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Lenovo ThinkPad T420 with UEFI Only


K0gen
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Please let me know if 1.49 modded bios is working. i don't really need it but it would be good to know that it is not risky.

 

I can confirm that it works. I flashed a T420 with it, and it worked fine, whitelist removed and all.

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After FLASH this 1.48 BIOS, I found my T420 bios has  more  configurations than before (1.37, 1.46).

And also after "Load Setup Defaults", I get a full resolution 1600*900 in the clover bootloader GUI.

 

Memory HZ can be max to 1867MHz, and my BCM wireless card works good!

 

Thank you very much! All looks better than before!

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Sorry it's been awhile since I've tried tackling one of these, so I'm a little out of the loop - My last machine was a Dell XPS M1330 on 10.5

 

I bought my Lenovo Thinkpad T420s about a year ago, found a really great refurb deal. Have loved the T4xx series for the last 5 years.

 

I also had in mind of doing a TRI-SSD setup OS bootable setup, the main SATA internal SSD being either Windows or macOS, mSATA being Linux terminal, and then the OptiBay being the last Win or Mac OS. All the OSes independent of each other, each being seen as the "main" drive for their OS. I use the BIOS temporary boot menu to change between the drives when I want to load a different OS. I also found a CHEAP used late mid-2009 Mac Mini online, to be able to complete this specific project. I'm a techie guy, been doing IT since I was 12, rooted all of my last 4 smart phones, tweaker of sorts. It's nothing new to want to try to do something because it's possible, and find a need for it later.

 

(sorry just a little back story trying to avoid having to have anyone ask me questions because I did not present enough information)

 

So working through this awesome thread, I thought this would be a walk in the park like my old Dell was (within reason). I have tried using the internal SATA slot (with no other drives installed), as well as in the OptiBay, I have not bothered with the mSATA PCIe card because that is slow and I figured it would be good for what I had planned. But I can't even get into the MacOS Installer....

 

I started with getting a modded BIOS version, though it looks like v1.43 is the latest version for both modded and Lenovo factory. I downloaded that off the forum that was listed, searched for my specific model and everything. First installed the firmware update (as I was on v1.41) first from Lenovo support site. Then I updated using the modded version, again everything there worked well. I skipped the SLIC install, as I could not get my notebook to boot off of any of the "pure DOS" version I could find for either USB or CD to do that part. If that's a problem, please someone let me know how/where/what version of PureDOS you used to do the update. To me that just seemed like an added automatic activation thing, and I can live with manually activating like always.

 

I have a DMG of Sierra v10.12.2, which is what I used to do a hack install (since my model of Mac Mini was JUST outside the supported models) to update my Mac Mini. It's been up and running fine, updated to v10.12.3 with no problem when that update came out. I used that to copy the Sierra.app into the /Applications folder so that I could do everything as instructed. I downloaded the newest Clover r4017 ZIP I found on the updated post. Put my 16GB USB (it's just what I have and use for USB bootable applications) drive in my Mac, followed all the setup instructions without any issues at all (no error messages were returned, seemed like everything worked). I made sure to use the 1600x900 LCD config.plist, renamed it inside of the EFI folder on the USB-ESD mounted partition on the USB installer drive. Last I do with my Mac is take my PNY 120GB SSD and format it as instructed, naming it macOS too. Take that and put it back in my Lenovo (note I've tried the whole process with it in the main internal SATA slot, as well as in the OptiBay adapter slot).

 

Take that newly made USB (which I've done 3 times just to make sure), boot off that with only the PNY SSD as the only other media in the computer (no optical or expanded battery even). Clover comes up, I select the Mac Installer, and try to load the installer. I see the black screen with white Apple and the loading status bar. When it gets to about 75% loaded, a white circle with a slash through it comes up, and that's it. Computer just sits there until I turn it off by holding the power button.

