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MSI GS66 *Click of Death* Graphics Bug & Other Issues


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Main Issue:

When I open ANY image (ie any format) in preview, it opens but if I click the image itself, preview immediately crashes every single time without fail.
 


Likewise, attempting to change the mac account picture crashes system preferences and opening photoshop gives a black screen. Same thing happens even if I drag a photo over the icon or use scripts to try and change the admin photo via terminal (the scripts, despite claiming to be successful, even caused temporary kernel panics which sorted themselves out; image remained unchanged).

The Contacts app also crashes when attempting to change ANY contact photo, be it by clicking or dragging a photo.
 


Photoshop preferences also have '??' throughout the GPU info section, something like "GPU: ??630 ??H?D?" despite the GPU information in 'About This Mac' being correctly recognised (see below). I also cannot change these photoshop settings as they are greyed out.


227840448_photoshopblack.thumb.jpeg.67b7d998cec1a6dbe6e70837460c9859.jpeg


~~ No screenshot of photoshop preferences as it is almost always locked out when starting it up and the one time I managed to open it, I forgot to take a screenshot ~~

 

About This Mac Info:

1283596743_Screenshot2021-09-03at1_54_27PM.png.54af031b0a751364563f321b2ef546ac.png
 
1432034189_Screenshot2021-09-03at1_54_08PM.png.b604e0bf9e285e77c3f331a4a52a7923.png

 

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VDADecoderChecker states Hardware acceleration is fully supported and VideoProc shows that HEVC IS supported. I verified the H.265 hardware acceleration by using Handbrake to encode a sample file with the option H.265 (VideoToolbox), which was successful.

Safari is also virtually unusable and crashes on 99% of webpages, forcing constant reloads (though other browsers seem fine) .

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Other Problems & Misc Issues:

- CPU may not be properly recognised (see lack of description in "About This Mac") and is capped at 800 Mhz; battery life is pretty abysmal too

- Audio (ALC 298) alcid=29 works perfectly via audio jack but NO output via speakers; alcid=11 works perfectly on speakers but DISTORTED audio via audio jack. Any way to get the best of both worlds?

- DGPU turns on when waking from sleep. I tried following a comment from another forum post (screenshot below) but couldn't figure out after days of trying different things how to swap the IF statements in the .amls as I had already patched one of them. If anyone can clear this up, I would also be very grateful

 
837226554_Screenshot2021-09-03at2_31_47PM.png.e38a2fe40c4cae59fc9fa7d523d10b59.png 



- Fn + Sound Keys WORK but other Fn keys (eg brightness, backlight...) do NOT work

- High pitched faint coil whine when moving USB mouse (more noticeable when charger is plugged in); think it has something to do with how SMBIOS and C-states do things but not sure

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Other Info:

- USBs are fully / properly patched

- dGPU is set to off on first boot-up (ie without allowing the machine to sleep then wake)

- Catalina version is 10.15.7; have not installed security update (2021-004)

- Very rare kernel panic on boot every now and again; restart fixes it

- itlwm.kext (rarely) does not load, usually if computer sleeps before logging in, breaking heliport for that specific boot; restart fixes it

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EFI Folder Structure:
 

631886992_Screenshot2021-09-06at5_58_03PM.thumb.png.08f12af0078449ffcf0bd8580fb7bca3.png



Comment / Background: I have tried building my own EFI from the ground up many many times, spending countless days banging my head against the wall. Initially, I got stuck on a black screen. I ended up starting with the EFI of another user who had the same machine which enabled me to initiate the install. Ever since, I've been reverse engineering, modifying, and making adjustments of my own.

The original EFI was a bit clunky and bloated. I've tried my best to trim the fat and ensure only the most necessary files remain.

**SKIP TO TLDR IF UNINTERESTED IN EXPERIMENTAL EFI BELOW**

I have also painstakingly tried to update the OpenCore version to the latest release (0.7.2) to try and replace Bootstrap, ensuring my EFI was compliant using OC Config Compare (manually adjusting any missing fields) and the OCvalidate command BUT got stuck on a kernel error message that I have been unable to resolve.
 

398320204_newbuildkernelerror.thumb.jpeg.a6fa93c6bbbf8bbcd3c8a19ad071da80.jpeg

I even tried updating the Preboot volume but came across ANOTHER error that does not detect the apfs volume properly.
 
369196213_apfserror1.thumb.jpeg.e98294c11e22cb9d0627d7d733190dbc.jpeg


1127589229_apfserror2.thumb.jpeg.54a198f1a9f1d96be111199ddd7bfe52.jpeg
 

I really have no idea as to why the updated OC EFI (see link below) doesn't play ball. Sanity checker and OCvalidate give me the all clear and I spent the better part of today making sure everything was in order...

***Thus, the EFI running an older version of OpenCore is the only one I've managed to boot up with***

Whilst I've slowly been trying to clean everything up (eg patching the USBs properly), I've left the Voodoo kexts alone to do their thing as attempting to go through them to kill the unnecessary ones caused a lot of headaches and is now on the bottom of my to-do list.

At the end of the day, OpenCore version being up to date isn't important. I simply want to get this machine fully functional.

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TLDR;

- Can't use preview, photoshop, safari or many other image related applications properly without instant crashing
- CPU is capped at 800 Mhz and does not seem to be properly recognised; battery life is abysmal
- alcid=29 has perfect headphone jack audio but no speaker audio; alcid=11 has perfect speaker audio but distorted headphone jack audio
- dGPU turns itself on upon wake
- fn key for sound works; brightness and others do not
- Faint high pitched coil whine when moving USB mouse (more noticeable when charger is plugged in)
- Updating the EFI (OpenCore version to 0.7.2) makes the OS unbootable

***Link to EFI Builds and Debug Record: https://github.com/Necromancer2Point0/MSI-GS66-OC-New-Dawn


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Any and all input highly appreciated! I'm a really stubborn, perfectionist but Hackintosh noob hahah

I've tried to be as thorough as possible but may have missed some details so feel free to ask me for anything and I can add them to this post 😄  I've attached some debug info as well.

I also really appreciate forums like this. Up until now, I've tried to figure out all these things by myself but really don't know how to proceed. I hope I've complied with all the rules as I really respect the time and effort it takes to help us newbies out. Cheers in advance!

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Laptop Specs

- i7-10750H (UHD 630)

- RTX 2080 Super Max-Q (HARD DISABLED)

- 32 GB Dual Channel DDR4 2666MHz

- MSI GS66

- ALC298 (NEED HELP WITH MISC ISSUE)*

- Intel® Ethernet (HAVE NOT TESTED) + Intel® Wi-Fi 6 AX201(2*2 ax) (WORKING) w/ Bluetooth 5.0 (HAVE NOT TESTED)

- OpenCore

- Catalina 10.15.7

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Debug_1.zip

Edited by Necromancer 2.0
added tags + fixed video links; grammar cleanup

Quote

- Audio (ALC 298) alcid=29 works perfectly via audio jack but NO output via speakers; alcid=11 works perfectly on speakers but DISTORTED audio via audio jack. Any way to get the best of both worlds?

AppleALC is not only way to make a good sound. Consider to replace it by VoodooHDA.

 

Quote

- fn key for sound works; brightness and others do not

Attach external USB keyboard. Open System Preferences and assign F1/F2 for screen brightness control.

I have to notice that these actions are obligatory "USB Keyboard" and "F1/F2". Don't try to do this with embedded keyboard and don't try to set f14/f15.

After you have a success you may remove USB keyboard and use embedded one with these hot keys.

 

Quote

- itlwm.kext (rarely) does not load, usually if computer sleeps before logging in, breaking heliport for that specific boot; restart fixes it

There are rumors that itlwm works better if the bootloader is Clover.


7 hours ago, Slice said:

AppleALC is not only way to make a good sound. Consider to replace it by VoodooHDA.

 

Thank you so much for the suggestion! I just installed VoodooHDA and now have perfect audio both via speakers and audio jack 😄 

 

I thought it wasn't working at first then realised that I just have to swap sound outputs in system preferences.

 

This was bothering me for so long and your solution was so quick. Thank you so much!

 

7 hours ago, Slice said:

AppleALC is not only way to make a good sound. Consider to replace it by VoodooHDA.

 

Attach external USB keyboard. Open System Preferences and assign F1/F2 for screen brightness control.

I have to notice that these actions are obligatory "USB Keyboard" and "F1/F2". Don't try to do this with embedded keyboard and don't try to set f14/f15.

After you have a success you may remove USB keyboard and use embedded one with these hot keys.

 

There are rumors that itlwm works better if the bootloader is Clover.

 

Didn't realise the key combos were set in system preferences. The thing with my laptop is that the brightness keys are the fn+UP and fn+DOWN arrows.

 

Surprisingly, whatever I've patched so far is smart enough to detect that the volume keys are fn+LEFT, fn+RIGHT, and fn+END keys. Sound controls work perfectly.

 

I tried to set the brightness controls to the fn+UP and fn+DOWN keys but it couldn't detect the "fn" keypress, neither via the laptop nor the USB keyboard. Minor issue but any way around this?

 

7 hours ago, Slice said:

There are rumors that itlwm works better if the bootloader is Clover.

 

Wow hahah I've actually just converted to OC 😂 My previous, imperfect desktop build was made using Clover. I think for now though, the functionality is 99% there so I'll stick with OC for this laptop build.

 

The other thing is I'm using a itlwm.kext that was included in the EFI of another user with the same machine. I've tried Airportitlwm.kext numerous times but didn't understand how to get it working. Heliport didn't work, even when I renamed the Airport kext to just "itlwm.kext".

 

-------

 

Really appreciate your help, Slice!

 

That's one and a half things crossed off the to-do list 🙂

 

Still have no idea what's causing the graphics bug and CPU cap though...

 


2 hours ago, Necromancer 2.0 said:

I tried to set the brightness controls to the fn+UP and fn+DOWN keys but it couldn't detect the "fn" keypress, neither via the laptop nor the USB keyboard. Minor issue but any way around this?

 

No. Not fn+UP/Down. Pay attention!

9 hours ago, Slice said:

I have to notice that these actions are obligatory "USB Keyboard" and "F1/F2". Don't try to do this with embedded keyboard and don't try to set f14/f15.

 

 

 


Sorry, I don't think I made myself clear enough in the previous post.

 

What I meant was that while your instructions of using F1 and F2 works, the hotkeys operate without the "fn" key being pressed.

 

My sound controls by contrast, work only when I press the "fn" key and the LEFT, RIGHT, END keys both in Windows and in Mac.

 

On this specific laptop, the brightness icons are printed on the UP and DOWN arrows so I was wondering whether it would be possible to:

 

a) Somehow require that the "fn" key be pressed and

b) Map the brightness controls to "fn" + the UP and DOWN arrow keys

 

If not, it's a really minor issue and towards the bottom of the to-do list 🙂

 

I hope you understand that I have really read your responses carefully and appreciate all your help!


Making progress!

 

I think I've managed to decipher that convoluted explanation regarding stopping the dGPU from turning on upon wake from sleep. Laptop dGPU now stays off after sleeping.

 

Will see if this improves overall battery life.

 

Somehow though, I've realised that the computer doesn't sleep properly but seems to "cycle" through sleep and wake superficially until I press a key or click the mouse, which wakes it up.

 

Keyboard lights and USB mouse lights turn off completely then power up and cycle continuously.

 

**EDIT: FIGURED OUT THAT A MIDI KEYBOARD HAS BEEN MESSING UP SLEEP. UNPLUGGING IT (EVEN WITH USB MOUSE AND EXTERNAL HARD DRIVES STILL CONNECTED) FIXES SLEEP SEEMINGLY PERFECTLY!

 

So the main outstanding issues still to tackle have been narrowed down significantly:

  • Fix sleep functionality completely (may want to look into allowing the midi keyboard to stay plugged in without breaking sleep at a later date)
  • Fix the click of death graphics bug
  • Fix battery life / power management and ensure that the cpu is working properly

Still to eventually test:

  • Ethernet
  • Bluetooth

Greatly improved battery functionality, disabling cfg and xcpm quirks in kernel section. Seems to work quite well so far.

 

6-8 hours on high brightness (2 ticks below max) with RGB keys turned on while web browsing, watching videos, using google maps streetview... CPUFriend is enabled. Room for further tweaks in the future to squeeze out even more juice.

 

Observed that sleep functions properly even over longer periods (dGPU remains off) and that the time it takes for the laptop to wake is relatively proportional to how long the machine has been asleep.

 

All in all, getting closer to my goal.

 

Mainly need assistance regarding the "click of death" graphics bug. Might create a post focusing solely on this issue in the near future since this is the biggest puzzle I've yet to solve...


Another user reached out to me on Github with an EFI running 0.7.3 that he could boot with. I've tinkered with my work in progress build, updating the EFI and verifying everything is in order using OC Validate and OC Config Compare. Have not booted it myself yet but have uploaded the files to Github to anyone curious about experimenting.

 

Will boot soon and conduct more testing in future to see whether this newer version of OpenCore (which does away with Bootstrap; my current build is version 0.6.0) is stable!

Edited by Necromancer 2.0

Ultimately, OC version is low on my list of priorities.

 

I have updated my guide with all the latest files, both bootable and unbootable.

 

Really just need to fix the graphics bug so that I can deal with images properly.

 

I will make a new forum post in a graphics subtopic to try and garner more focused help on this issue.


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