How to Install Mac OS X El Capitan on VirtualBox, Windows 10 Host (1)


This is my setup:

  • Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
  • Intel Skylake Core-i7-6700K CPU @ 4.00GHZ 4.00GHz
  • 16GB RAM
  • Asus Maximus VIII Hero (LGA1151)
  • Asus Nvidia Geforce GTX 970 Strix 4GB
  • 250GB SSD – Samsung 850 EVO
  • 2TB Sata Drive – Seagate

This is how I finally managed to run OS X El_Capitan on Oracle VM VirtualBox, after a lot of struggles and do-overs and a massive headache.

  1. Install VirtualBox for Windows Host, and the Extension Pack.
  2. Get an ISO of El_Capitan (check the internet).
  3. Open VirtualBox and click “New” icon to create a new VM.
  4. Name “El_Capitan”, Select “Mac OS X” and “Mac OS X El Capitan (64-bit)”, click next…
  5. I set my memory to 4096 MB, but you can leave it at 2048 MB if you want, click next…
  6. Choose “Create a virtual hard disk now”, click create…
  7. Stay with the default VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image), click next…
  8. Again stay with the default Dynamically Allocated, next…
  9. You can change the File Location as you wish, I set mine to my Sata Drive (drive D), where I also installed VirtualBox.
  10. Change the Disk (Storage) size to 40GB or more, I used 100GB for storage space (I want play space). Click Create.

Your new VM will now be available on your VirtualBox main screen. Now we need to edit some settings.

  1. Click on the “Settings” icon on the main screen.
  2. Click on “System/Motherboard” Tab and uncheck the Floppy Drive from the Boot Order. This is a useless function, who the hell still owns Floppy Drives?
  3. Now click on the “Processor” Tab, still within the “System” settings, increase the allocated CPU cores to 2.
  4. Click on the “Display” Tab, just below the “System” tab, increase the allocated Video Memory to 128MB (all the way up).
  5. Click on the “Storage” Tab, click on “Empty” and next to “Optical Drive” click on the Icon and select “Choose Virtual Optical Disk File”.
  6. Navigate and select your El_Capitan ISO.
  7. Click “OK” and close (as in EXIT) VirtualBox.

Now from your Start Menu, right click and open Command Prompt (Admin) and do the following:

  1. Choose a Mac Model similar to your host system, then type the following lines, followed by ENTER after each line.

(PS. I picked the first one, I didn’t really check the specs, but it worked anyway. Just remember to select the right path, for example mine looked like this: cd “D:\Drivers & Programs\VirtualBox”)

eg iMac 11.3

cd “C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\”
VBoxManage setextradata “El_Capitan” “VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiSystemProduct” “iMac11,3”
VBoxManage setextradata “El_Capitan” “VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiSystemVersion” “1.0”
VBoxManage setextradata “El_Capitan” “VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiBoardProduct” “Mac-F2238BAE”
VBoxManage setextradata “El_Capitan” “VBoxInternal/Devices/smc/0/Config/DeviceKey” “ourhardworkbythesewordsguardedpleasedontsteal(c)AppleComputerInc”
VBoxManage setextradata “El_Capitan” “VBoxInternal/Devices/smc/0/Config/GetKeyFromRealSMC” 1

MacBook Pro 11.3

cd “C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\”
VBoxManage setextradata “El_Capitan” “VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiSystemProduct” “MacBookPro11,3”
VBoxManage setextradata “El_Capitan” “VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiSystemVersion” “1.0”
VBoxManage setextradata “El_Capitan” “VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiBoardProduct” “Mac-2BD1B31983FE1663”
VBoxManage setextradata “El_Capitan” “VBoxInternal/Devices/smc/0/Config/DeviceKey” “ourhardworkbythesewordsguardedpleasedontsteal(c)AppleComputerInc”
VBoxManage setextradata “El_Capitan” “VBoxInternal/Devices/smc/0/Config/GetKeyFromRealSMC” 1

