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Lenovo ThinkPad T420 with UEFI Only

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fredfrog 

 

here is how to make a UEFI bootable usb:

 

1) on your mac desktop box reformat a USB with 1 partition hfs - in options - set to GPT mode.

2) use clover package installer - select the USB - check first 2 items UEFI mobo and ESP install and themes.

 

thats it. now reboot and use F12 to select the USB to boot from.

Thanks tluck - if that is how you were doing it, I will try that today and report back.

 

Thanks for your help.

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Hi tluck,

 

just reporting back. So I used Disk Utility on my sons true MacBook Pro with the 1Gb USB Stick, set the partition up with GPT and MacOS Journaled, let that do its thing.

 

I then used Clover install r1974 from SourceForge and selected the source as the 1Gb USB, clicked Customise and selected the options - Clover install package failed to create it.

 

I repeated the above steps, this time creating an MSDOS-Fat as well as MacOS journaled and tried again - still no joy.

 

I was under the impression that there was an EFI partition created as well as the MacOS Journaled ? 

 

Am I doing this wrong or is it the r1974 version of Clover that is the issue ?

 

Thx

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@fredfrog - no you are not going crazy. sorry should have mention you need like an 8GB usb. For GPT, apple diskutil will put the extra (hidden) EFI partition on the stick only when partitioning more than 2GB usb. stupid. i am sure there is a good reason.  found this out as i have 1 2 4 8 16 GB USB sticks. and ML (with clover install) really needs an 8GB stick.

 

however you can create the ESP on a small USB by doing something like this (using a 2GB) to test clover.

$ gpt destroy /dev/disk4
$ gpt create /dev/disk4

$ gpt add -i 1 -b 40 -s 409600 -t efi /dev/disk4
/dev/disk4s1 added

$ gpt add -i 2 -b 409640 -s 1000000 -t hfs /dev/disk4
/dev/disk4s2 added
$ newfs_msdos -v EFI -F 32 /dev/rdisk4s1
512 bytes per physical sector
/dev/rdisk4s1: 403266 sectors in 403266 FAT32 clusters (512 bytes/cluster)
bps=512 spc=1 res=32 nft=2 mid=0xf8 spt=32 hds=32 hid=40 drv=0x80 bsec=409600 bspf=3151 rdcl=2 infs=1 bkbs=6

$ newfs_hfs -v USB /dev/rdisk4s2 
Initialized /dev/rdisk4s2 as a 488 MB HFS Plus volume 

$ gpt -r show disk4
    start     size  index  contents
        0        1         PMBR
        1        1         Pri GPT header
        2       32         Pri GPT table
       34        6         
       40   409600      1  GPT part - C12A7328-F81F-11D2-BA4B-00A0C93EC93B
   409640  1000000      2  GPT part - 48465300-0000-11AA-AA11-00306543ECAC
  1409640  2504055         
  3913695       32         Sec GPT table
  3913727        1         Sec GPT header
$ diskutil list disk4
/dev/disk4
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *2.0 GB     disk4
   1:                        EFI                         209.7 MB   disk4s1
   2:                  Apple_HFS USB                     512.0 MB   disk4s2

post-954945-0-49735300-1377656933_thumb.png

post-954945-0-92267600-1377656917_thumb.png

 

 

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Either update to the latest version and the issue will be gone, or use the script that bcc9 has rolled out quite some time ago to overcome the issue.

Basically it will patch the kext for you, which will create a small delay in order to identify the AHCI controller properly and allow it to boot. Details HERE

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T420 users:

 

I just updated my reference page for Clover on T420 - post 241

 

Updated 29-August-2013

  • Updated to Clover b1972
  • Updated ethernet driver AppleIntelE1000e.kext to v2.4.14
  • Updated to Rehabman's FakeSMC.kext + Sensors to v5.2.772
  • Updated to Rehabman's VoodooPS2Controller.kext to v1.8.6 
  • Replaced VoodooBattery.kext with Rehabman's AppleSmartBatteryManager.kext
  • Replaced v1.3.5 AppleACPIPlatform.kext with ErmaC's patched ML (v.1.7) version

.... this page somewhat picks up where Kogen left off in terms of keeping up to date with Clover builds and other new developments.

 

@glasgood - if you look at this post, it has a link to Rehabman's FakeSMC.kext site - which has the full installer for the HWMonitor app + kexts ... or alternatively for just the kexts, these are included in the new zip bundle.

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Whic is essentially {censored}. Wi-Fi is capped at 150 Mbit, Atheros Bluetooth is a mess to get going properly and even if you do Apple multitouch devices won't work with it, even regular Dell Travel mouse stutters and is sluggish to use. That's said, don't even consider buying one.

