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My Triple-Boot Hackintosh Masterpiece is Complete

This has been the most painfully irritating build i have ever attempted, but i finally have a desktop machine that can boot Linux Mint 18, OSX Sierra and Windows 10, but it has many quirks. I noticed that triple/quad booting has been asked about on the web for years but nobody has ever really done a good case study of how on earth you do it, least of all with pictures and guides.

 

Ill just give a quick run down of what we have here.

 The machine is a lenovo thinkcenter E73 tower, OEM machine with only upgrade being the 9800GT, it has a 128GB sata SSD and a 1TB HDD. 

 

First step was to install the hackintosh on the entire SSD using clover and the fantastic instructions on TonyMacx86. Spend weeks trying to figure out how kexts work and getting the nvidia web driver to run persistently, a basic tutorial on clover configurator comes in handy here. So once OSX was installed, i then introduced the 1TB HDD to the system and installed windows 10 on it in the usual manner, just boot off the USB stick and give windows the entire 1TB. From here on i believe you are at the mercy of your UEFI whether the windows bootloader makes it onto the SSD where it should go, or whether windows craps out and put it on the HDD. In my case windows put it's bootloader into the EFI partition of the SSD, therefore clover was able to see it and i was instantly given a windows option in clover. 2 down one to go.

 

Finally in order to cram linux mint onto the machine, i refrained from shrinking the NTFS partition from within windows as this screwed everything the first time i did it, partition table went completely out of whack. instead, at this point simply boot off the live Mint setup USB, and proceed to install, Mint will detect the windows bootloader (but not the OSX one) and prompt you to install alongside windows. At this point i used the linux setup to cut the 1TB in half and installed mint into the second half. 

 

When mint has finished installing, reboot into clover and you should now have a linux boot option. In my case, the installation of linux destroyed my ability to boot windows from clover, but i was still able to boot windows from grub, which appears after you select linux from clover, ugly i know. The fix i found for this was to boot back into Mint and run sudo update-grub, which then rejiggers all the bootloaders around into their right places, after this, i was able to boot all 3 OS's from clover, as well as the OSX recovery partition (doesn't quite count as a quad-boot right ?)

 

The main issue i found with this project was the trial and error nature of screwing up bootloaders and having to start again, clover is a bit fragile when it comes to making it boot more than just OSX. Essentially this machine went through about 5 iterations before it was finally stable.  

 

In summary, windows 10 and Mint run perfectly on the hardware as you would expect, but that's the easy bit, the challenge lies with making OSX happy with "peasant grade" non proprietary hardware, and this almost entirely revolves around onboard realtek audio. From what i can tell, clover has kexts for basically any realtek 3.5mm jack bay that has 5 ports, but seeing as i have this weird OEM machine, i only have a bay of 3 x 3.5mm jacks, and this is tragically not supported AFAIK. i solved this by cannibalising a USB DAC, velcro-ing it to the floor of the case, and running XLR's out of the rear I/O, looks janky as hell but works a charm, and the sound quality is far superior to the onboard anyway. One final thing i was unable to get working within OSX was hardware reporting like CPU temps and stuff, from what i can tell this is all low-level apple kernel stuff that goes over my head, but hopefully someone can make or port a kext for this functionality.

 

Thanks for reading anyway guys i just wanted to share what i learnt building this frankenstein PC, as i know many of you are interested in the concept of multiple OS's on a PC, but are maybe confused as to where you even start.

 

DnFx

 

 

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Home PC:

CPU: i7 4790s ~ Motherboard: Asus B85M-E ~ RAM: 32GB Ballistix Sport DDR3 1666 ~ GPU: Sapphire R9 390 Nitro ~ Case: Corsair Carbide Spec-03 ~ Storage: Kingston Predator 240GB   PCIE M.2 Boot, 2TB HDD, 3x 480GB SATA SSD's in RAID 0 ~ PSU:    Corsair CX600
Display(s): Asus PB287Q , Generic Samsung 1080p 22" ~ Cooling: Arctic T3 Air Cooler, All case fans replaced with Noctua NF-B9 Redux's ~ Keyboard: Logitech G810 Orion ~ Mouse: Cheap Microsoft Wired (i like it) ~ Sound: Radial Pro USB DAC into 250w Powered Speakers ~ Operating System: Windows 10 Enterprise x64
 

