5th December 2017

High Sierra on Gigabyte GA-B75M

This post describes the steps to install MacOs High Sierra from scratch on my system, described here.

I have installed Mavericks, Yosemite and Sierra, using Unibeast for the first two versions, and Clover for the latest; but, after issues with Sierra, I had installed instead Ubuntu, and the new High Sierra install is therefore from scratch, not a OsX upgrade.

What in the past had been a interesting computer experiment, it is now decidely an almost too simple installation procedure. As special steps I just modified the proposed config.plist from Clover Configurator with the following values:

  • cpuid: 0x0306a0, for my Ivy Bridge i7 3770 cpu
  • Set the key AppleIntelCPUPM to true
  • For my gigabyte board, set the AppleRTC key to true as well.

I do not even now if whithout these changes I would have ended with a working Hackintosh! In any case, I can start MacOS using UEFI

The result is not a working proposal. All works, including sound, that never did in the past. It is true that the sound backside connectors are non-functionning, and I need to use the speaker jack, but all considered, I am fine with it. It goes to sleep nicely, although it requires well overy 30 seconds to accomplish it; afterwards, it wakes up easily.

However, if I let the computer on its own, the day after I find a switched on computer with a blanck screen, and checking the logs show me a dead system: why it switches back to life, but does not really recover? It sounds to me, remotely, like something related to hibernation: that is, system goes to sleep; after some time, the system wakes up to do a proper hibernation, but then, for some reason, it fails.

Checking the power management settings

pmset -g
, I find in fact that the hibernatemode is already zero, which should have prevente my whole issue. However, somehow, the sleep image file /var/vm/sleepimage is there. This Apple forum discussion shows that an additional step is needed:
sudo nvram "use-nvramrc?"=false

Alas, this step does not solve the issue, so I went back to tuning the power settings:

		sudo pmset -a standby 0
		sudo pmset -a womp 0
		sudo pmset -a powernap 0
		sudo pmset -a autopoweroff 0
Some explanations:
  • standby: sets whether to hibernate when a Mac has been asleep for a set period; this writes memory to disk and powers down memory
  • womp: the same as wake for network access in the power settings pane powernap: the same as power nap in the power settings pane
  • autopoweroff: after sleeping a specifed period, the system will write an hibernation image and go into a lower power chipset sleep
These settings solve the issue. However, what I had seen was that the computer was slept for approximately 4.5 hours before waking up dead, and the standbydelay was 10000 (in seconds, less than 3 hours), and the autopoweroffdelay was 28800 (in minutes, 48 hours). So I presume the problem would be related to powernap. In any case, it makes sense letting the standby and autopoweroff settings disabled, once it is decided to disable hibernation.

The second issue I got is that I cannot hot swap hard drives.

  • I tried this approach but it didn't work.
  • I have two SATA controllers, an Intel chipset and a Marvell 88SE9172. Allegedly, the AHCI_3rdParty_eSATA.kext seems to provide hotswap functionality for this Marvell controller. but that is not the case.
  • What works is having a hard disk inserted in the rack when MacOS starts. It will appear in System Information as not removable, but in fact the drive can be ejected, and hot swapped.