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[GUIDE] macOS Big Sur beta on board Z390 Aorus Elite

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Install macOS 10.16 Big Sur beta on Z390 Aorus Elite motherboard with i3 9100 Coffee Lake and Radeon RX 580, using OpenCore 0.6.3 as bootloader.

macOS 10.16 Big Sur (BS onwards) will be next version of Mac’s operating system. From Apple Beta Software Programwebsite, you can download the utility that activates public beta versions from Software Update panel in System Profile. Current public beta version is 9, build 20A5384c, and it may be the last to be released before the final version so it is read in specialized forums.

On my PC installing BS beta on a separate SSD has been relatively easy considering the large number of internal changes regarding kernel, extensions loading, security mechanisms and other very important features as regards to the Hackintosh world. OpenCore developers (OC onwards) have released versions enabled for BS (0.6.0 to 0.6.3).

I have used OC with most of the options that I use in Catalina, they are collected in this article: [GUIDE] OpenCore and macOS Catalina in Z390 Aorus Elite.

Starting from that base, I am going to comment differences that I have found in the installation and configuration of BS compared to Catalina. What you don't see here, look for it in the other article.

Get BS beta
It has already been commented that Apple offers a small application on Apple Beta Software Program web. You sign in with your Apple account to download "macOS Public Beta.dmg". This application modifies Software Update panel that, from now on, will also show beta versions, not only of BS but also of Catalina. At the end you get "Install macOS Big Sur Beta.app" in Applications folder.

Create installation USB
I have created the installation USB with this Terminal command:

sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Big\ Sur\ Beta.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/USB /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Big\ Sur\ Beta.app

 

Remember that the USB must be GUID partition map and HFS Plus format.
The process takes much longer than in Catalina. When finished you get the installation USB but without OC in the EFI partition so you have to get version 0.6.3 (the most recent one) and copy it to the EFI folder. In this folder is where we are going to make the required settings to be able to install BS and it will also be the one we use later in the EFI folder of the disk where BS is installed.

BS installation lasts considerably longer than Catalina's. In some moments it may seem that it has stopped, wait and you will see that the process continues. Especially when macOS is sealing the system volume and in verbose mode the message "Forcing CS_RUNTIME" is displayed, here it pauses for several minutes and apparently there is no activity but after a while the process continues. The installation may stop and enter in a reboot loop at the ramrod section, this is usually due to the lack of SMC emulator, to solve it you can change to FakeSMC or add boot-args: vsmcgen=1 to force the load of VirtualSMC.

OC settings for BS
I have already commented that for the most part the OC folder matches the one I use in Catalina. ACPI - Drivers - Kexts - Resources - Tools folders are identical on both systems. Differences (few) are in config.plist file and are the ones I comment below.

Kernel / Patch
Enable TRIM for SSD (included in drop-down menu patch list).

NVRAM-Add
UUID 7C436110-AB2A-4BBB-A880-FE41995C9F82 / boot-args:

  • -v: to show text messages during boot, useful until you see that everything works fine, later it can be deleted to have a more elegant boot.
  • vsmcgen = 1: forces VirtualSMC.kext to load, in theory from OC 0.6.1 this problem has been solved and this argument would not be necessary but in my case it does not start well without it.
     

Note: csr-active-config=00000000 (data) is equivalent to SIP Enable, I need this option for the installation program to work correctly and it is also necessary once BS is installed so that it offers the updates that Apple is releasing.

Platform: SMBIOS iMacPro1,1.
Rest of options are the same as in Catalina.

First impression of BS
BS works very well considering it is a beta version. It starts up quickly and can be used almost normally. The only drawbacks detected are:

  • H264 video encoding and decoding seems to work fine but HEVC's not.
  • Some multimedia keys do not work well with Music app.
  • Music app does not add songs to playlists and sometimes closes with the message "Saving Music Library" and it may be necessary to force quit the app.
  • Date and Time panel does not have the option to add date in menu bar but it may be a BS feature> they are now in Date and Menu Bar, thanks @eSaF

 

bs1.png.1fc47d8a471fc3d804fcc7f8ba9babb6.png

 

 

 

 

EFI-0.6.3.zip

Edited by miliuco
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hmm.. If I don't use vsmcgen=1 from the beginning I end up with ramrod error (No port micro restart (we don't support SMC on this platform)) and it's rebooting itself, doesn't matter if I add vsmcgen=1 or not afterward. 

 

But If I add vsmcgen=1 from the beginning and start the installation, after the 1st restart, on the 2nd stage of the installation it's rebooting itself right after showing the remaining time (no errors, just simple restart). Idk why, happening with Clover and OC too (Beta 9, clean USB installer).

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6 hours ago, kushwavez said:

If I don't use vsmcgen=1 from the beginning I end up with ramrod error (No port micro restart (we don't support SMC on this platform)) and it's rebooting itself, doesn't matter if I add vsmcgen=1 or not afterward. 

 

But If I add vsmcgen=1 from the beginning and start the installation, after the 1st restart, on the 2nd stage of the installation it's rebooting itself right after showing the remaining time (no errors, just simple restart). Idk why, happening with Clover and OC too (Beta 9, clean USB installer).

You mean Lenovo ThinkPad T440 from your firm?

On that laptop Catalina works fine, without needing vsmcgen = 1?
You say that there is no SMC support on this platform, you mean no support for VirtualSMC? You're supposed to use FakeSMC, right?

jsassu20 has a site about ThinkPad T440s with a lot of comments although relative to Catalina. I think they should work for the Big Sur beta as well.

Edited by miliuco
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2 minutes ago, miliuco said:

You mean Lenovo ThinkPad T440 from your firm?

On that laptop Catalina works fine, without needing vsmcgen = 1?
You say that there is no SMC support on this platform, you mean VirtualSMC? You're supposed to use FakeSMC, right?

No it's the Acer one. I tried with FakeSMC too (from the beginning), but it's just restarting at the 2nd stage with no errors just like with VirtualSMC and vsmcgen=1. 

 

On ThinkPad it went through the Beta 9 Installer with VirtualSMC and without the need of vsmcgen=1

And yeah on Catalina both working without vsmcgen=1

 

Well, I think I'll wait for the final release, hopefully it'll come at 13th of October, then there will be more users with these Skylake notebooks so I can troubleshoot easier. For now I didn't really see any people with this issue.

And sorry for the OFF-topic.

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