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[SUCCESS] CLOVER Acer Nitro 5 AN515-52 i7 8750H+1050 Ti+10.13.6+Intel VRAM & Trackpad Fix Guide

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Hi folks.

Long time no see and hope everyone's enjoying the holidays! Just to give you guys a heads up and some hope, this is a recent setup on my Acer Nitro 5 515-52-77TD Intel Core i7-8750H 16GB w/ Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti. It is running on 10.13.6 (17G14033) with full QE_CI/Metal hardware acceleration, VDA decoding, dual GPUs as well as proper Intel VRAM indication! Everything else on the unit works including onboard NVMe SSD, sound, microphone, Airplay and Intel AC4560 WiFi.

highsierra-dualgpu.png


highsierra-dualgpu2.png


Screen Shot 2020-12-27 at 10.05.52 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-12-27 at 10.05.52 PM.png

Screen Shot 2020-12-27 at 9.56.34 PM.png

(performance from 2nd SSD slot, 500GB Samsung 860 EVO)


Background to the system


I bought this Acer laptop just over 1 & 1/2 years ago purely out of wanting to get a portable Windows 10 based system running for work and gaming amongst other things without paying too much for it. I had wanted a fairly powerful unit that could handle whatever I could throw at it, and the Acer came up in my list. I also had considered Razer’s Blade 15 and HP’s Omen laptops as well, but the Acer had beaten them to it, not only just on price (for US$1220 equivalent) but on features. The decision turned out to be quite well. Aside from being a Windows workhorse running the most demanding apps the AN515-52-TD was a powerful Coffee Lake based unit. It can handle VR output as well with its internal 4GB Nvidia GTX 1050 TI gpu! In a time where manufacturers have become increasingly skimp on their graphical offerings for mobile devices (like Apple’s new MacBooks) and where people are in need of a system that could play games like Cyberpunk 2077 on the go - you have a powerful system where they could not only easily carry around and use as a dual boot system, but actually upgrade! The Acer is fully user upgradeable from the internal hard drive to the RAM. So I thought for something like this, it could be pretty appealing as a Hackintosh.


acer_nitro_5_10.jpg
Nitro5_gallery_04.png




COMPONENTS & SPEC


  • Acer Nitro 5 AN515-52-77TD
  • 16GB 2666MHz DDR4 RAM (can support up to max 32GB)
  • Intel H370 Chipset (Coffee Lake Mobile)
  • Intel UD630 Internal Graphics
  • Intel Core i7 8750H 2.2-2.8GHz 8th gen CPU
  • Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti Graphics w/ 4GB RAM
  • Samsung 1TB 960 EVO PCIE NVME (for Windows/Mac - user upgraded from included Intel 256GB NVMe SSD)
  • Samsung 860 EV0 500GB SSD (user upgraded)


PROS

• Powerful system for the money
• Speed (has NVMe SSD slot and DDR4 RAM)
• Runs Windows
• Upgradeability
• Nvidia Pascal GPU compatibility with High Sierra
• Very similar design to Acer’s Predator Helios range
• Ideal for gaming (runs VR etc), has Ethernet as well as wireless card

CONS

• Pretty big unit
• A bit plasticky
• Not much



Other tools needed

  • 16GB USB Key (for Unibeast & Clover installation)
  • Spare Hackintosh/Mac (for editing if necessary)
  • USB 3.0 external slot drive (for copying/editing files and data)
  • Superduper or Carbon Copy Cloner (for cloning drives)
  • Windows 10 installation on spare SSD/HD or NVMe drive
  • Keyboard/mouse in case PS2 controller does not work
  • Hackintool
  • Clover r4813
  • Kexts from github/rehabman, github.com/acidanthera and github.com/copynewt

What works

NVME detection and boot-up
2nd hard drive slot
Intel AC4560 Wireless
Nvidia Web Graphics Driver & Intel iGPU
VDA Hardware acceleration
USB 3.1, 3.0 & 2.0 (hot-plugging and eject on USB 3.1 works)
Full sound with volume adjustment, including microphone
Full screen 1080P
Video playback
Ethernet

What doesn't

Bluetooth (can be enabled with Intel Bluetooth kexts in /EFI/CLOVER/kexts)

Not tested

HDMI output

During the upgrade and testing of my Nitro 5, I'd encountered numerous problems, the worst being the complete loss of the use of my trackpad and mouse after booting in from an installer, as well as onboard WiFi and the loss of both GPUs in hardware accelelerated mode. My system is a late 2018 H370 Coffee Lake based motherboard with an Intel UHD 630 GPU plus Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti with 4GB of VRAM with 16GB of onboard DDR4 2666Mhz RAM. I tried numerous setups and searches online for a solution to no avail. It was through a combination of testing on various older Skylake/Asus Hackintosh setups that I had that finally cracked the proverbial egg as it were on a solution for the laptop.


