OS X Yosemite installer shows blank/black screen when using Clover

This is a heads up for everybody with an Nvidia GTX 760 (other Nvidia cards may be affected as well) trying to install OS X Yosemite 10.10 using Clover on a Hackintosh. If you’re getting a blank/black screen at the start of the installation, try to add the boot flag nv_disable=1. My screen was getting dark just after the installer displayed DSMOS has arrived when using the -v verbose boot flag. It always happened right after the installer was switching from text mode to graphics mode.

        <key>Boot</key>
        <dict>
                <key>Arguments</key>
                <string>dart=0 -v kext-dev-mode=1 nv_disable=1</string>
        ...(more)

Once OS X Yosemite has been installed, the nv_disable boot flag is no longer required and should be removed.

How to comfortably mount Clover’s EFI partition

I’ve been using command-line commands or the Clover Configurator to mount Clover’s EFI partition to edit Clover’s main configuration file.

However, I find it easiest to mount the hidden EFI volume in Disk Utility:

diskutility-efi

The hidden partitions will only be shown if Disk Utility’s debug mode has been enabled. In a shell, type:
defaults write com.apple.DiskUtility DUDebugMenuEnabled 1

Start Disk Utility and enable the option to show all partitions:

diskutility-debug

How to auto-boot an OS X Fusion Drive using Clover

Ever since I fusioned a SSD and a HDD into an OS X Fusion Drive, Clover has been unable to auto-boot the new logical Fusion Drive volume. Clover was just sitting on its startup volume selection screen and was waiting for me to select the volume to boot. I’ve found some hints that using an UUID should make Clover autoboot the Fusion drive but I’ve been unable to make it work with any of the UUIDs of the logical/physical volume.

What finally worked was using the system ID (or whatever this is called) of the volume. Here’s an excerpt from my Clover configuration:

	<key>Boot</key>
	<dict>
		<key>Arguments</key>
		<string>dart=0</string>
		<key>DefaultVolume</key>
		<string>HD(3,GPT,17337FC1-A0F7-4C73-DEA1-363BA11AB811,0x3A346008,0x40000)</string>
		<key>Timeout</key>
		<integer>5</integer>

With this ID, Clover auto-boots my Fusion Drive volume just fine after waiting for 5 seconds for user input.

The full IDs can be found in Clover’s log file in /Library/Logs/CloverEFI/ and look like this:
system.log:0:837 0:000 PciRoot(0x0)\Pci(0x1F,0x2)\Sata(0x0,0xFFFF,0x0)\HD(3,GPT,17337FC1-A0F7-4C73-DEA1-363BA11AB811,0x3A346008,0x40000)

You have to strip the PciRoot/Sata part for Clover.

How to rename an OS X Fusion Drive

Since OS X Yosemite, the CoreStorage service allows you to rename the logical volume name of a Fusion Drive if you wish to do so.

sudo diskutil cs rename "Macintosh HD" "Fusion Drive"

The Fusion Drive now shows up as “Fusion Drive” instead of “Macintosh HD” which was the name I’ve chosen initially. The OS X main volume is still named “Macintosh HD”.

diskutil-fusiondrive

Native Gigabit PCI-e Network Adapter / NIC for OS X

Here’s an overview of natively supported PCI-e (64-bit) network interface controllers (NIC) for OS X. I’ve had the chance to test some of them in my current Hackintosh build.

HP NC360T PCI-Express PRO/1000

The HP NC360T dual port PCI-e network adapter works out of the box in OS X. However, since OS X 10.8.2 Apple changed something in the driver resulting in a link loss whenever the network is under considerable load. If this happens, the network can be brought back to life by deactivating/reactivating the network in OS X’s control panel. Do not buy this network card if you intend to use it in a recent OS X version.
nc360t-pci-e-dual-port Continue reading

strongSwan 5 based IPSec VPN, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and PSK/XAUTH

I prefer strongSwan over Openswan because it’s still in active development, easier to setup and doesn’t require a L2TP daemon. I prefer a simple IKEv1 setup using PSK and XAUTH over certificates. If you plan to share your VPN server with your friends it’s also a lot easier to setup for them without certificates. I haven’t tried the VPN configuration below with non-Apple clients but it works well with iOS and OS X clients. Make sure to use the Cisco IPSec VPN profile, not the L2TP over IPSec profile you need for Openswan. While strongSwan works well with KVM and Xen containers, it probably won’t work with non-virtualised containers like OpenVZ or LXC. Continue reading

