My first Hackintosh: Update to Catalina Gigabyte Z390 M Gaming Coffee Lake

During summer 2019 I replaced my ageing 2015 iMac with my first Hackintosh and shared with you my working configuration. You can find the full post here: My first Hackintosh: Mojave Gigabyte Z390 M Gaming Coffee Lake


Since then, many things have changed and I would like to provide an update so that the information stay relevant:
  • Upgraded from Mojave to Catalina. 
  • The mainboard received a major bios update (from version F7 to version F9e, but had to revert to F7 in  Jan 2020!!
  • Updated Clover from version r5033 to r5101
  • Updated all kext (except custom USB)
  • Updated Hackintool from version 2.7.1 to 2.8.8
Everything still works after the updates. The hardware remained unchanged.

Please refer to the original post to get the full details. Here I am just highlighting what has changed!

Hackintool Update (2.7.1 to 2.8.8)

Hackintool should check automatically for updates and propose to install the current version. To check manually, open Hackintool, then select from the macOS top bar "Hackintool", then "Check for updates". If a new version is available, just follow the on-screen instructions.

Hackintool continues to improve with every release! I now use it to keep Clover ("Bootloader" tab) and the kexts ("Installed" tab) up to date, as well as to gain access to the EFI partitions ("Disks" tab). 

If you want to make a donation to the authors of Hackintool, you can click on the link at the bottom right corner of the tool. These guys really make hackintoshing easy!

Kexts Update

I updated all the kexts via Hackintool ("Installed" tab).

Hackintool should recognise our six installed kexts and mark in red the ones for which an update is available.  Just select them and click the download  button  (the arrow at the mid bottom of the screen) to get them on your desktop. 

Then, simply swap your old kexts with the new ones in the EFI folder!





Clover Update (2.5 r5033 to r5101)


The update of Clover went like a breeze. I downloaded it via Hackintool ("Bootloader" tab). Make sure that you have a working, bootable backup of your EFI folder before updating!

The Clover installation procedure is the same as before. When selecting "Customise", I found that my previous customised settings were already preselected. You may want to check that this is the case for you as well. Also, no need to touch the config.plist file, as the installer maintained the existing version.

When installing, I got a warning that "This package is incompatible with this version of macOS" (see screenshot). I clicked "Install Anyway" and all went fine.

BIOS update (F7 to F9e) 

I updated the BIOS to revision F9e, the latest available at the time of writing.

I updated the BIOS from within the BIOS interface. You can place the new .F9e file (and the old .F7 as well for backup!) in the EFI folder, and navigate to it from the BIOS interface.

This version changes completely the look and feel of the BIOS interface, as well as the names of the various sections.

I again stayed with the Optimised Defaults to the extent possible, and changed just four settings.
  1. Save&Exit: Load Optimised Defaults and confirm
  2. Tweaker: System Memory Multiplier to DDR4-2666 (even though my modules are rated for 3200). See "Ram settings" section of my previous post for more info.
  3. Settings --> IO Ports --> USB configuration: enable XHCI Hand-off
  4. Settings --> IO Ports: Enable Internal Graphics (we use the Radeon, but we need this for HW acceleration)
You might recall that I  had to set DVMT Pre-Allocated to 32M to enable the use of the standard driver OsxAptioFix3Drv.efi instead of  the unsupported OsxAptioFix2Drv-free2000.efi  It appears that this change is no longer necessary! I can now use OsxAptioFix3Drv.efi even if leave the the standard setting (64M). One thing less to change!

------------- 8 JAN 2020 - HAD TO UNDO THE BIOS UPDATE DUE TO ISSUES------------- 
Unfortunately I had to revert to BIOS version F7. After running perfectly for a few days, the system started not booting up (denied access sign right after Apple logo, or problem with memory allocation in verbose mode). The problem seemed similar to the one I had when playing with OsxAptioFix3Drv.efi and the memory preallocation (see above). So I set it back to 32M and tried all other combinations, but did not work.  Then I disabled the internal graphic card altogether and boom, it booted without issues. As I do want the internal graphic card to work for HW acceleration, I then tried my luck  downgrading the BIOS to version F7: all working again, with internal graphic enabled and even leaving the DVMT Pre-Allocated to 64M! Go figure...  It is not clear to me what caused the issue, as the system run without problems for days with the new BIOS. I even suspect that if I upgraded again, it would  work as it did the first time. However, for the time being I am staying on version F7. I might try to update again when a newer BIOS version comes out. I'll keep you posted!
------------- 8 JAN 2020 - HAD TO UNDO THE BIOS UPDATE DUE TO ISSUES------------- 

Upgrade to Catalina

The installation of Catalina went really smooth. I actually did not run the upgrade on the same partition of Mojave, and went for full new install. This is for two new reasons:  1)  I like to start with a fresh install when a new release of macOS comes out, so that I am sure that I am not bringing with me any legacy issues and 2) I get to keep the old partition intact, so that if something goes wrong, I just need to boot from the all portion and all would be good again.


The APFS file system makes this really really easy luckily. You can just add  a new APFS volume within the existing APFS container without even specifying the size, as all volumes can share the existing disk space.  Then install Catalina to this new volume, check that all works and after a few days, delete the old Mojave volume to claim back disk space. You can of course import data from the old partition to the new one using Migration Assistant if you so wish.

Conclusion

That's all folks! All in all, keeping the system up to date was really easy and Catalina is running fast and realiably.

If you found this post useful or have questions, leave a comment below!

Cheers

Comments

  1. Hi! For the memory allocation problem i found a fix; you just have to reset the CMOS, because just a little change like an HDD swap can fragment the memory table. When you reverted the bios you just reseted the memory table, that’s why It worked, for me It worked on the upgrade 😂 The best slide value is, as you said, 0. I calculated 193 either but it doesn’t work, so stick with it. Thank you for your support, it’s good to share knowledge when we can!

    P.S: My AppleALC gives me KP on Catalina, on Mojave behaved well. Now I’m using VoodooHDA, but I’d like to have native audio. Can you link me yours or give me advices about it? Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Hello! Thank you so much! Indeed you are right. It happened again: I attached an external drive and changed the bios settings to boot from that one. When I went back to the original drive, I got a memory allocation error. I followed your trick and re-upgraded the BIOS to clear the CMOS and it worked! It really took me just 2 minutes thanks to your suggestion:-) As to the AppleALC, It works for me: I am using the latest official release of AppleALC and one line in the config plist (under device/audio) to select the layout. Links to the kext and the config.plist are in my previous post. Hope it helps!

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    2. Glad to hear! I fixed also the AppleALC problem: I just used the new acidanthera repo at https://github.com/acidanthera/applealc/releases (updated to dec 2019)

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    3. Hi I have the same mobo and am on Catalina. I have to restart 5 times before it boots everytime. Any ideas?

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    4. If anyone is googling and coming across this post, NVRAM has been properly fixed for this motherboard.

      https://www.tonymacx86.com/threads/gigabyte-z390-m-gaming-build-with-working-nvram.291193/

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  2. Really helpful down to the ground, happy to read such a useful post. I got a lot of information through it and I will surely keep it in my mind. Keep sharing. If you are looking for some useful data and information regarding custom usb then visit PR Design.

    ReplyDelete

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