I'm planning to tinker with my laptop since I won't be doing architecture anymore. I bought this laptop the summer after I finished the college entrance exam, and being young and naive, I ended up buying a business laptop. As we all know, business laptops equal poor performance and high prices. So, in my second year, after building a desktop, I installed Fedora on the laptop, and it has been gathering dust ever since. A few days ago, during a Fedora upgrade, it crashed. However, I'm going abroad for studies in September, and I still need to use the laptop. My plan is to install Windows 10 LTSC, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, and macOS Mojave as three operating systems, replace the HDD with an SSD, and upgrade the network card.
This post was translated from my Chinese blog post with the aid of ChatGpt.
As usual, let’s start with the specifications:
Model: Acer TravelMate P645-SG
CPU: Intel Core i7-5500U (2.4GHz/2C4T) (A rather subpar one)
GPU: NVIDIA 840M 2G (Planning to remove the discrete graphics card for improved performance)
Memory: 8GB DDR3L 1600MHz
SSD: Jumper L8T 128GB mSATA interface
HDD: Western Digital 500GB 5400RPM Blue
Network Card: Intel 7265NGW
Now, for the hardware upgrades:
Network Card: Replacing it with DW1560 for better compatibility with Hackintosh, costing around 330 CNY on Taobao.
Hard Drive: Replacing the mechanical hard drive with a Samsung 860 EVO 500GB, priced at 559 CNY on JD.com.
Memory: Still contemplating this one, planning to upgrade the 4GB slot to 8GB.
I have to admit, I’ve opened up my computer four or five times these past few days, and I’ve worn out quite a few screws. Below is a teardown image. The red box marks the location of the network card, which I’ve already removed. The green box is for the memory, and the yellow box is the new SSD I’ve installed.
I must have been quite out of my mind back then. I chose to study architecture, and even my choice of laptop was peculiar. I ended up with a 5th generation low-voltage CPU paired with an 8th series discrete GPU. The only advantage seemed to be the long battery life.
The original Intel network card is, of course, incompatible, so I needed to purchase a network card that’s compatible with Hackintosh from a certain online marketplace. Before buying, make sure to check the interface and card length, which is usually
ngff for these small cards.
When installing, disconnect the original antenna interface by prying it open with your fingernail. Then, replace it with the new one and reconnect the antenna.
I encountered a small issue with the DW1560 on my laptop - Bluetooth wasn’t working. None of the three systems could detect any Bluetooth devices. After some research, I found that it was necessary to block two identification pins on the back. The simplest and most straightforward method is to use tape to cover these two pins, as shown in the image below.
You need to block the two pins on the right side within the red circle. It’s best for those of us who are a bit clumsy to use tweezers for this task. Be careful not to cover the two pins on the left side. After blocking, the BIOS self-check time may be slightly longer, but it’s not a significant issue.
This old laptop only has one MSATA and one SATA3 interface, so I can’t use M.2, which is quite frustrating. I removed the original 500GB hard drive and put it in an external hard drive enclosure. Although the speed is not great, it’s still usable. I’ve partitioned it for macOS as a backup.
This laptop has 4GB of onboard memory plus a 4GB slot, making memory upgrades quite challenging. The only option is to go for an unbalanced 4GB + 8GB configuration, which is a bit of a nightmare for perfectionists like me. So, I’ve put that upgrade on hold for now. I’ll consider it if I run into memory issues later on.
First, I installed LTSC on the 128GB SSD. I chose it mainly to increase battery life a bit and save disk space.
You can download Win10 image files from the
MSDN, I Tell You website. Here’s the link:
Find the corresponding version in the left-hand operating system section, and then you can download it. These are
ed2k links, so it’s recommended to use a download manager like Thunder (if available). If you have the capability, consider supporting the website owner; maintaining it for over a decade is no small feat.
Win10 image files are getting larger, and the
install.wim file for 1903 is already over 4GB. Therefore, it’s better to use UltraISO to burn it. In the past, when
install.wim was less than 4GB, you could directly extract the ISO to a USB drive.
For the Old Tan Sauerkraut’s image, there are no files larger than 4GB. So, get an 8GB or larger USB drive and extract the image directly onto it.
This is the process for creating a 1903 bootable USB drive. Skip this if you’re installing LTSC.
- Insert your USB drive.
- Run UltraISO as an administrator.
- Go to
- In the pop-up window, locate your ISO file, and click
Write Disk Image.
- In the pop-up window, select your USB drive.
- Use the default writing method
- Plug in the bootable USB drive and then boot the computer while repeatedly pressing
F2to enter the BIOS.
- Set the USB drive as the first boot option.
- Save and exit the BIOS.
- After a while, the system will enter the language selection screen. Usually, the default is fine, so click
F10to open the terminal.
diskpartto open disk management.
list diskto list the hard drives.