 

I tried searching through the thread, but with some 1500+ pages with tons of posts, I can't read everything. I have searched for 't420s' and seen others talking about being able to use this process to install macOS. So I feel that I should be able to do it. I've also gone in and tried tweaking settings within the Clover boot menu, before trying to boot to the Mac OS installer. I either get the circle with a slash or a bunch of terminal code breaks the Apple up on the screen... and of course the system locks up.

 

There is always secret handshakes with doing this stuff, I remember working on my Dell for months. But with this T420 having different models, I do not know if I'm just missing selecting a different setting inside of Clover or what step I'm not doing correctly. Any help, assistance, stuff to try, would be great. Figure after working on it for almost 48 hours straight (literally only sleeping three hours in the last two days), time to ask for someone to look over my work for some pointers... of what am I missing.

 

Thank you in advanced, sorry for the long post!

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@POWerSUrgeSW3

 

lots of good background.

seems you are stuck on the installing Sierra on your T420s?

on the USB installer in the ESP, did you replace the ACPI folder (for T420) with the ACPI.T420s folder? 

 

you may want to add boot-arg -v to see what is the KP otherwise.

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Since yesterday I'm experimenting with the VBIOS 2170 Version of 1.48. So far so good, T420 is working, but still no USB Mouse & Keyboard on Clover Boot menu

and some glitches on external monitor.

I tend to exclude a HW problem (Windows 7 is working great), more a problem with the FB (it's like the lower half of the external monitor switches off for an instant).

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@POWerSUrgeSW3

 

lots of good background.

seems you are stuck on the installing Sierra on your T420s?

on the USB installer in the ESP, did you replace the ACPI folder (for T420) with the ACPI.T420s folder? 

 

you may want to add boot-arg -v to see what is the KP otherwise.

Thank you for the quick reply! Ha if I just had stayed up a bit longer last night I would have tackled this earlier!

 I rebuilt my thumb drive again. This time making sure to rename the ACPI.T420s to ACPI.

 

Using your suggestion I added the 'boot-arg -v' to the argument

To tell you the truth, that is a step I think I had forgotten. So, just to be safe,s line to see what was going on. I still get the circle with the slash, and it seems to be stopping at the Synaptics driver loading. Here's a couple of screen shots:

 

2DQFn2Xt.jpg SLXSQzut.jpg

 

I'm trying to see if anyone else had this issue, does not look like it. Searching 'synaptics' does not seem to return anything. Going to work on playing with different boot options, but if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.

 

Making progress though!

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@PowerSurgeSW3

seems like the last message is actually

"still waiting for root device"

 

so that seems to be Disk problem (not stuck on Synaptics as it shows the Trackpad kext was loaded)

 

did you set SATA AHCI in BIOS?

is this HD/SSD disk in the normal slot?

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@PowerSurgeSW3

seems like the last message is actually

"still waiting for root device"

 

so that seems to be Disk problem (not stuck on Synaptics as it shows the Trackpad kext was loaded)

 

did you set SATA AHCI in BIOS?

is this HD/SSD disk in the normal slot?

I'm glad that I uploaded the pictures, that's a little more helpful, though I don't know why it would be waiting for the drive.

 

It's an SSD, and on this go-around it was in the OptiBay only. I will swap drives and put it internally to try, since I have done that since fixing the ACPI folder situation.

 

EDIT: Pulled all the drives out, stuck the SSD for macOS in the interal SATA with no other drives in (including the mSATA flash card). Booted up Clover and did the install with 'boot-arg -v' flag... still got the same screen and then it went to the same wonky display with the circle/ image in the middle.

 

Question: In the Clover boot manager... am I supposed to have use of the touchpad? Because I haven't had use of the touchpad there, and figured it was just due to it not being loaded.

 

Just at a loss, what am I missing or doing wrong for this not to install. Because it sounds like other T420s owners are on Sierra. Maybe I'll go back to El Captain and see if that works or does the same thing.

 

Thanks again for the help @tluck! At least you're able to read all of the verbal code better than I am!