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Yes, I use it. My WiFi card DW1702 works on this bios.

Hi, the link for the bios does not work, it's maxed out. Can you attach it here?

Thanks,

AJ

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tluck et al,

 

okay, we are up and running -using ml3u and the stuff you provided.

 

Here's what I did:

1. Used tluck's instructions to create Clover UEFI boot USB on 8Gb Key

2. Created second USB key with ML3U as per their instructions

3. Put both USB keys in the T420 - the order was important as one USB is the boot (back one in my case), the ML3U was in RHS

4. On boot for UEFI only it will start the 8Gb USB CLOVER UEFI in 1 above, but it sees the ML3U - so I select that an install using reasonable customized options

5. Bootloader did not install via ML3U, but used tlucks instructions for creating USB key to make the Plextor SSD bootable ie by downloading and installing CLOVER with the same options, this time installing to the SSD.

6. Booted and installed the entire EFI into the /Volumes/efi/EFI directory supplied by tluck - this fixed the screen resolution :-)

7. Updated via Software Update to 10.8.4

8. Installed the KEXT from tlucks for the audio and video - the video showed some artifacts - tlucks version fixed it.

 

Sleep not working yet, but basically, a very good T420 Hackintosh. Will do some incremental tests on Tuesday to get sleep running.

 

Thanks tluck and everyone in the community.... very impressive, if a little harder than my desktop version. Patience is a virtue - but support to the questions and a few educated guesses meant it works!

 

FredFrog

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@FredFrog - good news. 

 

for sleep/wake you need the custom dsdt.aml AND then the supplied AppleACPIPlatform.kext (replace standard one). Some may prefer to use the 1.3.5 version - aka snow leopard rollback version.

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@FredFrog - good news. 

 

for sleep/wake you need the custom dsdt.aml AND then the supplied AppleACPIPlatform.kext (replace standard one). Some may prefer to use the 1.3.5 version - aka snow leopard rollback version.

tluck - the machine is a 4236J73 which has the 2520M, 1600x900 and I am looking at your instructions for Post 241 and just want to verify that I can rename the EFI\CLOVER\OEM\4236A79 to EFI\CLOVER\OEM\4236J73 and just use your supplied dsdt.aml from in there, then apply the AppleACIPlatform.kext.

 

Sorry for being nervous at this point - but its so close that I don't want to break it :-)

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@FredFrog - yes your box looks to be identical to mine except you have built-in camera. so you should be safe to do that.

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Hi, the link for the bios does not work, it's maxed out. Can you attach it here?

Thanks,

AJ

The BIOS for T420 was reposted. I have upgraded to the new whitelisted BIOS (1.46) and it seems to work fine.

Just note that the upgrade process requires to upgrade to the vanilla 1.46 first, then reboot and apply the BIOS modified. After this reboot for standard BIOS upgrade I had to remove my wifi card or the computer would not boot. After applying the mod BIOS, it booted okay with the wifi card. 

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tluck

 

Just reporting back.

 

I mounted the EFI partition and renamed the 4236AT9 you supplied to 4236J73 and applied the AppleACIPlatform.kext. These two things had a remarkable effect on the graphics glitches (gone - was glitching and sometimes freezing on receipt of a Skype message, which caused the animation in the Dock)  and I was able to do a 'quick' sleep. Ie, I tried it, it woke back up. However, a 'long' sleep - one where I left it for a couple of hours required me to restart completely by holding power for 4 seconds - the power button and sleeping moon LED was still flashing, but it didn't wake - same symptoms.

 

I will now install the revised Rehabman's battery to get the battery power showing correctly - but almost a perfect MacBook.

 

Thanks everyone who has contributed to this forum.

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@FredFrog

 

for sleep, the patched AppleACPIPlatform.kext is key along with the custom dsdt which is seems you are now using.

also in the zip posted has Rehabmans AppleSmartBatteryManager.kext configured for T420 (acpi v3) - that should get your battery showing the charge %. not sure what you mean showing correctly? 

 

not sure about the long sleep. i will test my system ... have not done a lot sleeping on it lately.

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tluck,

 

no problem - I will apply the kext from your 29 August compilation. I noted on page 15 that there was issues related to sleep and it appears to be still under investigation from others. I will also apply the PS2 Kext, as I am only doing it one at a time.

 

Sorry for being vague - the machine is my 14yo's and he doesn't live with me, so I only get to work on it when he's over, which is only a couple of times a week.