Best USB 3.0 controller for a Hackintosh

My rather dated ASUS P6T based Hackintosh lacked USB 3.0, a feature I really wanted because I already own an external USB 3 SSD drive which I’m using on my notebook. Quite a while ago, I bought this dirt cheap PCI-express 4 port USB card for $11 on eBay. However, the controller didn’t work on OS X no matter what (MultiBeast-)driver I tried. The connected SSD drive finally showed up once I applied some obscure XHCI compatibility settings to the .plist of the Apple USB driver but transferring files from/to the drive was beyond slow.

Last week, I noticed an USB 3 related entry in the MultiBeast release notes:

Added USB 3.0 – Universal which is RehabMan’s branch of Zenith432’s GenericUSBXHCI.kext

Once I installed this new driver using the latest MultiBeast and rebooted my Hackintosh, my external SSD started working like a treat! While I have no idea if this $11 controller is the best Hackintosh USB 3.0 controller (that was just a bait to lure you in) it’s still a good bang for your buck. This controller/driver combo might even work on a Mac Pro, which to this date still don’t have USB 3 support.

usb3-controller-hackintosh

Kudos go out to everyone involved in creating this universal USB 3 driver. You’re awesome!

ASUS P6T Hackintosh & OS X Mountain Lion

I just finished installing OS X Mountain Lion (latest preview) on my new Intel 520 SSD. The 520 is one of the fastest consumer SSD’s on the market today. Even though my 3 year old ASUS P6T mainboard doesn’t support SATA-3, the 520 still performs ridiculously fast. It takes a mere 6 seconds from the Apple logo to the desktop. The spinning Apple circle doesn’t even show up.

Installation went pretty smoothly using Tonymacx86’s UniBeast and MultiBeast.

Will somebody please teach the guys in Redmond about how to speed up an operating system boot?

Best Ethernet network adapter/NIC for a Hackintosh

Added 8-15-2014: This post ist outdated, please see here for more information on natively supported PCI-e network cards for OS X.

My ASUS P6T motherboard features a gigabit-capable Realtek 8111C onboard NIC. There’s an official but old OS X driver for this network adapter available from Realtek, but it crashes my Hackintosh whenever I try to use an OpenVPN connection to a remote server. Luckily, there’s an alternate RTL 81xx driver from Lnx2Mac which doesn’t suffer from this limitation. However, when I did some network benchmarking using a remote Linux server, I wasn’t getting consistent results regarding throughput. It seemed that the further a remote server was away, the less consistent was the throughput I got. It even got worse when using a VPN. It took me quite a while until I found out that the culprit was the Lnx2Mac driver for my onboard network adapter. Don’t get me wrong, the Lnx2Mac driver is perfect if you just need some sort if Internet connection and I appreciate the efforts that have been put into it. But since I was looking for a high performance driver, it didn’t seem to be a good choice. Continue reading

OS X 10.7.4 update breaks Asus P6T X58 compatibility

For the first time ever, an OS X update breaks compatibility with the X58 chipset. After applying the 10.7.4 update most X58-based Hackintoshs will see (if booted with the -v option) an ACPI related kernel panic or the kernel will just hang early in the boot process with a message like

IOAPIC: Version 0x20 Vectors 64:87
IOAPIC: Version 0x20 Vectors 88:111

Reverting  back to an older AppleACPIPlatform.kext will most likely bring the Hackintosh back from the dead. In order to get access to the disk you’ll need some sort of OS X boot/recovery drive. Make sure you rebuild the kext-cache or temporarily disable support for kernelcache in Chimera/Chameleon.

See this thread on insanelymac.com for a working AppleACPIPlatform.kext. Hopefully, someone finds out what changes need to be made in the boot loader and/or DSDT.

