Hackintosh upgrading to Mavericks

Something awesome that I didn't find out about until I was finishing up the install on Mavericks is that you can copy files/data over to the new install if you are installing Mavericks on another HD or partition in the same computer! So what I ended up doing was creating a new install, copying the data over, and I was all set! It allowed me to ensure that I always had a working copy of OSX to use.

I made the switch to OSX and have been running Lion for nearly a year and a half now. I had skipped over Mountain Lion because I didn't want to go through the hassle of upgrading everything. After a little debating about whether to upgrade to Mavericks, I decided to go for it because I didn't want to fall too many versions behind and I also wanted some of the small things like the updated Calendars and the compressed memory! I figured it wouldn't be a cake walk though and so I decided to install it on another HD I had been using before attempting to upgrade my existing Lion install (I was pleasantly surprised to find I had the ability to copy data from Lion to Mavericks after installing it on the partition though!)

Some problems I ran into

  • Using Unibeast to put the installer on the partition I was to install Mavericks on. I figured it would be easier so I didn't need to worry about using a USB drive. When I booted up and selected the partition it started to spin the apple wheel, but then it clonked and restarted. After a few failed attempts at this I decided to follow the instructions online and use a flash drive :) In retrospect this wouldn't have worked anyway because you need to have a clean formatted HD to install it on.
  • The monitor would go black after selecting the USB drive to boot from. I solved this by unplugging my second monitor that was using the VGA port and to just use the HDMI port.
  • I could not load up Mavericks without using these flags on install "GraphicsEnabler=Yes PCIRootUID=1 -v -f". (The -v turns on verbose mode, it lets you see what it is doing as it installs so you can use it to debug if it failes. The -f forces the it to load the kexts directly and to now use a cache. GraphicsEnabler=Yes tells OSX it is ok to play around with the graphics settings to try and get ideal settings. I have not figured out exactly what the PCIRootUID=1 does, but I believe it has something to do with enabling/disabling the PCI slot and/or permissions to the PCI slot the graphics card is using.
  • No mouse and keyboard once you get to the installer? I had originally selected the 'Legacy Support' option in Unibeast so that my USB drives would work since I have an 1156 socket motherboard. That wasn't working and suggestions online were to not select that and copy over the DSDT file from the Lion install that it did work on.

My final process was to:

  1. Create a bootable USB using Unibeast.
  2. Copy the DSDT file from /Extra/ into the /Volumes/USBDRIVENAME/Extra/ directory.
  3. Restart and boot into the installer with the following flags "GraphicsEnabler=Yes PCIRootUID=1 -v -f"
  4. Format the HD I want to put Mavericks on to use the GUID EXT format.
  5. After install it asks you to restart. It should bring you to a bootloader where you should pick the new HD you installed Mavericks onto. Use the same flags from step 3 when booting.
  6. Copy data if you want to from another OSX install or proceed to the next step.
  7. If you haven't already grab a copy of MultiBeast
  8. Once you load into OSX you should open up MultiBeast and do the 'Quick Start'. If you have an existing DSDT file that worked for you, you can import that or you can stat from scratch. Work your way through the settings and adjust as needed. If something doesn't work when you restart you can open it back up and look around for anything you may have missed related to the device malfunctioning.
  9. (Possible) I had a last step you may not have if you are not installing mavericks on a different HD than your current install. After I installed Mavericks and restarted (and removed the USB bootloader) I tried booting up and every time I selected Mavericks it would start to load and then crash and the computer would restart. After a little bit of going in circles and redoing MultiBeast it clicked that the issue may be the bootloader. I realized I was still using the old bootloader I had installed with Lion. So what I did was install a new bootloader on the Mavericks HD and set that to be the first HD in the boot order. After I did that and restarted it booted up perfect!

My parts list

(I didn't upgrade anything from my Lion install, so these are all 2+ year old parts)

  • Intel Core i5-760 Processor 2.8 GHz 8 MB Cache Socket LGA1156
  • Thermaltake Silent 1156 CLP0552 92mm CPU Cooler For Intel Socket LGA1156
  • Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" (eventually I will make the leap and buy an SSD...)
  • XFX HD-465X-ZDF2 Radeon HD 4650 1GB 128-bit DDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
  • GIGABYTE GA-H55-USB3 LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model 998768
  • CORSAIR TX Series CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80

Other thoughts:

If you have any feedback for me, I'd love to hear it - corrections, alternative paths, you name it! Send me an email levi@levijackson.xyz