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Using an EFI motherboard for a Hackintosh project


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#1
danielmramos

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I recently posted the following in another thread and gramarye requested that I start a new thread specifically to discuss this subject...

Hi, I am a long time Mac and PC user. I have been in the IT field for a while; however, I am totally new at OSX86 / Hackintosh projects. I am interested in it as a hobby that may be useful in the future. I hope this is a good place to pose this question. I have been reading up and understand that putting together a Hackintosh has been revolutionized by the relatively newly developed EFI emulator. Now that it is actually possible to buy an EFI motherboard from Intel has anybody tried building a Hackintosh using one of the new EFI motherboards, or is EFI disabled on the Intel boards? I just thought that if it were possible to get a native EFI motherboard, then a Hackintosh install would not require an EFI emulator; rather, a more straightforward method of bridging the Mac to PC EFI problem. Such a solution would obviously present less compatability issues. I also recently read that other motherboard companies were going to be producing EFI motherboards. I wonder how this will change things for the Hackintosh community in the future?

So it comes down to the subject of using EFI motherboards for Hackintosh projects. How will this change things, and will it allow us to approach installing vanilla / retail OSX in a more straightforward manner? Will this make bridging the OSX boot process on a non apple motherboard a more straight forward affair requiring less code and a more direct approach? How should this be accomplished?

#2
danielmramos

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Bumpity bump bump :P

#3
insomnimac

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Your assumptions are correct I think. EFI has opened the door for us hack users and a native EFI is going to be great.

#4
deleted_account

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I think this is a wonderful topic, and would only open-up a bigger world for the OSx86 community, I hope to see more discussions, I will do some research and contribute more to this thread once I get back. This is really great and having and EFI motherboard would brighten the future. Great topic! ;)

Let's start out with a list of EFI compatible motherboards...Intel has a few EFI firmware upgrades for certain chipsets, that might be something to note of.

Now, how much of a performance difference there is in True EFI vs. Emulated EFI?

#5
i_am...me

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The only way EFI would change everything is if it had apples EFI firmware...

#6
danielmramos

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The only way EFI would change everything is if it had apples EFI firmware...


It sounds like what you are saying is not an impossibility. There are a couple of options from what it sounds like to me. The first is to somehow duplicate Apple's EFI firmware code and flash the PC EFI chipset. Another option is to some how set up an EFI translator that would do a job similar to the PC EFI emulator; however, instead of emulation it would simply be a type of translation bridge software. Hey, if a PC EFI emulator can bridge Apple's EFI and PC BIOS, then doing something similar, but obviously much simpler, between Apple EFI firmware code and a PC EFI motherboard should most certainly be possible. I think the first step is doing some research and gathering a list of all PC motherboards that use EFI.

#7
deleted_account

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I've been searching around for EFI motherboards as well, let's get that list going, as for now, I have yet to find one.

#8
Tiago do Vale

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I don't think the EFI firmware on Macs is exclusive to Apple: I believe it's standard, like in the Itanium workstations. No?

#9
danielmramos

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So, here is a little bit of information on the EFI motherboard that MSI is about to put out.

http://techreport.co...ussions.x/13942

It is the MSI P35-Neo3 motherboard. I believe this motherboard has already been released. Can someone confirm my information?

#10
deleted_account

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So, here is a little bit of information on the EFI motherboard that MSI is about to put out.

http://techreport.co...ussions.x/13942

It is the MSI P35-Neo3 motherboard. I believe this motherboard has already been released. Can someone confirm my information?


That is the motherboard I've read about, contacted MSI, they say it is release only selected Vendors chose to carry the product, but as of now, I believe they stopped production? It's hard understanding their english. But I hope this project continues. But what really comes down to is the EmulatedEFI vs genuine EFI performance, you know the differences?

danielmramos, care to shoot an e-mail to them?


(bump)

#11
i_am...me

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It sounds like what you are saying is not an impossibility. There are a couple of options from what it sounds like to me. The first is to somehow duplicate Apple's EFI firmware code and flash the PC EFI chipset. Another option is to some how set up an EFI translator that would do a job similar to the PC EFI emulator; however, instead of emulation it would simply be a type of translation bridge software. Hey, if a PC EFI emulator can bridge Apple's EFI and PC BIOS, then doing something similar, but obviously much simpler, between Apple EFI firmware code and a PC EFI motherboard should most certainly be possible. I think the first step is doing some research and gathering a list of all PC motherboards that use EFI.

its not an impossibility, but it would be hard work to get everything to work correctly and there is alot of different hardware used it would probably be more work than its worth. the EFI we have now isnt really EFI, its just a boot loader that does some of the same tasks EFI does to run the OS with out any modifications. I'm not saying that its impossible. but it will cost a lot of fried boards, testing and tears, and error.