- Find the number of the target installation disk and type
select disk [number]and press Enter.
cleanand press Enter.
convert gptto convert the disk to GPT format.
- Accept the terms and click
- Select the target disk and click
- When restarting, remove the bootable USB drive.
- The rest is straightforward, just click
Nextuntil it’s finished.
LTSC doesn’t have digital rights activation (even though LTSB did; it’s frustrating that they removed it in the new versions). So, you need to use
Right-click on the Windows logo in the start menu and run
PowerShell as an administrator. Then enter the following commands one by one:
slmgr -ipk M7XTQ-FN8P6-TTKYV-9D4CC-J462D
A dialog box will appear during the process; just click
OK for all of them.
The remaining process is installing software. I’ve summarized some useful software in another article. Here’s the link:Link
You can download Ubuntu’s image file from the official website. Here’s the link:Link
You can create a bootable USB drive for Ubuntu using software. However, if you prefer a quicker method, you can simply extract the ISO image directly onto a USB drive. Then, add the EFI boot option corresponding to the USB drive in the BIOS settings to start the installation.
Install Ubuntuand press Enter to begin the installation.
- Choose your language and keyboard layout.
- Opt for
Minimal installationto save time.
- Whether to
Download updates while installing Ubuntuis optional; you can choose according to your preference.
- Locate the target disk for Ubuntu installation.
- Click the
+in the lower left corner to create partitions. You can choose from various partitioning methods. I created three partitions:
- The first is the
EFI system partition,with a size of 512MB.
- The second is
Swap space,which is the same size as your actual RAM. I allocated 8192MB, which is 8GB.
- The third is the primary partition mounted at
/and formatted with the
Ext4 journaling file system.The size can vary depending on your needs; I allocated 160GB.
- The first is the
- After partitioning, select the
EFIpartition and click
- Choose your time zone and create a username and password.
- Once the installation is complete, you’ll be prompted to restart.
After restarting, you might find that your system boots directly into Windows because Ubuntu hasn’t added the bootloader. To fix this, you can add the Grub EFI boot option in your BIOS settings. Set it as the primary boot option so that Ubuntu and Windows can coexist.
The last and most challenging part of this project is setting up a Hackintosh (macOS on non-Apple hardware). It took me several days and quite a few detours, but I opted for the
Vanilla installation approach.
The process of creating the installation drive is quite complex and beyond the scope of this document. I recommend following the Vanilla Laptop Guide. I only discovered this website when I was fixing sleep-related issues towards the end of my journey. If I had found it earlier, I could have saved myself a lot of trouble.
Here’s a brief summary of my experience, but please note that I strongly recommend following the guide mentioned above:
My Hackintosh Setup:
- Success Rate: 95% working perfectly.
- Features Not Tested: SD card reader and external video output (HDMI and VGA).
Drivers and Features:
|CPU Power Management
|SD Card Reader
Below is a detailed account of my troubleshooting journey. If you want to skip it, click the link below:Skip to the EFI section
Below is a summary of my rather convoluted journey in creating the installation drive, provided for reference. Please note that some details might be a bit fuzzy as I had a simpler experience when creating the second Hackintosh on another machine.
Initially, I attempted to create the installation drive on Windows using gibMacOS. This method relies on restoring an image, which means you have to download the installation image online during the installation process. Unfortunately, my network card wasn’t functioning properly, which led to an awkward situation.
Next, I scoured the internet for tutorials and, in a state of slight panic, picked one to follow step by step. However, I ended up creating a PE (Preinstallation Environment) drive instead. I thought to myself, “Wait, this image is supposed to be Mojave 10.14.6, right?”
I then downloaded the official Mojave image from Apple, burned it to a USB drive, added the EFI partition with Clover, and replaced the plist with a Vanilla one. However, when I booted up, the
Install macOSoption was mysteriously missing, leaving me in another predicament.
Here’s how I eventually resolved it: I replaced the entire EFI partition from the last installation with the EFI partition created in Windows during my first attempt. Afterward, I replaced the plist file with the Vanilla one. It sounds rather foolish, but it worked.
You can obtain the original image using the
macOS Mojave Patcher Tool.
Once you’ve downloaded the tool, open it, and from the top menu, select
Download macOS Mojave.
For this step, I used the software called
DiskMaker X 8 for MacOS Mojave.
Please make sure not to download the latest version, as it’s intended for Catalina.
- After downloading the software, open it. It may prompt you to update, but you can select
Not now, thanks.
Select a macOS Installation Appand locate the installation image you downloaded in the previous step. Click
An 8 GB USB thumb drive (ERASE ALL DISL).
- Choose your USB drive, then click
Choose this disk.
- It will ask for your password, and after a short wait, it will notify you that the installation disk has been created.
