How to Install macOS Catalina on VMware using VMDK – PC

Install macOS Catalina on VMware using VMDK

In this article, I am going to show you how to install macOS Catalina on VMware using VMDK on Windows using VMDK. So, Apple announced macOS Catalina in WWDC 2019. If you want to give macOS Catalina a try and install macOS Catalina on VMware on Windows 10, then you’re in the right place. In this article we will provide a VMDK for you to download which has macOS Catalina’s setup but if you want you can install it using an ISO or make your own ISO. We will prepare the guide and link it below if you want to use those methods. So without wasting any more time, let’s jump into it.

Required: If you haven’t already then you should enable Virtualization Technology (aka Intel VT or AMD-V).

Steps to Install macOS Catalina on VMware using VMDK

  1. Download the prerequisites
  2. Install the Prerequisites
  3. Extract macOS Catalina VMDK File
  4. Unlock VMware to Install macOS Catalina
  5. Create a New Virtual Machine
  6. Edit the Virtual Machine
  7. Edit macOS Catalina VMX File
  8. Start macOS Catalina Virtual Machine
  9. Perform Clean Installation of macOS Catalina
  10. Install VMware Tools (Optional)

Step 1: Download the Prerequisites

Before you begin, you should download some files, and you may also download & install some applications, which are required later on in this guide. But if you have done any of the followings already, then you may skip it. Here is the list:

Step 2: Install the Prerequisites

Now install the following applications, and if you already have it by any chance then you’re welcome to skip but make sure then it works properly and updated to the latest version.

  • Install WinRar, 7zip or any other .rar extractor of your choice
  • Install VMware Workstation Pro 15.5.x or VMware Player 15.5.x

Run the VMware Workstation Pro/Player and WinRar/7zip setup and follow the prompt leaving all the options as default.

Step 3: Extract macOS Catalina VMDK File

If you have downloaded the beta version of macOS Catalina then Locate the downloaded macOS Catalina Beta.rar then right-click on it and select Extract Here. You should end up with a .vmdk file. If you have downloaded macOS Catalina 10.15.5 VMDK then you don’t need to extract since it is already in .vmdk file.

Step 4: Unlock VMware to Install macOS Catalina

Firstly make sure VMware Workstation application is closed completely otherwise the VMware unlocker won’t work. You can do this by Clicking on File Tab > Exit.

How to Install macOS Big Sur on VMware - PC

Exit VMware Workstation

You should have downloaded macOS Unlocker V3 for VMware Workstation from GitHub or the direct link. So now extract the macOS Unlocker V3.0 for VMware Workstation. Right-click on win-install.cmd and select Run as Administrator.

Note: You may always uninstall the previous version of the Unlocker before using a new release. Failure to do this could render VMware unusable. – David Parsons

How to Install macOS Catalina on VMware

Run win-install.cmd As Administrator

How to Install macOS Catalina on VMware

Unlocker 3.0.3 for VMware Workstation

Step 5: Create a New Virtual Machine

#1. Open VMware and click on Create a New Virtual Machine (Ctrl+N) then select Typical (Recommended) and click Next.

#2. Now select I will install the operating system later and click Next. Choose Apple Mac OS X from operating system list then select macOS 10.15 from version and click Next.

#3. Name the virtual machine as you prefer like macOS Catalina. Click Browse then choose a location to save virtual machine files and click Next, or you may let it as default (recommended).

Name macOS Catalina VM

Name & Save macOS Catalina VM

#4. Don’t Specify the disk space just select Store virtual disk as a single file and click Next. On Ready to Create Virtual Machine, Click Finish.

Step 6: Edit the Virtual Machine

#1. Click on Edit Virtual Machine Settings.

Edit macOS Catalina Virtual Machine Settings

Edit macOS Catalina Virtual Machine Settings

#2. Increase the Memory from 2 GB to 4 GB or higher for better performance.

How to Install macOS Catalina on VMware

Increase RAM

#3. Select Processor menu then increase the CPU processor core from 2 cores to or Higher cores for better performance.

Note: If you don’t have enough resources then you may not increase the Memory and Processor since the minimum requirement is 2 GB Memory and 2 Cores of Processor.

How to Install macOS Catalina on VMware

#4. Select Hard Disk from device section and Remove it.

Install macOS Catalina on VMware using VMDK

Remove Hard Disk

#5. Click Add button at the bottom of Virtual Machine window. Select Hard Disk from the Hardware section and click Next.

How to Install macOS Catalina on VMware

Add Hard Disk

#6. Select SATA as disk type and click Next.

How to Install macOS Catalina on VMware

Select SATA Disk Type

#7. Select the Use an existing virtual disk and click Next.

How to Install macOS Catalina on VMware

Select Existing Virtual Disk

#8. Now, browse for macOS Catalina VMKD file. Select macOS Catalina 10.15.5 VMKD File and click Open.

