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.

iPhone is too mainstream

Note to readers: I am not a hipster 😬.

By November 2013 over 421 million iPhones have been sold, with that number we can’t be wrong saying that nowadays the iPhone is in the hand of nearly everyone who have a smartphone and that’s a lot of [different] people. From the geek boy to the old woman, from the school girl to her grandma, they all have the same device. And they all keep downloading apps. In fact by October 2013 Apple announced that more than 60 billion total apps have been downloaded and there are more then 1 million different apps are in the App Store.

With so many apps we can easily imagine that while some of them are crafted with quality in mind, the majority are not. Before it wasn’t like this. I owned every single iPhone model since the original iPhone back in 2007, and I can easily remember how different the App Store was at the beginning. There were way less apps and it wasn’t full of stupid apps and games like today, and do you know what the reason of this “change in quality standards” is? People.

The biggest problem is that the most of users doesn’t even know what a quality iOS app looks like, and, since most of the people download pointless apps those are the results:

iTunes_Top_Paid

Seriously. How can an app like Pou be at the top positions of the most selled paid apps?.

We all know the only way iOS users can run third-party software on their devices is by using the App Store to search and download them, they can’t use any other store or website to do that, unlike Android. Also the App Store is totally under Apple’s control and for this reason it’s a completely closed environment, because they can decide which apps iOS devices can run or not and they can even pull them without any notice. Sure, this is made for security reasons and/or to defend already present apps from clones, but this behavior has a big downside in my opinion and I call it “software saturation“. With this term I mean that there are too many apps users can search for.

On the App Store those are confirmed facts:

  1. The most downloaded apps are the one that are more present on the top charts since they have more visibility over the others.
  2. Searching for apps doesn’t work anymore, there’s too of them.
    People doesn’t search anymore they simply download the most famous apps they find on the top 250 chart.

Mac_App_Store

On the other hand OS X, Windows and Linux [even if they now have their own stores] have an open environment  and anyone can write their own softwareIn fact, if you’re like me when you need a new software for OS X, Windows or Linux you simply search it on Google or any other search engine and then you pick the perfect one for you needs from a majority of similar apps, simple as that, no “App Store” needed. In this situation, with no “charts” or “top downloaded apps” anyone can have the visibility they deserve for their work and, even if there are tons of similar apps no one gets unnoticed [if the software is well made off course] and for this reason there are no conditioning.

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

Which bootloader should I choose for my Hackintosh?

OSX86_Bootloaders

Chameleon, Chimera or Clover. What are they? Who’s better than the other? I will explain that to you so you can make the right decision. Let’s begin:

Chameleon is an open-source project created on May 25, 2008 based on Apple’s Boot-132 which aims to create a Darwin/XNU bootloader able to boot OS X on ordinary x86 and x86_64 computers. Chameleon’s source code is organized using the SVN (Subversion control system) and maintained by the Voodoo team. Since it’s an open-source project anyone can edit and view the code to make adjustments, fix bugs and add new features to it.

Chimera, made by MacMan and the folks of tonymacx86.com on April 27, 2011, is a open-source bootloader based on Chameleon. The reason MacMan created Chimera was the fact that there were too many different versions of Chameleon [called “Branches”] each with it’s own purpose and/or patches for different hardware support. So Chimera is a Chameleon version which consolidates the best features from all of the available branches to obtain maximum compatibility across platforms as a result. It can be installed only by using MultiBeast, so if you followed tonymacx86’s guides you’ll will have Chimera by 100%. Chimera’s source code is available here.

Clover is an open-source EFI-based bootloader created on Apr 4, 2011. It has a totally different approach from Chameleon and Chimera, in fact it can emulate the EFI portion present on real macs and boot the OS from there instead of using the regular legacy BIOS approach used by Chameleon and Chimera. For many Clover is considered the next-gen bootloader and soon it will become the only choice since BIOS in being replaced by UEFI in every new motherboard. One big feature of Clover is that iMessage, iCloud, the Mac App Store works along with Find My Mac, Back To My Mac and FileVault since Clover can use the EFI partition. Clover on the other hand has 2 big downsides:

  1. It needs a UEFI motherboard to work properly and to do it’s magic.
    Sure, there’s a BIOS option you can select to make it work on old computers but OS X features like Back To My Mac, Find My Mac, FileVault won’t work if you don’t use an UEFI motherboard.
  2. It’s a pain to configure since its documentation is just a little wiki and the community behind it it’s not as big as Chameleon and Chimera’s ones.
    If you have a problem you can still try asking someone on the official Clover forum but if no one will reply or they won’t fix your problem it’s on your own.

So, those are the bootloaders but the questions still is: which one? Well choosing the right bootloader for your Hackintosh is crucial to make it work perfectly so you should choose it wisely.

The first thing I suggest you is to try Chimera, it’s the easiest of the three and it has a big community behind so if you need help there always be someone to ask, in addition you can use the tonymacx86’s “Buyers Guide” which contains various builds which works perfectly with the latests OS X versions and updates and those are all supported by Chimera.
The second thing I suggest you is to try Chameleon after you already tried Chimera and everything works fine with your system. In fact even if Chimera is easier than Chameleon it is more powerful and it’s updated more ofter than Chimera, also you can use the wonderful Chameleon Wizard to configure it in any aspect [Boot flags, SMBios, DSDT, etc.] so I suggest you to change Chimera for it.
The third and last thing I suggest you is to try Clover to enable those real-mac-only features, but only if you know what your doing because it can be really easy to break your Hackintosh with it.