1) What you need to do first of all is make sure you are running on or at least updated to near-latest 10.13.6 (17G14033) - you can check your sub-version by clicking the Apple icon to bring up the Overview page and then click on the 10.13.6 text just underneath the macOS High Sierra picture (which will then secretly display the number). On the current HS public download install you will start with 17G66. You will need to log onto the App Store page and download High Sierra updates. If you fail to find it on the App Store, go online and google it for the App Store link, which will then connect you to the right page.


2) Second you need to get the most near recent version of Clover that is after r4658 which has better Nvidia GPU, FakeCPUID and ig-platform-id cross functionality. Anything earlier can also work, but may be more difficult to diagnose or set up. You will need to use these boot arguments if you have an Nvidia card like mine:


-v
dart=0
darkwake=no
npci=0x2000
kext-dev-mode=1
slide=0
nv_disable=1 and/or nvda_drv=1
disablegfxfirmware (only use/try after both GPUs are enabled)


possible boot-args to add to above for Nvidia if still stuck:

shikigva=60

OR

shikigva=12


If you are Intel-only based, you can use/try these in combo:


-v
dart=0
darkwake=no
slide=0
nv_disable=1


Can also try -X (safe mode) if you ever get stuck. Best way to debug is try -v -x.


3) Clover Configurator (version 4.9.0.1) and a secondary macOS system/hackintosh to do editing with. If it helps, put your install onto an external SSD drive in a USB enclosure in case you need to make adjustments with another computer.

4) A copy of Clover r4813 and Hackinttool 3.4.9. These are absolutely vital for the changes we wanna make.

5) You need to have the correct BIOS settings - or at least High Sierra-specific and compatible BIOS tweaks. ie. VT-x and VT-d on, Fast Boot disabled, AHCI on, XHCI-Handoff enabled, Secure Boot disabled, CSM off etc.

6) USB stick with Clover installed. To create the USB installer stick I just downloaded the latest version of HS from the App Store, formatted it as macOS Journaled, GUID partition with the name 'MyVolume' and used the following command in Terminal to format it:

Once formatted, I ran the Clover r4813 installer on my spare Hackintosh/Mac to run install the Clover boot loader onto the USB stick.

For the purposes of this guide I will be using a standard 2.5" hard drive to install High Sierra via my laptop's SATA slot. Reason being is, I like to use HFS+ format - traditional drives detected in High Sierra will not format to APFS.

7) With Clover installed, you need the following kexts in EFI/CLOVER/kexts/10.13 (google for these online, mostly from Github repositories):

For Acer Nitro 5 laptop:

ACPIBatteryManager.kext
AppleALC.kext (must)
FakeSMC_ACPISensors.kext
FakeSMC_CPUSensors.kext
FakeSMC_GPUSensors.kext
FakeSMC_LPCSensors.kext
FakeSMC_SMMSensors.kext
FakeSMC.kext (must)
itlwm.kext - for Intel AC4960 wireless
Lilu.kext (must)
RealtekRTL8111.kext
Sinetek-rtsx.kext (SD card driver)
SMCBatteryManager.kext
USBInjectAll.kext (must)
WhateverGreen.kext (must)
XHCI-200-series-injector.kext

For Synaptics/Elan trackpad & PS2 keyboard - Synaptics/Elan TRACKPAD FIX:

ApplePS2SmartTouchPad.kext
VoodooElan.kext
VoodooGPIO.kext
VoodooI2C.kext
VoodooI2CHID.kext
VoodooPS2Controller.kext

For general desktops:

AppleALC.kext (must)
FakeSMC_ACPISensors.kext
FakeSMC_CPUSensors.kext
FakeSMC_GPUSensors.kext
FakeSMC_LPCSensors.kext
FakeSMC_SMMSensors.kext
FakeSMC.kext (must)
IntelGraphicsFixup.kext (maybe for Intel setups)
Lilu.kext (must)
NvidiaGraphicsFixup.kext (needed for earlier installs of 10.13.6 as is Lilu and Shiki.kext)
RealtekRTL8111.kext
USBInjectAll.kext (must - use latest)
WhateverGreen.kext (must)
XHCI-200-series-injector.kext

FakeSMC sensors are a MUST if you use a dedicated GPU such as Nvidia. It may also be needed if you ever get stuck in some instances of Intel GPU installs.


