Updating the Hackintosh BIOS

Updating the Hackintosh BIOS

Gigabyte

Hey All!

Well, bit of a slow day today, so I thought I’d take the time to do a quick summary on the importance of updating your BIOS on your hackintosh system.

If you’ve followed [read: skimmed] the guides here than you already know that we are a fan of updating the BIOS for your motherboards. The BIOS is boot firmware, designed to be the first code run by a PC when powered on. The initial function of the BIOS is to identify, test, and initialize system devices such as the video display card, hard disk, and floppy disk and other hardware. If all that sounds important, well, it’s because it is important.

bios

Some Background:

Just like software and firmware upgrades and patches, so too motherboard developers release updated BIOS packages for their hardware. Often times, this increases both the reliability and compatibility of the onboard hardware, but it can also be used to add new or enhanced features. Upgrading your BIOS puts you a step ahead and allows you to much more easily troubleshoot problems that come up during a hackintosh install.

Each motherboard vendor has their own website where these upgrades are made available for download. The process has become much easier than in previous years to upgrade your BIOS whether you already have a working system or are putting one together for the first time. In the rest of this article, we’re going to focus on the Gigabyte motherboards as that is where our experience lies and the boards we recommend for building your own hackintosh.

What you’ll need:

  1. A computer with a windows install (virtual or otherwise)
  2. A blank thumb drive (formatted to FAT32)
  3. “Boot from USB Device” enabled in your BIOS Settings

One of the first issues you’ll run into when trying to update your BIOS is that in order to use the file you’ll most likely need a Windows machine. These boards are, after all, not sanctioned specifically by Apple so the vendors have little reason to create an installer that is mac compatible. You can download the installer using any machine, but in order to unpack the install (commonly to a flash drive) you’ll need to have Windows. If you have virtual windows install or boot camp install of windows this will work as well.

Once the file is downloaded open it on your windows machine and use the installer to copy the extracted file directly onto your blank, formatted thumb drive.

Next, plug the thumb drive into a USB port on your hackintosh and boot up your hackintosh.  If you’ve already changed your BIOS settings to check for a bootable USB on a Gigabyte board, you’ll notice it load up a utility called QFlash which can walk you through the BIOS Upgrade.  Alternatively, you should be able to press F12 (or something similar) during the Gigabyte Flash Screen and go into your BIOS and find the QFlash Utility there (From the BIOS Menu, I believe you press F8).

After the upgrade is complete, you can remove the thumb drive and boot up like normal.  You can check your BIOS version by

Motherboard BIOS download links:

Recommended for Core2Quad Systems:

Gigabyte GA-EP-45T-UD3P (includes faster memory speed)

Gigabyte GA-EP-45-UD3R

Recommended for Core i7 Systems:

Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD5

Gigabyte GA-EX58-Extreme

Other Popular Motherboard Vendor sites:

ASUS

Intel

Gigabyte

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  1. John Foley Says:

    When I originally built my system using the GA-EX58-UD5, I could see a SATA disk drive in the Standard BIOS, but since I have modified the BIOS settings as suggested by the video, I ca no longer find a SATA drive and I am getting nowhere FAST.
    After setting the Integrated Peripherals SATA RAID/AHCI mode to AHCI, I believe the drive is not sensed. I get a flashing message about the AHCI drivers being missing?????
    I checked the Gigabyte.us web site for BIOS updates for the EX58-UD5 but it still indicates 1.0???

    I finally got the 12 step method to work but I had to go buy another copy of Leopard in then MAC Box Set as it needs to be 10.5.6 to work and mine was 10.5.(0)

    Any other thoughts on this problem?

  2. Updating Your Hackintosh Bios - Part 2 | Build Your Own Hackintosh Says:

    […] you read the previous post and updated your motherboard’s BIOS, then you’re well on your way, but before you can […]

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