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October 21, 2014

How to set up the BIOS of your Hackintosh's Gigabyte motherboard

If you own an old computer that you want to turn into a Hackintosh, you'll probably have to fiddle with its BIOS, which is basically a traditional-style settings page for your motherboard. Since 2012, the BIOS standard has largely been replaced by UEFI, a newer (and better-looking) interface for managing motherboard settings. However, we believe that enough Hackintoshes these days still use BIOS to warrant a guide for it. Gigabyte motherboards have traditionally been the most widely recommended brand for Hackintoshes, so that's what we'll be covering in this tutorial.

Not sure whether your computer's Gigabyte-brand motherboard uses BIOS or UEFI? Here's a quick guide to differentiating between the two: the interface of BIOS is usually monochrome and entirely text-based. Meanwhile, the interface of UEFI usually has pictures, and allows you to use your mouse pointer. If your Gigabyte motherboard uses UEFI, check out our UEFI settings guide instead.

To enter the BIOS on my own computer's Gigabyte P67A-D3-B3 motherboard, I have to press the delete key when it boots (before the operating system starts). Different manufacturers set different keys for opening the BIOS.

If your Hackintosh already has Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Lion, or Mountain Lion installed, the only thing you'll need to change in the BIOS is the "Boot Device", so that USB drives have highest priority.

If your Hackintosh doesn't have any version of Mac OS X installed yet, you have to change a few extra BIOS settings. Before starting, reset all of your BIOS settings to their factory defaults. On Gigabyte motherboards, you can reset your BIOS settings to their default by selecting "Load Optimized Defaults" on the main page of the BIOS. Once your BIOS is running on its defaults, you need to change these three settings:

Boot Device - Change the boot device of your computer so that "USB-HDD" is first. You need to do this for Unibeast to work. After you finish installing Mac OS X, you should change this setting back to default, so that "Hard Disk" is the first boot device (this optional, but it will speed up your boot times).

HPET - Change this to 64-bit.

SATA Control Mode (your BIOS might call this a different name) - This will probably already be set to "SATA", "IDE", or "RAID". Change it to "AHCI". Mac OS X only works with AHCI.

Keep in mind that the BIOS on most motherboards do not support using a mouse, so you'll probably have to navigate through the BIOS with the arrow keys on your keyboard. Press "Enter" to change a selected option in the BIOS. On my Gigabyte motherboard, I have to press F10 to save my changes.