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Hackintosh from Start to Finish (Part 5): Post-Installation Tips

If you followed my previous video, then you've probably gotten Mac OS X successfully installed on your computer. This is great news, but if you're like me, then you don't want to stop there. You'll probably want to tinker around and get the most from your system. It's also pretty common to have a few bugs in a fresh installation when not on Apple hardware. In this video, I'll be discussing dual displays, common problems and their fixes, as well as overclocking to get the most from your processor.

Dual Displays & Frame Buffers

Personally, I need more than one display. Since a dual display setup is a requirement for me, it was only natural that I would have to make this work on my hackintosh. In order for this to work, you must have a graphics card that can support dual displays in Mac OS X. To get some help with this, have a look at part 2 of my series, in which I detail what to look for when buying your hardware. You'll also need to have the appropriate cables and frame buffers set up. Here's a few things to keep in mind when looking into a dual display set up:

  •       Most graphics cards support it, but not all
  •       Frame buffers must be kept in mind if using ATI/AMD cards
  •       Some setups require certain kinds of cables
  •       Some cards don't have every port working.

In my video, I show you how to change the default frame buffer. This is a relatively simple process, but it's important to the functionality of your graphics card. If you have an NVidia card, frame buffers won't affect you. Some ATI/AMD cards work out of the box with the default frame buffer, and some don't. This is a great example of a situation in which you simply have to do your research when you're buying your hardware. What I'm saying is that depending on your graphics card, you may never need to touch a frame buffer. If you end up needing to change the default frame buffer, don't go changing things until you know which one that you need to be loading on every boot. There's an easier way to find one you need that involves trial and error. At the Chimera countdown screen, hit any key to make the timer stop. With the OS X partition highlighted, start typing:


Type it exactly as it looks (without quotes), including the capital A and C. Without putting a space after the =, pick a frame buffer from the list below:

  • Pithecia
  • Bulrushes
  • Cattail
  • Hydrilla
  • Duckweed
  • Fanwort
  • Elodea
  • Kudzu
  • Gibba
  • Lotus
  • Iomoea
  • Mangabey
  • Muskgrass
  • Juncus

Once you've selected a frame buffer, hit enter to proceed with the boot process. If a compatible frame buffer has loaded, you'll be able to launch the DVD player application without it crashing. You'll also be able to see the real name of the card if you go to your "About this Mac" option and click on the "more info…" button as seen in the picture below. If you see something such as "AMD Radeon HD 6xxx", then you haven't picked the right one. Simply repeat the process with a different bootloader.

Once you find one that works with your graphics card, you now need to edit your boot.plist. By doing this, you're telling the computer to use this frame buffer every time so you don't have to manually type it in on every boot. In order to change your default frame buffer, you'll have to locate a file in your /Extra folder on your hard drive. The file you're looking for is called org.chameleon.boot.plist. Before double clicking it, make sure that you open it with TextEdit. As demonstrated in the video, here is the proper syntax for entering a frame buffer to your file:

                                              <string>*Frame Buffer Here*</string>

Once you have the correct frame buffer being used, you should have no problem with your graphics. The only problem that you'll potentially run into is when attempting to run three or more displays at once. This is due to Eyefinity. With these newer AMD cards, you'll need an active adapter. As previously stated, this is highly dependent on your hardware, and should be researched when picking out your components.

iCloud & App Store Fix

A fairly common problem found not only in the hackintosh world is with the Mac App Store and iCloud. This was an issue even for a few legit Mac users. When trying to purchase an app from the App Store or signing into iCloud, the user would get a verification error. With that said, your system may not have either one of these bugs. If that's the case, then you obviously don't need this step! However, if your system has fallen victim to these bugs, there are solutions out there! The solution for the Mac App Store is easier than the solution for iCloud, so let's have a look at the Mac App Store fix.

Navigate to /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguraton/ and look for the file named NetworkInterfaces.plist. Once you have located the file, move it to the trash and empty it. After that's done, simply restart your computer and give the Mac App Store another try. By deleting this file, you're forcing OS X to rebuild this file on boot up, which often times is enough to fix what ever problem existed.