Work PC:

CPU: Intel Xeon E3 1275 v3 ~ Motherboard: Asrock E3C226D2I ~ RAM: 16GB DDR3 ~ GPU: GTX 460 ~ Case: Silverstone SG05 ~ Storage: 512GB SATA SSD ~ Displays: 3x1080p 24" mix and matched Dell monitors plus a 10" 1080p lilliput monitor above ~ Operating System: Windows 10 Enterprise x64

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1 minute ago, tlink said:

really cool! can't imagine the time you must have put into it since mac and windows aren't really friends :P 

About a week of fiddling, probably could have figured it out faster if i had RTFM :)

Home PC:

CPU: i7 4790s ~ Motherboard: Asus B85M-E ~ RAM: 32GB Ballistix Sport DDR3 1666 ~ GPU: Sapphire R9 390 Nitro ~ Case: Corsair Carbide Spec-03 ~ Storage: Kingston Predator 240GB   PCIE M.2 Boot, 2TB HDD, 3x 480GB SATA SSD's in RAID 0 ~ PSU:    Corsair CX600
Display(s): Asus PB287Q , Generic Samsung 1080p 22" ~ Cooling: Arctic T3 Air Cooler, All case fans replaced with Noctua NF-B9 Redux's ~ Keyboard: Logitech G810 Orion ~ Mouse: Cheap Microsoft Wired (i like it) ~ Sound: Radial Pro USB DAC into 250w Powered Speakers ~ Operating System: Windows 10 Enterprise x64
 

Work PC:

CPU: Intel Xeon E3 1275 v3 ~ Motherboard: Asrock E3C226D2I ~ RAM: 16GB DDR3 ~ GPU: GTX 460 ~ Case: Silverstone SG05 ~ Storage: 512GB SATA SSD ~ Displays: 3x1080p 24" mix and matched Dell monitors plus a 10" 1080p lilliput monitor above ~ Operating System: Windows 10 Enterprise x64

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Just a reminder, as per the Community Standards we don't let people help others with certain things like piracy, and a few others, including how to do a "hackintosh".  So long as this sticks to just showing off a working one I think it's fine but if people ask how you did it, don't reply :P 

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1 minute ago, Ryan_Vickers said:

Just a reminder, as per the Community Standards we don't let people help others with certain things like piracy, and a few others, including how to do a "hackintosh".  So long as this sticks to just showing off a working one I think it's fine but if people ask how you did it, don't reply :P 

Ahhh that seems fair. No worries. This is most certainly a demonstration of the possibility, I'll leave the questionably illegal stuff to TonyMacx86 :)

Home PC:

CPU: i7 4790s ~ Motherboard: Asus B85M-E ~ RAM: 32GB Ballistix Sport DDR3 1666 ~ GPU: Sapphire R9 390 Nitro ~ Case: Corsair Carbide Spec-03 ~ Storage: Kingston Predator 240GB   PCIE M.2 Boot, 2TB HDD, 3x 480GB SATA SSD's in RAID 0 ~ PSU:    Corsair CX600
Display(s): Asus PB287Q , Generic Samsung 1080p 22" ~ Cooling: Arctic T3 Air Cooler, All case fans replaced with Noctua NF-B9 Redux's ~ Keyboard: Logitech G810 Orion ~ Mouse: Cheap Microsoft Wired (i like it) ~ Sound: Radial Pro USB DAC into 250w Powered Speakers ~ Operating System: Windows 10 Enterprise x64
 

Work PC:

CPU: Intel Xeon E3 1275 v3 ~ Motherboard: Asrock E3C226D2I ~ RAM: 16GB DDR3 ~ GPU: GTX 460 ~ Case: Silverstone SG05 ~ Storage: 512GB SATA SSD ~ Displays: 3x1080p 24" mix and matched Dell monitors plus a 10" 1080p lilliput monitor above ~ Operating System: Windows 10 Enterprise x64

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can i ask what that bottom board is? it doesn't look like a powersuply but it does have big transformers so im scratching my head oever what it is. it looks like some sort of industrial controller.

