Saturday, November 29, 2014

Creating a Hackintosh

I've always wanted to create a "Hackintosh", i.e. a standard PC that runs OS X. My PC is over 5 years old so it was time for a refresh. I figured this was the best time to give the Hackintosh a go.


  • CPU: Intel Quad Core i7 4790 3.6 Ghz
  • Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z97-HD3
    • Audio: ALC 887
    • Network: Realtek 8111F-VL
  • Network Card: 4 Antennas 802.11ac WiFi BCM94360CD Wireless Network Card
  • Graphics Card: nVidia 750 GTX
  • Memory: Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600 32 GB (4x8 GB)
  • Hard Drive: Seagate ST3000DM001 3 TB SATA3 7200 rpm
  • DVD: Samsung SH-224DB 24X

BIOS Changes

The first step was to change the BIOS settings to support OS X. Disabling VT-d is the only setting that is clearly required; the others are questionable but were done by others so I thought they were worth trying.

F7 to load Optimized Defaults
  • M.I.T.
    • Advanced Frequency Settings
      • Extreme Memory Profile (X.M.P.): Enabled
    • Miscellaneous Settings
      • PCIe Slot Configuration: Gen3
  • BIOS Features
    • Intel Virtualization Technology: Disabled
    • VT-d: Disabled
  • Peripherals
    • XHCI Mode: Auto
    • XHCI Hand-off: Enabled
    • EHCI Hand-off: Enabled

Installing Clover

Initially I installed Unibeast onto a USB drive to run the OS X Installer but couldn't get past some errors. In retrospect, the errors were caused by the 750 GTX card.

I decided to install Clover because it would give me more control over the installation process. I followed Steps 1 and 2 to download OS X Yosemite and create the bootable USB drive. I won't repeat the steps here because I followed them exactly. I chose RealtekRTL81xx.kext as the network card driver. I chose as my minimal configuration.

When I booted the Clover USB drive I added these settings to the boot options:
-v nv_disable=1

This had the effect of disabling the video card and going into verbose mode so I could see the boot messages. Clover will hang and reboot unless you disable the Nvidia driver.

I then followed the instructions in Step 3 to use Disk Utility to create a partition on the hard drive then install OS X Yosemite on the drive.

When the install finished, it restarted the machine. Since the next step automatically runs stage 2 of the install process (create the recovery partition and complete the install), it was important to again add "nv_disable=1" to the boot options during this restart. Otherwise the boot would fail and the installer would not go to stage 2, requiring me to start over.


I followed Step 4 in reformatting the EFI partition to FAT32 and installing Clover on the hard drive so it could boot without the USB drive. I added RealtekRTL81xx.kext and FakeSMC.kext to /Volumes/EFI/EFI/Clover/kexts/10.10.

I also followed the instructions in running Clover Configurator and to generate a new config.plist to install in /Volumes/EFI/EFI/Clover.

Note that I removed nv_disable=1 and added nvda_drv=1 to the boot options because of the next step.

Installing Video and Audio Drivers

I installed this Nvidia experimental driver to get the 750 GTX working. Note that it only works with 10.10.0; I had previously installed 10.10.1 and had to start over all again to get this driver installed. Once you install this driver then you must activate it with the nvda_drv=1 boot option.

There is now an Nvidia driver for 10.10.1 but I'm not sure if I'm ready to move to it yet. There are reports that the DVI port doesn't work yet, which is what I use. This comment may come in handy.

To get sound working, I used this audio guide to point me to the right place. I wound up pursuing the cloverALC/Clover option. I downloaded from this site. After unzipping the file, I ran it and answered "Yes" to all the questions.

To get the network card working, I downloaded the .zip file from RehabMan's fork of Mieze's Realtek RTL8111 Network Driver.