El Capitan 10.11.5 on Dell Dimension e520 - Core 2 duo

May 21, 2014
System make/model > See Rules!
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HD 4400
  1. MacBook
  2. MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
What you need:
  1. Some sort of OS X installation that can run Uni beast
  2. 16gb flash drive
  3. Dell E520 with Core 2 Duo (Not sure about Pentium 4 or Pentium D: Pentium D uses some sort of weird virtual way called EMT64 to execute x64 which complicates things)
  4. Uni beast installer for El Captain
  5. This EFI Folder
  6. El Captain.App downloaded from app store.
  7. A compatible GPU, in my case I used an AMD 6450. It worked out of the box and didn't need further steps to install. Your GPU may not work the same and you need to research the compatibility and see if you need a new one. The AMD 6450 has HDMI audio and multi-monitor support out of the box.
  8. A sata HDD, SSD or SSHD with data you don't care about erasing
  9. At least 2GB of ram
How to Install:

1. Install El Captain to the USB with uni beast
2. Mount the EFI partition with these commands:
  • "sudo diskutil list" - find your USB drive and make note of the name of the EFI partition, in my case it is "disk2s1"
  • "sudo diskutil mount /dev/disk2s1" Change "disk2s1" to whatever you have *MAKE SURE IT IS FOR THE UNI BEAST PENDRIVE, NOT YOUR STARTUP DISK*
3. Once mounted, delete everything on the disk
4. Exract the File you downloaded and copy "EFI" to the EFI disk

We are ready to install. There are just a few things you need to check.

5. Turn on the Dell e520 and tap f2 until you enter setup
6. Disable VM-T to get rid of possible problems
7. Go to Drives - SATA Operation and select raid on and then press enter

This enables AHCI, without it you would have problems and your drives would operate at a slower speed. You don't have to raid anything if you have a multi-drive setup, unless you want to, but I never tried it with Mac OS X. I have an SSD, 1tb HDD, and Sata DVD drive all connected and working fine. All it will do is add an extra menu while booting.

8. Save and exit bios.

We are now ready to install

9. Power on the computer and tap f12 until you enter the boot device selection
10. Select "USB Device" or similar
11. Select the option with "Unibeast" in the name
12. Format the drive with the normal GUID and HFS+
13. The install should complete
14. Restart the computer following step 9.
15. Boot to the Pendrive in step 10. There is no boot loader installed yet.
16. Select the El captain drive with the name of your main drive in the title.
17. Go into settings - energy settings and disable sleep - I'm not sure how to make this work, you can leave the option that makes the screen dark if you would like.
18. Restart the computer, this enabled my audio to work

20. If networking is not working - follow these steps:
  • Download this kext
  • Go to a mac with working internet
  • Follow step 2 to mount the EFI partition again
  • Go to EFI - CLOVER - Kexts - 10.11 and place the kext in that folder
  • Reboot the computer using step 9, 10, and 16
If audio doesn't work, go to MIDI and select your preferred audio output device. The one built into the motherboard worked for me out of the box. If it doesn't for you, try to find a kext for your vendor and device ID and follow step 20 replacing the kext with the one you found.

Now we're going to copy the bootloader of the USB to the OSX Drive

21. Download the Multibeast for El Capitan and install it on the Dell
22. Only install a clover Bootloader, make sure to select legacy!
23. Mount the EFI partition of you main drive and USB Drive using step 2
24. Go to EFI- CLOVER on both drives and *replace* (not merge) the following files on the Main drive from the USB
  • Themes folder
  • Config.plist
  • Kexts folder
  • Cloveria32.efi
  • Cloverx64.efi
  • Map the folders to the locations in the EFI partition
  • make sure the boot options match those of on the flash drives Clover options page.
  • Select the theme you want to use.
26. Try rebooting into the Main drive using steps 9, 10, and 16. If it does not work, use the USB drive to boot into OS X.

27. Optional step - If you want the computer to boot directly into clover, follow step 5 to enter setup and go to system - boot sequence and put the USB or name of the Sata Drive at the top of the list, depending on which one you use to boot.

More Information:
If needed, find kexts for other hardware and install them using a kext installer for el capitan or check multibeast to see if it has kexts for the hardware.

You can try to add -v in the clover boot options to troubleshoot if any problems arise from installing hardware, software, new kexts, etc.


  • EFI - EL Capitan Core2Duo.rar
    4.1 MB · Views: 203
Last edited:
Dec 21, 2020
Dell Dimension E520
Intel Core 2 Quad
I know I am few years late on this...Just want to say thank you!!! Your instructions is very clear and I manage to get El Capitan up and running on my OLD but RELIABLE E520...
Is El Capitan the highest macOS version can be running on this machine ?
Some studies on this (i could be wrong), later version of macOS require SSE4.1 and E520 CPU (i upgraded it to Q6700) does not support 45nm CPU...
Please advise.