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Trying to run on old Hardware

Joined
Feb 7, 2019
Messages
3
Motherboard
p55-gd80
CPU
i7-860
Graphics
R7 360
Greetings,

I have an old machine I'm trying to recycle into a hackintosh. Here are the specs:

CPU:
Intel Core i7 860, Lynnfield
Socket 1156 LGA

Motherboard:
MSI P55-GD80 (MS-7581)
BIOS V 1.12

Memory:
G.Skill, F3-2133C11-8GXL
32 GBytes of DDR3
PC3-12800

Graphics:
I have a number of Graphics cards available, mostly nVidia but 1 ATI
- nVidia GTX 560 Ti
- nVidia GTX 580
- nVidia N250 GTX
- ATI R7 360 OC

I have a legitimate Snow Leopard 10.6.3 Installation CD.

Now, I'm new to this and I've been doing a lot of reading over the last few days... but after numerous attempts at messing around with the BIOS settings and the hardware, I was finally able to find a proper combination which allowed me to be up and running with 10.6.8 installed. A couple of notes on my findings:

- One of the key BIOS setting for me was the "Execute Bit Support" was set to Enabled. This made my original installations attempts **extremely** slow!
- Using the nVidia GTX 560 Ti card allowed me to bootup without the GraphicsEnable=No flag.
- I found a DSDT file in the database for my Motherboard... although it didn't have a BIOS version attached. But it seemed to work fine.
- I manually added the Audio and Network kext files to Multibeast, as described in the various forums.

Anyway, so after a while, things looked encouraging and the built was pretty responsive. The Graphics wasn't using its optimal settings, but I wasn't too concerned at that point since this setup was just a stepping stone to update the OS to a newer version (hopefully, Mojave). And this is where the frustrations began...

The first thing I wanted to do is to download an installer for El Capitan, as my understanding was this was the next step. In order to get it, I needed access to the App Store. This, as veteran builders might expect (?), caused all sorts of issues. I looked at the keychain settings, replaced my SMBios serial number, (all new stuff for me, as I'm a Windows user)... but in the end, I was never able to successfully login to the App Store from that built.

I then successfully created a VBox VM machine using that Installation CD and some cmd-line vm options I found online. From that setup, it looked like I was finally able to get the "Get" option for the El Capitan in the App Store. But that too failed to download, with some other error messages. Lots of frustrations and time spent...

So then, I managed to get my hands on a legit version of the Sierra Installer. The Installer isn't compatible with the Snow Leopard, but I dragged the .app file to the Applications folder and then downloaded the appropriate Unibeast, for Sierra. That version of Unibeast was able to run on Snow Leopard and successfully detect the Sierra .app file. So I proceeded to create my USB for Sierra, with the intention of simply starting from scratch for the OS (vs upgrading Snow Leopard). I replaced my HD with another blank one, to keep my Snow Leopard installation available. I followed the steps described on this site, for the Sierra installation. And this is where I'm at, going nowhere.

This is what I did to configure the Unibeast USB:
- Formatted USB using OS X Extended (journaled)
- Ran Unibeast version 7.1.1
- Chose Legacy Boot Mode
- Added nVidia Graphics option
- I copied my DSDT file to the EFI/Clover/ACPI/patched/ folder on my USB
- I made sure my BIOS settings were set according to the guide, when applicable.


And this is what I tried, once on the Clover boot screen:
- Simply selected the "Install from Sierra". This momentarily showed the Apple logo; paused for a while; then my computer just rebooted.
- Then I tried pressing the space bar and adding -v -x (as instructed by the Sierra guide). The only "verbose" I got was "Using Safe Mode" and sometimes a "---------" line. Always ends up rebooting after that.
- Then I tried installing Clover 2.4 r4920 on the USB, after running the Unibeast.
- Tried again, using the default options. Same thing... Apple logo shows up, then computer reboots.
- Then I tried various args switches, including the "if all else fails" option "-v -x -s -f cpus=1 maxmem=4096 nv_disable=1 -no-zp" I found somewhere on the web. Still same results with nothing work with, given the verbose never gives me anything beyond the lines mentioned above.
- I tried nvda_drv=1 (with nv_disable=0)... same thing.

