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

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Oct 25, 2017
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Motherboard
Dell Optiplex 7010-Clover
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i5-3475S
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HD 4000, GT 740
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iMac, MacBook Pro
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iOS
I think I know what my problem has been. When I made the original install USB for the 7010, I used an Optiplex 380 hackintosh. When I made it using the Optiplex 7010 to try and start over, I found essentially the same EFI folder on the HDD after installing regardless of whether or not I format the HDD. I think that when I mad the original installer, it took the EFI folder from the Optiplex 380 and that may contain extra stuff that could possibly be:
a. not allowing us to do what we want OR
b. counteract some of the stuff we have done OR
c. put a ton of extra stuff in to the 7010 EFI folder.
 
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HP 8300 Elite i5-3570
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When it does clover loads and I’m in with no issues. I could restart and it won’t see the drive anymore.
You might be able to find reports of some brands/models of SSD's not working in osx, Ive seen such reports but not read any details but first you might check your BIOS - both version and settings, especially the settings for boot device - it must be uefi and the first choice should be the ssd, NOT osx which should be unticked as a boot option. Dual booting?, brings issues on its own and if you are using two drives? make sure you only have one bootable EFI partition (for all drives), Im sure its possible but without special configuration, no two drives should have a bootable EFI partition on.
 
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trs96

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Dell / Mitsubishi CMOS Battery Fails

I'm going to document the automatic, "switching back to Legacy BIOS" problem further because it's the third time this has happened now. I recently bought a 9010 SFF on Ebay for further testing. Installed High Sierra after setting the BIOS correctly for UEFI booting, everything went perfectly by following the guide in post #1. I then unplugged this Dell 9010 for a few days removed it from my test bench, and let it sit while working on other things. Tried to boot it up this morning and here's what I saw:

1006180819.jpg
It didn't take long to figure out that the BIOS had automatically switched back to the default settings. So, it's caused by the bleeping CMOS battery again not holding a charge because this machine was unplugged from the wall for a couple of days.

Legacy and UEFI Boot Sequence of the Dell 9010 BIOS


1006180816.jpg

Above is the default sequence you'll get when the CMOS battery fails
If you've followed the guide in post #1 of this thread, you set your Dell up for UEFI booting. When the battery fails, the BIOS changes you've made are lost. The result is that the Dell BIOS cannot see your macOS drive anymore to be able to boot it up. You won't reach the Clover Boot Menu screen or have any UEFI bootable drive options.

1006180820.jpg

Here's how it should look when set to UEFI booting

This has never happened with any of the HP 6300/8300s I've owned that are about the same age, maybe even a year older than these Dell Optiplex computers. Maybe Dell got a bad batch of CMOS batteries that all fail after 4-5 years, I don't know. It may be the way the motherboard is designed. The only solution is to replace the battery with a fresh one, once you buy one of these refurb machines. If you keep the old CMOS battery you'll have to keep resetting the BIOS quite often and it will get very annoying quickly. So it looks like I'll need to create a step 0 - Replace the Bleeping CMOS Battery! and make it a mandatory step.

Here's an Amazon link to buy a 4 pack. They are very inexpensive and the Energizer brand is the best you can get.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D8P5T0U/?tag=tonymacx86com-20

The lowest cost option is to buy a 2 pack on Ebay.com. These cost less than 70 cents each.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-Piece-Fresh-ENERGIZER-CR2032-WATCH-BATTERIES-3V-LITHIUM-CR-2032-DL2032-BR2032/142659750984?epid=17008010964&hash=item21372f0c48:g:JmQAAOSw-RFaX8G3

Whatever brand you choose to buy make sure it is model CR2032 3V Lithium battery so it will work properly in the PC.

Even if you test the CMOS battery with a multimeter and it registers close to 3V it still may not be able to hold a charge and be a usable battery. You only need to watch the first 3 minutes to understand why battery testers don't work to verify whether a battery is good or not. Watch this video:

If you have any other PCs that are 7 years old or older you can replace those too as a preventative measure.
 
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Joined
Aug 18, 2018
Messages
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Motherboard
Dell Optiplex 7010 SFF
CPU
i7-3770
Graphics
HD 4000
The config.plist looks ok. You could also fill out all of the sections of the SMBIOS tab. Just click on iMac 13,2 from the dropdown menu in the lower right part and it poplulates the form fields.

View attachment 354923

A failing or failed CMOS batter could be at fault too. I'm not sure why these batteries in Dells that are only about 5 years old are all failing at the same time. Maybe they got a bad batch from Mitsubishi ? I've had CMOS batteries last up to 10 years in other PCs that I've owned.
It's been a couple of days (it's been a pretty busy week for me,) but I do have some information to report.

First, I can report that I don't think the CMOS battery is at fault for me. I did swap it with a fresh battery, but I had the same result with unchecking the Enable Legacy Option ROMs setting - no display at all during boot up. The system doesn't hang while in this state, there just is no display until the OS initializes graphics, which is at the login screen for both macOS and Fedora.

I checked the voltage of both batteries - the original one in the system was just a bit above 3V, and the new one is at 3.25V - well within their proper specs. (edit: I typed this before your recent post - I am still using the new battery in the system, and have no intention of putting the old one back in.)

I've tried seeing if I can get into the macOS installer while in this state too, but I don't believe it will initialize graphics properly to have any display, which isn't surprising to me.

