[Success] El Capitan 10.11 on Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD4 / MSI GTX 970

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Jun 5, 2010
Gigabyte Z490 AORUS Elite
RX 6900 XT
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
This guide is based on one I previously created for Yosemite on this board and video card. This board is one that I originally installed OS 10.6.3 Snow Leopard on and has remained very stable and usable with the prior OS installs.

The things that I have tested and are working are:
  • Dual monitors using the DVI ports
  • Wired USB Keyboard and Mouse
  • Bluetooth Magic Mouse (post installation)
  • Sleep / Wake
  • Network
  • Audio through the Analog front and rear panel
This install was done with the (at the time) latest versions of the software. These were:
Mac OS X 10.11.6
Unibeast 6.2.0
MultiBeast 8.2.3
Nvidia WebDriver-346.03.15f01 for Mac OS X 10.11.6
Due to the video card, there was one extra step required during the install.

There are configuration changes required to have the graphics drivers and sleep work correctly. Instructions are in this guide. An edit of the tonymac DSDT file is required to make audio work. A link is provided to instructions.

Even though I had Yosemite installed, I performed a clean install to a new Hard Drive (due to a SSD failure). This was my first install using the Clover boot loader. I also did a second install over a working Yosemite/Chimera installation. There is one extra step required for the installation over Yosemite/Chimera.

During POST, the install, and the initial configuration process only the DVI-I connector worked for me. I have 2 DVI monitors and did not test the Display Port nor HDMI connectors during the install.

To be clear, this was by far the most troublesome OS X install that I can remember. I have between 60 and 80 hours of attempts and research invested in this. Part of this was my fault as part way through I overwrote the DSDT file I was using somehow, resulting in failures of El Capitan to boot. Beyond that, I have written up some of my speculation as to why it is problematic in response to someone else who has very similar issues. My brief suggestions to avoid issues with the OS install are:
  1. Once you have successfully installed El Capitan from a USB stick, use Disk Utility to Erase the USB partition and Unibeast to reload it. My speculation is that some part of the install is writing back to the USB stick causing it to become unusable for a 2nd install. You can copy the installer out of the Applications folder from where you downloaded it to, and place it in the Applications folder of your currently running OS, avoiding the download, then run Unibeast as normal.
  2. After successfully installing El Capitan, if you boot back to Yosemite then want to do another El Cap install, before the install shut down your computer and switch the power off. Allow the capacitors time (30 seconds) to discharge. My speculation is that going through the steps install El Cap, run El Cap, run Yosemite result in either the USB ports or video card ending up in a mode where a subsequent install from the USB fails to boot.
  3. Always have one and preferably two backups before installing an OS.
  4. Disconnect all drives you are not installing to. This is especially important for Clover and Windows installers as I have read enough to think that both may effect boot partitions other than the ones they have been told to update.

Lets get started.

