Explanation of downtime…

As many of you had noticed and wondered, the site was down for a while now… I had a series of unfortunate events that started with the corruption of a single disk in my server’s zpool a month ago. I didn’t have the time or feel any sense of urgency to replace it then so I just made sure everything was backed up and kept going with a degraded pool for a couple of weeks, planning to fix it later.

Then a second disk went… All was lost. The real panic set in when I couldn’t get my workstation to load my other zpool either (kernel panic on zfs kext), and I had used my external backup drive in a futile attempt to recover the server’s pool a day earlier… I thought it was all over! Much to my relief that problem turned out to be OS corruption rather than any problems with that pool… All of this stems from the high heat and humidity we’ve been having here, I’ll have to be a little less stingy with the A/C. On the bright side it gave me an excuse to clean up, organize, and take care of alot of other systems administrative tasks which I had been putting off.

So the server is in working order again now, and what spare time I’ve had from work that was not absorbed by this mess has gone into myhack 4, which I hope to release around the time that 10.10 GM is available. Truly sorry for the panic this may have caused and for not explaining it on the forums/facebook/twitter/etc, but I was more focused on getting it fixed with what time I had to do it rather than checking social media.

Donations toward the drive replacement fund would be greatly appreciated and well utilized! If I have enough redundant spares on hand I can ensure this does not happen again in the future.

Server Replacement

I am sure that many of you have noticed that the myhack server had been a bit unreliable lately, online, offline, online, offline, etc… The server which had so faithfully powered the site for the last few years was on it’s last legs and the stability toward the end there left much to be desired.

So early in the week I ordered some replacement hardware, all enterprise grade – Intel Xeon, ECC ram, etc. I also decided to abandon my own linux based OS, which evolved from a stateless lfs (linux from scratch) concept I’ve been dabbling in here and there since about 2001… Though I may still use it for other things I have decided to migrate my server to the emerging gold standard for web hosting – illumosĀ (the kernel forked from what was previously open solaris). So now I have my own little DIY elastic cloud sitting here on a zfs array.

The server may be offline here and there over the coming days as I am still working on provisioning all the services the way I would like them to be, but the best news which I am going to announce now:

A new domain and website has been in development for the last few weeks and will be launched, along with myHack v4 alpha release (which has been in development since last november), hopefully before the end of this month!

Stay tuned.

 

About the myHack forum.

It is no secret that the myHack forum has been ruined by spammers over the past few months. I had taken steps to resolve the problem but it was inadequate. The larger issue is that I do not have the time required to single handedly manage the forum properly but it is of importance to me to provide adequate support to myHack users. To that end I have decided to merge the myHack forum with my good friends at OSXLatitude. We have been working closely together for the last year to deliver solutions which benefit both myHack users and their own users and it is a logical progression of our cooperative efforts to bring simplified hackintosh methods to the masses.

The merge will happen over the next 24 hours, during which period both the myHack forums and the OSXLatitude forums will be offline temporarily. Stay tuned.

UPDATE:

Merge complete! I’d like to thank the rest of the OSXLatitude crew for the work they did during the merge, that was a lot of spam to handle… Sheesh.

All of you with an account should have gotten an email from them, your existing accounts should still work, if not, create a new one. We look forward to seeing you there! :)

Spammer woes and email failures.

I’ve had a long term problem with spammers on this site, it’s been kept in check to a large degree by the use of captcha and user introduction threads on the forum. These measures keep spammers from being able to actively post on the website with great success, the problem lies in the constant bombardment of spammers attempting to sign up for the forums. Though they do not make it past the account activation step and thus the forum is kept free of spam, their constant signups caused a massive load of activation emails to be sent out from the system to known spam accounts and dead email accounts.

This prompted google to deactivate several of my gmail accounts, and I have been unable to get them to reactivate them.

So since about 2 weeks ago no activation emails, or any other email for that matter, has been able to be sent out of my system. I have spent the last few days resolving the issue by establishing my own mail server.

I have resent activation emails to anyone who signed up for the forums in the last 2 weeks, my apologies to anyone who was unable to get into the forums during that time, I wanted to resolve this problem sooner but I simply did not have the time to do so until now.

Unfortunately the situation with people signing up at these rates may lead to my own mail server being blacklisted and marked as a possible source of spam by several mail hosts, as I have already seen aol’s mail servers do. Sadly this is the situation we are all faced with due to these shady practices that spammers utilize in their vain attempt to get people to buy products despite the practically criminal methods they employ in their ‘marketing’.

My new hackintosh…

Well I finally got the insurance pay out for my busted up i7 920 system. I could have gone LGA2011 but I don’t really need it so I opted to go for an Ivy Bridge system instead.

  • Mainboard: GA-Z77X-UD5H (Would have liked to get GA-Z77X-UP5 TH but don’t really need thunderbolt, and none were available in Korea yet)
  • Memory: 16GB (4x 4GB) Samsung DDR3 1600Mhz
  • CPU: i7 3770K
  • Case: Fractal Design Define R3 USB3 – Arctic White

I was able to salvage the 700 watt PSU from my old tower, and I had removed all the HDD’s prior to allowing the movers to take the computer so those were safe. I also had an HD6870 that wasn’t in the system at the time (had been using a 9800GTX+ because it had 2 dual link DVI outputs and the HD6870 only has one) so those are the other components in the new system.

I have to say, I’ve done, or helped with, many many many many hackintosh builds. This was by far the easiest one I’ve ever done. Installed OS X 10.8 with myHack 3.1.2.

Almost everything worked OOB except for ethernet, audio, and power management. (Even USB3 worked OOB)

The DSDT only had 3 errors from some funny gigabyte bios developers (I am running F8 bios currently) – for example one device entry was supposed to be a hex value but they put in ABCDEFGH – lol – lazy devs. Aside from fixing the errors, the only things I added to the dsdt were a basic HDEF patch and the DGTP method. Took less than 5 minutes total.

For power management I simply binpatched AppleIntelCPUPowerManagement.kext by doing the following from a terminal:

  • sudo cp -R /System/Library/Extensions/AppleIntelCPUPowerManagement.kext /Extra/Extensions/
  • sudo perl -pi -e ‘s|\xE2\x00\x00\x00\x0F\x30|\xE2\x00\x00\x00\x90\x90|g’ /Extra/Extensions/AppleIntelCPUPowerManagement.kext/Contents/MacOS/AppleIntelCPUPowerManagement
  • sudo rm -Rf /Extra/Extensions/NullCPUPowerManagement.kext
  • myfix -t / -q

This is the exact method I used on my notebook as well, it appears to work on all Sandy/Ivy bridge processors – so much easier than screwing with SSDT’s (thanks aschar for taking the time to look up the binpatch and send it to me, as I had forgotten).

For ethernet (this board has two) I used the following extensions:

  • AppleIntelE1000e.kext
  • AtherosL1cEthernet.kext (with my devid added)

A quick myfix again, and both ethernet devices showed up in the networking preference pane, brilliant.

The only thing that doesn’t work quite right at this point is the Audio. I have a patched AppleHDA.kext for the ALC898 living in /Extra/Extensions, but the pin config is a bit off (I get headphones and two line out outputs), and it makes this popping sound before playback begins if it’s sat mute for a few minutes (i’ve heard other’s complain of this in the past but I never had the problem with my ALC889 or Intel IDT audio chips). But hey, it’s working and I spent less than 30 minutes on the whole post install job so I can’t complain.