Updating your El Capitan OS-X system disk to the latest version 10.11.2

In a previous post, I have described how to install OS-X El Capitan to your 2006-2007 MacPro. Here is a link to that post. The link will open in a new browser window.

Yesterday, Apple released version 10.11.2 of El Capitan, so below you will find the steps you need to follow, in order to update your system to the latest version. Please keep in mind that you need to have a backup copy of your system disk, in order to do that. In my case, I have an internal SSD as my system disk, let’s call that MacSSD and an external SSD disk, let’s call that one Mac_Ext. Make sure that your external (or internal) backup copy of your system disk is an exact copy of your system disk, before you begin.

First step is to boot from MacSSD (or whatever disk is your system disk) and run your App Store application. Select Updates from the top links and allow the installation of El Capitan update. There will also be an El Capitan Recovery Update, you can update that too. When the installation is finished allow the program to restart your computer. Most probably, your MacPro will NOT start, so use your power button to restart it again, and when the … boot sound plays, hold down your Option key. You will see all the disks from which you can start up your system, namely MacSSD and Mac_Ext. Select Mac_Ext (or whatever is the name of your backup disk) to boot from. Obviously, your system will boot in El Capitan 10.11.1 (or whatever version of El Capitan you had already in your system disk and your backup disk). Allow the system to boot fully, and then open Terminal. All lines starting with a – below, are commands you will type in the terminal window.

– su

The system will ask you for your root password, enter it.

– cd /Volumes/MacSSD/System/Library/CoreServices

This will take you to the first place where the boot.efi needs to be replaced.

– chflags nouchg boot.efi

The above command will remove the protection from boot.efi file.

– cp /System/Library/CoreServices/boot.efi .

The above command will copy the proper boot.efi file from your backup disk to your normal system disk.

– chflags uchg boot.efi

This will protect boot.efi again.

While in the CoreServices directory, I then used Property List Editor to edit the file called PlatformSupport.plist . Since not all of the readers have this program, you can also edit the file with your favorite editor. I use vi, so here are the instructions on how to do it. Enter the following command:

vi PlatformSupport.plist

Move your cursor down, until it is on the line saying “<array>”. Then press the letter “o”. A new empty line will open below the line your cursor was on. In the new line, enter the following (that’s for a 2006 MacPro 1,1. If you have a different Mac, you need to find your proper board ID):


Press Esc (the Esc button) and then enter:


This will save the file and take you back to the prompt. Now enter:

– cd ../../../usr/standalone/i386

This will take you to the second location, where you need to copy the boot.efi file. Just enter the following command:

– cp /System/Library/CoreServices/boot.efi .

This will copy the proper boot.efi to the second location.

Practically, you are now ready to boot your system from your normal system disk, MacSSD. Do so now. After your system boots, make sure you are running El Capitan 10.11.2, by clicking on the small apple, on the top left corner. If you did everything correctly, you should be running 10.11.2, but you are not done yet. Your Recovery partition needs to be patched in order to work on your Mac.

To do so, boot from your backup disk again, not from MacSSD and open a terminal window and enter:

– diskutil list

This will show you all the partitions on all your disks. Find a partition called “Apple_Boot Recovery HD” which is on the MacSSD disk. Notice the last word in that line, something like “disk1s3″. Now issue the following command:

– diskutil mount /dev/disk1s3

The program will tell you that the disk is mounted. Enter this command to verify that:

– ls -l /Volumes

You should see a “Recovery HD” disk there. Issue the following commands:

– cd /Volumes/Recovery\ HD

This will take you into the Recovery HD disk. Issue:

– cd com.apple.recovery.boot
– ls -l

In the directory, you will see a boot.efi file. You need to replace it with the patched one, so issue:

– cp /System/Library/CoreServices/boot.efi .

Then edit the PlatformSupport.plist file found in that same directory, following the instructions above.

You can now restart your computer and try booting from the Recovery HD. If you have done everything OK, you should be able to boot from the Recovery Partition of MacSSD without a problem.


P.S.: Upgrading from 10.11.4 to 10.11.5 will also replace the boot.efi and PlatformSupport.plist files. So it is advisable to have a backup of your system disk, to apply the procedure outlined above, after you do the upgrade.

3 thoughts on “Updating your El Capitan OS-X system disk to the latest version 10.11.2

  1. Hello again John,
    Having just asked you a few questions about upgrading to 10.11.2 on my MP 1.1, I discovered your December 2015 archived article which sets me straight. So no need to reply, except on the matter of RAM size. It seems that some people have run into trouble with the El C installation as a result of having less than about 12 GB of RAM – have you had such a problem?

  2. I got this website from my pal who told me about this site
    and at the moment this time I am visiting this site and reading very informative posts at this place.

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