 

Regards

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yeah. clover does seem to have some quirks about sleep/wake. sometimes upon wake the built-in keyboard/mouse (PS2) are non-responsive. have to use a external mouse to restart. then sometimes sleep will cause a rapid blinking power light and 

 

i recently moved from the 1.3.5 AppleACPIPlatform to 1.7 in hopes this may help some of the issues observed with clover ...  so far this latest greatest combination of kexts seems a bit more reliable. and its great to hear from others what is working or not!

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@fdandy006

 

The 420's and 430's have a physical limitation of 2 active displays. You can physically connect one monitor to the VGA, another to the DisplayPort, but you have to remember that the LCD also counts as a display. You can never have more than 2 active at any given time. They're connected internally like Dual-Link DVI, 1 bus with 2 channels. You can buy a USB adapter to hook up additional displays, but most of them are cheap and tax your CPU.

Edited by Bryan Gonzalez

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Also, Gendalo hasn't been on for a few weeks. I have a 430 I would like to convert, but I'm having trouble getting the installer fired up. Can anyone shed some light on the following?

 

1. I wanted to confirm if Gendalo's post #318 has his latest Clover folder.

2. Does anyone else have a working 430?

3. I'm interested in looking at someone's DSDT for reference.

 

This is getting closer and closer to being my first working mac. I've tried, failed and given up on about 4 other sets of hardware in the past 3 years, so I'm really excited. I don't have access to a real mac, but I have a mac vm that has served me well thus far. My largest hurdle right now is getting Clover to install normally. There is an issue in VMware, maybe to do with how it emulates USB devices, where the install fails. I can't use the custom pkg in the first post for this reason, so the closest I've come is by using BDUtility. At least I get a working Clover.

 

4. Have others had success with BDUtility as well?

 

5. And, last (and probably the most noobish) question, is the install image supposed to be clean, or do I need to modify it for it to boot? I thought Clover took care of injecting the appropriate kexts, provided I installed them properly on my boot disk. Using 2 sticks by the way. I have been using Lion disk maker. It quits with an error, but it appears to complete. I'm thinking it's related to VMware's USB issue again. Would you recommend I try doing it manually instead?

 

Thanks to all in advance.

 

EDIT: (9/7/2013 21:40 EST)

 

I successfully completed an installation on my T430. I used:

 

1. USB thumb drive, formatted MBR, single FAT32 partition on W8 (though the next utility reformats it anyways)

2. Installed Clover r1378 via Cvad's BDUtility v2.0.2013.170b on W8

3. Replaced the EFI folder with Gendalo's in #318

 

Here I tested the Boot Disk and sure enough, it worked. But I got this far previously. At least this time the theme showed up properly. I'm a little concerned because in Gendalo's EFI folder the OEM folder is not arranged properly. But with no additional tweaks, the settings in Clover seem correct. At least, the Install Disk booted:

 

Note: I used a separate USB thumb drive for the Install Media, but is otherwise identical to the first:

4. 2nd USB thumb drive, formatted GPT, single HFS+ partition on an OS 10.6 VM in VMware Workstation 10 on W8

5. Used Lion DiskMaker v2 with an Install.ESD for OS 10.8 that I can't for the life of me remember where/when I got. I don't even know if it's good.

NOTE: The Lion DiskMaker program did not complete successfully for me. I consistently quits with an AudioQueueStart failed error. I'm all Googled out right now, but even Google only finds 4 results for that error and none of them relate to my situation. Really? only 4 results in the whole inter[web]netz? Sorry, flustered.

NOTE2: I decided to risk it. The install disk seemed fairly complete.

 

So:

6. Fired up the boot disk

7. Installed OS X ML

8. Restart

 

9. Cross fingers

10. .  .  . cry

 

Now startup hangs at Waiting for Root device

So I waited with it, for like an hour, played some Xbox

And now I'm "Still waiting for root device"

 

tried booting with no caches, same result.

 

The only thing I can think of is that Gendalo has a different variation of hardware than me. Mine is a 2349GCU, which is different than his.

 

Any takers?

I'm too spent to work anymore on this tonight, but if anyone can point me in the right direction, I'd be so grateful.

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I know I said I was too spent, but here I am still trying to get this done...

 

Additional detail:

 

It seems like the installation was not completely successful, merely just the first phase, where it copies everything from the install disk to the destination disk.

My boot and install disks are both USB. The destination is the internal HDD which is a 320GB 2.5" 7.2k SATA 3Gb/s Seagate something or other.

