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E6420 research thread


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Dell Latitude E6420 Specifications:

  • BIOS Version A08 (works for A06, A07 also)
  • Intel Core i7-2820QM 2.30GHz (Upgrade from i7-2620QM, also works)
  • 8GB DDR3 1333MHz 2 DIMMs
  • 1024MB NVIDIA NVS 4200M 14.0†HD+ (1600x900) Anti-Glare LED
  • TOSHIBA MK5056GSY 500GB 7200RPM (Also tried Seagate ST9320421ASG 7200RPM, and Samsung PM810 256GB SSD)
  • Dell Wireless Bluetooth 375
  • Intel 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet
  • Atheros AR5B95 Wireless Half mini-PCI card (Replaced the Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205)
  • Integrated HD video webcam
  • IDT Audio
  • HDMI
  • SD Card Reader

Hackintosh Reference Resource Links:

Dell Latitude E6420 Hackintosh Guide

  • Go to resource link 1 above to download the following items:

    i. unifail: so you can create a bootable USB flash
    ii. multifail: for post installation, drivers/patches etc

  • Follow the resource link 2 above: Make a fast enough 8GB USB Flash Drive with unifail and a Mac OS X Lion 10.7.2 (recommend purchasing a retail version, but you can also download one from BT), when done, you have a USB flash drive that you can boot and install Mac OS X Lion
  • Configure your E6420 BIOS (start the laptop and push F2 when Dell BIOS appears) to boot with SATA Hard Drive Setting to ACHI (this is the only way to make OS X recognize your hard drive), make sure USB Legacy is enabled under Boot selection so you can boot from USB flash.
  • Boot to unifail and install Mac OS X Lion on the Target drive.
  • When in Disk Utility, I make 2 partitions, one about 80-100GB for Time Machine backup (since I am using a 500GB hard drive, this will depend on how many backup you want to keep since it will overwrite old ones), the rest for system install, when ready you can start installation process, the advantage of doing so is your system will be doing fast backups. Of course you do not have to do this step if you are planning to backup to an external HD.
  • During installation the OS X could not recognize the keyboard on this laptop, so you will need to get a USB keyboard or a wireless keyboard ready when it is looking for your keyboard. Same thing will happened after reboot from the first installation. So make sure you have a keyboard ready for this.
  • Do not unplug USB Flash at first reboot, at boot prompt you will see option for unifail and MyLion (The name of your hard drive when you name it using Disk Utility at install), select MyLion this time
  • After system boots up you should get into Lion desktop, now you need to transfer your drivers for Atheros AR5B95 (IO80211Family.kext using resource link 5 above), VoodooBattery.kext (Use resource link 4 above) and most importantly – multifail, I am using version 4.2.1
  • Now you need to install multifail with options selected:
    • UserDSDT Install (if you have DSDT then place it on the desktop before running multifail)
    • System Utilities -> Repair Permissions
    • Drivers & Bootloaders -> Kexts & Enablers -> Audio -> Universal -> VoodooHDA
    • Drivers & Bootloaders -> Kexts & Enablers -> Graphics -> NVIDIA GF100 Fermi Patches -> OpenGL Enabler 10.7.2
    • Drivers & Bootloaders -> Kexts & Enablers -> Misellaneous -> FakeSMC, NullCPUPowerManagement, PS/2 Keyboard/Mice and Trackpads
    • Drivers & Bootloaders -> Kexts & Enablers -> Network -> hnak’s AppleIntelE1000e Ethernet
    • Customization -> Boot Options -> 64-bit Apple Boot Screen
    • Customization -> System Definitions -> Macbook Pro -> MacbookPro 8.1
    • Customization -> Themes -> tonycrap86 Classic
    • OSx86 Software -> Kext Utility
  • Now go ahead with the multifail install.
  • The system will freeze and you will have to manually reboot, at this time, you can unplug your USB flash and let the system boot to hard drive automatically
  • After reboot successful, (if you have 1600x900, you will see it now), you should see a speaker icon on the upper right hand corner, but not able to adjust volume (grey out), go to System Preference and to Sounds and change output to analog speaker, then you will see volume is adjustable now (Actually even though it response to the buttons, the volume does not change, you will not be able to mute the speakers; you will have to rely on the video player volumes). If you are using Ethernet with a cat5 network cable, it should be working now.
  • Your Bluetooth is working now, you should be able to connect to your Bluetooth mouse, laptop keyboard and trackpad/pointer is working, if they are not working, you can download PS/2 keyboard/mice and Trackpads that will work, the mouse dial is in a reverse direction, so you will need “Scroll Reverserâ€, I downloaded and run it in the background, multi-touch for the touchpad does not seems to be working, but I do not use it anyways. You may be able to use the Apple Magic Trackpad if you have one; multi-touch works with the Apple Magic Trackpad.
  • Now you can install VoodooBattery.kext and Atheros AR5B95 driver (IO80211Family.kext) and then reboot to take effect.
  • After reboot, you will see battery meter and wireless icon, you need to turn wireless off and then on at the first time to connect to your wireless network, once it’s connected, it will automatically reconnect after reboot.
  • I have found an E6420 package for post installation with dsdt.aml, smbios.plist and org.chameleon.Boot.plist using the resource link 3 above. Unzip E6420 pack and copy the following 3 files to /Extra directory on your system drive, and then restart.

