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[Guide] Install High Sierra or Mojave on the Dell Optiplex 7010 / 9010 Desktop PC - Revision II

trs96

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Thanks again, your guides have been easy to follow and because of that, provided a great base to learn about this stuff.
You're welcome Nick. I've created these Hackintosh 101 guides so those new to this have a place to start that is affordable, without having to spend over 700 dollars on a build from scratch or a 2014 Mac Mini. You'd think that Apple would reduce the price on these "newest version" Mac Minis 4 years after they were released. I've heard of a refresh coming but I think the prices will only go higher. I'd predict the 2018 Mac Minis, now called the "Mini Pro," will start at $799.99. Anyway, I hope they will have NVMe drives and Th.Bolt 3 onboard. Desktop class chips ? Maybe, if they improve the cooling system like they did in the iMac Pro. An i5-8500 or an i7-8700 in the upgraded model would make a lot of people happy, but only if it won't thermal throttle.

I'm certain that the performance on your i5 Dell CustoMac Mini is far superior to what even the i5 8GB model from Apple can do. A 5400 RPM 1TB boot drive ? This is 2018. You might as well still be using floppy drives and diskettes. The single, solid block of Aluminum 2014 Mini does make a really good paperweight on your desk. Super quiet too. :wave: Anyone that buys one today can enjoy the spinning beachballs they'll get with High Sierra on a regular basis.

Screen Shot 8.jpg
 
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@karoli9 Could you test and see if your onboard DP audio is working on your MT ? I've got mine working now with just AppleALC and Lilu kext installed to /L/E. I know you use a 970. Is your HDMI/DP audio working with that as well ? I can't test a dedicated Nvidia card in my USFF. No PCIe slot. Of course, uninstall your 970 first before trying to test onboard DP audio. Thanks a lot ! Hope you are liking your Optiplex 7010.

Hi!

I wish I could, but I sold the machine.
1. I took back the GTX 970 because of the fan making awful noises above 60% rpm and Gigabyte sent me a brand new 1060 6 GB :D
2. I put the Dell's parts into a different PC case (super silent) and it worked very well. I took out the GTX 970 because of the previous reason and let the machine rest for a month. I got the GTX 1060, put it back to the machine and...it was not booting anymore. The power button LED showed possible USB failure. I tested all the connectors, but nothing happened. I got angry put the parts back to the Dell case and...it worked immediately :D This motherboard is too moody for me, so I sold the whole project.

And it turned out I don't need a hackintosh for work and W10 for gaming, the latter will do it both perfectly. For now. :)
 
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@karoli9 I know that you are using the MT version of the 7010. Did you keep the stock Dell fans or replace them ? I know that the CPU fan (80mm) is quite noisy. You are gaming with it, how loud does it get ? How high are the temps going up to ?

I switched the CPU cooler to Scythe Katana 3. Well, it wasn't easy :D If anyone is interested in changing the CPU cooler I can tell how. But I left the case fan untouched. The original Dell case should have two case fans for MUCH BETTER cooling, but it doesn't. That is why I packed the guts of the Dell into a Nanoxia Deep Silence 4...
With the Scythe and the very hot GTX 970 the CPU temps were around 75 degrees celsius and yes, the case fan was too loud for me.
 

trs96

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  2. Mac mini
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I got the GTX 1060, put it back to the machine and...it was not booting anymore. The power button LED showed possible USB failure. I tested all the connectors, but nothing happened. I got angry put the parts back to the Dell case and...it worked immediately
Thanks for reporting back of your experiences. Did you have the front I/O USB + Audio panel hooked up in the new case ? If not, I'd estimate the reason for this is that there may be something Dell has in their firmware that prevents using this in a 3rd party case without that part connected to the motherboard. That may be why you got a USB failure message, IDK.
Screen Shot 9.jpg
It's part of their proprietary nonsense like the 5 pin fan headers. Anyway sorry to hear you had to abandon the whole project. I'm looking at the 3010 motherboard and it seems that you can transfer that to another case quite easily and everything should work. Haven't received the case yet so I'll make a note here later on if it is successful. My 7010 USFF is working very well, I'm really happy with the results there. It's many times better than the 700 USD 2014 Mac Mini that is still for sale at retail prices, four years after it was first released.
 
