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In Part 1 I explained my thinking behind building a Hackintosh and listed the parts. So lets get into the build.
When I was growing up many of my friends at school had built their own PCs. It was never something that interested me. In the early 90’s I started work as an art director at TBWA and the Macintosh was our system of choice and has been mine ever since. So I had never built my own PC. When the parts arrived I was a little nervous but thought “how hard can this be?”. Assembly was pretty straight forward and I had the system built in an afternoon. If you can use a screw driver and can read then you should no issues at all assembling the parts.
Next step was getting the OS up and running. I had spent a lot of time on the tonymacx86.com forum reading other users posts, researching my components and planning the build. The forum, like most forums, is filled with people having issues. Many of those come from simply not following instructions. There are also a lot of very knowledgeable people on the forum and in most cases you can find a solution to your problem without even asking a question. tonymac86 and the rest of the team have developed the process over the years that it’s now pretty straightforward. Worth donating to their site if it’s useful to you. If you use parts that have been tried and tested and follow the instructions you should have a machine up and running in a few hours.
So I began the process… My main guide was this: UniBeast: Install OS X Mountain Lion on Any Supported Intel-based PC
With OS X 10.8.3 most components on my list work out of the box.
What you need:
My first task was to flash the motherboard with an updated bios. You don’t need to do this on Gigabyte motherboards. The ASUS motherboard I chose needs this as the machine will kernel panic when booting as the OS tries to set-up power management. It’s a quick and simple process. You can download the updated BIOS here: biosrepo.wordpress.com/asus/z77 and the process to flash the BIOS is explained here: event.asus.com/2012/mb/usb_bios_flashback_guide.
So now the machine is ready for installation. Our next step is to create a bootable USB flash drive. Over to my MacBook Pro, where I had purchased OS X Mountain Lion, and run the latest version of UniBeast. Follow the steps in Step 2 of the UniBeast Guide and create a bootable USB flash drive with latest version of OS X (10.8.3 at the time).
Back over to the Hackintosh. For the set-up you need to use the onboard graphics card ports. I connected my Asus PB278Q 27″display to the display port on the motherboard. It might be best to remove the GeForce GPUs for the set-up tho I have managed to reinstall the OS with them connected.
You now need to make sure the BIOS is set up correctly. This is pretty simple. Powered up the machine holding F2. This will bring you to the BIOS set-up. Now hit F5 to set the BIOS to it’s defaults. You need to make a few changes from the default settings so now you need to hit F8 to go to the advanced menus. These are the changes you’ll need to make:
Reboot and follow steps in Step 3 of the UniBeast Guide.
So now you should have your OS installed. We are almost there. For the Hackintosh to work we need to install some bootloaders and extensions. These allow OS X to run the Hackintosh hardware. Things like audio and networking. The latest version of MultiBeast has all of this covered.
Follow the steps in Step 4 of the UniBeast Guide.
These are the items that need to be checked in the MultiBeast installer:
Probably a good idea to run Disk Utility and repair permissions at this point. Then shut down the machine and install and reconnect you display to the GeForce GTX card. Remember to set your primary display to PCI-E in the BIOS:
Now boot up. You should be running fine. Even USB3 should working… but there is an issue. I found that any time I connected a LaCie Rugged USB3 drive to a USB3 port it would hang the machine. It was fine connected to USB2 but what good it that, right? All my other USB3 drives were fine. There is a fix tho. You just need to replace the USB3 extension that Multibeast installs with this one and repair permissions once you are done.
In Part 3 I’ve posted some benchmarks and my closing thoughts…