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1 minute ago, IAmLamp said:

Enjoy the time standard issues. 

not sure what you mean ? 

Home PC:

CPU: i7 4790s ~ Motherboard: Asus B85M-E ~ RAM: 32GB Ballistix Sport DDR3 1666 ~ GPU: Sapphire R9 390 Nitro ~ Case: Corsair Carbide Spec-03 ~ Storage: Kingston Predator 240GB   PCIE M.2 Boot, 2TB HDD, 3x 480GB SATA SSD's in RAID 0 ~ PSU:    Corsair CX600
Display(s): Asus PB287Q , Generic Samsung 1080p 22" ~ Cooling: Arctic T3 Air Cooler, All case fans replaced with Noctua NF-B9 Redux's ~ Keyboard: Logitech G810 Orion ~ Mouse: Cheap Microsoft Wired (i like it) ~ Sound: Radial Pro USB DAC into 250w Powered Speakers ~ Operating System: Windows 10 Enterprise x64
 

Work PC:

CPU: Intel Xeon E3 1275 v3 ~ Motherboard: Asrock E3C226D2I ~ RAM: 16GB DDR3 ~ GPU: GTX 460 ~ Case: Silverstone SG05 ~ Storage: 512GB SATA SSD ~ Displays: 3x1080p 24" mix and matched Dell monitors plus a 10" 1080p lilliput monitor above ~ Operating System: Windows 10 Enterprise x64

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1 minute ago, DnFx91 said:

not sure what you mean ? 

Check BIOS time, check all of the OS times. Have fun trying to get each correct. Collision issues. 

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2 minutes ago, tlink said:

can i ask what that bottom board is? it doesn't look like a powersuply but it does have big transformers so im scratching my head oever what it is. it looks like some sort of industrial controller.

ahh that is the fabled cannibalised USB DAC that i needed to use to get audio out of OSX, stuck to bottom of case with velcro :D

Home PC:

CPU: i7 4790s ~ Motherboard: Asus B85M-E ~ RAM: 32GB Ballistix Sport DDR3 1666 ~ GPU: Sapphire R9 390 Nitro ~ Case: Corsair Carbide Spec-03 ~ Storage: Kingston Predator 240GB   PCIE M.2 Boot, 2TB HDD, 3x 480GB SATA SSD's in RAID 0 ~ PSU:    Corsair CX600
Display(s): Asus PB287Q , Generic Samsung 1080p 22" ~ Cooling: Arctic T3 Air Cooler, All case fans replaced with Noctua NF-B9 Redux's ~ Keyboard: Logitech G810 Orion ~ Mouse: Cheap Microsoft Wired (i like it) ~ Sound: Radial Pro USB DAC into 250w Powered Speakers ~ Operating System: Windows 10 Enterprise x64
 

Work PC:

CPU: Intel Xeon E3 1275 v3 ~ Motherboard: Asrock E3C226D2I ~ RAM: 16GB DDR3 ~ GPU: GTX 460 ~ Case: Silverstone SG05 ~ Storage: 512GB SATA SSD ~ Displays: 3x1080p 24" mix and matched Dell monitors plus a 10" 1080p lilliput monitor above ~ Operating System: Windows 10 Enterprise x64

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1 minute ago, DnFx91 said:

ahh that is the fabled cannibalised USB DAC that i needed to use to get audio out of OSX, stuck to bottom of case with velcro :D

its glorious

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2 minutes ago, IAmLamp said:

Check BIOS time, check all of the OS times. Have fun trying to get each correct. Collision issues. 

ohhh ok, cant say i noticed, i havent had any browsers complaining about mismatched timestamps so it can't be that far out. Il update if it becomes a problem

Home PC:

