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The 4K Dell OptiMac - Core i7-4790 - AMD Radeon RX 570 - LG 4K 27" IPS Monitor

Joined
Feb 5, 2020
Messages
47
Motherboard
Dell 9020 MT
CPU
i7-4790
Graphics
RX 570
Mac
MacBook Pro, Mac mini
Mobile Phone
iOS
To everyone who have been following and responding to my troubles regarding getting Windows 10 to work, booting from UEFI on my Dell Optiplex 9020 MT - thank you for your input, suggestions and interest along the way. I can finally say that I have managed to get it working. I will describe in detail what was tried during the process and how I finally managed to get it working. Hopefully no one else has to go through this, but if they do, perhaps they can be saved some frustration and follow what I did.

To reiterate, what I was trying to accomplish was:
  • MacOS on SSD #1 (which works flawlessly and has from the start)
  • Windows 10 on SSD #2
  • No shared boot - I can control (via external panel) which disk has power
In essence, apart from using the same BIOS settings, it acts as two separate systems that do not know each others "presence".

What I had to start with:
  • Dell Optiplex 9020 MT - originally delivered with Win 7 Pro, now long gone, but COA sticker with license present.
  • AMT setting "1" (sticker on inside of chassis side)
  • Upgraded from original 8GB RAM to 4x 8GB Timetec
  • Added an NVMe
  • Swapped the SSD it was delivered with to another
  • BIOS settings as suggested in trs96's post on how to configure the PC for creating the Optimac
The problem:
  • All attempts at installing Windows 10 from a USB thumb drive failed in the sense that there was never created a proper EFI partition, so the install would never proceed after rebooting when the Windows Installer had copied files and prepared the installation.
  • Only a small MSR partition and the data partition (for the Windows files, which were actually copied to the drive).

What I tried:
  • Creating the USB thumb drive for Windows install using the Windows Media Creation tool and with Rufus, on both USB 2.0 and 3.0 thumb drives.
  • Booting from both USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports, both front panel and rear panel
  • Booting with and without Legacy Boot compatibility enabled
  • Booting with and without Secure Boot enabled (including intercepting the boot after preparing the install with the thumb drive, but before the system attempted to boot from the SSD that now had the Windows install files on it)
  • Attaching the SSD on both SATA-0 and SATA-1 (without any other SATA drives attached)
  • Trying several SSDs to ensure that it wasn't related to the SSD itself
  • Manually preparing the SSD with partitions, using Diskpart (Shift+F10 at first screen in Windows install to get to Command Prompt)
  • Ensuring all along that the SSD was converted to GPT and not MBR
  • Using both the Windows 7 Pro license (COA) from the sticker on the chassis as well as a Windows 10 Pro license (not OEM) that I own.

What finally solved it:
  • Create a USB thumb drive for Windows 7 Pro install and install Windows 7 Pro
  • Find old NIC driver and install them. This is needed to be able to get internet access going, so you can access Windows Update.
  • Installing this driver will likely cause this error: "the procedure entry point adddlldirectory could not be located" so you will need to install this Microsoft Update to patch Windows first. That solution was found here.
  • Activate Windows 7 Pro using the original Windows 7 Pro license (COA) that the computer came with.
    • For me, that meant calling the Windows Activation service, but I attribute this to the fact that I had changed the hardware make-up substantially so that the hardware ID no longer matched what was stored with Microsoft)
  • Download about a trillion Windows updates until there are finally no more to find (apart from a couple of security updates). I opted to get all of the optional updates as well, as I didn't want Windows to complain about anything missing when I proceeded to the final step:
  • Download and do an in-place upgrade of Windows 7 Pro to Windows 10 Pro. This is done using the regular Windows 10 Media Creation tool), upgrading the Windows 7 Pro license to a digital Windows 10 Pro license.
    • Yes, even if the free Windows 7 to Windows 10 upgrade program has actually expired, this still works as of April 4, 2020. See here for details.
(and of course adding drivers for the respective components not immediately "known" by Windows, such as my Fenvi HB-1200, the RX570, my monitor etc.)

The result:
  • The process I followed has somehow allowed me to override the block that prevented creation of the right partitions on the SSD.
  • The computer today operates on a digitally issued Windows 10 Pro license (converted from the Windows 7 Pro COA OEM license from the original sticker)
  • The computer is set up using UEFI mode only (no Legacy mode enabled), the SSD is GPT and everything works.
I am now going through creating a process of creating several clones and ensuring that I have a fully working clone that I can restore from.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
13
Motherboard
HP8300 ELITE SFF
CPU
i7-3770
Graphics
MSI GT 710 LP
Mac
MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
iOS
You have a few choices when you get one of those. 1) Return it for one that has it enabled. Ask the seller to check. You might also get them to send just a motherboard with ME enabled. 2) Use only a dedicated graphics card and not igfx. 3) Go through all the steps to enable Intel ME. https://www.tonymacx86.com/threads/...p-pc-revision-ii.251736/page-194#post-2027452 This is for when someone gets the (6) lockout. Not sure if it all applies to a (3) disabled situation. I've only ever gotten Dell machines with the (1).

As you see, 1 is the easiest and 3 is the most difficult. Up to you to decide how to proceed.

Here's a link to the Intel FIT. https://github.com/CHEF-KOCH/HowTo-flash-Intel-Management-Engine-ME-firmware/tree/master/Tools/Flash Image Tool/WIN32

Here's a pictorial guide I found online showing how to do this within Windows.
Thanks for this. I have a supplier who cannot confirm if the board that's in the refurbished/recycled 9020MT is the same one that belongs to the case - e.g. if the sticker for the panel is for the specific machine I am getting. I think its more about the panels being swapped around randomly more than the contents of the box as they process 100's of these. So I could get a replacement but still wouldn't know the actual sticker accuracy. I don't think there is anything dodgy with the supplier its just they refurb a dozen at a time of various Dell models.