The next step involves some work with an application called Chameleon Wizard, which you can download by simply clicking the name. Once the application is open, navigate to the "SMBios" tab at the top. Once you're there, click the "edit" button in the top right. Under the "Generate Serial" box, I recommend selecting the Mac Pro (5,1) if it isn't already. You can leave the manufacturing location alone, as well as the year of manufacture. You'll need to generate random weeks of manufacture and a unique number. Once you do that, click the save button at the top right and restart your machine. If you still can't sign in to iCloud, repeat the process using a pre-made SMBios within the SMBios menu of Chameleon Wizard. Keep repeating both processes until you are able to sign in.


First off, what the deuce is overclocking? Basically, it's taking your processor and making it faster than the manufacturer intended it to. While this sounds like a dangerous and bad idea, it's actually very commonly done and safe to do, as long as it's done right. With todays processors and motherboards, over clocking is easier than ever. The process might look a little bit scary at first, but rest assured that it's nothing to complex, as seen in my video above.

Why would someone want to over clock their processor? The key here is to get the most performance possible. This is the equivalent of putting a ferrari motor in a Ford Focus. The car may look the same, but it's going to go a whole lot faster! When you overclock, you'll be able to do processor intensive tasks much faster, depending on how much the processor is being overclocked. These tasks can involve things such as video editing, heavy gaming, 3D rendering, and many other tasks. If all you plan on doing with your machine is browsing the web and using Twitter, then it's pointless to overclock!

Overclocking sounds pretty awesome, right? Why wouldn't everyone want their processor to run faster? As you probably know, there's two sides to every story. While there's definitely some pros to overclocking, there are some cons as well. First of all, you're going to create more heat when overclocking. This means that your fans will have to spin faster inside your case to keep it cool, which can lead to a louder computer. This depends on your heatsink and processor, as some put off more heat than others. If you plan on overclocking, you absolutely need an aftermarket cooler. Have a look at my ***case tour*** to see the heatsink that I use. By overclocking, you're also risking shortening the life of your processor. After all, you're running it faster than it was meant to go. Think of running a marathon in the summer. The faster you run, the shorter distance you can go, unless you're kept cool and hydrated. This is why you need an aftermarket cooler, and not the one that Intel includes with their processors. By keeping the processor nice and cool, it will make the processor last longer, especially if not overclocking.

The overclocking process is done from your motherboard's BIOS. Every motherboard is different, but the process is fairly universal among many motherboards. This process is different for Core i'X' systems as it is for older systems because of the way the processor works. On Core i'X' boards, which you're probably using, your processor frequency is calculated by multiplying two numbers; your base clock and your multiplier, as seen in my video above. You have to play with these numbers until you get to a frequency that satisfies you. Once you've found that frequency, you'll probably want to decrease the multiplier of your memory, as your base clock affects the memory as well. Overclocking memory really doesn't do the user any good, so it's not worth doing. Keep the memory as close to the stock speed as possible.

Once you've determined the frequency you'd like for the processor and the memory, you now need to change your voltages a little bit. If you're going to make the processor go faster, it's going to need some more gas, right? When changing voltages, take it slow. Depending on how big the overclock it, the voltages should only be moved one or two "clicks" at a time. This is because adding too much voltage could potentially damage the processor. This is where some of the risk comes in. It's recommended that the frequency and voltages are only changed a little bit at a time. Once the settings have been changed a little bit, restart the computer and make sure that it boots. If it boots, runs successfully for a period of time and doesn't have too high of temperatures, then it's a good overclock. You can increase the overclock at this point.

Keep in mind that the CPU should never see temperatures above 80°C. If this occurs, decrease the overclock and/or buy a better heatsink. A great app for monitoring CPU temps is an app called iStat Menus. If this is installed on OS X, a kext is needed from MultiBeast called FakeSMC. The FakeSMC Motherboard plugins are needed as well. If using an AMD Radeon card, the appropriate box should also be checked.

I hope that this post has helped you. If it has, feel free to check out my YouTube channel. You can also find me on Twitter if you have any questions or concerns. Thanks for watching and reading! Look out for part 6 of "Hackintosh From Start to Finish" soon!

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