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March 9, 2012

How to edit your own DSDT with DSDT Editor

DSDTs are configuration files that tell Mac OS X how to use your Hackintosh's motherboard, without the need for extra kexts and drivers. A DSDT will make it a lot easier to enable sleep mode on your Hackintosh, and it will also fix any bootup problems related to your CPU. The newest Gigabyte motherboards no longer require DSDT files. And older Gigabyte motherboards have DSDT files available in tonymacx86's DSDT database. However, if you own a non-Gigabyte motherboard, you usually have to make your own DSDT. Editing DSDTs is extremely complicated, but you can automate this editing process by applying a patch with DSDT Editor instead.

LATEST UPDATE (March 7, 2014): DSDT Editor has largely been superseded by MaciASL, a faster and more convenient app for patching DSDTs. Check out our improved DSDT editing guide with MaciASL instead!

  • DSDT Editor: Self-explanatory; this is a tool for editing DSDTs. You can make very advanced edits with DSDT Editor, but for this tutorial, we'll just be using the "Patch" function.

  • A Hackintosh with Mac OS X Snow Leopard or Lion installed: DSDT Editor is a Mac app, so you have to install Mac OS X on your Hackintosh beforehand. If your Hackintosh isn't fully set up yet, you can boot Mac OS X with iBoot, Unibeast, or some other temporary solution for now.

  • A patch for your Hackintosh's motherboard:  A patch is a text file that contains the necessary DSDT edits for your motherboard. Patches are motherboard-specific; a patch for one motherboard model won't work with any other motherboards. You can download a patch for your specific motherboard from (you need to register on to view and download the patches). 

In this tutorial, you will use DSDT Editor to extract an unedited DSDT straight from your Hackintosh's motherboard. Then, you will create a new, edited DSDT with the patch file that you downloaded.

In some ways, patching your own DSDT is more convenient than using a pre-edited DSDT from tonymacx86; unlike pre-edited DSDTs, patches will work with any BIOS version of your motherboard.

1. Open DSDT Editor, and go to File->'Extract DSDT' from the menu bar.

This will create an unedited copy of your motherboard's DSDT. If you get an error at this step, check /Extra in your main hard drive and make sure that there isn't already a file called "DSDT.aml" inside it. If so, delete that file, or move it somewhere else.

Once you've successfully extracted an unedited DSDT from your motherboard, go to the next step, where we edit the file by using a patch.

2. Go to Patch->Open from the menu bar. In the window that pops up, choose the patch that you downloaded from Olarila.

Another window (named "Patch") will pop up. Click "Apply" to apply the changes in the patch to your unedited DSDT.

3. Go to IASL->Compile. This will create a new DSDT that includes the edits in the patch, and it checks that file for errors. If everything went right, you should get 0 errors.

4. Go to IASL->'Save AML as'. A save window will pop up. Name your new DSDT as "DSDT.aml", and save the file in /Extra of your hard drive.

Once you've saved your DSDT to /Extra, you're done. Reboot, and your Hackintosh will now be running with a DSDT. Congratulations!