CPU: i7 4790s ~ Motherboard: Asus B85M-E ~ RAM: 32GB Ballistix Sport DDR3 1666 ~ GPU: Sapphire R9 390 Nitro ~ Case: Corsair Carbide Spec-03 ~ Storage: Kingston Predator 240GB   PCIE M.2 Boot, 2TB HDD, 3x 480GB SATA SSD's in RAID 0 ~ PSU:    Corsair CX600
Display(s): Asus PB287Q , Generic Samsung 1080p 22" ~ Cooling: Arctic T3 Air Cooler, All case fans replaced with Noctua NF-B9 Redux's ~ Keyboard: Logitech G810 Orion ~ Mouse: Cheap Microsoft Wired (i like it) ~ Sound: Radial Pro USB DAC into 250w Powered Speakers ~ Operating System: Windows 10 Enterprise x64
 

Work PC:

CPU: Intel Xeon E3 1275 v3 ~ Motherboard: Asrock E3C226D2I ~ RAM: 16GB DDR3 ~ GPU: GTX 460 ~ Case: Silverstone SG05 ~ Storage: 512GB SATA SSD ~ Displays: 3x1080p 24" mix and matched Dell monitors plus a 10" 1080p lilliput monitor above ~ Operating System: Windows 10 Enterprise x64

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Additionally, what on earth are you talking about? TMX86 has a triple booting guide that works pretty well and is easy to follow. (For UEFI anyways)

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2 minutes ago, tlink said:

its glorious

why thank you, i hated the idea of it until i noticed i could have XLR's poking out the back where GPU ports usually go, it was so amusing i just had to keep it.

Home PC:

CPU: i7 4790s ~ Motherboard: Asus B85M-E ~ RAM: 32GB Ballistix Sport DDR3 1666 ~ GPU: Sapphire R9 390 Nitro ~ Case: Corsair Carbide Spec-03 ~ Storage: Kingston Predator 240GB   PCIE M.2 Boot, 2TB HDD, 3x 480GB SATA SSD's in RAID 0 ~ PSU:    Corsair CX600
Display(s): Asus PB287Q , Generic Samsung 1080p 22" ~ Cooling: Arctic T3 Air Cooler, All case fans replaced with Noctua NF-B9 Redux's ~ Keyboard: Logitech G810 Orion ~ Mouse: Cheap Microsoft Wired (i like it) ~ Sound: Radial Pro USB DAC into 250w Powered Speakers ~ Operating System: Windows 10 Enterprise x64
 

Work PC:

CPU: Intel Xeon E3 1275 v3 ~ Motherboard: Asrock E3C226D2I ~ RAM: 16GB DDR3 ~ GPU: GTX 460 ~ Case: Silverstone SG05 ~ Storage: 512GB SATA SSD ~ Displays: 3x1080p 24" mix and matched Dell monitors plus a 10" 1080p lilliput monitor above ~ Operating System: Windows 10 Enterprise x64

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4 minutes ago, IAmLamp said:

Additionally, what on earth are you talking about? TMX86 has a triple booting guide that works pretty well and is easy to follow. (For UEFI anyways)

I've just been and had a look at that article, it's ok i guess but it still falls into the category of thinking about doing it, i wanted to give a kind of step by step (without instructing people how to break apple's T+C's) on how to get this working. 

Home PC:

CPU: i7 4790s ~ Motherboard: Asus B85M-E ~ RAM: 32GB Ballistix Sport DDR3 1666 ~ GPU: Sapphire R9 390 Nitro ~ Case: Corsair Carbide Spec-03 ~ Storage: Kingston Predator 240GB   PCIE M.2 Boot, 2TB HDD, 3x 480GB SATA SSD's in RAID 0 ~ PSU:    Corsair CX600
Display(s): Asus PB287Q , Generic Samsung 1080p 22" ~ Cooling: Arctic T3 Air Cooler, All case fans replaced with Noctua NF-B9 Redux's ~ Keyboard: Logitech G810 Orion ~ Mouse: Cheap Microsoft Wired (i like it) ~ Sound: Radial Pro USB DAC into 250w Powered Speakers ~ Operating System: Windows 10 Enterprise x64
 

Work PC:

CPU: Intel Xeon E3 1275 v3 ~ Motherboard: Asrock E3C226D2I ~ RAM: 16GB DDR3 ~ GPU: GTX 460 ~ Case: Silverstone SG05 ~ Storage: 512GB SATA SSD ~ Displays: 3x1080p 24" mix and matched Dell monitors plus a 10" 1080p lilliput monitor above ~ Operating System: Windows 10 Enterprise x64

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Damn. Impressive.