Select macOS Catalina VMDK

Select macOS Catalina VMDK

#9. After selecting the macOS Catalina VMDK then click Finish.

Select macOS Catalina 10.15.5 VMDK

Select macOS Catalina 10.15.5 VMDK

#10. Finally, click OK to save all the changes that you made to the virtual machine settings.

Save Change to macOS Catalina VM

Save Change to macOS Catalina VM

Step 7: Edit macOS Catalina VMX File (Optional)

  1. Do these 2 steps only if you can’t boot into macOS or have other issues. Navigate to the virtual machine folder which you select in step #5.3 of this guide. If you didn’t specify a new location, then the default location is in Document > Virtual Machine. Right-click on macOS Catalina.vmx then open it via Notepad or any third-party text editor of your choice.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of texts and add the following code; then click on File > Save. After that, you may close it as you don’t need it anymore.
smbios.reflectHost = "TRUE"
hw.model = "MacBookPro14,3"
board-id = "Mac-551B86E5744E2388"
smc.version = "0"

Step 8: Start macOS Catalina Virtual Machine

#1. Open VMware and on the macOS Catalina VM window Click Power on this Virtual Machine.

Power on the macOS Catalina 10.15.5 VM

Power on the macOS Catalina VM

#2. Now, wait for macOS Catalina to boot up and complete the installation itself without you touching anything. It will take roughly 15 minutes depending on your system, be patient.

Step 9: Perform Clean Installation of macOS Catalina

Once the installation part complete, the VM will reboot, and after the reboot, you should see macOS Catalina Welcome page.

Install macOS Catalina on VMware using VMDK

macOS Catalina Welcome Page

  1. Select your Country and click Continue.
  2. Choose a Keyboard Layout and click Continue. If you’re not happy with default settings, you can customize the Settings.
  3. On the Data & Privacy page, click Continue.
  4. Select Don’t transfer any information now and click Continue.
  5. Click on Set Up Later then Skip.
  6. Click Agree to the Terms and Conditions.
  7. Fill out the Full name, Account name, Password, and Hint then click Continue.

    Install macOS Catalina on VMware using VMDK

    Create a Catalina Computer Account

  8. Click on Continue on the Express Set Up page.
  9. On the Analytics, click Continue.
  10. Click Continue on Screen Time.
  11. Do not set up Siri for now. Just skip it.
  12. Select any appearance theme and click Continue. You can choose between dark mode or light and Auto mode.
  13. Finally, wait a little while for macOS to finish setting up then it should boot into the macOS Catalina Desktop.
Install macOS Catalina on VMware using VMDK

Successfully Installed macOS Catalina on VMware

Step 10: Install VMware Tools (Optional)

So now you should have noticed that the resolution of macOS Catalina can’t be changed and it’s not working as smoothly as you expected. To fix macOS Catalina Resolution on VMware or Make it more responsive, you need to install something called VMware Tools. It’s quite easy and straightforward to work with any system. So to do that we have created a comprehensive guide. Please click the link below and follow the guide Step by step.

See this guide: How to install VMware Tools on macOS Catalina

Summary

Basically, in this article, I’ve shown you the step by step pictorial guide on how to install macOS Catalina on VMware using VMDK on Windows. After reading and following this guide, you should have done the following:

  • Download the prerequisites
  • Install the Prerequisites
  • Extract macOS Catalina VMDK File
  • Unlock VMware to Install macOS Catalina
  • Create a New Virtual Machine
  • Edit the Virtual Machine
  • Edit macOS Catalina VMX File
  • Start macOS Catalina Virtual Machine
  • Perform Clean Installation of macOS Catalina
  • Install VMware Tools (Optional)

We are ready to keep receiving your feedback about this article, and other posts on wikigain. Your suggestion and feedback are highly appreciated.

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I am the CEO of wikigain.com and a network instructor. Here is my online pictorial notebook. I would like to write and share my experience through this website for computer enthusiasts, how to guides and technology geeks.

2 Comments

  1. blankRanjan Reply

    I am getting below error, What should I do. I am installing 10.15.5 on vmware 15.5

    macOS could not be installed on your computer.

    An error occured installing macOS. To use apple diagnostic to check your mac hardware, shut down, press the power button, and immedietly hold the D key until diagnostic begins.

    Quit the installer to restart your computer and try again.

    1. blankFaiz Post author Reply

      Hi,

      #1. Navigate to the virtual machine folder which you select in step #5.3 of this guide. If you didn’t specify a new location, then the default location is in Document > Virtual Machine. Right-click on macOS Catalina.vmx then open it via Notepad or any third-party text editor of your choice.

      #2. Scroll down to the bottom of texts and add the following code; then click on File > Save. After that, you may close it as you don’t need it anymore.

      smbios.reflectHost = "TRUE"
      hw.model = "MacBookPro14,3"
      board-id = "Mac-551B86E5744E2388"
      smc.version = "0"

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