The advantages of Unibeast vs. Yosemite Zone
Yosemite is a distro, which is a pirated copy of Mac OS X that has been modified to work with a PC. Distros are a popular Hackintosh alternative to Unibeast, a better-known installation tool which requires a retail copy of Mac OS X instead.
Niresh distro that we've covered previously on this website, except it has been updated to work with Apple's newest version of Mac OS X. Using Yosemite Zone instead of Unibeast offers a far share of advantages-- if you don't have any qualms with the legal issues regarding distros, they're actually the most convenient way to set up your Hackintosh:
- You don't need a real Mac. Unibeast is a Mac app, so you need to have an existing Mac OS X installation for it to work. This usually means that you either have to find a real Mac, or set up a Mac virtual machine. However, with Yosemite Zone, you can just set up everything from a Windows computer.
- The post-installation is easier. By default, Yosemite Zone will automatically install necessary Hackintosh-specific kexts and drivers for your computer when you boot your Mac OS X installation for the first time. Unibeast requires you to do this manually, using the Multibeast tool. While the post-installation in Yosemite Zone isn't perfect (you'll probably have to use Multibeast anyways), it's still a nice convenience.
- You can install it on a hard drive that already has Windows installed. By default, the Mac OS X installer will not work with hard drives that were originally formatted in Windows. Therefore, if your computer's hard drive already has Windows installed on it, you won't be able to install Mac OS X on there. Normally, you can bypass this limitation on Unibeast by applying the MBR patch; however, Yosemite Zone does this for you automatically, saving you one extra step.
- Yosemite Zone supports more hardware (including AMD). Normally, computers that use AMD processors are unsupported by Mac OS X. However, Yosemite Zone includes experimental "patched" kernels that may allow Mac OS X to work with these processors regardless.
Interested? Here are the requirements:
- An existing Windows computer/Mac/Hackintosh: This is the computer where you will download and set up Yosemite Zone. The computer can run either Windows or Mac OS X; both operating systems will work.
- A Hackintosh-compatible computer with an empty hard drive: This is the computer where you will install OS X Yosemite. It can be the same computer as the one mentioned in the previous point. If your computer already has Mac OS X installed, Yosemite Zone will just update OS X normally, without deleting any of your apps or files.
However, not every computer will work with Mac OS X. Be sure to read the Hackintosh compatibility guide very carefully, to check whether or not your computer qualifies. Also, Mac OS X needs its own hard drive partition-- a minimum of 10 GB of space is required, but at least 50 GB of space is recommended. It's preferred that you use a completely empty hard drive for this, but if your computer already has Windows installed on your hard drive, be sure to create an appropriate hard disk partition for OS X Yosemite beforehand (by following Step 1 of our guide to MBR partitions).
- Yosemite Zone 10.10.1 (Free): Yosemite Zone is a distro of OS X Yosemite that has been modified to work with PCs. You will need to use a bittorrent client to download the disk image file containing Yosemite Zone, which is a little less than 6 GB in size. You must register on the Hackintosh Zone website to be able to download anything.
- An empty USB drive (6 GB or larger): In this guide, you will write Yosemite Zone onto a USB drive, and boot your computer from that drive to install OS X Yosemite. The USB drive must be at least 6 GB in size. Since you will need to erase all of the files on the USB drive, make sure to back up its contents first. You can reuse this USB drive for normal stuff after you finish installing Yosemite.
- TransMac: ($48, 15-day free trial): If you're using a Windows computer to set up Yosemite Zone, you need to use TransMac to write the disk image file onto your USB drive. You can just download the free trial.
- Restore Yosemite.pkg: (Free): If you're using a Mac to set up Yosemite Zone, you need to Hackintosh Zone's special "Restore Yosemite" app to write the disk image file onto your USB drive. Again, you must register on the Hackintosh Zone website to be able to download anything.
- Multibeast (Free): Multibeast is a collection of kext files that your Hackintosh will need to run properly, after the initial installation. Be sure to download the newest version 7 of Multibeast, not the older versions 3, 4, 5, or 6 (which are for Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion, and Mavericks respectively).
1a. Create your Yosemite Zone USB drive (Mac)
Follow this step if you're setting up Niresh on a Mac or existing Hackintosh. Plug your USB drive into Mac OS X, and open Disk Utility (located in Applications->Utilities in your main hard drive). Select your USB drive in the sidebar of Disk Utility and erase the drive, with the "Format" set to "MS-DOS (FAT)". You can rename the drive any way you want.
Next, make sure that your Yosemite Zone disk image file is in the same folder as "Restore Yosemite.pkg". If "Restore Yosemite.pkg" is still in a ZIP file, double-click that file to unzip it.
Double click on "Restore Yosemite.pkg" to start the app. By default, the app will be aimed at your computer's main hard drive (mine is named "Super Panda" in the screenshot below). You do not want this-- instead, click through the installer until you reach the page with the "Change Install Location" button.
NOTE: "Restore Yosemite.pkg" is very glitchy. If you can't find the "Change Install Location" button on the first time that you run the app, restart your computer and re-run the app.