 

I'm chasing down a lead that lead me to some kind of race condition that is caused by the IOAHCIBlockStorage kext. Bcc9 knows more about this. The thinking here is that the initial install was successful because the install disk is on usb, but then when I try booting from the HDD it gets stuck at the "still waiting for root device" because the AHCI detection sequence is not given enough time to complete. So it'll never detect.

 

So another question:

 

What do I need to patch? I have Bcc9's perl script but am I supposed to patch the kext that's in S/L/E from the root of that file system, or is it the one that's buried in the install image? This temporary folder structure is confusing me. Or do I need to patch the kext inside of my install media and just run the install again?

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So now it's even later, and I'm getting a little cranky. I made a breakthrough, but I'm not as thrilled as I hoped I'd be. I kept asking myself why it was that the USB disks worked just fine but not when I wanted to boot off the internal? So I decided to isolate issues. I took the internal HDD out, I stuck it in a USB3 SATA drive enclosure and plugged it into on of the USB3 ports on my laptop.

 

It booted right up...

 

So I'm dumbfounded. I'm happy that the install is finally finishing, and I'll have a fully functional mac, but I'm dreading what I'll have to do to get the drive to boot when it's installed internally. Plus I'm tired and I'm running out of whiskey. I suppose I feel melancholy. Anyone care to chip in some advice?