 

Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk

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not having a T420s, i cant help you more. maybe its a USB3 thing? is there a port that is just usb2? or can you disable usb3? may the other T420s users can provide some advice.

 

otherwise make a copy of your other hack's hardrive - sounded like you had another box running sierra.

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not having a T420s, i cant help you more. maybe its a USB3 thing? is there a port that is just usb2? or can you disable usb3? may the other T420s users can provide some advice.

 

otherwise make a copy of your other hack's hardrive - sounded like you had another box running sierra.

WOW... simply WOW.... I'm thick sometimes...

 

You know I've read over and over how people were saying that USB 3.0 was iffy on this. I'm not even using a USB 3.0 thumb drive, because of it. YET I am just programmed to use the USB 3.0 port on the back of the notebook. Plugged it in the side, oh look, the installer loaded right up. Sometimes I guess I'm just not as smart as I think I am.

 

OK now I'm going to play... Try putting drives back in, putting macOS SSD in the OptiBay, try stuff out!!! Thank you thank you thank you!!!

 

I know you don't have a T420s... that was more of a "why me what am I doing wrong when others work"... and you used your mojo to tell me the right answer. You are amazing! Hopefully my next posts I can be as helpful to others!

 

Oh and no I haven't messed with this stuff in 6-7 years. My last Hackintosh notebook computer is in pieces, loved my XPS M1330... but that thing got WAY too hot for a notebook computer. So I've been out of the game for a long time....

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JnhSOY6m.jpg

 

Using USB3.0 BAD, BAD!!!! Thanks to @tluck and being very kind, I got my "Mac" up and running without any real issue. Plugged into the black side USB 2.0 port, no issues loading the Installer!!! I'm amazed at how well this thing works, I was able to update from v10.12.2 to v10.12.3 with nothing more than going to the App store and clicking "update", then rebooting.

 

JjHi2ifm.jpg

 

I will also say that I am fully functional the way I wanted to be! I have Windows 10 on the Internal SSD, my mSATA Flash is running Linux, and I have macOS in my OptiBay. I also have my BIOS Startup list setup so that when the macOS drive is in, it is priority and the Clover Boot loader is selected (and auto boots macOS). When I take it out, Windows will boot automatically. And I wasn't worried about Linux, as that's more of an environment I will be planning to go into and can from a manual Boot Menu selection. Though I had to mess with it a bit to get it to work that way.

 

XTRiMOql.jpg

 

Now to either find a hack to get the Intel WiFi card working, or save up and purchase a card that works on both sides and is super fast. But for now I'm happy, @tluck made the instructions pretty easy. And to everyone who has developed all these scripts and tweaks, YOU ROCK! I remember my Dell taking weeks to get functional without crashing, not days (and that was due to me more than anything).

 

EDIT: Oh the one cool thing I forgot to mention. For anyone who's a tweaker, like I am, may be a fan of this model's ability to have start and stop charging thresholds. Of course Windows 10 completely screwed that up, but there was a work around. I have my notebook charge to 100%, and start charging when it's below 5%. That way I can plug my power plug in and be mobile a lot throughout the day without the battery charging a bunch of times. WELL the cool thing is, even in the Mac side and not having any of those settings configured (at least that I've seen), the macOS side still functions the same as Windows. So charging thresholds still carry over. Personally I think it's awesome because now I can jump around between Win and Mac and not worry about charging my battery an excess amount of times. Though I haven't tested this on the Linux side yet, never thought to. I'm on battery all the time when I'm in that environment (at least I have been so far).

 

Just wanted to post, and share my experience as well as letting anyone know you can run a mutli OS Thinkpad pretty easy!