For this step, you’ll need to use the
Clover EFI bootloader.
Download and install Clover. During installation, select
Customize in the
Installation Type section and choose your USB drive as the installation location.
- Only install the UEFI version.
- Install Clover to the EFI system partition.
UEFI Drivers,select the following three options:
For some reason, the installation disk I created this way didn’t allow me to access the installation page. So, I copied the EFI folder created during my initial gibMacOS attempt and replaced the original EFI folder on the USB drive.
In this step, you’ll need to find the
config.plist file corresponding to your CPU model and replace the existing
config.plist in your EFI folder. Skilled individuals on Github have already created appropriate files based on CPU generations. Make sure to set the model to
Here’s an explanation of CPU codenames:
- CoffeeLake: 8th generation CPU
- Haswell: 4th generation CPU
- Ivy Bridge: 3rd generation CPU
- KabyLake: 7th generation CPU
- Skylake: 6th generation CPU
Yes, there’s a gap there, and my 5th generation Broadwell CPU doesn’t have its specific category. So, I used the 4th generation files, as the 5th generation is essentially a minor upgrade of the 4th generation and works similarly.
Since Github doesn’t have a direct download button, you’ll need to click on the file you want, then click on
Raw at the top of the page, and right-click to
Save As to download the
Kexts are similar to drivers and are necessary to drive your hardware. You’ll need the following files:
- VirtualSMC.kext - The core kext; the downloaded zip file includes several companion kexts that should also be used.
- Lilu.kext - Consider this as something like a runtime library.
- WhateverGreen.kext - Graphics card patch.
- VoodooPS2.kext - Driver for keyboard and touchpad.
- AppleALC.kext - Sound card patch.
- IntelMausiEthernet.kext - Ethernet card patch.
- AirportBrcmFixup.kext - Wireless patch.
- BrcmFirmwareData.kext - Wireless card patch.
- BrcmPatchRAM2.kext - Comes in the same package as the previous one.
- FakePCIID.kext - PCI patch.
- FakePCIID_Broadcom_WiFi.kext - Comes in the same package as the previous one.
Place these files in the
I’ve already covered part of the installation process in a previous blog post. Here’s a copy-paste of that information.
- Boot into the BIOS (shortcut key is F2) and reset all settings to default.
Secure bootand save the changes.
- Reboot and enter the BIOS again. Set the
Boot Devicepreference to your USB drive.
- When booting from the USB drive, you’ll enter the Clover menu. Select
Boot macOS Install from OS X Base Systemand press Enter. Clover will display verbose mode by default, showing the status as it scrolls on the screen. Once it’s done, the macOS installation program will appear, and you’ll see the language selection menu.
Before installing macOS, you need to format the target disk.
- Click the drop-down menu at the top left corner and choose
Show All Devices.
Eraseat the top.
- Select the hard drive where you want to install macOS, and configure it as follows:
- Name: (Choose a name for your hard drive)
- Format: Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
- Scheme: GUID Partition Map
Eraseat the bottom right.
Install macOSand click
- Choose the disk where you want to install macOS.
- Wait for about ten minutes. After the installation is complete, your computer will automatically restart.
After rebooting, choose the USB drive boot again, enter Clover, and select
Boot macOS from [Your Hard Drive Name]. Wait for Clover’s verbose mode to finish, and you’ll arrive at the welcome page. Choose your country and keyboard layout, and then:
- Transfer Information to This Mac: Choose
Don't transfer any information now.
- Apple ID: You can skip this for now. You might need to modify your model later, and after that, you’ll need to log in again.
- Terms and Conditions: Agree to all.
- Express Set Up: Choose
Customize settingsand uncheck everything in
Analyticsto prevent macOS from analyzing your system.
Wait for a while, and you can access the macOS system.
We still need to boot from the installation USB drive for this step. We will copy the EFI files from the USB drive to the boot drive so that you won’t need the USB drive anymore. First, download the following two software:
Download and install Clover EFI bootloader. Proceed with the installation, and when you reach the
Installation Type section, choose the following settings:
- Install Clover for UEFI booting only
- Install Clover to the EFI partition
- In the
UEFI Driverssection, select the following three options:
- Install RC Scripts to the target volume
- Download, install, and open Clover Configurator.
- In the left-hand menu, click on
- Find the hard drive where macOS is installed on the bottom right and click
Mount Partitionnext to it.
Open Partitionto open the EFI folder.
- Open the
EFIfolder on the installation USB drive and copy its contents to the folder opened in the previous step.
- If prompted about duplicate files, click
Now, you can restart your computer and enter the BIOS to change the preferred boot option to Clover. You can remove the USB drive at this point.