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4416D94C-E168-3987-B9F5-5767E3933D12 <7 6 5 4 3 1> 25 6 0xffffff7f80a4b000 0x2b000 0x2b000 com.apple.iokit.IOSCSIArchitectureModelFamily (404.20.1) 2A918E3B-00A2-3A8B-8F7E-0DBCE387C42A <6 5 4 3 1> 26 1 0xffffff7f81fbf000 0x19000 0x19000 com.apple.iokit.IOSCSIBlockCommandsDevice (404.20.1) 983B3D78-6110-3A0D-B4F0-3C798DC7DB3A <25 24 6 5 4 3 1> 27 1 0xffffff7f81fdc000 0x2d000 0x2d000 com.apple.iokit.IOUSBMassStorageDriver (140) 0F57FB92-342C-3FF3-87C0-55C2A0158AFF <25 24 21 6 5 4 3 1> 28 4 0xffffff7f811f9000 0x15000 0x15000 com.apple.driver.AppleMobileFileIntegrity (1.0.5) EA558F59-BDB8-3BE0-A77E-231D62054A1D <8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1> 29 1 0xffffff7f82010000 0x12000 0x12000 com.apple.driver.AppleUSBTDM (439.20.7) 9F09CC9C-7B98-3AE5-B30B-153D3D22BDBD <28 27 26 25 24 21 7 6 5 4 3 1> 30 0 0xffffff7f82454000 0x62000 0x62000 com.apple.driver.AppleKeyStore (2) 297BC17D-41F9-3BCB-8848-B15A8D20CF9A <29 28 23 22 18 17 8 7 6 5 4 3 1> 31 0 0xffffff7f824df000 0xb000 0xb000 com.apple.driver.AppleFDEKeyStore (28.30) 88B93EF8-2472-3A39-926D-BD8B364DF65C <8 7 6 5 4 3 1> 32 0 0xffffff7f828e0000 0x19000 0x19000 com.apple.driver.DiskImages (480.1.2) 18572923-BAEF-3106-B205-299EA989B1B5 <24 7 6 5 4 3 1> 33 2 0xffffff7f8165d000 0xc000 0xc000 com.apple.iokit.IOBufferCopyEngineFamily (1) B882E495-534B-3845-8F58-27DAA652CCA2 <5 4 3 1> 34 0 0xffffff7f82a17000 0xc000 0xc000 com.apple.IOBufferCopyEngineTest (1) CE28F2D9-3D09-3428-9FD7-023941B584F0 <33 5 4 3 1> 35 1 0xffffff7f82a26000 0x21000 0x21000 as.vit9696.Lilu (1.2.7) 4EA74271-18D4-38CC-AAD2-03F2875BCF14 <7 5 4 3 2 1> 36 0 0xffffff7f82a47000 0x60000 0x60000 as.vit9696.WhateverGreen (1.2.3) 6450D5EB-5E30-3640-BE41-3FDFEF7737A0 <35 12 7 5 4 3 2 1> 37 0 0xffffff7f82aa7000 0x5000 0x5000 com.rehabman.driver.USBInjectAll (0.6.9) D0CD1F99-95F2-3151-8A16-00767C52F740 <12 11 4 3> 38 0 0xffffff7f82aac000 0x11000 0x11000 org.netkas.driver.FakeSMC (1800) FC7031CC-C949-35D1-AC1A-CA8DB349793E <11 7 5 4 3 1> 39 2 0xffffff7f814a5000 0x5000 0x5000 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com.apple.driver.AppleHDAController (280.12) 55162F3D-B7E9-315C-A7E1-C5C4C02F03EC <121 120 89 12 7 6 5 4 3 1> 123 0 0xffffff7f81ac1000 0x99000 0x99000 com.apple.driver.AppleIntelHD5000Graphics (10.2.8) D9688F73-A7F3-3D99-9552-7BA7B5B9D1C5 <113 112 89 12 7 6 5 4 3 1> 124 1 0xffffff7f8267f000 0xe000 0xe000 com.apple.iokit.IOSerialFamily (11) 6FE74518-ECD9-32D6-88BE-8F5BCAC911D4 <7 6 5 4 3 1> 125 0 0xffffff7f82690000 0xe000 0xe000 com.apple.iokit.IOBluetoothSerialManager (6.0.1f1) 74339DA7-0327-38FF-9C7C-EF924A7BA23B <124 7 5 4 3 1> 126 0 0xffffff7f824b6000 0xb000 0xb000 com.apple.driver.AppleSSE (1.0) 29B1CF46-578E-33D4-9CD3-41FDA30B0A15 <22 7 5 4 3 1> 127 0 0xffffff7f823ea000 0xa000 0xa000 com.apple.iokit.IOUserEthernet (1.0.1) E2480916-E5D9-36B9-8573-25E1134F99A7 <64 6 5 4 3 1> 128 0 0xffffff7f82251000 0xf000 0xf000 com.apple.driver.AppleHV (1) 1B4F136C-9465-379A-8D80-878A4AA2AF87 <7 6 5 4 3 1> 129 0 0xffffff7f80e3e000 0x25000 0x25000 com.apple.iokit.IOTimeSyncFamily (600.15) ACE5FAE7-6762-3B1A-B091-56A611D2D34E <64 5 4 3 1> 130 0 0xffffff7f81777000 0x5000 0x5000 com.apple.AGDCPluginDisplayMetrics (3.16.19) 28EBFAA2-166F-368C-8A2E-E2A0B5312425 <95 7 6 5 4 3 1> 131 1 0xffffff7f8177c000 0x3000 0x3000 com.apple.driver.AppleGraphicsControl (3.16.19) 50A642BF-B1E3-3F41-B211-70EFAE5BE872 <7 5 4 3 1> 132 0 0xffffff7f8177f000 0x19000 0x19000 com.apple.driver.AppleGraphicsDevicePolicy (3.16.19) 3CFB1891-D7AC-3BE4-8DF8-47675AF9F95F <131 95 89 12 11 7 6 5 4 3 1> 133 1 0xffffff7f82156000 0x9000 0x9000 com.apple.driver.X86PlatformShim (1.0.0) 3C45984F-888B-3EED-B2A3-76A277D1D72A <100 99 13 7 4 3> 134 0 0xffffff7f8261d000 0x7000 0x7000 com.apple.driver.ApplePlatformEnabler (2.7.0d0) 97EF1457-0154-3395-B680-F6D499EE8EB8 <7 5 4 3> 135 0 0xffffff7f824ea000 0x1f000 0x1f000 com.apple.driver.AGPM (110.23.24) F00AE848-ADD1-378F-8576-2D312C49D458 <99 95 92 89 12 6 5 4 3> 136 2 0xffffff7f82630000 0x5000 0x5000 com.apple.kext.triggers (1.0) 11BEF14E-27F2-3BD9-8810-F11A908D2DC6 <7 6 5 4 3 1> 137 0 0xffffff7f82635000 0xb000 0xb000 com.apple.filesystems.autofs (3.0) 6B23747D-D072-3862-9DC1-A56D7E0185DB <136 7 6 5 4 3 1> 138 1 0xffffff7f81c8d000 0x13000 0x13000 com.apple.kext.OSvKernDSPLib (526) C618CB87-7AA5-3DAE-9399-1CC9D9447F06 <5 4> 139 1 0xffffff7f81ca0000 0x143000 0x143000 com.apple.driver.DspFuncLib (280.12) 5CFA635F-C9CC-3F92-9D62-6479D8CC4382 <138 120 119 55 6 5 4 3 1> 140 0 0xffffff7f81dee000 0xea000 0xea000 com.apple.driver.AppleHDA (280.12) 7FC2BABA-4D4F-34FC-93E2-3E3244DEB73D <139 122 121 120 92 89 6 5 4 3 1> 142 0 0xffffff7f824d0000 0x9000 0x9000 com.apple.driver.AppleUpstreamUserClient (3.6.4) 994E78AE-AAD1-3435-8002-E906AF0416FE <89 12 11 7 5 4 3 1> 143 0 0xffffff7f82b0a000 0x6a000 0x6a000 com.apple.filesystems.smbfs (3.2) BC87B0FF-8711-3620-BC89-4A2232723CEA <136 8 7 6 5 4 3 1> 144 1 0xffffff7f82b74000 0x11000 0x11000 com.apple.filesystems.msdosfs (1.10) 0D5408E8-0AFE-3D82-AE82-B8FA25EF4760 <7 5 4 1>  
      I'm really out of clue.
       