I don't think the EFI firmware on Macs is exclusive to Apple: I believe it's standard, like in the Itanium workstations. No?

It is. The start up chime and the white screen
Apple has developed there own firmware to use. it is hardware specific to their boards.

#12
Kabyl

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I think once the (U)EFI Boot Option is enabled (and actually working) on those boards, one can use the EFI shell (a shell script) to load some necessary EFI modules (like "hfsplus.efi" which can be extracted from Apple's Firmware) to be able to run "boot.efi" (an EFI app, the boot loader in Intel Macs), but I'm not sure about "boot.efi", it might have some checks..
And I recommend for anyone who wants to get a new graphics card, to get one with an EFI ROM (like the Mac ones), and you shouldn't need Natit and the like.
One thing will be left, is the decryption, this can be done by a kext or maybe by hardware..

#13
Superhai

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boot.efi should run, it is runable from the tianocore emulation. But the problem is that apple has included lots of custom modules into their efi rom. It will solve some problems, but some new one will arise, depending on how they are implemented. But it might be easier to solve because efi is largely programmed in c and compiled and not in an assembler.

#14
danielmramos

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boot.efi should run, it is runable from the tianocore emulation. But the problem is that apple has included lots of custom modules into their efi rom. It will solve some problems, but some new one will arise, depending on how they are implemented. But it might be easier to solve because efi is largely programmed in c and compiled and not in an assembler.


Superhai, the fact that EFI is programmed in a modern language is a great point. This is the type of advantage that I was thinking would speed up any kind of development cycle.

Wouldn't it be great if it were possible to get firewire target mode to work?

#15
trimethy

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I'm playing with the same thought and I'm looking for a mainboard that supports EFI.

This is what I found so far:

from http://www.mactel-linux.org/wiki/EFI

Intel currently offers PC motherboards supporting EFI. All boards that use the Intel 945 chipset support EFI, although it is, currently, disabled. A firmware update could enable EFI on these motherboards, although no such update has been released at the time of writing (probably because there is no EFI-capable 32-bit version of Microsoft Windows.)

#16
Peter R.

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I'm a luddite in these matters, but is this http://global.msi.eu...esc&news_no=637 what we'relooking for ?

Peter R.

#17
rulez007

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Hey guys!

I have an intel efi enabled mobo - intel s5000psl. I believe mac pros use pretty much the same, just have some extra connections on it. I've just started to look around for the efi shell scripting, but not too much info yet. Do we have any new updates in regards if I could install just a native osx on this system?

Btw, apple do NOT have their own efi, they are using the normal intel efi shell 1.10 but they have disabled user interaction and included a display image. Apple engineers are able to get into the efi shell and programme it, but I think they could only do it through serial port with some special software.

Thanks

#18
LysanderSpooner

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June 2009 issue of MaximumPC has an step-by-step instructions for building Hackintosh using EFI-X USB module and legal unpatched copy of OS X Leopard. Article not yet posted on http://www.maximumpc.com/ but should be there in June.


You can use EFI-X USB header device on specific MB to achieve clean install of MAC OS X Leopard

http://www.testfreak...sb-v1-reviewed/

http://www.expresshd...81abd57509be84b

Build EFiX System Now:

http://www.expresshd...pID=20&CDpath=4

Must Have: Compatible Motherboard, Video Card and EFiX USB Dongle.

1. Install EFiX USB Dongle, Setup Motherboard Bios, Install Your Favorite OS s,

Now Enjoy!

Please note:

2. Only SATA Hard Drives, SATA DVD ROM are compatible with EFiX.

3. Each OS must have its own hard drive, EFiX does not read Partition

4. For OS setup please use usb keyboard and mouse.

video instruction are coming soon.

#19
marliwahoo

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This is an old topic that was started here: http://www.insanelym...showtopic=42212

#20
LysanderSpooner

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Here is a link to the Maximum PC article from the June 2009 issue:

http://maximumpc.cov...c/200906/?pg=54

Complete instructions on using the the EFi-X USB V1 dongle to build a Hackintosh using a DFI P45 motherboard. Gigabyte also makes boards that work with this device. The build used a retail copy of OS X.





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