Use the tonymac guide as the principal instructions to create your bootable USB drive and perform the install. Notes on the install process:
  1. Reboot your computer and make note of your firmware version before using or downloading a DSDT file to confirm you are have the correct DSDT for your firmware version.
  2. In Step 0 (Before You Begin) in addition to MultiBeast and UniBeast download from the DSDT database the DSDT file appropriate to your motherboard (if you don’t have a copy from a prior install.) This will need to be edited before starting the install for audio to work. Use the guide No Audio Devices in El Capitan on Series 5 motherboards Fix I put together. I suggest naming the file DSDT.aml after editing it, as it will be manually installed during the configuration.
  3. I suggest downloading the current Nvidia WebDriver before you begin as well. These can be done directly from Nvidia. Use the options
    • Product Type: Quadro
    • Product Series: Quadro Series
    • Product: Quadro K5000 for Mac
    • Operating System: Mac OS X El Capitain 10.11.6
    • Download Type: Quadro ODE Graphics Driver
    • Language: <your preference>
    You will have sketchy video output (at least I did) until you have the Nvidia drivers installed and working, so accessing the Internet to download things will be problematic.
  4. You will need Clover Configurator to edit settings. Download it before starting the install.
  5. Note for other motherboards: If you need to install anything else in order to boot your Hackintosh with working networking, download it before you start and place it on the USB drive. This is for the same reason as the Nvidia drivers, sketchy video will make finding things on the Internet difficult.
  6. Before you begin, do a full backup of your system
  7. Download OS X El Capitan per Step 1.
  8. In Step 2 (Create a Bootable USB Drive)
    • item 14: select “El Capitan”
    • item 15: select “Legacy Boot Mode”
    • item 16: select the graphics appropriate for your video. For the GTX 970 no graphics option should be selected. For other graphics, read the information to determine if it applies to your setup.
  9. The last item in Step 2 is to drag MultiBeast to your completed USB drive. Also drag your edited DSDT file, Clover Configurator, the Nvidia WebDriver installer, and any other files you need to your USB drive as well.
  10. In Step 3 (Recommended BIOS Settings) Use the Gigabyte AWARD BIOS instructions to check your BIOS settings before starting the install.
  11. Before Step 4 (Install OS X El Capitan) if you are going to install on a bootable Yosemite partition that uses Chimera/Chameleon bootloader, you need to remove Chimera and related files. I deleted all of the files and did not copy them to /Library/Extensions. I did not clear the MBR partition. Once you do this, you are committed to performing the install.
  12. In Step 4 (Install OS X El Capitan) item 4, I found I did not need to specify any boot options for my video card.
  13. I used a wired USB mouse during the install.
  14. Only the DVI-I video port was functional during the install. I did not test the Display Port nor HDMI connectors during the install.
  15. When installing over Yosemite, I did not format the drive.
  16. After the install completes, the installer will reboot your computer. This starts step 5. Per tony’s guide use an F key (F12) to select USB-HDD as your boot device, then in the Clover boot screen select “Boot Mac OS X from El Capitan”. El Capitan is your drive’s name, not the OS name.
  17. Do not enter your Apple Id / Password when prompted in this reboot. Your computer is not quite setup correctly for it to contact the mothership at this point.
  18. Run MultiBeast (on USB). The report for the install I used is:
    • Quick Start > Legacy Boot Mode
    • Drivers > Audio > Realtek ALCxxx > ALC885/889a
    • Drivers > Misc > FakeSMC v6.18-313-g671f31c.1707
    • Drivers > Misc > FakeSMC Plugins v6.18-313-g671f31c.1707
    • Drivers > Network > Realtek > RealtekRTL8111 v2.2.1
    • Bootloaders > Clover v2.3k r3423 Legacy Boot Mode
    • Customize > System Definitions > Mac Pro > Mac Pro 3,1
    The FakeSMC Plugins is present to allow a software package I use to access the CPU info. All of the others are required for this motherboard. This is a much shorter list than previous Multibeast settings. After MultiBeast completes we need to perform additional configurations and install the DSDT file before we can boot from the install.
  19. Run Clover Configurator (on USB). If you have run MultiBeast the EFI partition of your boot disk should still be mounted. If it not it will display an alert that “config.plist” was not found. To mount the EFI partition, the steps are:
    Click the ‘Check Partition’ button to get a list of ‘disk’ drives and partitions on them. Identify the drive you have El Capitan installed on. The "TYPE NAME" column shows the format of the partition and the name associated with it. Then click ‘Mount EFI partition’ and select the disk number from the list that El Capitan is installed on.​
    Use File -> Open and navigate to the Clover config file on the ‘EFI’ disk at EFI -> CLOVER -> config.plist. When it opens you will be presented with a large display of many settings. Most are correct and we only need to change a couple:
    • In the Section (list on the left) ‘Boot’, in ‘Arguments’ select ‘darkwake=8’ from the drop down. For the GTX 970 check ‘nvda_drv=1’ The selection ‘dart=0’ should already be checked and should be left as-is.
    • In the Section SMBIOS, the ‘Product Name’ should already be ‘MacPro3,1’. If you want to change it, click the wizard wand icon in the bottom right corner of the top box. Use the wizard screen to set the Mac Model and other settings to generate a serial number. If you have a specific Serial Number you want to use, after using the wizard to set the model and closing the wizard, you can enter it manually on the screen displaying the system information.
    Use File -> Save then Quit. When you quit you will receive a pop-up waning about config.plist being on a volume that does not support permanent version storage. (This is the EFI volume.) Click Ok.
  20. Copy your DSDT file to the EFI volume. You need to copy the file to the EFI disk in the folder EFI -> CLOVER -> ACPI -> patched. It should be named DSDT.aml as that is the default Clover will use. (You can use Clover Configurator to change this.)
  21. If you have extra changes to make do them before running the Nvidia installer.
  22. Run the Nvidia WebDriver installer. Do this last, as when it completes, you can only press the Restart button to exit the installer. Once you see your PC boot screen, you can pull the USB drive. You should now be able to boot from the El Capitan disk.
  23. Once booted, in ‘System Preferences’ in the ‘Energy Saver’ area, make sure ‘Start up automatically after a power failure’ is checked. This is required so on wake from sleep the OS is running instead of a reboot being started. Memory says this is from an old guide somewhere.
  24. To enable audio output I had to change the selected output device to 'Internal Speakers' in the 'System Preferences' in the 'Sound' settings.
I based the darkwake setting to fix sleep on posted research by NeXTguy. In my testing on OS 10.8.5 there was no noticeable difference between using a value of 8, 9, 10, or 11. I chose 8 for initial testing on OS 10.9 Mavericks, 10.10 Yosemite, and 10.11 El Capitan and as it is working correctly I have not tried other values.

Sleep is working as well as it did for me in 10.8. In my testing I was able to put the computer to sleep using the Apple menu item or selecting sleep using the power key menu. Wake always brought the system up fully functional in 1 or 2 seconds with either a single wired mouse click, a Bluetooth Mighty Mouse click, or a keyboard key press. Multiple sleep and wake cycles produced no problems.
Just wanted to add to this for others who have this Motherboard. I have the same MB and my system came right up without any changes on a fresh install.

I tried unsuccessfully to upgrade from Mountain Lion to El Capitan 10.11.2 in Jan 2016 and ended up buying a new iMac. I revisited it the other day when another system went down. I decided to do a fresh install, and it just came up. I subsequently tried to do an update on my old ML system and it failed. So I decided to use the fresh install and install the few apps I use and save the old drive as an archive.

This is what I did:

1) Build USB with Unibeast 6.2 (inject Nvidia)
2) Partition new hard drive
3) Boot from USB and install System
4) Boot from USB; System Came up Fine

Only things that didn't work out of the box: Audio and an Add-on Marvel Chip Ethernet Card which I decided not to use after testing against the onboard Realtek. Intuitively I thought marvel would be better since that's what Macs

5) Installed Clover on HDD
6) Copied EFI plist from USB to HDD
7) Installed Audio driver and set Mac ID with multibeast

Works with both geForce 8400 and GT 9500 (dual DVIs) cards.

System has a Core i7 2.8Ghz

After building with 10.11.2 I did a normal Apple update to 10.11.6 without incident. It came right up after the upgrade.
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