      config.plist

      ioreg.zip


    • By fusion71au
      Clover r4747 ISO compiled with GCC and minimal config.plist compatible for use in VMWare Workstation.
       
      Tested with unlocked Workstation 15 running OSX 10.9 -->10.14 guest in Windows X64 host.
       
      Installation
      1. Download and unzip "EFI_Clover_r4747 for VMware.zip". Mount Clover-v2.4k-4747-X64 by double clicking on it.
      2. Mount your VM's EFI System Partition eg in terminal
      sudo diskutil mount disk0s1   3. Copy EFI folder from step 1 into the EFI partition
      4. Shutdown the VM, add bios.bootDelay = "3000" to your VM's vmx file
      5. Reboot your VM, press <F2> to access the VMware Boot Manager and add CLOVERX64.efi to the boot menu.
       
      Substitute your own unique and valid MLB and ROM variables in the /EFI/CLOVER/config.plist (Rt Variables section) to activate iMessage/Facetime on your VM.
    • By superdooper71
      Hi all,
      I hope someone can help me as I am struggling with this bloody installation.
      I am running on several problems that I can't face : (
       
      First of all my config:
      Mobo: ASROCK H81M-DGS R2
      CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1220 v3 @3.10ghz
      RAM: 16gb DDR3 1600Mhz
      SSD: Crucial BX100 120Gb SSD
      Monitor: Hp 27w Hdmi
       
      POST Installation CLOVER
       
      Current Issues:
      • System will not boot (clover boot loader do not shows up) from SSD
         - System boot only with USB stick
      • Screen Resolution is only 1024x768
      • Monitor recognised as 17" instead of 24"
      • Monitor identified as secondary
      • Grafic Card Geforce GT710 shows 0 Mb
      • System info do not match Config.plistin Clover
       
      I attach screenshot of System Info, Kext in Clover, Resolution etc etc.
       
      Please can someonhelp me?
       
      Please can you tell me what is the Clover Parameter to activate when installing Clover  (Clover_v2.4k_r4722) into Boot Disk?
       
      I hope someone can help me out of this little troble: )
       
      Cheers
      Franco
       
      system info.tiff
      kext.tiff
      resolution.tiff
      system.tiff
      config.plist
    • By Entropi
      PREFACE
       
      I’ve used a 2015 15” MBP as my main system since it was released. I do photo and video editing in the Adobe suite regularly and have been eyeballing the performance of the latest MBP models. I’m on the road all the time, so a laptop is basically my only option.

      After the whole mess with the CPU VRM hardware flaws being made apparent by the poor power management profile shipped at release with the 2018 i9 MBP I’ve been more weary of the hardware design of MacBooks. That’s before I account for losing all USB-A ports, losing the SD card slot (‽), losing reliability and tactility of the keyboard, and losing the ESC key to the touchbar; if I compare the 2018 MBP to my current 2015.
       
      Given these flaws, I have been researching the performance situation comparing the 2018 MBP to the X1 Extreme, XPS 15 9570, and the Razer Blade 15 2018.  These are essentially the only options for a road warrior that needs a high quality panel and the best CPU and GPU that can be crammed into around 4lbs (1.8kg).  
      I used to use a ThinkPad T42p and loved it when it was new. So fast forward to now and the release of the ThinkPad X1 Extreme. It’s a truly tempting machine for an artist, given that the 4K UHD version offers just about the best color gamut available on any laptop panel. I get back the USB-A ports, get one of the fastest SD slots on any laptop, and get one of the best laptop keyboards on the market. That’s before even considering power management and modularity. I’ve been dabbling in learning Machine Learning, so a system with an nVidia GPU (CUDA) is a bonus on that front as well.
       