7) Following aml files in EFI/CLOVER/ACPI/origin (generated automatically by Clover and saved into 'EFI/CLOVER/ACPI/origin' by pressing F4 key at Clover boot menu whilst highlighting main macOS boot drive):

APIC.aml
ASF!.aml
BRGT.aml
DGB2.aml
DGBP.aml
DMAR.aml
DSDT.aml
FACP.aml
FACS-1.aml
FACS.aml
FPDT.aml
HPET.aml
LPIT.aml
MCFG.aml
MSDM.aml
RSDT.aml
TPM2.aml
UEFI.aml
WSMT.aml


8) EFI/CLOVER/ACPI/patched

SSDT-AWAC.aml
SSDT-BL.aml
SSDT-PLUG.aml
SSDT-PMC.aml
SSDT-PNLFCFL.aml
SSDT-UIAC.aml
SSDT-UPRW.aml
SSDT-XCPM.aml
SSDT-XOSI.aml
SSDT.aml (generated using SSDT script - I used one designed for Coffee Lake boards)


9)EFI drivers in EFI/CLOVER/drivers64UEFI

apfs.efi
AppleImageCodec-64.efi
AppleKeyAggregator-64.efi
AppleUITheme-64.efi
AudioDxe.efi
CsmVideoDxe-64.efi
DataHubDxe-64.efi
EmuVariableUefi-64.efi
FirmwareVolume-64.efi
FSInject-64.efi
HFSPlus.efi
OsxAptioFix2Drv-64.efi
OsxFatBinaryDrv-64.efi
SMCHelper-64.efi


With the files downloaded, we should now be able to set our Clover config.list file. Try to use the following settings, and patch according to your platform ie. Skylake, Kaby Lake, Coffee Lake etc:

As my laptop is a H370 chipset, I used the following settings:

Screen Shot 2020-12-27 at 11.31.26 AM.png



Patches:


change _OSI to XOSI 5F4F5349 to 584F5349
change _DSM to XDSM 5F44534D to 5844534D
change EHC1 to EH01 45484331 to 45483031
change EHC2 to EH02 45484332 to 45483032
change XHCI to XHC 58484349 to 5848435F
change XHC1 to XHC 58484331 to 5848435F
change EC0 to EC. 4543305F to 45435F5F
change HECI to IMEI 48454349 to 494D4549
change HDAS to HDEF 48444153 to 48444546
change GFX0 to IGPU 47465830 to 49475055
change PEGP to GFX0 50454750 to 47465830



Also click on 2 and check/add FixRTC (real-time clock)

Screen Shot 2020-12-27 at 11.31.40 AM.png

Screen Shot 2020-12-27 at 11.32.38 AM.png

Screen Shot 2020-12-27 at 11.33.28 AM.png

Screen Shot 2020-12-27 at 11.33.51 AM.png

Screen Shot 2020-12-27 at 11.34.04 AM.png


Screen Shot 2020-12-27 at 11.34.16 AM.png
RTvariables.png

smbios.png



You need something as close to the above settings as possible. Also remember to add in and generate your custom serial numbers and custom UUID serials, plus your board serials and MLB serial (same as board serial); as well as fill in how much exact RAM you are using, including slots of where it is placed on your board ie. slot/bank 0, 1, 2 or 3 or combination of. Save this to your EFI/Clover folder as config.plist once finished - use the EFI Mounter to open and save it to the EFI partition of your USB installer stick. If it is done correctly, your system should boot up using the EFI partition into Clover. In fact the above settings should boot a High Sierra HFS formatted drive if you know how to do it. For use in the USB installer stick, you may have to remove most of the SMBIOS and serial details, leaving only the Mac SMBIOS profile ie. MacBook Pro11,3.

When we boot the system at this early point, we will be running it with the boot-args we had set earlier and making sure nvda_drv=1 and/or nv_disable=1 is in the Clover drive options menu by pressing space bar at the drive selection prompt. If Nvidiaweb was checked earlier in Clover and your OSAptioFix and Emuvariable-64.efi is working, this it should get you past the Randomseed+++++ section and whatever other errors. When the installer prompt appears, simply go to the top menu to select Utilities, Disk Utility and format your boot drive as Macintosh HD, HFS+ Journaled, GUID partition and then exit and install macOS onto the drive and reboot.

(If you have difficulty using latest WhateverGreen+Lilu prior to 10.13.6 (17G14033), try using Lilu+NvidiaGraphicsKext+Shiki combo, with files dating from 2017-2018 and adding shikigva=60 in your boot argument ie. -v dart=0 darkwake=no npci=0x2000 kext-dev-mode=1 slide=0 nv_disable=1 shikigva=60 and/or remove IntelGraphicsKext if you have it for Intel and/or Nvidia booting.)