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EDIT: Oh the one cool thing I forgot to mention. For anyone who's a tweaker, like I am, may be a fan of this model's ability to have start and stop charging thresholds. Of course Windows 10 completely screwed that up, but there was a work around. I have my notebook charge to 100%, and start charging when it's below 5%. That way I can plug my power plug in and be mobile a lot throughout the day without the battery charging a bunch of times. WELL the cool thing is, even in the Mac side and not having any of those settings configured (at least that I've seen), the macOS side still functions the same as Windows. So charging thresholds still carry over. 

 

 

 

@PowerSurgeSW3 - can you provide more info on how to implement this charge threshold thing?

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@PowerSurgeSW3 - can you provide more info on how to implement this charge threshold thing?

Just to note this process only works in Windows to set these. It's kind of a software to edit hardware settings... from what I'm guessing since the macOS side still is able to respect the charging thresholds which are set in Windows 10.

 

Backstory: I primarily bought my Thinkpad because I had a T410 when they first came out, and they had a starting and stopping threshold. Which essentially allowed the notebook computer to only charge when the battery was at a certain percentage, and stop at a higher percentage. For anyone who doesn't want to burn out their battery, it's awesome. I run my all the way down to about 5% before the battery starts charging. So my battery could be at 10% and not charge. Of course the values can be set at whatever you want.

 

This was great in Windows 7 through 8.1. But for some reason when Windows 10 came around, they got rid of the ability to edit the start threshold... you can only adjust the stopping threshold. And for some reason even if you manually set the start and stop threshold, something inside of the computer (IE the gremlins) will go back and reset everything to the new default. Which is that starting threshold is below 94% battery, and stopping is 100%.

 

So for us who are obsess, it's a bit of a process to get it to work. But between my wife and I, both T420s, I figured it out a process that works 95% of the time. I have created a BAT file and set these to run through Task Scheduler when the computer logs in / locks / and when is idle for 10 minutes. This seems to keep the thresholds locked to MY settings for start and stop charging thresholds. Thouguh I've found if you are charging the battery, reboot the computer or shut it down after a reboot... sometimes the charging system will think it needs to stop the charging where it's at. Which means it won't fully charge the battery. BUT if you keep this in mind, it's not really a problem. And my edits also works if you're using the OptiBay extended battery.

 

Here's the original link I found that got me going on this process: https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/Windows-10/Windows-10-charges-T450s-to-100-charging-threshold-not-respected/td-p/2138913(The thread is a bit old but it has the basic information needed)

 

To do the process the only information needed to edit my BAT files is knowing the serial number of the battery/batteries being used. Which is easy with using the Lenovo Companion app from the Windows Store, or looking on the battery for the sticker. And for households like mine that can share batteries between multiple computers, just adding the entries with all the batteries that can be used, covers everything. For example my wife and I can interchange our batteries, and still have the same save thresholds applied.

 

If anyone is interested in the Windows registry edits. scheduled tasks, or anything related to this. Feel free, PM me and I can send you everything I have and explain the process.

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For anyone who doesn't want to burn out their battery, it's awesome

 

Why would that be awesome? Most information I find for lithium ion batteries recommend charging the battery frequently and actively avoiding deep discharge. The seems that the more deeply it is discharged each cycle, the less it can store next time. The ideal operating range being something like keeping it around 60-80%. I've read that's what some hybrid cars used to do? Anyways, I wonder if that's why they dropped the option in Windows 10?

 

Although, since I assume you aren't putting it through multiple heavy charge cycles per day, I would guess the main driver of battery lifetime is the inevitable aging effect.

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I was able to get my T420 with the Nvidia NVS 4200m fully working on El Capitan 10.11.6, using Mac Pro 3,1 SMBIOS and injecting NVIDIA with clover. But I can not install Sierra. MacPro3,1 platform not supported (is there any way to bypass this?). MacBookPro 8,2 or 10,1 do not work...

 

If you want to install El Capitan, just use attached config.plist matching your resolution and replace tlucks files with them.

 

Bios display settings must be set to discrete and disable OS detection.

 

Brightness control is not working (no DSDT patch). Just use Shady: http://instinctivecode.com/shady/

 

EDIT : Tried Nvidia CUDA and WebDriver. Webdriver causes a KP,  CUDA driver working.

