Turning Your (cheap) Desktop Into a(n expensive) Mac Pro w/ OSX Mavericks

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If you’ve got about a thousand dollars but want a 3000 dollar Mac Pro, one good option is to hack an OSX installation into your desktop essentially turning it into a “Hackintosh.” Well, that’s easy! Not quite. Getting OSX to run seamlessly on a desktop machine is not as easy as getting Windows to run on a Mac (via BootCamp or other virtualization software like VMWare, VirtualBox or Parallels). There are only select hardware that work. So, if you already have a desktop, it may be a good idea to check out what hardware is compatible. And if you are planning on building one, make sure the parts you buy are compatible as well.

Here is a lost of compatible hardware (not exhaustive) that are confirmed to be working. As with installing Windows on a Mac, OSX too, can be installed within virtualized environment. However, this guide will cover installation on a clean HDD.

WARNING: Please check the link above to see if YOUR hardware is compatible before you proceed.

Before we begin, here is my hardware, which works flawlessly with OSX:

Intel (Haswell) i7-4770K 3.5 GHz Quad Core 8 MB CPU
ASUS Maximus VI Gene Motherboard
NZXT H2 ATX Mid-Tower
Kingston HyperX 3K 120 GB SATA III 2.5″ 6 GB/s SSD
Samsung 840 EVO 250 GB SATA III 2.5″ 6 GB/s SSD
Corsair CX750 Builder Series ATX 80 Plus Bronze
Corsair Vengeance 16 GB DDR3 1600 MHz PC3 12800 RAM
2 X nVidia GeForce GTX 660 Ti 3 GB
Focusrite Scarlet 2i2 Audio Interface
3 X AOC 24″ IPS Displays
—–
Microsoft Ergonomic 4000 Keyboard
Razer Death Adder Mouse

Required Hardware

MacBook/MacBook Pro/iMac/Mac Pro
USD Disk (at least 8 GB)

Required Downloads

Latest version of UniBeast from here.
Mavericks OSX from the App Store

1. Format USB and install UniBeast

Plug-in your USB Disk. In your Mac, open Disk Utility and select the USB Disk. Click on the “Partition” tab. Under “Partition Layout” select “1 Partition”. Enter a volume name, and choose “Mac Extended Journal” as the format.

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 9.00.51 PM

Click on “Options” and make sure “Master Boot Record” is selected.

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 9.01.29 PM

Then click “Apply” to begin formatting.

Once done, run UniBeast, and select the USB Disk you just formatted. Then from a list of OSX options, select “Mac App Store Mavericks – 10.9”.

UniBeast will then begin copying Mavericks installation file into your USB. It will say “Running package scripts…” and it will get stuck on about 80% for a good amount of time. Don’t panic, it is copying the ~6 GB installation file into your USB. It will eventually complete.

uni scripts

Your steps on the Mac are now done. Let’s move on to the desktop.

2. Make sure SATA mode is correct

On your BIOS settings, make sure SATA mode is “AHCI”. Also, enable USB to be #1 in boot device priority, or enable selection of boot device at boot (usually via F8 key).

3. Boot into UniBeast

Insert your USB into your desktop and restart to boot into the USB. You should see the UniBeast boot screen.

unibeast boot

Shortly following that, you will be greeting by OSX installation’s Welcome Screen.

InitialMavericksInstall

Follow the typical installation steps to complete Mavericks installation. Once complete, you will be required to restart your computer. Make sure you boot into the USB again.

Then select the OSX option from the UniBeast boot menu.

USB boot screen post-installation

After this, you should be gleefully greeting by OSX Mavericks!

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 9.07.23 PM

Troubleshooting

Everything just flawlessly worked with my hardware. I had to download the OSX drivers for my Focusrite, but that was it. This may not be the case for you. In that case, you will need to download MultiBeast to get the right drivers for your hardware. You can find the latest MultiBeast for Mavericks, here.

Also, in some occasions you may have to add additional boot flags if your UniBeast is not booting to OSX installation screen. Follow MacBreaker’s guides if you are stuck there.

Good luck!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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