 

Although the monitor kind of ruins it : (

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See @STRMfrmXMN @Energycore or @Starelementpoke for PSU needs

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See @ShadowTechXTS for cats

@Implosivetech's got you covered for all your graphic design needs

And lastly, never put a CX green series PSU in a high end build https://youtu.be/Oybz5Q-If9M?t=7

 

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1 minute ago, DnFx91 said:

I've just been and had a look at that article, it's ok i guess but it still falls into the category of thinking about doing it, i wanted to give a kind of step by step (without instructing people how to break apple's T+C's) on how to get this working. 

:o Interesting method of approach... Very interesting... 

 

Good stuff. 

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1 minute ago, wrathoftheturkey said:

Damn. Impressive.

 

Although the monitor kind of ruins it : (

haha everyone hates the monitor, im doing this at work where im a computer sys engineer so 4:3 monitors are in abundance here, didnt wanna give up one of my 3 1080p monitors for it haha :D

Home PC:

CPU: i7 4790s ~ Motherboard: Asus B85M-E ~ RAM: 32GB Ballistix Sport DDR3 1666 ~ GPU: Sapphire R9 390 Nitro ~ Case: Corsair Carbide Spec-03 ~ Storage: Kingston Predator 240GB   PCIE M.2 Boot, 2TB HDD, 3x 480GB SATA SSD's in RAID 0 ~ PSU:    Corsair CX600
Display(s): Asus PB287Q , Generic Samsung 1080p 22" ~ Cooling: Arctic T3 Air Cooler, All case fans replaced with Noctua NF-B9 Redux's ~ Keyboard: Logitech G810 Orion ~ Mouse: Cheap Microsoft Wired (i like it) ~ Sound: Radial Pro USB DAC into 250w Powered Speakers ~ Operating System: Windows 10 Enterprise x64
 

Work PC:

CPU: Intel Xeon E3 1275 v3 ~ Motherboard: Asrock E3C226D2I ~ RAM: 16GB DDR3 ~ GPU: GTX 460 ~ Case: Silverstone SG05 ~ Storage: 512GB SATA SSD ~ Displays: 3x1080p 24" mix and matched Dell monitors plus a 10" 1080p lilliput monitor above ~ Operating System: Windows 10 Enterprise x64

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2 minutes ago, wrathoftheturkey said:

Damn. Impressive.

 

Although the monitor kind of ruins it : (

I agree, seems like a debugging/troubleshooting monitor. Something you would find for a scrap testing system. Hopefully they have something else available. 

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1 minute ago, IAmLamp said:

I agree, seems like a debugging/troubleshooting monitor. Something you would find for a scrap testing system. Hopefully they have something else available. 

(or just a school monitor)

PSU Tier List LTT Gender Survey

LTT's self-appointed memelord

Always up for a game of chess

See @STRMfrmXMN @Energycore or @Starelementpoke for PSU needs

See @deXxterlab97 for blue fetishes (if that's your thing)

See @ShadowTechXTS for cats

@Implosivetech's got you covered for all your graphic design needs

And lastly, never put a CX green series PSU in a high end build https://youtu.be/Oybz5Q-If9M?t=7

 

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1 minute ago, IAmLamp said:

:o Interesting method of approach... Very interesting... 

 

Good stuff. 

thanks, i guess what i was trying to say, was that i wanted to make a "home-made" hackintosh tutorial, like mom used to make. Because i went into this project almost blind, knowing only the basics of clover, and was so satisfying to finally figure it out.

