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Solved > Z390i Build Working, but questions

Joined
Jul 29, 2020
Messages
19
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z390 I
CPU
Intel 9400
Graphics
HD 630
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Hi everyone!

First time hackintosher here. I just finished my first build and am happy to say I'm booted and seemingly functional. I followed this guide and my specs are below:
Motherboard: Z390I AORUS PRO WIFI LGA 1151 Mini-ITX​
CPU: Intel Core i5-9400​
RAM: G.SKILL Aegis 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin DDR4 3200​
SSD: SAMSUNG 970 EVO PLUS 500GB​
Case: Lone Industries L5 (external PSU)​

I wanted a small form factor home pc, quiet, and expandable. I followed the guide linked above to the letter and was able to install, boot, and run Catalina. I ran into an issue where it wouldn't boot without the USB installer drive plugged in, but I corrected that by installing the contents of the USB's EFI to my SSD's EFI. I haven't installed any additional kexts (not even USB). Everything just kind of worked, including all 6 USB3.0 ports (not using any internal headers atm). But now I want to optimize.

I don't want to fix anything that ain't broke, but I also want to a) make sure I'm getting the right performance from my hardware, b) experiment a little. So what I'm having a hard time with now is:
  1. How do I make sure my hardware is running optimally? Is benchmarking software the answer? Are there common issues that sneak up on users that I should look out for?
  2. How do I test new kexts/settings safely? Meaning, if I make a mistake and can't boot, how do I revert to a working installation? Like, if my system disk won't boot following a kext upgrade, do I need to wipe and reinstall using the original USB installer (made with Unibeast/Clover)? What's an easy way to backup/restore?
I tried installing/upgrading some recommended kexts (recommended via similar builds) on my first run, but then it would hang at the Apple logo with progress bar and wouldn't fully boot. So I reformatted and reinstalled from scratch using the USB boot disc. Once I'm up and running, I'd rather avoid having to reformat every time I try something new that doesn't work.

Thanks in advance!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 4, 2014
Messages
413
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z390 M Gaming
CPU
i5 9400F
Graphics
RX 580
Mac
  1. iMac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Congrats on your first Hackintosh, welcome to the community and likely to many hours of tinkering!

How do I test new kexts/settings safely? Meaning, if I make a mistake and can't boot, how do I revert to a working installation? Like, if my system disk won't boot following a kext upgrade, do I need to wipe and reinstall using the original USB installer (made with Unibeast/Clover)? What's an easy way to backup/restore?

You have a USB installer key with a working EFI folder on it, so keep that safe. If you install a kext and can't boot then just boot from the USB stick (spam the F12 key and select your USB for boot) - then you can remove the offending kext. I always keep a copy of my latest good EFI folder somewhere on my machine also so if everything gets messed up, you can just copy that to your system EFI partition

One thing you should also do is to set up your USB correctly. Although you say it's working, you may have problems with sleep/wake and some other issues because Mac can only have 15 USB ports and you will be over that limit.

Look at this thread, it will take a bit of time to work through, but it's a no brainer for the best and most stable system

 
Joined
Jul 29, 2020
Messages
19
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z390 I
CPU
Intel 9400
Graphics
HD 630
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Wow, thanks Humanate! I followed the instructions, mapped my USB ports (ss & hs) and disabled all others.

I don’t currently have speakers but I’ll probably want to test out the sound card and make sure it works.

I’ve seen a lot of people post about SMBIOS. Is that worth tinkering with if the build works? What’s the best way to get some benchmarking data?

Once I feel things are stable, I’m going to explore those kexts for builtin Bluetooth and WiFi. Wish me luck!
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2014
Messages
413
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z390 M Gaming
CPU
i5 9400F
Graphics
RX 580
Mac
  1. iMac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Wow, thanks Humanate! I followed the instructions, mapped my USB ports (ss & hs) and disabled all others.

I don’t currently have speakers but I’ll probably want to test out the sound card and make sure it works.

I’ve seen a lot of people post about SMBIOS. Is that worth tinkering with if the build works? What’s the best way to get some benchmarking data?

