Hackintosh upgrade from 10.7 to 10.8
There are plenty of excellent reviews of Mac OS 10.8 Mountain Lion, so this post will focus on the steps taken to upgrade my fully working 10.7.4 system to 10.8. This is not intended as a complete install-from-nothing guide, requiring a working 10.7.x system to start with.
First some details on the hardware used. My Gigabyte P35-DS3R/Q6600 system was re-purposed at the start of 2012, and replaced with the following:
- Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3 Motherboard
- Intel Core i5 2500k cpu
- 16Gb DDR3 Ram
- Nvidia 9800GT 1Gb video card from previous system
- 2Tb and 1.5Tb hard drives from previous system
- DVD-RW and BD-Rom from previous system
This was setup with Mac OS 10.7 Lion as a fresh install. The point upgrades mostly went without problem until 10.7.4. This caused a lot of issues with sleep and power management, requiring finding the right settings in the BIOS to get everything working reliably. To summarise, this was the state of the 10.7.4 system before the upgrade to Mountain Lion:
- Sleep, shutdown and restart working as intended.
- Speedstep working, giving multipliers of 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 34, 35, 36, 37. Results taken using MSRdumper. There were no results between 21 and 34, so there might still be an issue but the system was smooth and responsive.
- Mac App Store fully working
- Audio working, with analogue and digital out
- SATA hot swap working, so drives could be added or removed from the Icy Dock four drive bay without restarting
Since 10.8 was widely reported as due for release on 25th July 2012 the first step that morning was to start making a full bootable backup using SuperDuper. Another option for bootable backups is Carbon Copy Cloner which recently changed from donationware to a commercial license. Carbon Copy Cloner will be $40 going forward, but is currently available for $30. SuperDuper is still $27.95.
Two copies of the 10.7.4 installation were made this time. The intention is to keep one at 10.7.4 for a while to fall back to if needed, and use the other as a backup for the main 10.8 install while changes are made to it. Both backup drives were tested after the backup finished to make sure they were working correctly.
Once 10.8 was released to the Mac App Store the rush of buyers meant a short delay until the purchase could be made and the download started. That took around 30 minutes, and once done a new ‘Install OS X Mountain Lion’ icon appeared next to the previous 10.7 installer in the Applications folder.
Next stop was tonymacx86.com, where a new version of the UniBeast software had been released. Version 1.5.0 is now available as two separate downloads for 10.7 Lion or 10.8 Mountain Lion. At this point I had no idea if upgrading to 10.8 would work (hence the backups), but it would save a huge amount of work over a fresh install so was the first thing to try.
UniBeast takes the 10.8 installer previously downloaded and makes a bootable USB drive installer, and the process took around 15 minutes with my 16Gb Freecom databar. Once completed I shut down the system and removed all other hard drives except the one I wanted to upgrade. A simple mistake in the Installer could have disastrous consequences if the wrong drive was selected.
Booting from the USB installer, the computer stalled at the white screen with grey Apple logo. Rebooting and using the -v switch at the chameleon screen showed booting hanging with an ATAPI error message. Unplugging the two SATA optical drives from the motherboard got past that error, and booting the installer could then complete. There were no options for what to install and just one drive to install onto so starting the upgrade required no more than clicking a couple of buttons. The upgrade took around 30 minutes to complete, but after rebooting (again with -v) another message ‘waiting for root device’ slowly repeated.
A read of the 10.8 installation section at TonyMacX86 showed other early adopters with the same problem, and a suggestion to fix by removing the ‘UseKernelCache’ line from the org.chameleon.Boot.plist file in /Extra. That worked fine after I booted again with the -x flag added, to start in safe mode. This gave no graphic acceleration which was worrying, but after making the change and restarting my 9800GT worked perfectly.
One thing I have seen frequently suggested to fix problems booting the UniBeast installer is removing some memory cards leaving just one in place. I left all four in during the install and experienced no problems using 16Gb.
Once booting into 10.8 MultiBeast 4.6.1 was used to install the Chimera bootloader. Kext’s for audio were also installed, but after another reboot audio was not working. This was eventually traced to an 899 enabler kext from the 10.7 install, so this was removed and full audio functionality was restored.
Sleep, reboot and shutdown were tested and all worked fine. MSRdumper confirmed that speedstep worked as well as it had under 10.7, the App store still works and SATA drives can be connected or removed without restarting. So far the 10.8 install appears to be working at least as well as its 10.7 predecessor, so I have decided to continue using it as my main install and see what happens.
Software wise there was very little disabled by the upgrade. Virtualbox and VMware were both disabled post install, so I uninstalled Virtualbox (only due to lack of use, it’s still great software) and upgraded VMware to the latest version 4.1.3 which seems to be working just fine. My Macbook Air has also been upgraded to 10.8 and gave no problems. The only thing disabled that time was the Avast antivirus, but that was removed due to an ongoing problem with SSL email accounts. The replacement Avira is already compatible with Mountain Lion so caused no problems.
Minecraft required Java to be downloaded and installed again on 10.8, as we are still relying on Apple providing bug fixes until Oracle takes over. Any other issues will be added here as they are found.
28th July 2012 – Not sure what changed, but the problem I had experienced under 10.7.4 of sleep only working once returned. As part of my initial testing after the 10.8 upgrade I put the computer to sleep and woke it twice, testing for the previous issue. This appeared to work fine just after the upgrade, but yesterday started waking to a black screen and unresponsive system as before. A search of TonyMacX86 yielded a fix here, which involves a terminal command to modify AppleRTC.kext, fixing a CMOS reset bug.
4th August 2012 – I suffered two kernel panic’s when waking the hackintosh from sleep on 30th and 31st of July, then waking from sleep has worked perfectly since. Both kernel panic’s occurred when I clicked on the Magic Mouse. There is also a problem with my bluetooth Magic Mouse and Trackpad disconnecting after wake. This started with the Trackpad a few times, then the Trackpad worked fine and the Mouse started disconnecting. An article at Macworld details a bluetooth issue causing kernel panic’s, so I currently think this is a Mountain Lion bug not a hackintosh specific issue.
13th August 2012 – To add more detail to the previous bluetooth issue, the problem seems to be the Magic Mouse either going to sleep or losing the connection while the hackintosh is in sleep. If the Magic Mouse is moved or clicked before using the power button to wake the hackintosh it will wake fine. Not touching the mouse before using the power button will cause a kernel panic. The Magic Trackpad does not have this issue.
Another problem is disappearing Finder sidebar icons, as shown here. It doesn’t happen immediately, and sometimes the hackintosh has been used for a few days without a restart before they disappear. Killing and relaunching the Finder does not bring the icons back, a restart does. I’m also not using any hacks to restore colour icons or in any way modify the Finder. The cause of this is currently unclear, so I am hoping this will be fixed in 10.8.1.
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