 

EDIT-2 : Tried to remove nvda_drv=1 from nvram boot flags, removing official kexts, renaming web driver kext to match official names, removing nvidia stuff from /L/PreferencePanes, installing only WebDriver... I assume Webdriver is a no go with this config. With official kexts and Nvidia CUDA driver everything seems to work fine. So, don't install WebDriver unless you can try something else to get a solution.

 

CUDA driver

 

http://www.nvidia.com/object/macosx-cuda-8.0.46-driver.html

 

WebDriver

 

Nvidia Web Driver - 346.03.15f01

 

 

@POWerSUrgeSW3 @tluck

 

I have W520 working USB3 ports installing RehabMan's GenericUSBXHCI (attached) with kext wizard. I only need to reinsert USB device twice or three times (alternating ports with 2 sec. delay) to get it always working until reboot.

 

Maybe this solution works with T420s too.

T420NVidia.tiff

T420-NVidia-config.plist.zip

GenericUSBXHCI.kext.zip

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@POWerSUrgeSW3 @tluck

 

I have W520 working USB3 ports installing RehabMan's GenericUSBXHCI (attached) with kext wizard. I only need to reinsert USB device twice or three times (alternating ports with 2 sec. delay) to get it always working until reboot.

 

Maybe this solution works with T420s too.

@pitx0n

It wok fine and no need to reinsert usb device.

If you don't want change Subsystem Vendor ID and Subsystem Device ID for NEC USB3.

You can install the Oyen Digital driver, then edit the info.plist on mXHCD.kext.

Or download mXHCD.kext.zip put on L/E.

This kext also can use X220 54mm express card for AsMedia or NEC USB3.

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For anyone who doesn't want to burn out their battery, it's awesome

 

Why would that be awesome? Most information I find for lithium ion batteries recommend charging the battery frequently and actively avoiding deep discharge. The seems that the more deeply it is discharged each cycle, the less it can store next time. The ideal operating range being something like keeping it around 60-80%. I've read that's what some hybrid cars used to do? Anyways, I wonder if that's why they dropped the option in Windows 10?

 

Although, since I assume you aren't putting it through multiple heavy charge cycles per day, I would guess the main driver of battery lifetime is the inevitable aging effect.

 

I'm guessing. I admit I'm not a scientist where I can fully understand and test these things, but I just have found what works. My wife is the type to plug and unplug as she is using her computer, and not even deep cycle charging a lot... but she hit the maximum battery charging cycles pretty fast. Plus with having two batteries, different thresholds can be set. Basically I just love the option because you can tweak things as you need them. Sometimes I'm on the same charge for weeks before I charge again, other times might be only once or twice a week. Either way since I have my wife's laptop and mine setup this way, batteries are not going bad quickly (even on these used T420s we purchased).
 
To each their own, that's why I like this feature. It can custom tailor the computer usage to the user. Why I can't understand Lenovo took 'starting charge' threshold out. Because by default charging starts 6% below the 'stop charge' threshold. Meaning if you don't want the computer to recharge after slight use being disconnected from power, you have to run the battery down to start charging it... lot of thinking and maneuvering. Whereas seeing the thresholds as you wish (My setup 5% to 100%, I've seen some 30% to 95%, etc), and being able to adjust charging thresholds per battery, just takes a lot of the "idiot" work out of it. Plus and go as you need and the system will charge when YOU want it to. Thankfully our batteries are a lot cheaper to replace than hybrids! Honestly we just need a better energy storage device than what we currently have, I think.
 
But I digress as this isn't a Lenovo thread to chat about this about. I'm just super excited it works.
 
Lenovo macOS related, I found that macOS being installed on a drive in the OptiBay, I can seamlessly switch the drive between my computer and my wife's computer (except hers still has the Intel WiFi, limiting functionality for now). Once I get a few things tweaked with the macOS, it will be nice to be able to swap the drive as needed/desired.

