Building a Hackintosh ended up being somewhat non-trivial in light of the hardware issues I encountered (see my previous post). Configuring the software was also somewhat challenging. Here’s what I had to do to get it all to pretty much Just Work ™.
I built a Hackintosh developer rig in October. I had some trials and tribulations with the hardware that I mention in the previous post, but I also had difficulty in getting every configuration setting correct in OS X.
For obvious reasons, Apple doesn’t want you to run their software on your hardware. Hindsight being what it is, I should have just dropped the dollars for a Mac. I enjoy tinkering, though, and consider myself a Technology Enthusiast, and the prospect of running OS X Mountain Lion on a computer that I put together myself was just too tempting, too exciting.
Ultimately, it was an incredibly satisfying experience in spite of all of the frustrations. I enjoyed putting together the hardware and I enjoyed troubleshooting OS X when it didn’t quite work correctly. Any time I “Go Enthusiast,” I’m taken back to the Old Days of working in a DOS command line, writing debug.com scripts, getting mad at Autoexec.bat or learning the bash shell while looking up modem strings over a dial-up terminal. It’s a psuedo-trip down Memory Lane with modern hardware and software: The ability to dig in and get your hands dirty, fight the Unknown Dragon and claim victory, a working machine your treasure for adventuring down the path of the unknown.
It’s not for everyone, of course… And it can be frustrating as hell… but ultimately, I find it incredibly rewarding.
Here’s how I configured my build to work with Mountain Lion.
First off, everything you’ll find on this post you’ll find on tonymacx86. There’s a wealth of troubleshooting information, details, helpful tips and a thriving community of people committed to getting various flavors of OS X working on non-Apple hardware. Pretty awesome. Jump over there right now if you’re considering such a build.
My build was primarily influenced by the components listed on the CustoMac 2012 page. Check that resource for hardware details.
Finally, I’d say that a majority of the information I required to stand up a working environment came from Slugnet’s Video Editor – GA-Z77X-UD5H, i7-3770k, Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 Ti post.
GA-Z77X-UD5H BIOS Settings
After successfully installing Mountain Lion, my first hurdle came at reboot. For reasons I didn’t fully understand,
OS X would hang on boot. It never hung up on any specific line according to the verbose output and I honestly couldn’t
figure out what it was. I suspected a BIOS setting, however: Several posts on tonymacx86 indicated a potential issue
VT-d that could be resolved by installing certain
kexts or disabling the option in the BIOS.
Ultimately, I disabled
VT-d. Once disabled, the system booted… almost.
I still had a problem, though.
GeForce GTX 660 Ti
My second issue concerned the GTX 660 Ti:
Either the OS wouldn’t display or it would once again hang on boot. The
fix was simple enough, though:
GraphicsEnabler=No in the
org.chameleon.Boot.plist file. Not understanding this
setting frustrated me initially, but it’s well-documented all over the Internet: I was just too dense to get it.
Finally, I installed the CUDA and display drivers from NVIDIA.
The last little bit of tweaking concerned audio, TRIM support and some networking options: Here, I just followed the steps outlined in Slugnet’s post to configure Multibeast: Realtek ALC8xx – Without DSDT – ALC898. I also enabled TRIM support and installed two network drivers.
As it stands, I really didn’t have to alter a whole lot: The build worked pretty much out of the box, and would have
worked without a major headache if it wasn’t for the odd issues with
VT-d and the GTX 660 Ti.