I've also tried disabling pretty much all CPU settings from the BIOS (multi-thread, C1 stuff, selecting 1 core)... Same results. I tried changing Graphics card as well. So whatever I do, the computer pretty much always does a hard reboot a short while after the Apple logo (verbose off), or absolutely nothing if -v is selected... and only "Using Safe Mode" if -v -x are selected (or anything else, in addition to these). So absolutely nothing to work with.

So am I just simply wasting my time trying to make this system work? The whole point of me attempting to do this is to try to recycle some older (but still perfectly fine) computer. It runs Windows 10 just fine. But if I'm going to have to buy new, more compatible hardware to use a more current OS X, I'll save the aggravation and simply spend some more to buy a real Mac.

Thanks for any help.
 
Last edited:

trs96

Moderator
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Messages
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Motherboard
GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
CPU
i5-4690K
Graphics
HD4600 / RX 570
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
Right now, to run High Sierra or Mojave it's best to use Ivy Bridge or newer systems. These are easy to find refurbished on Newegg, Amazon or Ebay for less than 200 dollars. I've written guides for the HP 8300 Elite and the Dell Optiplex 7010 and thousands of people have them working with either HS or Mojave. I don't know how long they'll still have support but they work today with 10.14.4 and likely with 10.15 too.


 
Joined
Feb 7, 2019
Messages
3
Motherboard
p55-gd80
CPU
i7-860
Graphics
R7 360
trs96,

I've reviewed your steps to build an HP 8300 Elite and noticed a few things in your steps and have a few questions, if you don't mind me asking.

1- Does it matter where I start from, when I create the Bootable Sierra USB? That is, if I already have a legit Sierra .app file downloaded from the App Store and I already have a Snow Leopard running... Can I build that USB, regardless if my active Snow Leopard installation has the Multibeast files and the App Store isn't working, given that I'll wipe the target disk anyway? Or is it important to have all that Snow Leopard installation in good condition, before building the Sierra USB? In other words, does Unibeast build the USB on the knowledge of the active installation?

2- If I have that Sierra .app file, do I need to go through El Capitan at all? I don't think so, but just confirming.

3- For the sake of simplifying my original post, I had mentioned that this was my first build. This wasn't entirely true. Years ago, I build a running Snow Leopard machine. But it was a dual boot, kept messing my clock on the Windows side and never really used it. Consequently, I got rid of the whole thing soon after. So it was a very brief experiment. However, I STILL had that iBoot DVD from that old attempt. Given that I didn't have any available DVD to burn a more recent iBoot version, I used the old one and looked like it was working ok. But I notice in your steps that you use an Ivy Bridge-specific version, for your specific CPU. But does it matter in the end, given that Unibeast will be used for the Sierra installation?

4- I noticed on your installation guide that you were using some specific ports for the keyboard/mouse and SATA cables. I did not do any of that. I wonder if this would help with my current issues.

5- Under your Snow Leopard guid, I noticed the IMPORTANT step of using UpdateHelper. Never heard of that, but it looks like it's just to get your to 10.6.8, which I'm already at. Is it necessary for anything else?

Thanks again for your help. I will your HP suggestion in mind, since we have lots of those at work and some of them aren't used anymore.
 
Last edited:

trs96

Moderator
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Messages
19,605
Motherboard
GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
CPU
i5-4690K
Graphics
HD4600 / RX 570
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
Does it matter where I start from, when I create the Bootable Sierra USB? That is, if I already have a legit Sierra .app file downloaded from the App Store and I already have a Snow Leopard running... Can I build that USB, regardless if my active
Yes, build the Sierra USB installer on Snow Leopard and if that is successful just clean install Sierra for UEFI booting and that's all it should take. Follow the guide and you'll have a working system.
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2019
Messages
3
Motherboard
p55-gd80
CPU
i7-860
Graphics
R7 360
hmmm... well it didn't work with my current system. I'll try moving some components around... see if it changes anything.
 
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