utilities menu using, e.g.,
date 102300019 and then close Terminal and proceed as normal.
After the initial install is finished the date can be set to its proper date and the Network Adapter of the virtual machine re-connected.