    i. Dsdt.aml
    ]ii. Org.chameleon.Boot.plist
    iii. Smbios.plist

  • When all is said and done, only sleep, multi-touch (gesture), SD Card Reader, VGA/HDMI output does not work, and the sound volume control on the right hand side of the keyboard does not actually work, everything else worked just like a Macbook Pro if not better. I found two E6420 on eBay for around $645 to $699 with free shipping. They both come with 9 cell battery, 1600x9000 resolutions, 8GB RAM and Bluetooth. That’s only half of what you have to pay to get a Macbook Pro 15. All you need is to make sure it has a NVIDIA NVS 4200M graphic card and Bluetooth if you care. (I was not able to get this method to work on an E6420 with an Intel HD 3000 laptop. There is a post on the net that someone made it worked with OS X 10.6.8 though. Good luck if you are trying that way.)
  • The Atheros AR5B95 Wireless Half mini-PCI card is about $3 on eBay (may not be after people seeing this post…), or you can find an ASUS or Acer netbook and pull one out from it. I did.
  • I have updated the OS X to 10.7.3 and had to reinstall the IO80211Family.kext driver again. But everything worked fine afterwards. I heard reports about Safari crashing after upgrading to 10.7.3, but it did not affect the Hackintosh I guess since mine was still working just fine.
  • I tried pairing with Apple Magic Mouse and Apple Magic Trackpad, it worked with both of them. So if you are looking for Bluetooth solutions, they are 100% compatible.
  • I tried running 12 instances of HD video (avi, mov, and mp4) at the same time with my configuration. I did not see delay at all; this thing is true multi-tasking, Windows 7 could not do this for sure.
  • Have fun.
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Hi Stork.

Nice to see Your research on E6420. To be honest I was thinking about getting one but I've got E6400 1/3 the price so it was no brainier witch one to choose :)

I'm interested in DSDT differences. Dump clean DSDT.aml from linux and share.

Anyways good luck.

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This is not vanilla DSDT, but anyways I can see that it is a totally different structure comparing to my E6400. Your dsdt look like it was treated by some kind of auto patcher. Do speedstep, shutdown, restart works?

I encourage you to update your post and add more details/specs about your hardware, what kexts you are using etc. You can use my E6400 thread as a template. Keep up the good work.

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Hello, Is there anyway that I might be able to mail you a clean blank harddrive and you install it on your E6420 and mail it back to me? I have been trying to get this installed for the past 3 months :( I want to dual boot with Windows 7. Please send me a private message if we can work something out. I can offer payment as well, just not too much unfortunately.

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