The other day it clicked that I hadn’t posted any updates regarding my Hack Pro (Late 2013) Hackintosh build since my last post way back in January.
2014 has been a crazy busy year for me so I’ve struggled to find the time to work on ‘The Bin’ as I like to call it. It hasn’t helped that roughly for the past 6 months the bin has left in the workshop back at my family home, with me stuck in London with no workshop. So work towards the project has been very hit and miss, with me only able to work on it when I found myself back home for an unexpected weekend visit.
That said, I would like to share with you my progress so far on the build. With project being away from me for most of the time, I have had a lot of time to think the design over. Initially my time was
This post is one big post that should of been many smaller posts, so be prepared for one long post with lots of build photos. I’ll do my best to post the build details in chronological order, solely relying on the photos date metadata to guide me.
The build so far
It’s been a challenge to find components that will deliver good overall computing performance, that are reasonably priced within the chosen budget, and most importantly will conform to the space restrictions of fitting comfortably in the small bin.
Over the weekend I was battling with installing the latest release of OS X on my Hackintosh. I’m happy to report that I now have a stable install of OS X 10.10 Yosemite running smoothly on my GA-X58A-UD3R, with everything working (network, audio, bluetooth, GPU) except sleep.
I’m still using UniBeast and MultiBeast provided by tonymacx86 for now, but I intend on migrating to the much superior Clover EFI bootloader when I find time. The Clover project has excellent documentation highlighting the differences between OS X bootloaders for Hackintosh’s on their wiki.
I wouldn’t listen to upgrade Hackintosh 10.9 to 10.10 post too much when it states that the upgrade is an easy one. Still the post does list some useful steps.
On my upgrade attempt, I ran into a seemingly endless supply of problems as detailed below, thankfully I was able to tackle and fix them all. Listed chronologically in order, same order as I faced them.
First ran into an error message that kept popping up during the Yosemite install, ‘This copy of the Install OS X Yosemite application can’t be verified’. After some reading, seems as though a few others were running into a similar issue also. After downloading a new copy of the Yosemite app bundle and creating a new UniBeast USB installer, the installation began.
Issue found when using UniBeast (5.0.0). Kept receiving error messages from the bootloader about the kernel couldn’t be found when booting. UniBeast 5.0.1 was released which seemed to fix the issue. Thread detailing the issue here.
Installed Yosemite successfully, but couldn’t get the system to boot without booting from the UniBeast USB. It repeatedly would crash at the ‘mbinit’ step during the boot process. Managed to fix the issue by booting into the system using UniBeast and installed the 10.9.5 AppleACPIPlatform Rollback which fixed the issue. Thread detailing the issue here.
Ran into an issue where the system wouldn’t boot with kernel caches enabled. Not sure if this was linked to the “Kernel compression is bad” error I was getting at boot, post detailing the error here. I believe this was linked to a change in kernel compression new to Yosemite.
# Edit file /usr/standalone/bootCaches.plist and for key 'Preferred Compression', change the value 'lzvn' to lzss'.
# Regenerate kernel cache with the following commands
sudo kextcache -system-prelinked-kernel
sudo kextcache -v 1 -a i386 -a x86_64 -m /System/Library/Caches/com.apple.kext.caches/Startup/Extensions.mkext -z /System/Library/Extensions/
Finally got the system working, but got strange error at boot about not being able to parse plist, ‘Error parsing plist file, Errors encountered while starting up the computer. Pausing 5 seconds’. For some reason the com.apple.Boot.plist at /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration was corrupted with kext-dev-mode=1. This conflicted with the MultiBeast plist in /Extra/org.chameleon.Boot.plist, which also contained a kext-dev-mode=1 entry. Deleting the com.apple.Boot.plist plist fixed the issue. Thread detailing the issue here.
TRIM enabler app appeared to be stuck in loop upon system boot. I enabled TRIM support by removing the utility and enabling TRIM through MultiBeast.
To get audio working I had to install Realtek ALC889 audio driver, easy fix.
A quick post that summarises my current Hackintosh rig as of October 2014. The following details my second Hackintosh, it’s the first build where I purposely selected all components for maximum compatibly with OS X. The first rig I ran to test the waters of running a Hackintosh was an old ASUS T2-PH1 hacked together with way too many kexts to keep count. It served well for its purpose at the time, but after a couple years I decided upgrade to something better. Note: this rig was first built back in January 2011 so it’s running a first gen Intel i7 which is pretty old nowadays, I should of really wrote this post a few years back. However some people are still running the old X58 series today so it should still have some relevance.
Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R Rev 2.0 (BIOS ver FA)
Intel i7-930 2.80 GHz (overclocked to 2.93 GHz)
Corsair 6GB (3 x 2 GB) 1600 MHz XMS3 DDR3
EVGA GeForce GTX 660 Superclocked 2048 MB GDDR5
Samsung 840 EVO 120 GB 2.5″ SSD (MZ-7TE120BW)
WD Red 3TB 3.5″ HDD (WD30EFRX)
Corsair A50 1366 performance CPU cooler
Antec TruePower 650W modular PSU
Sony Optiarc DVD RW AD-7260S
ATAPI iHAS124 B (w/ custom FW for burning Xbox backups)
Display 1: Samsung SyncMaster T240HD (1920 x 1200)
Display 2: Samsung SyncMaster 2232BW (1680 x 1050)
ASUS USB-N13 300 Mbps WIFI dongle
Belkin F8T016cw Bluetooth adapter (HID proxy)
Apple wireless keyboard and Apple mighty mouse
Logitech C310 HD webcam
I’ve ran the X58A-UD3R for over 3 years now with no issues, so at this point in time I have no need to replace the motherboard. Same goes for the CPU. The RAM I intend to max out to 24 GB (4 x 6 GB) at some point in the future as 6 GB is low even by todays standards for a workstation. The GTX 660 was dropped in about a year ago to replace an ageing 7950 GT 512 MB. Both of the hard drives are relativity new, the SSD is used for the system boot and the WD Red is used for document storage. The system is dual booted with a Windows 7 install which is stored on an additional hard drive.
It took me a while to find a reliable bluetooth adapter that was HID proxy compatible, meaning that I could use the wireless keyboard and mouse when interacting with the BIOS. Luckily I stumbled across the Belkin F8T016cw after a few failed attempts. Same goes for the wifi adapter, the ASUS USB-N13 is a solid piece of kit for the price you pay (not much).
From OS X 10.6 to 10.10
The system was first built to accommodate OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, and 4 years later it is still fighting on strong with most recently having OS X 10.10 Yosemite installed. Considering the system was first built when I was at uni (thank you student loan), it has held up very well over the years. The main two benefits being; the reduced upfront cost of the components compared to a genuine Mac, and the added future proofing gained by using commercially available off the shelf components (non-Apple hardware).
Make your own
I’d recommend to anyone who wants to use OS X as their main OS to have a go at building a Hackintosh. It’s no where as difficult as it used to be getting a stable build working, there are countless forum threads and YouTube videos detailing successful build combinations like mine above. Not only is it a great learning experience to build your own computer, most importantly you also save ALOT of pennies!
To give you a kick start, Tonymacx86.com is a great resource for building your first Hackintosh, with new detailed and up to date build guides released monthly. Link here
A recent move of my Hackintosh resulting in no easy access to jack in an ethernet cable so I had to find a suitable wireless adapter that plays nicely with Mavericks.
I settled on the cheap and cheerful yet surprisingly decent ASUS-N13. It supports wireless B/G/N (< =300Mbps) and includes a 3-year warranty.
Note that there are two hardware revisions for the USB-N13 (A1 and B1), this post will only work with the B1 revision due to ASUS switching chipsets between revisions, from Ralink (A1) to Realtek (B1).
The USB-N13 drivers found on ASUS’s site for OS X only support up to 10.7 and prove to be too outdated for 10.9. However, the USB-N13 (B1) uses the Realtek RTL8192CU chipset and so luckily you can grab a more recent driver package from Realtek here
Scroll to the RTL8192CU section and download the version for OS X 10.8 (they will work with 10.9)
Install the downloaded drivers and reboot
Plug in the USB-N13 and open the newly installed ‘Wireless Network Utility’ in order to configure your wireless settings.
Fingers crossed it should work! 🙂
In order to stop the wireless application from launching upon boot, just delete the corresponding LaunchAgent file.
A work colleague shared with me a link that he found on Tonymac86 (Hackintosh Forums) where some clever guy had found a bin that was of similar shape and size to the new Late 2013 Mac Pro, and had thrown a mini-ITX board inside combined with an i3 CPU…
From undertaking all the project and design work on my car last year, I know the key for success in a design and build project such as this is PLAN, PLAN and MORE PLANNING!!!..
Pick up a pencil first, before you reach for the saw
You need to start drawing/thinking/working out how you are going to do things from the moment you make that mental commitment to undergo the task. Until you have a clear enough picture within your head about how things are going to fit together, you don’t even touch the toolbox.
That is exactly what I will be doing. Nothing will be ordered for this build until the plans are in good shape.