      For me the best color reproduction on a high resolution display panel was most important. The X1 Extreme has that, so I’ve ordered one. I got it with the fastest i7, base SSD and memory, and have separately purchased two 1TB Samsung 970 Pro M.2 SSDs and 2x16GB DDR4-3200MHz memory (just in case it’s possible to overclock the memory on the X1 Extreme). I got the system for $2,100 from Lenovo USA, and the SSDs ($390 x 2) and memory ($330) from Amazon US for a total of ~$3200.  These are easy to install on the X1 Extreme as the bottom cover is easily removed to reveal the M.2 and SODIMM slots. To compare, the 2018 MBP with the fastest i7, 32GB memory, and 2TB SSD is $4400. So I can save $1200 and get a faster system (on all counts) with a better panel and better connectivity by going with the X1 Extreme.
       
      The only thing I’m compromising is losing the big beautiful haptic touchpad and a bit more refined hardware aesthetic. Though, to be honest, I’ve kept a big thick dual-layer Tech21 case on my 2015 MBP. So I’ll actually be going down in volume and weight by moving to the more rugged ThinkPad. I think I can live without the touchpad.

      Oh, by the way, the 4K UHD panel of the X1 Extreme has touch and decent pen support! Another bonus vs. the MacBook. Though I keep a 12.9” iPad Pro around for my pen work and can’t imagine using a laptop similarly. It’s still nice to have a laptop screen actually respond when I go poke at it accidentally after switching back and forth between laptop and iPad.
       
       
      TOPIC
       
       
      So I want macOS with proper discrete GPU support on a 2018 MacBook class laptop.  That’s not possible on a pure Hackintosh as things stand, but via a macOS virtual machine it looks like it could work with what looks like some relatively bleeding edge support of PCIe UEFI passthrough.

      People have been doing this on Linux hosts to Windows VMs with some great success recently: https://gist.github.com/Misairu-G/616f7b2756c488148b7309addc940b28
      And it looks like that’s coming for macOS VMs as well: https://github.com/kholia/OSX-KVM/blob/a4fb2fd5aae871bdbc371b0cd31d4d8129d0f9ac/UEFI/README.md

      The X1 Extreme, XPS 15 9570, and Razer Blade 15 (2018) are essentially direct competition to the 2018 15” MBP. I would really like to see these three systems get some nicely fleshed out guides for getting maxed out compatibility and performance in macOS running in a VM for these systems. When I get my X1 Extreme I’ll start working on it for that one. I will post updates here. I hope to inspire others with the other two systems (or looking to get them) to do similarly.
       
       
      15” MACBOOK CLASS LAPTOP COMPARISON
       
      I chose the X1 Extreme largely because of the excellent 4K UHD HDR panel (100% of 2D AdobeRGB and 85.5% of 3D AdobeRGB, basically unparalleled), good mix of thermal performance and noise management, and overall ruggedness and connectivity.  If I were a gamer I would go with the Razer 15, but the fast low-gamut 1080p panel just doesn’t work for my purposes. If I were most concerned with aesthetics or battery life (97Wh battery for it vs 80Wh for X1E) I would go with the XPS 15.
       
      I am aware that the second 2018 refresh of the MBP is coming ~Nov 14, with the new AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16 and Vega 20 GPUs, and it looks like the latter might offer up to a 60% performance boost over the Radeon 560X. Maybe it has even given Apple enough time to update the CPU VRM along the way. This could make the performance picture more comparable for the 1050 Ti based X1E and XPS 15. I believe the 1070 Ti based Razer 15 will still win out though.
       
      Still, if you compare the fan and heat pipe solution put into the X1E vs the MBP the MBP just looks wimpy in comparison. MBP has smaller fans, less venting, and only one (smaller, thinner) heatpipe. It’s also more difficult to access if you want to put a better thermal paste or liquid metal on it.  Put simply, the thermal hardware on the MBP is basically the same design for the last 3 years and it can’t keep up with the hex-core processors. So even with the Volta 20 GPU making the MBP competitive again on the graphics end, the MBP will still be falling short on the CPU performance plane. This is before we even look at tuning options.
       
      Getting into tuning, it’s possible to improve thermal performance of all the laptops in this class by around 15-20% by using either a best in class thermal paste like Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut or (if you’re willing to deal with all the caveats that come with using a conductive fluid that permeates other metals) a liquid metal interface like Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut. The liquid metal gives you the best possible conducting interface, and the paste is more forgiving and easier to apply.  Further, it is often possible to stably undervolt the Coffee Lake i7/i9 available in this class of systems to further improve performance, thermals, and power consumption (generally another 10+%).
       