One arrived and the BIOS is at A05 (old so needs updating) - but how would I identify the "ME Enabled/Disabled" or other status of the board without relying on the sticker on the panel? I assume a startup screen or BIOS setting would show this? I do not have anything installed like HWInfo or such, but could run a Ubuntu USB on it for testing. I would guess people have asked this about second hand mobo's they buy as well but i couldn't find anything. Same on the Dell forums which seem to be hit and miss.

Also my earlier question about the guide - sorry if its been asked before - but just confirming if High Sierra or Mojave were the same process. I'm just trying to keep my real mac, HP SFF, and this one in sync for OSX version. I guess they would be the same process but with some slight differences in kexts, etc.

Thanks again for the help/guide.
 

trs96

Moderator
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Messages
16,777
Motherboard
GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
CPU
i5-4690K
Graphics
HD4600 / RX 570
Mac
iMac, Mac mini
Mobile Phone
Android
how would i identify the "ME Enabled/Disabled" or other status of the board without relying on the sticker on the panel?
You can open the Intel Management Engine BIOS Extension or MEBx.

You access this by pressing the Control and P keys together at boot up. If those keys don't do anything, then it may have been disabled. This is not always easy to do. You have to press both keys at exactly the right time. If you can even get to the sign in screen then ME is enabled.

When Intel ME is disabled there are always problems with integrated graphics. So remove the GT 710, plug in a DP cable to your HP's back panel. Get a low cost DP to HDMI adapter if you need one. Then try programs like iMovie that require graphics acceleration. If they don't work it's likely that ME has been disabled. When testing this make sure the AMT setting is enabled in the BIOS. If it is disabled, graphics acceleration won't work, even if AMT/ME is enabled on your HP from the factory.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
13
Motherboard
HP8300 ELITE SFF
CPU
i7-3770
Graphics
MSI GT 710 LP
Mac
MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
iOS
You can open the Intel Management Engine BIOS Extension or MEBx.

You access this by pressing the Control and P keys together at boot up. If those keys don't do anything, then it may have been disabled. This is not always easy to do. You have to press both keys at exactly the right time. If you can even get to the sign in screen then ME is enabled.

When it's disabled there are always problems with integrated graphics. So remove the GT 710, plug in a DP cable to your HP's back panel. Get a low cost DP to HDMI adapter if you need one. Then try programs like iMovie that require graphics acceleration. If they don't work it's likely that ME has been disabled. When testing this make sure the AMT setting is enabled in the BIOS. If it is disabled, graphics acceleration won't work, even if AMT/ME is enabled on your HP from the factory.
THanks again. I have found that HirensBootPE lets HWInfo run, from USB, and this seems to be the quickest way to get the detailed values. I tried the key combo tests,etc., but, as you point out this is hit and miss. Looks like AMT and ME are indeed disabled. Will see if this is a big problem with the install and try the links to update the firmware if it is. All the best!
 
Joined
Jun 13, 2017
Messages
778
Motherboard
Gigabyte H110MSTX-HD3
CPU
i3-7100
Graphics
HD 630
Mac
iMac, MacBook Pro, Mac mini
Classic Mac
Power Mac
Mobile Phone
iOS
In response to my post #1504, I'm not going to do that again!. Believing that I killed my 9020 by attempting to install Catalina onto a Fusion Drive. Attempts were made after erasing both the 1 TB HHD and 250 GB SSD, to reinstall Catalina or Windows. Zero progress bar and Windows didn't even want to know. Checked BIOS several times, everything was correct per the guide. Resigned to the fact that I may have to replace the motherboard, I disconnected everything and left it in the naughty build corner!. Yesterday I decided to have another go, fresh USB installer in hand and my favorite connecter, USB3 to SATA, I pulled this from a 2.5" enclosure. Earlier I successfully installed Catalina onto my 7010, following trs96 [Guide] Install High Sierra or Mojave on the Dell Optiplex 7010 / 9010 Desktop PC - Revision II. After updating kexts in Clover Configurater, I used the adapter to connect the SSD to the 9020 via a USB3 cable. Powered on, got to CBM and selected external SSD, black screen. Restarted, again selected the external drive in CBM, a glimmer of progress in the bar!, no entry. Restared again, CBM, selected external drive with Catalina installed and loaded to Desktop!. These things just don't seem to die, leave it for a few days and everything works again, astonishing!.


IMG_1849.jpg
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2020
Messages
32
Motherboard
Dell 9020 SFF
CPU
i5-4690
Graphics
HD 4600
Mac
MacBook Air
Mobile Phone
iOS
Sorry guys, in the part of the guide for Catilina it says to put AppleALC kext into EFI folder. But there is not any AppleALC kext attached at the end of post #1.

Where Am I wrong?
 

Feartech

Moderator
Joined
Aug 3, 2013
Messages
17,375
Motherboard
Asus N752VX-OpenCore
CPU
i7-6700HQ / HM170
Graphics
HD 530 1920 x 1080
Mac
iMac
Mobile Phone
iOS

Feartech

Moderator
Joined
Aug 3, 2013
Messages
17,375
Motherboard
Asus N752VX-OpenCore
CPU
i7-6700HQ / HM170
Graphics
HD 530 1920 x 1080
Mac
iMac
Mobile Phone
iOS
My hardware is "on the making"... As soon as I complete it, I will fill all the info!
so you have no setup as of yet? nothing built?
 
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