Some drivers can be installed using
Clover Configurator. In the
Install Drivers section under
UEFI Drivers, check the following options. Note that it’s not entirely certain which ones are essential:
The following steps require the use of “Hackintool” for configuration.Link
You have already installed the AppleALC audio driver, but there is no sound yet. Follow these steps:
- Click on
- In the
Layout IDbelow, choose a numeric value. In your case, you chose 127.
- Click on
- In the
Generalsection, check the following:
- Device Properties
- Automatically Detect Changes
- In the
Advancedsection, check the following:
- DVMT Pre-Allocated 32MB
- Disable eGPU
- Map DP to HDMI
- Fake ID
- VRAM 2048MB
- Enable HDMI 2.0 (4K)
- USB Port Limit
- Click on
- Select your display.
Inject EDID,choose the appropriate aspect ratio and resolution.
- Click the plus sign below.
- Click the export button in the lower right corner.
- Copy the generated kext file to the
File in the top menu, choose
Export Config.plist to replace the file in the EFI partition, and then restart.
USB is closely related to sleep functionality, and many sleep-related issues are caused by USB. USB needs to be customized using Hackintool.
- First, open the Clover Configurator and apply the patch that removes the USB port limit; the relevant patches will be marked in the comments.
- Open Hackintool, click on USB, and you will see that connected ports are displayed in green.
- Prepare a USB 3.0 flash drive and a USB 2.0 device like a keyboard or mouse, and open Notepad.
- Plug the laptop’s USB ports with both 2.0 and 3.0 devices, and note down their corresponding names.
- If there is a Type-C port, insert the device in both orientations; if the port remains unchanged, it is Type-C+sw; otherwise, it is Type-C.
- Select the connector type based on your records. Choose
Internalfor unrecorded ports.
- Select the ports that haven’t turned green and click the minus sign to remove them.
- Ensure that the number of ports is less than or equal to 15, with USB 3.0 ports counted as two.
- Click the export icon in the lower right corner.
- Place the generated SSDT file in the
- Put the generated USBport.kext into the
- Go back to Clover Configurator and disable the USB port limit removal patch in kernel and driver patches.
- Restart your computer.
The following settings require the use of SSDT, so first download maciASL.Link
There are two methods to adjust brightness. The first one is to enable PLNF in Clover Configurator, which is simple but conflicts with battery management. Therefore, it is recommended to use the SSDT method. Download the SSDT file from the link below and place it in the
After restarting, you will see a brightness slider in the system preferences. However, you won’t be able to adjust the screen brightness using the keyboard shortcuts. To set up keyboard shortcuts for brightness adjustment:
- Open System Preferences.
- Go to Keyboard > Shortcuts.
- Click on Display.
- Set up shortcuts for
Decrease Display Brightnessand
Increase Display Brightnesswithout conflicting with other shortcuts.
CPU-related issues primarily concern frequency scaling. Without patches, the CPU remains in turbo mode, consuming more power. To address this, you can use ssdtPRGen.
Follow these steps:
- Open Terminal.
- Run the following command to download the script:
curl -o ~/ssdtPRGen.sh https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Piker-Alpha/ssdtPRGen.sh/Beta/ssdtPRGen.sh
- Give execute permission to the script with:
chmod +x ~/ssdtPRGen.sh
- Run the script and follow the prompts to generate an SSDT file.
- Place the generated SSDT file in the
- Restart your computer.
You can check if the CPU is properly frequency scaling by installing software like Intel Power Gadget.
With these configurations, your Hackintosh should be close to perfect. Sign in with your Apple ID and complete the remaining settings.
Download and extract the EFI folder. You will need to customize it with your specific hardware details using Clover Configurator.Acer TravelMate P645-SG
After downloading, enter the BIOS settings and set Clover as the default bootloader to enjoy using all three systems.
If you’re not a fan of Ubuntu’s default theme, you can easily customize it. Open the terminal and install the necessary plugin with the following command:
sudo apt install chrome-gnome-shell
I recommend using the
To install it, open the terminal and run:
sudo apt install arc-theme
Once installed, open
Settings and set the Arc theme for both
After changing the theme, you may want to change the icons as well. I recommend the
Papirus icon theme.
To install Papirus icons, open the terminal and run these commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:papirus/papirus
Once installed, open
Settings and set the
Icon theme to Papirus.
For a transparent terminal, open the terminal and go to
Profile Preferences. Select your profile and click on the
Colors tab. Check the box that says
Use transparent background.
After installing all three systems, you may notice that the time in Windows 10 is incorrect, possibly 8 hours behind. This is because Windows 10 uses local time in the BIOS, while macOS and Linux use UTC time. To adjust this, follow these steps:
Win+Rto open the Run dialog.
regeditand press Enter to open the Registry Editor.
- Navigate to
- Right-click and create a new
- Set the value of
- Restart your computer.
With these adjustments, your systems should be well-configured. Enjoy it!