USB Bluetooth dongle for your OS X 10.7 Lion Hackintosh

Want to use Bluetooth on your OS X 10.7 Lion Hackintosh? I went through several super-low-cost USB Bluetooth dongles until I found one that still works after waking the Hack from sleep, which seems to be a common problem for some Bluetooth dongles. I’m only using Bluetooth for my Magic Trackpad though but so far, this dongle works a treat. I got mine from eBay for $1.88 including free shipping (no kiddin’!) from this seller. The item is shipping from China, delivery may take 2 weeks. Continue reading

RTMPDump 2.4 binaries for OS X 10.7 Lion

I just got word from a commenter that RTMPDump 2.4 is out (thanks!). Since the release of Xcode 4 I have been unable to compile the RTMPDump binaries using the supplied Makefile. Actually, the binaries are all there but I always get a signal fault when the rtmpdump binary tries to establish a connection to a target server. I had to resort to plan B which was to import the RTMPDump sources into Xcode and to create a proper console application project. Continue reading

Lowering Radeon 6870 fan noise in OS X Lion

While in Windows 7 the Radeon 6870’s GPU fan is almost inaudible under idle conditions, the fan is clearly audible in OS X Lion. In OS X the GPU fan is permanently changing its speed which creates quite some bothersome noise. If you can’t live with that noise, here’s a tip for the not-so-faint-of-heart about how to modify the fan control curve of your Radeon graphics card. This involves flashing your graphics card’s BIOS using an optimized temperature/fan-speed map. Ain’t that cool? :-) Continue reading

About OS X Lion NAS Time Machine compatibility, Netatalk & GPL violations

While many NAS-vendors like QNAP updated their products to ensure compatibility with AFP-shares in OS X Lion 10.7, things look different when it comes to Time Machine support. Most NAS-vendors still use an older version of Netatalk which supports AFP-shares in Lion (at least when using the DHX2 authentication module) but not the new Time Machine features introduced in AFP 3.3 like “Replay Cache”.

In order to ensure compatibility with OS X Lion’s Time Machine, NAS-vendors will have to use the latest Netatalk v2.2. Users trying to connect to a NAS-based Time Machine volume using an older Netatalk version are greeted with this error message:

The network backup disk does not support the required AFP features

Now, here’s the catch: the current Netatalk maintainer NetAFP.com decided to make this important release closed source, only releasing it to customers who are paying for commercial support (looks like you’re lucky if you own a Netgear or Drobo NAS!). With this move the maintainer deliberately grossly violates the GPL license which Netatalk is based upon in order to blackmail NAS-vendors into paying for commercial support. Make sure to check out Matthew Keller’s insightful response to NetAFP’s new closed source strategy. While both sides have their points I agree with Matthew that violating the GPL in order to earn money doesn’t sound like a solid business model.

Since NAS-vendors who advertise Time Machine compatibility in their products are in a locked-in situation, they only have two choices:

  1. Fork the last available Netatalk version and continue the development on their own (or better: form an alliance between NAS-vendors to advance development of Netatalk)
  2. Pay the current maintainer for commercial support and in turn get access to GPL-based software

I just hope things get sorted out quickly so we can all continue to use Time Machine backups using our Linux-based NAS’ with OS X Lion.

ASUS P6T Hackintosh & i7 970 6-core Gulftown CPU

Today, I updated the i7 920 Nehalem quad core processor in my ASUS P6T based Hackintosh to an even more spiffy 970 6-core Gulftown CPU.  Since the i7 970 was retired and discontinued (EOL) recently, prices for the leftover stock have fallen sharply so I decided to get a new one as long as they’re still available. If you own an ASUS P6T make sure you use at least Bios rev. 1303 or the mainboard won’t recognize the 970.

Upon booting OS X I noticed that P-state P0 a.k.a “Turbo Mode” wasn’t working anymore with the new hexacore CPU on the mainboard. In order to get Turbo Mode back, I needed to edit Chameleon’s com.apple.Boot.plist. Here’s what I added:

	<key>GeneratePStates</key>
	<string>Yes</string>
	<key>GenerateCStates</key>
	<string>Yes</string>

With these settings Chameleon automatically takes care of the C-states and P-states for the CPU. Very cool, that saved me a lot of time messing around with the DSDT! You need at least a recent Chameleon version like RC5 though, the last official release from 2009 won’t support those properties.

Here’s the Geekbench score of the updated rig: