How to enable Intel HD4600 natively on your Hackintosh

If you’re Hackintosh has an Haswell CPU you’ll have by 70% of chances an integrated graphic card, the Intel HD4600. This GPU works perfectly with OS X because its present in some real Macs, like the MacBook Air and the entry level iMac, and you can use it with your Hackintosh without adding any modified or extra kext to the system. To use it you’ll only need to enable it with Chameleon or Chimera, that’s it.

Those two boot loaders in fact have a feature called “GraphicsEnabler” which, if enabled in your org.chameleon.Boot.plist file in your Extra folder, will automatically search and set the “Device properties” parameter for you to make your GPU recognized by OS X which will then load the proper kext according to the GPU model. But, since GraphicsEnabler is a completely automatic feature it has a few downsides. First of all GraphicsEnabler can increase boot time since it needs a few seconds to correctly identify your GPU using a few tests, second it can be wrong sometimes and/or with some particular GPU models, third your GPU could be recognized correctly but Quartz Extreme and Core Image graphics acceleration could not work.

Note: If you’re not a “pro” Hackintosh user and GraphicsEnabler correctly recognize your HD4600 already you won’t need to change anything since everything is working fine for you.

So, is there a way to enable the Intel HD4600 without using GraphicsEnabler? Yes, just follow those steps.

You will need:

  1. Download and extract all the applications
  2. Copy Chameleon Wizard and EFIStudio to your application folder
  3. Open the Terminal
  4. Paste this line in the Terminal window and press Enter
    ioreg -lw0 -p IODeviceTree -n efi -r -x | grep device-properties | sed 's/.*<//;s/>.*//;' > device-properties.hex
  5. With this terminal command a file named device-properties.hex have been created to your home folder, like in this picture:
    giuliolombardo-14
  6. Open EFIStudio and select Open Hext File… from the File menu
  7. Select the device-properties.hex and press Open
  8. Now you’ll see an “Editor” window with all the GPU informations, click on Hex String to Clipboard to copy the string, like in this picture:
    Editor_e_EFIStudio-6
  9. Open Chameleon Wizard and go to the org.chameleon.Boot tab
  10. Click on the Paste button in the Device properties section to paste the Hex string, like in the picture below:
    Chameleon_Wizard-5
    Note: EFIStudio will always copy a few spaces along with the Hex String, this isn’t always a problem for Chameleon and it should recognize your GPU anyway but, to be sure, delete all the spaces after the Hex String.
  11. Click on save to save the org.chameleon.Boot.plist file in your Extra folder.
  12. Reboot

5 real Mac serial numbers for your Hackintosh

All_Late_2013_Macs

I already showed you a few ways on how to get a working Macintosh serial number in order to fix your iCloud, iMessage and Mac App Store problems with your Hackintosh in my two previous posts (How to fix iMessage using Chameleon or Chimera and How to find a working serial number for your Hackintosh), now I will give you 5 real and tested Macintosh serial numbers.

Those serial numbers comes from real Macs and they are completely safe, and by safe I mean that Apple will recognize them correctly and iCloud and/or iMessage will work by 100%, but they will only work with Hackintoshes with similar hardware. Since those serials are from Haswells Macs you cannot use them on a PC with Core 2 Duo, Ivy Bridge or AMD CPUs, you must use them with Haswell Hackintoshes. Obviously you can try everything you want, but don’t tell me those serials doesn’t work, I already tried them and they’re fine.

1. iMac 21.5-inch, Late 2013
CPU: Intel Core i5 – 2,70 GHz
RAM: 8GB 1600 MHz DDR3
GPU: Intel Iris Pro 1024 MB
Serial number: C02L13ECF8J2 [Verification]

2. iMac 27-inch, Late 2013
CPU: Intel Core i5 – 3,50 GHz
RAM: 8GB 1600 MHz DDR3
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4096 MB
Serial number: C02LC1T5FLHH [Verification]

3. MacBook Pro Retina 13-inch, Late 2013
CPU: Intel Core i5 – 2,40 GHz
RAM: 8GB 1600 MHz DDR3
GPU: Intel Iris Pro 1024 MB
Serial number: C02LJ41LFH00 [Verification]

4. MacBook Pro Retina 15-inch, Late 2013
CPU: Intel Core i7 – 2,0 GHz
RAM: 8GB 1600 MHz DDR3
GPU: Intel Iris Pro 1024 MB
Serial number: C02LJ6QSFD56 [Verification]

5. MacPro, Late 2013
CPU: Intel Xenon E5 6-Core – 3,50 GHz
RAM: 16GB 1867 MHz DDR3
GPU: AMD FirePro D500 3072 MB
Serial number: F5KLV0H8F693 [Verification]

All you need to do is to select the proper serial number for your Hackintosh based on your hardware, for example if it’s a laptop choose one of the two MacBook Pros if it’s a desktop choose the iMac or the MacPro serial instead. The most important thing is that you choose the one with the more similarities with your system. Once you selected the right serial use Chameleon Wizard to apply it in your SMBios file, if you need help with Chameleon Wizard you can follow the guide at the bottom of this previous post.

How to update your Hackintosh to 10.9.2

Apple finally released OS X 10.9.2, the second major update to OS X Mavericks. When a new incremental update to OS X comes out, the question is still the same: How can I safely update my Hackintosh?

First, this is the official change log for 10.9.2:

  • Adds the ability to make and receive FaceTime audio calls
  • Adds call waiting support for FaceTime audio and video calls
  • Adds the ability to block incoming iMessages from individual senders
  • Improves the accuracy of unread counts in Mail
  • Resolves an issue that prevented Mail from receiving new messages from certain providers
  • Improves AutoFill compatibility in Safari
  • Fixes an issue that may cause audio distortion on certain Macs
  • Improves reliability when connecting to a file server using SMB2
  • Fixes an issue that may cause VPN connections to disconnect
  • Improves VoiceOver navigation in Mail and Finder

If you want [or you’re really curious about 10.9.2] you can read the full change log here.

To safely install 10.9.2 on your Hackitonsh follow those steps:

  1. Repair permissions using Disk Utility [repair them twice just to be sure]
  2. Update OS X using the Mac App Store or by downloading the combo update here
  3. Once installation is completed re-install your audio drivers [only] using the latest version of MultiBeast, which you can find here
    [Note: If you’re having boot problems after the update try booting using the ” -x ” flag]
  4. Reboot
  5. Repair permissions again using Disk Utility
  6. Done.

Note: If you’re using MultiBeast 6.1.0 (or lower) do not install other drivers and/or any other thing beside audio drivers since 10.9.2 also updates graphical, storage and other drivers, replacing those drivers with MultiBeast can break your setup since the included drivers are for 10.9.1 and prior.

Note 2: If you use the Chameleon bootloader be sure MultiBeast won’t install Chimera or your Hackintosh setup will 100% break since some boot flags are different.

Note 3: You will also need to check if TRIM is still enabled as this OS X update will disable it, if you need help with TRIM follow this guide.

Top 3 must-have Google Chrome extensions

The best Google Chrome extensions is, without any doubt, AdBlock [do not confuse it with his “little-big” brother AdBlock Plus]. I simply can’t live or even think to browse the web without having it installed anymore. Nowadays nearly all webpages are full of ads and there are so many types that you can even distinguish between them: banners, pop-ups, pop-unders, etc. and they all share the same aspect: intrusiveness. Not only, in fact they can even follow and track your browsing experience site-by-site without caring about your privacy and/or giving you to ability to opt-out from this process. Luckily AdBlock give you the possibility to block ads on all websites even before they get loaded from your browser and it also blocks companies which tracks you on the web [like Google’s DoubleClick] at the same time. Be sure to select EasyList and EasyPrivacy from the blacklists menu.

Auto_HD_for_YouTubeThe second best Chrome extension in my opinion is Auto HD For YouTube by JRA Apps. This simple and lightweight extension makes your YouTube experience more seamless by automatically selecting the video quality you prefer for any videos you watch. If you’re like me in fact selecting video quality for each videos is a pain and if you’re also as lazy as I am sometimes you prefer watching a video at the ugly resolution of 240p instead of selecting 1080p or 720p and waiting for the YouTube player to reload the entire video from the beginning with the selected quality. This extensions also works with embedded videos, unlike other similar extensions.

The third best Chrome extensions is DoNotTrackMe by Abine. This extension, also available for Firefox, protects your online privacy by blocking nearly all tracking and advertising companies from seeing which sites you visit, videos you watch, purchases you make, etc.. If you use it in conjuction with AdBlock your browser will be able to protect your privacy from 99.99% of websites out in the internet. It needs no configuration  so it does the job for you right after you install it.

How to speed up Google Chrome by disabling useless plugins

Google_Chrome_icon

Google Chrome has quickly become the most used internet browser surpassing Firefox and Internet Explorer and its user base grown seems unstoppable, and it deserves it. It’s a fast, safe and extensible internet browser compared to the second most used, Internet Explorer.

But, like any other PC and Mac software, it can become slow and unresponsive over time. Luckily there are a few ways to speed it up again and the most effective is by disabling installed plugins you don’t need.

When you installed Chrome on you computer for the first time there weren’t many plugins installed other than Chrome’s default ones but third party software [for example Adobe Reader, Quicktime, VLC Media player, etc.], already present on your computer or which you installed in a second moment, tends to install new plugins to better integrate with your browser without asking and, while this is a good thing for safe and good softwares its not so good with bad ones like viruses, adwares and/or plugins you don’t need.

You can think of plugin like toolbars, the more you have the slower your browser will be.

So how can we disable those plugins? It’s a simple thing to do, just follow those steps:

  1. Launch Google Chrome
  2. Once it’s launched type [or copy and paste] this in your URL bar and press Enter:
    chrome://plugins
  3. Now you should see a list of the currently installed plugins, you can safely disable the ones you don’t need by clicking the Disable link under them.

I suggest you to disable third-party plugins like:

  • Windows Media Player Plugin
  • Microsoft DRM
  • DivX Web Player [If you already have VLC and/or you never used it]
  • iTunes Application Detector [100% useless]
  • Chrome Remote Desktop Viewer [If you don’t need remote support]

Careful: Do not disable Default Browser Helper and/or Native Client or Chrome won’t work.

Chrome_Plugins

How to enable TRIM on SSD drives on Mac OS X

Trim

Note: If you bought your Mac with an SSD already installed this tutorial post is not for you, in fact Trim is already and automatically enabled by OS X for you since you’re using an original Apple SSD. If you bought a Mac with an Hard Disk Drive or a SSD and you replaced it with a third-party SSD, or you have an Hackintosh, follow this post and we’ll get Trim fixed!

Before we begin, I know you heard somewhere that Trim is great for SSD performances and that it can increase the durability of them but, do you know what Trim actually is?
If not:

Because low-level operation of SSDs differs significantly from hard drives, the typical way in which operating systems handle operations like deletes and formats resulted in unanticipated progressive performance degradation of write operations on SSDs. Trimming enables the SSD to handle garbage collection overhead.

If this simple definition is still not enough for you, jump over to Wikipedia where you will find a lot more.

So how do we being? First download Trim Enabler, an application developed by Oskar Groth, and place it in your Application folder, launch it and then follow those steps:

  1. Once Trim Enabler has launched click on the main switch to make it On
    Trim_Enabler
  2. Restart you Mac when asked in order to enable Trim
  3. Open Trim Enabler again and navigate to the Settings tab
  4. Enable the switch named “Check for Trim support on boot
    [In this way an alert will be shown if Trim will be disabled in the future]
    Trim_Enabler_2
  5. Done

Choose the best model number on your Hackintosh for correct power management

SMBios

Choosing the model number for your Hackintosh setup is not a cosmetic reason, not the only reason at least. In fact the model number it’s a crucial parameter which “tells” to the operative system what type of computer you’re using. On a regular PC, with Windows or Linux installed, this is done automatically for the user during the OS installation based on a few conditions like: “Is this a Desktop or Laptop computer?”, “Which CPU and GPU model it has?”, “Is the GPU integrated or not?”.
The same thing happens on a real Mac computer but the only difference is the fact that when OS X is being installed instead of “asking questions” it simply reads the answers which are contained in the EFI portion of the Mac, and, since there are only a few fixed types of Macs [iMac, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac Pro and Mac Mini], this is a simpler process compared to ordinary PCs.

While this is a straight-forward process for a real Mac it can be a problem for Hackintoshes since there are not fixed types of computers and anyone can built it’s own setup with different components like a normal PC. Another problem is that OS X’s power management is completely based on the model number parameter and, as you can easily understand, if it is wrong it will be wrong too.

So, how can we fix this problem? By using the SMBios.plist file.

This file, contained in your Extra folder, holds many informations about your system such as its serial number, BIOS version and the one we’re looking for: the model number.

Note: The SMBios.plist is a really [really!] important file and you cannot simply change it without knowing what you’re doing. Remember that the system uses this file to initiate and pass data to system kexts as needed.

To edit the SMBios.plist we will need Chameleon Wizard, download the latest version available here, install it by dragging it to your Application folder and then open it. Once Chameleon Wizard is launched click on the SMBios tab and then click on Edit

Chameleon_Wizard_SMBiosNext, select you model number from the drop down menu according to your hardware specifications

Chameleon_Wizard_SMBios_2

You could ask: “Which model number should I choose?”, answer: the one with the most similarities with your build with CPU at the highest priority. For example if you have a Haswell CPU choose a model with Haswell CPU [desktop or laptop depending on your system], if you have Ivy Bridge select a Ivy Bridge model an so on.

In my case I have an Intel Core i5 4570S and I have chosen the iMac 14,2 model number since it has the same CPU [as you can see here] so power management will work perfectly.

If you can’t find any model number similar enough you can try using MacPro 3,1, it’s the most flexible model number and it can work sometime with unsupported hardware.

Remember: Chose your model number based on your CPU, if you need help with Mac models you can use the Apple official tech specs websiteEveryMac.com, or Wikipedia