Once I feel things are stable, I’m going to explore those kexts for builtin Bluetooth and WiFi. Wish me luck!
You mentioned not using many kexts at the moment. There are some you will need. The main ones are: AppleALC.kext for your sound and you will also need WhateverGreen.kext and Lilu.kext as AppleALC.kext won't work without those. You should also have VirtualSMC.kext (don't use with FakeSMC.kext, use instead of). Be sure to put these kexts in EFI/Clover/Kexts/Other on your system drive. If you have installed any kexts into library/extensions or system/library extensions, delete them, always place in EFI/Clover/Kexts/Other

Clover Configurator is a great tool if you don't already have it

If you have any issues waking from sleep eg having to tap keyboard multiple times, use Colver Configurator to add "darkwake=8" to your config.plist. Click the Boot tab on the left side and then the little "+" at the bottom right of "Boot Arguments" - this is where you can add boot arguments.

You may also want to disable serial port in your BIOS but you may need to update to the latest beta BIOS to get that functionality (Gigabyte took thet feature out, then put back in latest beta) - you'll find that here: https://www.tweaktownforum.com/foru...dors/gigabyte/28656-gigabyte-latest-beta-bios
Obviously flashing BIOS is at your own risk!

The serial port is under Super IO settings I think in BIOS, disable it as it causes issues with wake from sleep and also unlock with Apple Watch etc

I'm not sure if your onboard wifi/bluetooth will work, I would post in your original build thread for advice there. If you want HandOff to work, you will need working WiFi and Bluetooth

Enjoy
 
Joined
Jul 29, 2020
Messages
19
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z390 I
CPU
Intel 9400
Graphics
HD 630
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Thanks for the tips! Below is my current kexts/Other folder. From what you're saying I need to make a few adjustments. Can you clarify a few points below please?
  • AppleALC.kext (should I delete Realtek RTL811.kext?)
  • WhateverGreen.kext (should I download latest version?)
  • Lilu.kext (dl latest version?)
  • VirtualSMC.kext (dl latest version?)
Screen Shot 2020-08-02 at 5.08.09 PM.png
 
Joined
Jul 29, 2020
Messages
19
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z390 I
CPU
Intel 9400
Graphics
HD 630
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
I did some exploring and tried adding AppleALC to the kexts folder. Unfortunately that resulted in a forbidden symbol on the Apple logo boot screen. Any idea what went wrong there? I had WhateverGreen and Lilu already. I used my USB to boot and promptly removed the ALC kext, now I’ll boot.

Also, when I put the Mac to sleep, I encounter weird behavior. The screen stays on exactly as it was, but the mouse and keyboard stop responding until I click/type, then resumes operating as normal. I’m on HDMI out to a TV. Have you seen this before? I’ve seen some posts about it, but I’m not sure how to search for a solution bc my configuration seems different than theirs.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2014
Messages
413
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z390 M Gaming
CPU
i5 9400F
Graphics
RX 580
Mac
  1. iMac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Thanks for the tips! Below is my current kexts/Other folder. From what you're saying I need to make a few adjustments. Can you clarify a few points below please?
  • AppleALC.kext (should I delete Realtek RTL811.kext?)
  • WhateverGreen.kext (should I download latest version?)
  • Lilu.kext (dl latest version?)
  • VirtualSMC.kext (dl latest version?)
View attachment 482658

You have multiple network kext, AtherosE220, IntelMaus, RealtekRTL8111. Post in the build thread you used to see which of these you actually need, users with similar builds will be able to advise

Yes you will want the latest Lilu, WEG and Virtual SMC

HDMI is known to be problematic with Hackintposh, display port is preferred but you’d need discrete GPU for that

You should also get your SMBIOS done, particularly making sure you have the best system definition and making sure your serial number and MLB is good. A thread here on optimising SMBIOS https://www.tonymacx86.com/threads/an-idiots-guide-to-imessage.196827/

For the best system definition, again post in the original build thread to see what people are using
 
Joined
Jul 29, 2020
Messages
19
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z390 I
CPU
Intel 9400
Graphics
HD 630
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Thanks I went through the SMBIOS guide and got through that somewhat unscathed :)

I’m going to post a separate thread for help with specific issues ive encountered. I’m so grateful for your help so far! Thank you!
 
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