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trs96

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Dell Optiplex 3010 DT/MT/SFF
These were released at about the same time (2012-13) as the 7010 and 9010 Dell Optiplex PCs. I have not included these in the title of this guide because they use a completely different Sandy Bridge chipset (H61) rather than the Q77 chipset. They do have UEFI though and you can install High Sierra UEFI. The install does go extremely slowly and specific config.plist changes are needed. I would still suggest a legacy install if you have the 3010. It does officially support the Ivy Bridge CPUs like the i5-3450 and i5-3470. I would suppose even an i7-3770 could work. It never shipped with the more expensive i7 CPUs as it was a lower cost "budget" version from this series. It was designed for corporations that would order thousands of these at a time.

Screen Shot 10.jpg Screen Shot 10.jpg

So the question is, should I use one of the 3010s instead of a 7010 or 9010 ? Probably not if you want working audio, there isn't the compatible onboard audio chip, ALC269 that the 7010/9010 offers. You also don't get USB 3.0 onboard. There is only one Sata 3 connector on the motherboard instead of two. So if you want to dual boot with two separate SSDs, one will run at slower Sata 2 speeds. There is also a 8GB limit to the amount of ram you can install. 2 x 8GB DIMMs would probably work if you installed compatible ram. It only has onboard HDMI instead of dual DP. DP is always the better choice in a CustoMac.

Choose the Optiplex 3010 to Build Your Own "pre-built"
The upside of the DT/MT 3010 is that all the fan headers are standard 4/3 pin. The USB 2.0 headers are standard. The DT/MT models use the official size mATX motherboard form factor. (as the 7010 and 9010 DT/MT do as well)

So if you wanted to put one of these into a case made by anyone other than Dell, i.e. Corsair or Fractal Design etc. it is the best choice for that.

s-l1600.jpg 4_3_pin_Fan_Headers.jpg

You can even buy a replacement CPU Cooler with a 4 pin PWM fan that replaces the stock Dell cooler perfectly. It only costs about 11-12 USD too. It's a Thermaltake CLP0556-B cooler.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA8EF7MX0039&cm_re=thermaltake_cpu_cooler-_-35-106-236-_-Product

Here's the link to the motherboard (Dell 42P49) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AZ33TEK/?tag=tonymacx86com-20 or on Ebay.com https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-42P49...961503?hash=item590fd8e31f:g:GX4AAOSwzbdbR9WW

Do not purchase the SFF 3010 board as it has the proprietary 5 pin fan connectors.

These 3010s are the best choice low cost, build it yourself hackintosh. Get an Ivy Bridge CPU with HD4000, some DDR3 1600 MHz ram, flash the BIOS and you're set to install High Sierra. It may be best to install for Legacy booting but you can also experiment with UEFI. You can use any mATX or larger case, PSU and hard drive you may already have for the build. In this scenario the whole build should be under $100. You also get to choose your own case and PSU.
 
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trs96

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Using a Dell Optiplex 10 Series Motherboard "outside" a Dell Case
As I mentioned in the previous post, the 3010 DT or MT motherboard is the best of the three to use in a non-Dell branded case. The following info applies also to the 7010 and 9010 models as well if you want to move them to a new case.

The one proprietary part you may need to bring along from Dell is the power switch. There are 5 pins for power and the LED light in the Dell power switch. For some reason, known only to Dell engineers, the standard front Power Switch connectors in non-Dell OEM cases, don't stay on the power and LED pins very well on Dell Optiplex boards. The easiest solution is to use the original Dell power switch that you can buy on Ebay for 6 dollars or less. See it on Ebay

Here is the sleeved version which looks to be the better deal currently at $5.49. It also works with the 3010 boards.

You can also touch the two power pins with the tip of a flathead screwdriver to power on. Below is the pinout chart. 1 and 2 are the ones you would need to short to power up your system with a flat head screwdriver. Pin 4 doesn't seem to be involved in this opposed to what the chart below says. Only shorting 1 and 2 together will power on the system when shut down. For some reason, simply toggling the power button on the PSU will power on the system with these Dell motherboards. That is the third option if the first two don't work for you.