 

I was able to get my T420 with the Nvidia NVS 4200m fully working on El Capitan 10.11.6, using Mac Pro 3,1 SMBIOS and injecting NVIDIA with clover. But I can not install Sierra. MacPro3,1 platform not supported (is there any way to bypass this?). MacBookPro 8,2 or 10,1 do not work...

 

If you want to install El Capitan, just use attached config.plist matching your resolution and replace tlucks files with them.

 

Bios display settings must be set to discrete and disable OS detection.

 

Brightness control is not working (no DSDT patch). Just use Shady: http://instinctivecode.com/shady/

 

EDIT : Tried Nvidia CUDA and WebDriver. Webdriver causes a KP,  CUDA driver working.

 

EDIT-2 : Tried to remove nvda_drv=1 from nvram boot flags, removing official kexts, renaming web driver kext to match official names, removing nvidia stuff from /L/PreferencePanes, installing only WebDriver... I assume Webdriver is a no go with this config. With official kexts and Nvidia CUDA driver everything seems to work fine. So, don't install WebDriver unless you can try something else to get a solution.

 

CUDA driver

 

http://www.nvidia.com/object/macosx-cuda-8.0.46-driver.html

 

WebDriver

 

Nvidia Web Driver - 346.03.15f01

 

 

@POWerSUrgeSW3 @tluck

 

I have W520 working USB3 ports installing RehabMan's GenericUSBXHCI (attached) with kext wizard. I only need to reinsert USB device twice or three times (alternating ports with 2 sec. delay) to get it always working until reboot.

 

Maybe this solution works with T420s too.

 

That's awesome you got your nVdia side working!
 
Thanks there, I haven't been super worried about it yet. But this is on my list of things to fix, I just had not started looking into it. This will give me a little push I think to get that port working. Still having two of the three USB ports was nice, but I do miss (now) not having the USB3 speeds on some stuff. Hopefully between this and @jenyunhuang instructions can be figured out for USB3 to work but not have to remove the device multiple times to get it to sync up with the macOS.
 
Dumb question here @pitx0n with the way you setup our USB3 could it be more of a delay than having to unplug and plug the USB3 multiple times? And in the course of unplugging and plugging things back in, the "time" has past and everything is just syncing up then to work? I have seen goofy stuff like this with OLD MacOSX installs, so nothing surprises me. It is all about tweaking things ever so slightly to have the perfect result.

 

@pitx0n

It wok fine and no need to reinsert usb device.

If you don't want change Subsystem Vendor ID and Subsystem Device ID for NEC USB3.

You can install the Oyen Digital driver, then edit the config.plist on mXHCD.kext.

Or download mXHCD.kext.zip put on L/E.

This kext also can use X220 54mm express card for AsMedia or NEC USB3.

 

Thanks will look into this too. Though I like sticking here at insanelymac.com rather than going over to tonymacx86.com

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Dumb question here @pitx0n with the way you setup our USB3 could it be more of a delay than having to unplug and plug the USB3 multiple times? And in the course of unplugging and plugging things back in, the "time" has past and everything is just syncing up then to work? I have seen goofy stuff like this with OLD MacOSX installs, so nothing surprises me. It is all about tweaking things ever so slightly to have the perfect result.

 

I had no problems with the USB 3.0 once it begins to work. Both ports work at full speed with no losing connections until I reboot or shut down the machine.

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I had no problems with the USB 3.0 once it begins to work. Both ports work at full speed with no losing connections until I reboot or shut down the machine.

Right, so what I'm wondering is what changes after you reboot/shutdown the machine. Something must "revert" back to make you have to unplug/plug the USB device in multiple times before things start working.

 

Now is this the same for a USB2 device in the UBS3 port? Also what about plugging in USB2 into a USB2 port, does it also take a few unplug/plug back in for the decide to be recognized?

 

Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk

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