I did a reinstall from scratch last night, and I can say that after completing the guide - everything works. It's not until after where things go wrong with the graphics. I'm going to be doing more testing to see if I can find something consistent that does it.

For reference, with my testing last night, I made it about 3 or 4 system restarts before I encountered any issues, the changes I remember i had made after the last good boot was changing the wallpaper, signing in to the App Store, and then installing the iTunes and Safari updates.
 

trs96

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First, I can report that I don't think the CMOS battery is at fault for me. I did swap it with a fresh battery, but I had the same result with unchecking the Enable Legacy Option ROMs setting - no display at all during boot up. The system doesn't hang while in this state, there just is no display until the OS initializes graphics, which is at the login screen for both macOS and Fedora.
With my 7010 USFF I tested the original battery with a multi-meter and it measured just slightly below 3V. Testing with a meter doesn't place any load on the battery. So to test further, I placed it in a Windows 7 legacy PC connected via VGA to see if it would hold the BIOS info. Doing this eliminates any macOS installed on a PC issues as a cause of booting problems.

After changing some bios settings on the PC, shutting down and unplugging it for a while, I tried to boot again. All the BIOS changes were lost and returned to default. That verified that the battery couldn't hold a charge anymore.

I put a brand new CR2032 in my 7010 and haven't had any problems since then, about 2 weeks ago. I think your graphics problems are probably related to something else other than the CMOS battery. If your BIOS is not going back to default settings, we know that for certain.

We'll have to keep researching this to find the cause. I haven't completely ruled out the last two Dell BIOS updates (the 2 2018 versions) as a problem but I'm looking into that.

For reference, with my testing last night, I made it about 3 or 4 system restarts before I encountered any issues, the changes I remember i had made after the last good boot was changing the wallpaper, signing in to the App Store, and then installing the iTunes and Safari updates.
Post a screenshot of what the Boot Sequence page of your BIOS looks like.
 
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but I do have some information to report.
Might you try booting without your ssdt in place - it might keep your cpu running full speed so check and dont run for too long if it does. Im wondering if this will effect your graphics.(if you dont have an ssdt - try one)
BIOS losing data - I've had several unexplained losses and not found a pattern, except maybe pulling power cable out whilst its sleeping. I'd be interested in your progress.
 
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Joined
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Motherboard
Dell Optiplex 7010 SFF
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i7-3770
Graphics
HD 4000
I think your graphics problems are probably related to something else other than the CMOS battery. If your BIOS is not going back to default settings, we know that for certain.
Agreed, I have not had issues with the BIOS losing settings with either CMOS battery.

We'll have to keep researching this to find the cause. I haven't completely ruled out the last two Dell BIOS updates (the 2 2018 versions) as a problem but I'm looking into that.
If you want to keep track of this information, I have it on the latest version, A29.

Post a screenshot of what the Boot Sequence page of your BIOS looks like.
This is what it is currently with another fresh install done for testing - I have the drive with Fedora installed disconnected to remove any possible variables.
IMG_20181006_140358.jpg
This install, I completed the entire guide (and created an SSDT file,) did no additional configuration, and everything was working. I then restarted the system and had graphics issues.

Might you try booting without your ssdt in place - it might keep your cpu running full speed so check and dont run for too long if it does. Im wondering if this will effect your graphics.(if you dont have an ssdt - try one)
Interestingly (to me, anyway,) this will "reset" my graphics issue. If I remove it from the patched folder, the system will boot without any issues with graphics for a few times, and then the problems will return. But, if I put the SSDT file back in place, then the problems disappear again for another few boots, only to repeat this cycle again.
 
Joined
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Messages
192
Motherboard
Dell Optiplex 7010-Clover
CPU
i5-3475S
Graphics
HD 4000, GT 740
Mac
iMac, MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
iOS
That doesn't work well because my patched DSDT is likely different in a number of ways that could prevent it from working on your HP. What I would suggest is a clean install from your Unibeast drive. Wipe the current install of HS by formatting the drive in Disk Utility and then implement the guide in post #1 precisely as it is presented and it will work. I know that for certain from the extensive testing that I did to write the guide for my 7010 USFF with an i5-3475S CPU and HD4000 graphics.
I have completed the install and gotten the HD 4000 graphics working good again and fully recognized. As before, everything works perfectly except a lot of times when I boot, the keyboard and mouse are not recognized. Do you know how to fix this? Has anybody ever had this issue before?
 

trs96

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This is what it is currently with another fresh install done for testing - I have the drive with Fedora installed disconnected to remove any possible variables.
This is related to the problems you are having, you don't want the Mac OS X drive first in the boot sequence. You do want the UEFI WD drive to be first in the boot sequence. Uncheck the box next to Mac OS X or just delete it altogether, save the changes and see what happens.

See my UEFI boot sequence screenshot in post #273. That is the ideal way to have it set up.

IMG_20181006_140358.jpg
 
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trs96

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I have completed the install and gotten the HD 4000 graphics working good again and fully recognized. As before, everything works perfectly except a lot of times when I boot, the keyboard and mouse are not recognized. Do you know how to fix this? Has anybody ever had this issue before?
Try putting the mouse and keyboard only in the USB 2.0 ports below the Ethernet jack and then test it again.
Another possibility is that your ram could be freezing up the system intermittently. You could test it with memtest 86+ run it from a usb flash drive. Minimum of 3-4 hours.
 
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