Thoughts On Building My Hackintosh

A Few weeks ago I bit the bullet and purchased around $1500 in computer parts.  I did this for a couple reasons, one to give me an edge in editing and to build a business with it.  The other is because I really like Apple’s operating system better than window’s and I wanted a nice machine that didn’t cost as much from Apple with the same specs.  So I went for it. I researched for a couple months and followed along with the newest hardware that was supposedly compatible with OSX Mountain Lion.  When I found a configuration that people said they weren’t having problems with I finally gave in.

The wait wasn’t long at all, I re-signed up for Amazon Prime since I get it half price for still being a student. I got everything except the motherboard from Amazon.  I got the motherboard from NewEgg, so the motherboard came a few days after everything else.  Once everything was delivered I laid aside most everything and started to put the pieces together. Unboxed the case, looked it over, removed the side panels and laid it on its side.  Unboxing everything was like a kid on Christmas morning, joy and excitement, but not about play toys, about a powerhouse waiting to be unleashed.  I took the motherboard out of its packaging, gently placed it into position and set the screws. Next the processor, then the graphics card, firewire card, and hard drives.  It took a while to do this as it was my first ever build.  Then finding the proper power connections on the motherboard for fans, case power and also the front ports took a while to to find as well.  But hooking up the power supply was a breeze as I have switched out a few on older machines.

Next was powering up and setting the BIOS to work to Mac standards. Not a problem, installing OSX from a USB drive, not a problem. I was impressed with what I was seeing.  Then I installed the drivers to make the ports and sound work. What happened after was great, I could hear music now and life seemed great… that is until I restarted the computer.  On the loading apple screen right after the circular loading indicator appeared my screen filled with text and needed to be shut off, it was a kernel panic. I didn’t know what to do, I thought it was from the drivers that I had loaded so I did what the next reasonable person would have done, I did a clean install.  After clean installing I went and tried different combinations of drivers, but each time I didn’t have success. I did over 20 clean installs.

Then I did more research and learned that all this could be avoided by changing the machine’s boot.plist file.  But you still had to install the drivers first and then change it on start up.  So you go into single user mode and type in code, unix code.  So I learned a little bit of unix, it’s like DOS and once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty easy. Went and changed a few values in the list and violá, it worked and booted up just fine.

Testing was fun and now I know that my machine has a little personality, external drives have to be connected to the computer before booting up, otherwise the computer won’t recognize them and will freeze.  Kinda annoying but oh well, youtube and flash based web players will flicker really bad unless it is in fullscreen mode, that’s even more annoying.  Now I don’t care anymore because it wasn’t really made for browsing, it was made for editing.  I have Adobe CS6 Production Premium working most perfectly, have a small issue with photoshop. Adobe is super fast and can handle a lot. I can’t seem to get Avid to work, but I hope I can figure out a solution someday.

So far, I love it, great functionality at a fraction of the price.

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