For SMBIOS settings I initially chose MacBook Pro11,3 because for my system the spec was the closest to the original Apple equipment, because it had on onboard dGPU (dedicated graphics processor) that was compatible with High Sierra (despite being released 5 years ago). Any other SMBIOS caused my system to crash out or reboot. That is what you look for when specifying a SMBIOS - one that is the closest spec to your system ie. Intel-only or Intel+dGPU. However when I updated to 10.13.6 (17G14033) I changed it to MacBook Pro 15,2 because of boot issues.

Once your system reboots, go to the Nvidia website and download the necessary GEForce drivers for your macOS including Nvidia CUDA drivers for High Sierra 10.13.6. Install the CUDA drivers first before installing Nvidia WEB drivers.


Now if you're able to get this far, you should be able to install and run a working copy of High Sierra by now. But we're not done yet!



Patching the VRAM and CPU


By now your system should be up and ready - and you should be able to have followed the installer, format your boot drive as Macintosh HD/SSD use Clover Configurator or Mount EFI to save a copy of your USB's EFI onto your boot up drive.


Remember: If you are copying your USB Installer's EFI onto your boot drive, remember to refill the SMBIOS and motherboard serials info.


But your system is now going to show you that you only have 7MB of Intel GPU VRAM left! Now this is where the fun begins!


You need to make sure you have downloaded all the macOS patches by either using the App Store to download the installer. If you have trouble installing via the App Store installer try this method:

Code:
sudo rm -rf /Library/Updates/*

Sudo rm -rf "/macOS Install Data"

sudo softwareupdate --dump-state -i -a

The system will then reboot a few times. Make sure to point the installer to the 'macOS Installer on Macintosh HD' volume to resume installation.


Once that is done, your system should reboot and you will be in 10.13.6 (17G14033).





Running Hackintool

After that go to your Downloads folder and unzip your copy of Hackintool that was downloaded. Right-click and select Open. Hackintool will immediately open and display your system's specs. You will need to go to the menu and change the Framebuffer patch policy to <=10.13.6.

Screen Shot 2020-12-27 at 11.48.31 AM.png
Screen Shot 2020-12-27 at 11.48.49 AM.png



Next we are going to Patch and select the following, making sure the settings match the Intel chip and chipset that we have which is ID as Coffee Lake & 3EA50009 (for this particular laptop), noting there are other select IDs for Coffee Lake for other variants of the chipset such as desktop:

Screen Shot 2020-12-27 at 11.49.30 AM.png



Then we move onto the VRAM, Framebuffer, Connectors and Patch screens, making sure we set them according to these settings (which should be auto-checked):

Screen Shot 2020-12-27 at 11.49.43 AM.png


The Connector may show up in RED, so highlight the connector before moving to Patch screen and select the following:

Screen Shot 2020-12-27 at 11.49.47 AM.png


Screen Shot 2020-12-27 at 11.49.52 AM.png
Screen Shot 2020-12-27 at 11.49.56 AM.png
Screen Shot 2020-12-27 at 11.50.01 AM.png


When it is all done, hit the Generate Patch button and save the file as Config.plist in your Documents folder.




Patching the Boot Disk Config.plist with TextEdit


After we have saved the file to the Documents folder, open it with the standard TextEdit app. Because the new versions of Hackintool VRAM patch will not work well with Clover, we will want to cut and paste a particular section of code generated by Hackintool (not total) and paste it into our boot disk's EFI/Clover/config.plist file.


So mount the boot disk EFI folder and open the Clover config.plist file inside with TextEdit, and place it your left half of your desktop. Open another TextEdit window and open the config.plist from your Documents folder, and place it on your desktop right side. Holding Shift key, copy the whole section (using Alt+C) that starts



<key>PciRoot(0x0)/Pci(0x1F,0x3)</key>


and finishes


<string>Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655</string>


Paste with (Alt+V) into the Clover.plist into the section just underneath that says:



Code:
<key>Properties</key>
          <dict>


Like this:


Screen Shot 2020-12-27 at 11.56.10 AM.png

(above file on left is named as config-3.plist but should be config.plist from Clover)


Screen Shot 2020-12-27 at 11.46.59 AM.png


But once that is saved into your EFI folder you can check it by reopening in Clover and checking your Devices > Properties section to see if it works. You should see two PCI devices listed, and when you highlight them your settings will appear for each one. So close Clover and reboot. Once it is is rebooted, the fix is done and your system VRAM should show up properly as well as have proper hardware acceleration!



Happy Hackintoshing!

UPDATE: 8 FEB 2021 - added EFI folder
 

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