Home PC:

CPU: i7 4790s ~ Motherboard: Asus B85M-E ~ RAM: 32GB Ballistix Sport DDR3 1666 ~ GPU: Sapphire R9 390 Nitro ~ Case: Corsair Carbide Spec-03 ~ Storage: Kingston Predator 240GB   PCIE M.2 Boot, 2TB HDD, 3x 480GB SATA SSD's in RAID 0 ~ PSU:    Corsair CX600
Display(s): Asus PB287Q , Generic Samsung 1080p 22" ~ Cooling: Arctic T3 Air Cooler, All case fans replaced with Noctua NF-B9 Redux's ~ Keyboard: Logitech G810 Orion ~ Mouse: Cheap Microsoft Wired (i like it) ~ Sound: Radial Pro USB DAC into 250w Powered Speakers ~ Operating System: Windows 10 Enterprise x64
 

Work PC:

CPU: Intel Xeon E3 1275 v3 ~ Motherboard: Asrock E3C226D2I ~ RAM: 16GB DDR3 ~ GPU: GTX 460 ~ Case: Silverstone SG05 ~ Storage: 512GB SATA SSD ~ Displays: 3x1080p 24" mix and matched Dell monitors plus a 10" 1080p lilliput monitor above ~ Operating System: Windows 10 Enterprise x64

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1 minute ago, wrathoftheturkey said:

(or just a school monitor)

Oddly specific. 

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1 minute ago, IAmLamp said:

Oddly specific. 

Nah fam, every secondary school with a computer lab has some of these. I think three of the school's I've been to actually have the exact same Dell

PSU Tier List LTT Gender Survey

LTT's self-appointed memelord

Always up for a game of chess

See @STRMfrmXMN @Energycore or @Starelementpoke for PSU needs

See @deXxterlab97 for blue fetishes (if that's your thing)

See @ShadowTechXTS for cats

@Implosivetech's got you covered for all your graphic design needs

And lastly, never put a CX green series PSU in a high end build https://youtu.be/Oybz5Q-If9M?t=7

 

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1 minute ago, IAmLamp said:

Oddly specific. 

haha, i kinda like 4:3 for techie stuff, when im standing in front of a 1280x1024 monitor, hooked up by VGA, with a PS2 mouse in my hand, i know im doing some serious stuff :D

Home PC:

CPU: i7 4790s ~ Motherboard: Asus B85M-E ~ RAM: 32GB Ballistix Sport DDR3 1666 ~ GPU: Sapphire R9 390 Nitro ~ Case: Corsair Carbide Spec-03 ~ Storage: Kingston Predator 240GB   PCIE M.2 Boot, 2TB HDD, 3x 480GB SATA SSD's in RAID 0 ~ PSU:    Corsair CX600
Display(s): Asus PB287Q , Generic Samsung 1080p 22" ~ Cooling: Arctic T3 Air Cooler, All case fans replaced with Noctua NF-B9 Redux's ~ Keyboard: Logitech G810 Orion ~ Mouse: Cheap Microsoft Wired (i like it) ~ Sound: Radial Pro USB DAC into 250w Powered Speakers ~ Operating System: Windows 10 Enterprise x64
 

Work PC:

CPU: Intel Xeon E3 1275 v3 ~ Motherboard: Asrock E3C226D2I ~ RAM: 16GB DDR3 ~ GPU: GTX 460 ~ Case: Silverstone SG05 ~ Storage: 512GB SATA SSD ~ Displays: 3x1080p 24" mix and matched Dell monitors plus a 10" 1080p lilliput monitor above ~ Operating System: Windows 10 Enterprise x64

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4 minutes ago, DnFx91 said:

thanks, i guess what i was trying to say, was that i wanted to make a "home-made" hackintosh tutorial, like mom used to make. Because i went into this project almost blind, knowing only the basics of clover, and was so satisfying to finally figure it out.

I recommend creating a private personal guide/guides for your system or just in general. I did something like that and printed off the guides for reference. (Just in case of absolutely worst case scenario. )

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