Others may disagree, of course, but I’m only referring to this one particular situation right now.

A week ago I purchased an HP Elite 8300 to use as a Hackintosh, choosing this model because of its well-known compatibility for such a project. I tried for several days to get it to boot, only to get a circle with a slash through it no matter what I did. Admitting defeat, I took it down to the home of a guy who is known for building Hackintoshes, especially ones using this hardware.

Well, after three hours we had to admit defeat, and neither of us are the type to do that. No amount of setting changes and hardware swaps would make this thing boot OS X. Different memory, different boot USB sticks, different hard drives, different video cards - nothing. We used the hardware out of his known good working 8300 but it didn’t make a damn bit of difference. At this point I wonder if I was sold a dud, but it does seem to run Windows just fine. I was a little concerned about the RAM, particularly since it came with one stick of regular and one stick of low-voltage memory, but the memory swap proved that this was irrelevant.

At this point I think I should run some serious diagnostic software on this machine to see if there are some bad components that I’m not aware of. Does anyone have recommendations as to what program to use? Right now I don’t know if it’s a problem with the motherboard or the CPU, but everything seems to be operating normally when used as a Windows machine.

If all of the hardware checks out I may just have to buy a different motherboard and try again. I can’t feel too bad about the price, $200, since that did get me an i7 3770, 8GB of (mismatched) RAM and a 2TB WD Purple hard drive. Now I’m just thinking that I should have bought that Mac mini i5 that I found last week for $200 and saved myself some headaches. This had all the potential to be a kick-ass computer, but it seems that it is not to be...