      Apple has deliberately made it impossible to undervolt the CPU on the MBP! This has been true since the first Skylake CPUs a few years ago. You used to be able to use a program called Volta to undervolt your CPU on macOS. This is a huge peeve for me and, combined with the general power and thermal underdevelopment, is one of the main reasons I want to get a competitor’s hardware. As a primer, the default voltage of modern CPUs is typically set conservatively high for the sake of production efficiency.  With the current generation Coffee Lake CPUs it is commonly possible to set the CPU voltage about 100 to 150mv lower safely.  This allows the CPU to run cooler and consume less power. For laptops which are thermally limited (basically everything in this new 6-core 14nm era), this also translates into better performance. It’s a tweak that actually improves reliability of your CPU. So it’s just stupid that Apple has deliberately made this impossible. Shame on them, someone else take my money.
       
      Wrapping up, my biggest quibbles with the X1E (before actually getting it) are that the 4K panel’s responsiveness is about the slowest I’ve seen on a modern panel, and it’s just really not suitable for gaming. There’s also what I consider an annoyingly high level of backlight corner bleed that I’m sure will be distracting during blackboxed video viewing. Hopefully these two issues will be fixed in next year’s iteration.
       
       
      FOOTNOTES
       
      MacBook i9 Thermal / VRM (below-baseline throttling/thrashing) Issue:
      https://www.macrumors.com/2018/07/24/throttling-i9-macbook-pro-power-delivery-chip/
      https://www.kitguru.net/lifestyle/mobile/apple/matthew-wilson/macbook-pro-2018-throttling-fix/
      This was mitigated with software that works around the poor hardware design, but the system would still ultimately perform better if the CPU VRM were redesigned. Non Mac systems with the similar CPUs don’t have this issue and get better sustained performance.
       
      MacBook Nov 2018 Refresh with Radeon Vega 16 and Vega 20:
      https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/11/05/apples-macbook-pro-gets-the-amd-vega-treatment.aspx
       
      MacBook Class Laptop Reviews:
      Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme, 4K: https://www.notebookcheck.net/Lenovo-ThinkPad-X1-Extreme-i7-4K-HDR-GTX-1050-Ti-Max-Q-Laptop-Review.335608.0.html
      https://www.ultrabookreview.com/23223-lenovo-x1-extreme-review/
      https://youtu.be/vOPeXe1ZE74
      https://youtu.be/JgWyGKf_WlM
      Dell XPS 15 9570, 4K: https://www.notebookcheck.net/Dell-XPS-15-9570-i7-UHD-GTX-1050-Ti-Max-Q-Laptop-Review.332758.0.html
      Razer Blade 15 2018, 1070 Ti FHD 144Hz: https://www.notebookcheck.net/Razer-Blade-15-i7-8750H-GTX-1070-Max-Q-FHD-Laptop-Review.305426.0.html
       
      Best Undervolting Guide (keywords: ThrottleStop, Intel XTU):
      https://www.ultrabookreview.com/10167-laptop-undervolting-overcloking/
       
      Undervolting Coffee Lake i7/i9 (2018 MacBook class CPU):
      https://youtu.be/nobnPDtMs-E
      https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/923876-any-information-about-how-coffee-lake-h-series-undervolts/
       
      Replacing Thermal Paste with Liquid Metal on 2018 MBP:
      https://youtu.be/iw4gqfrBN4c ... and follow up: https://youtu.be/JNoZNzOQpVw
       
      Replacing Thermal Paste with Kryonaut on X1E:
      https://www.reddit.com/r/thinkpad/comments/9fyww7/x1_extreme_repaste_undervolt_tdp_limiter_removed/
       
      Replacing Thermal Paste and Undervolting X1 Carbon:
      https://youtu.be/FXR5-HwIre8
       
      Replacing Thermal Paste and Undervolting XPS 15 9570:
      https://youtu.be/ZnFdNGUETSI
       
      Possibly over-conservative BIOS update for thermal throttling on X1E:
      https://www.reddit.com/r/thinkpad/comments/9oqax2/xtu_results_with_x1_extreme_with_liquid_metal/
       
      High Sierra (10.13) drivers only for now:
      https://www.insanelymac.com/forum/topic/324195-nvidia-web-driver-updates-for-macos-high-sierra-update-11032018/
      nVidia “waiting for Apple’s approval” for Mojave (10.14) macOS driver web release:
      https://www.macrumors.com/2018/11/01/nvidia-comment-on-macos-mojave-drivers/

      Breadcrumb Links (other things I found researching this):
      https://forums.servethehome.com/index.php?threads/esxi-6-5-osx-with-gpu-passthrough.12680/
      https://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=1432071
       
      https://www.notebookcheck.net/The-Best-Notebook-Displays-As-Reviewed-By-Notebookcheck.120541.0.html
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