MacMini 6.2

cd “C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\”
VBoxManage setextradata “El_Capitan” “VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiSystemProduct” “Macmini6,2”
VBoxManage setextradata “El_Capitan” “VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiSystemVersion” “1.0”
VBoxManage setextradata “El_Capitan” “VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiBoardProduct” “Mac-F65AE981FFA204ED”
VBoxManage setextradata “El_Capitan” “VBoxInternal/Devices/smc/0/Config/DeviceKey” “ourhardworkbythesewordsguardedpleasedontsteal(c)AppleComputerInc”
VBoxManage setextradata “El_Capitan” “VBoxInternal/Devices/smc/0/Config/GetKeyFromRealSMC” 1
I also added this to the Command Prompt:

VBoxManage.exe modifyvm “El_Capitan” –cpuidset 00000001 000306a9 00020800 80000201 178bfbff

Because for some host systems with newer CPU’s, you might have to spoof an older CPU to avoid VirtualBox errors. I did it in any case, whether or not I would have had errors. Rather safe than sorry.

I also added one more thing at the end of Command Prompt (ps remember to ENTER after each line), which you can play around with screen resolution:

VboxManage setextradata “El_Capitan” VBoxInternal2/EfiGopMode N

Where “N” reference = 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 referring to 640×480, 800×600, 1024×768, 1280×1024, 1440×900, 1900×1200.
(So you would replace the letter N in the line with a 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5)

  1. Exit Command Prompt and open VirtualBox,
  2. Click on Start and let it run until the Apple Icon pops up.
  3. Go through the Installation Steps. When you get to the screen asking where to install, and it tells you there is not enough space, don’t stress…
  4. Click on “Disk Utility” on the top bar, inside the VirtualBox (still part of installation), when it opens up…
  5. Click on “VBOX HARDDISK” and click on “ERASE”, name the new partition upon erasing. I typed in “UsedDisk”. You can type in anything.
  6. Once erased, exit the VirtualBox.
  7. Restart VirtualBox and Start your El_Capitan once again,
  8. Yet again wait for it to run through its process and go through with the Installation again, until it asks you where to install,
  9. Click on your newly created partition. The setup will complete after 20 minutes +/- depends.

And last, once the installation has completed and you have setup your El_Capitan, and finally you can see your Desktop in VirtualBox, there is still one thing left to do:

  1. Exit your El_Capitan VM again.
  2. On the Main Screen of VirtualBox,
  3. Click on “Settings”,
  4. Click “Storage”,
  5. Next to Optical Drive (Where you mounted your ISO),
  6. Click on “Remove Disk from Virtual Drive”, it should now say “Empty” again.

Otherwise it will want to run the Installation Setup over and over again.

I hope this helped or will help someone in the future. I just felt I needed to share this, because after the struggles of getting it to work, I feel quite impressed with myself. Also if someone else has struggles as well, I hope this will guide them in the right direction. Haha. Please comment if you don’t understand something I explained. I know I am not the best person to give instructions, so… yeah…

The only reason why I went through the trouble of doing this, is I bought a short course online consisting of “Swift” and “Java” lessons, and as we all know XCode only run on Apple Software haha… And the start of the course, starts with “Swift”, so this is only for personal use.

Everyone on the freaking internet make it look so easy to do this Virtual Machine thing, and let me tell you it was not so freaking easy going… Took me a lot of trial and error to get this far. I thought that maybe it wasn’t possible after all, and started chanting “Please work, please work, please work” Hahaha and it worked! Yes yes I am very happy it worked okay! Give me a break.


– CdP



12 thoughts on “How to Install Mac OS X El Capitan on VirtualBox, Windows 10 Host (1)

      1. Hi, check maybe on torrent sites if you get anyway? I got one that was damaged as well, on some site mentioned in a lot of other El_Capitan tutorials, but didn’t work, so I just kept looking until one worked.

    1. Hi there, did you try to run it in any case without it? Make sure the name is correct within the quotes. Try google and see if there is another option to use. Did you do the steps above exactly as mentioned? Sorry I’m trying to think quickly, as I am not at computer right now to troubleshoot the problem. What is your cpu specs?

  1. Hi chalou, I have finally found the easiest way through trial and error (and also your tutorial so thanks). So all you have to do is download a copy of niresh mavericks iso, do everything u did, ie vbox setting, cmd commands, but when you do the vbox settings, set it to 64bit mavericks, do console commands ie the mac 11 command, then when you start up the vm, it gets to the apple logo quite fast but the spinning wheel stops for a bit, (5 mins) then you get presented to installing, by far the easiest way, thanks for your tutorial, i realllly appreciate it 😀

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