1b. Create your Yosemite Zone USB drive (Windows)
2. Set up the parts of your PC
I covered these steps in my Snow Leopard guide, but they're worth mentioning again:
- Unplug all USB-connected devices from your computer before you begin the setup (except your keyboard and mouse). A faulty external USB hard drive can cause your Hackintosh bootloader to give you EBIOS errors on startup.
- Open up your computer and unplug any extra internal hard drives that your computer has, besides the hard drive that you're installing OS X on. (Just unplug the hard drive SATA cables from your motherboard.)
- If possible, connect your monitor to the DVI port of your computer's graphics. The Mac OS X installer sometimes has problems with HDMI and VGA.
NOTE: If you're installing Mac OS X on a computer that already has Windows installed, you may have to enable AHCI for Windows beforehand. Otherwise, Windows won't boot afterwards. Also, after installing Mac OS X, you should also sync your clock on Windows with Mac OS X.
3. Set up your motherboard's BIOS
Essentially, the BIOS (or UEFI) is the settings page for your computer's motherboard. From here, you can fiddle with how your computer hardware works-- it's often necessary to change a few basic settings in the BIOS or UEFI to get Mac OS X up and running. The BIOS standard is generally used by motherboards from before 2012, while the UEFI standard is used by motherboards made after that.
Depending on the brand and standard used by your computer's motherboard, adjust your settings accordingly:
- If you own a Gigabyte motherboard with BIOS: Guide
- If you own a Gigabyte motherboard with UEFI: Guide
- If you own a non-Gigabyte motherboard with UEFI (from tonymacx86):
- To access BIOS/UEFI Setup, press and hold Delete on a USB Keyboard while the system is booting up.
- Load Optimized Defaults.
- Set USB drive to the highest boot priority.
- If your CPU supports VT-d, disable it.
- If your system has CFG-Lock, disable it.
- If your system has Secure Boot Mode, disable it.
- If your system has OS Type, set it to Other OS.
- Save and exit.
4. Boot into Yosemite Zone
Restart your Hackintosh, and plug in your Yosemite Zone USB drive. If things go well, your computer will boot from the USB drive instead of booting from your normal hard disk. You will then be able to view the Yosemite Zone menu.
At the Yosemite Zone menu, press the enter key (or return key) to start the OS X Yosemite installer. The installer screen will take several minutes to load. If you are trying to install OS X Yosemite on a computer using an AMD processor, you'll have to type the boot flag "/amd", "/amd32", "/amd64", or "/amdfx (without quotation marks)-- which flag you need depends on your specific processor, so test one flag a time.
typing any necessary boot flags before pressing the enter/return key. Check out our list of common boot flags and our guide to fixing boot problems with verbose mode for reference.
5. Install Yosemite
Once you've entered the OS X Yosemite installer, you will come up to a hard disk selection page. This is where you choose where you want to install Yosemite.
If you're installing Yosemite on a computer that has never been turned into a Hackintosh before (i.e. doesn't already have Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion, or Mavericks installed), there won't be any hard disk options to select. We'll have to fix that. To do this, start up Disk Utility, which is located under the Utilities menu in the top bar.
NOTE: Mac OS X cannot boot from a partition that's larger than 1 TB in size, so if you have a 2 TB hard drive, you will have to partition it.
On the installation page for Mac OSX, the hard disk/disk partition should now be showing up. Select it, and then click the "Customize" button on the bottom left. This is where using a distro becomes really useful: Yosemite Zone allows you to install extra Hackintosh drivers and kexts, straight from the OS X Yosemite installer. The "Customize" page essentially does the same thing as Multibeast, though the layout (and most of the names of the options) are different.
If you wish to install more, refer to our guide to Multibeast. Otherwise, you can figure out the rest in Step 7, where you'll actually set up your Hackintosh with Multibeast.
If your computer already has Mac OS X installed and you are simply updating it to Yosemite, you can just uncheck all of these options. Mac OS X treats Yosemite as just another update-- there's no need to reinstall all of your kexts and drivers.
6. Boot into Mac OS X
Once the installation finishes, remove your Yosemite Zone USB drive, and restart your computer. At the boot screen, you'll see an Apple icon for the hard drive where you installed Yosemite. Select it (use the arrow keys on your computer) and press "Enter".
type any necessary boot flags before pressing the enter/return key. Check out our list of common boot flags and our guide to fixing boot problems with verbose mode for reference.
Multibeast is a collection of kext files that you'll need to install for your Hackintoshes to have sound, internet, a high resolution screen, and more. Different Hackintosh builds require different Multibeast setups, though most setups are very similar. Find out what options you need to install by checking our Multibeast guide to OS X Yosemite.
To run Multibeast in OS X Yosemite, you may have to go the "Security" section of System Preferences in Mac OS X, go to the "General" section, and check "Anywhere" in the "Allow applications" section. After running Multibeast, you'll also probably want to change your BIOS settings back to normal (from Step 4).
our guide to updating your Hackintosh. Congratulations!