Dell Power Switch.jpg


After much effort I was able to get the power switch/led working on my Thermaltake microATX case. I used pins 1+2 for the pwr switch connector and pins 6+ and 3- for the blue LED which illuminates the power button. Then I cable tied the wires to a tie down point on the case. It all works for me but ymmv as they say.
 
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Thanks for reporting back of your experiences. Did you have the front I/O USB + Audio panel hooked up in the new case ? If not, I'd estimate the reason for this is that there may be something Dell has in their firmware that prevents using this in a 3rd party case without that part connected to the motherboard. That may be why you got a USB failure message, IDK.
View attachment 349841
It's part of their proprietary nonsense like the 5 pin fan headers. Anyway sorry to hear you had to abandon the whole project. I'm looking at the 3010 motherboard and it seems that you can transfer that to another case quite easily and everything should work. Haven't received the case yet so I'll make a note here later on if it is successful. My 7010 USFF is working very well, I'm really happy with the results there. It's many times better than the 700 USD 2014 Mac Mini that is still for sale at retail prices, four years after it was first released.

I didn't use the front panel and it still worked flawlessly for many hours of usage, sleep cycle and reboots. It is not needed after dismissing the error message. Of course after having this blinking amber LED error code, I immediately connected the front panel and...nothing happened :/
One of my friend is a talented and experienced PC builder and told me he once had to deal with one of these motherboards and it showed signs of incoherent or inconsistent errors. He had no clue...and so did I :) But I will still sell it as a hackintosh to someone, who is willing to learn :)

Getting the 5 pin-to-4 pin cable adapter from AliExpress is a cheap (20 cms long, 1.72 USD, free shipment) and easy - ok, not fast - alternative. eBay is kind of pricey compared, though it is faster :)
 

trs96

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  2. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
one of these motherboards and it showed signs of incoherent or inconsistent errors. He had no clue...and so did I
Was this the 7010 MT motherboard or the 9010 version ? Why would these errors occur only outside the Dell case ? This is quite a mystery.
 
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trs96

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Joined
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Messages
20,959
Motherboard
GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
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i5-4690K
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HD4600 / RX 570
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
Try out an ultra low budget Ivy Bridge Hackintosh
If you don't have a lot of money to spend and have an mATX/ATX case, HDD and PSU sitting around, but not being used, you can try out macOS High Sierra for around 59 USD. 63 dollars max if your monitor doesn't have DP input. Prices will fluctuate frequently on Ebay so the following are only current for May 2019.

The key to this is to buy refurbished parts on Ebay.
If you don't have a PSU there is one for the DT board specifically for 10 dollars.

Here's a good basic mATX case from Rosewill for $30
The only other part you might need is a DP to HDMI adapter if your monitor only has HDMI.

Those are also inexpensive and easy to find.
These sell for just 2 or 3 dollars. DP to HDMI adapter

To power up or shut off the system use the guidelines presented in post number 106 above.

You can also install older versions of macOS from Mountain Lion to Sierra if you'd like to as well. Mavericks works especially well on this hardware as it doesn't use as much ram as Sierra, High Sierra or Mojave does. You can get by with just 4 GB without major problems.

Once you've got this built you can then brag to your friends about your 70 dollar, fully functional hackintosh !

Core i5 versions of the Dell 7010 SFF can be found on Ebay.com for $105 to $120. The problem is that none of them have an i5 with HD4000. You'd have to swap out the CPU or install a LP compatible graphics card instead. That is the next best option.
Link to complete 7010 SFFs on Ebay
 
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Dell 9010 DT
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i7 3770
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on-board
First off, thanks for all the effort put into making this guide.
I have been having quite a time trying to get the install completed (USB port problems) but have finally made it to step 4: Edit your DSDT with MacIASL. I seem to be missing where to download the "ACPI patching tools folder". From reading through the posts (#31 in particular) It appears that step 4 has been modified over time. I was wondering if someone could link to where to acquire that folder mentioned in step 4.
 
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