Success: My first Mac!

Miscellaneous | Friday December 10 2010 21:41 | Comments (2)

If you read my previous post about the Hackintosh, you will have noticed I was trying to work up a solution on my own AMD PC so that I could run  MacOS Snow Leopard. Well, I have finally managed to get it working, for the most part.

My Specs:

MSI K9AGM3 motherboard FD/F

AMD 690G chipset MS-7367

AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4000+ 2.10Ghz

2GB RAM

VGA: Onboard ATI X1200

Sound1: SB600 chipset ALC888

Sound2: Creative Audigy 4

NIC: Realtek RT8111B

Now, nothing there is the same, or even similar, to any hardware shipped in a Mac, so I’ve had to trawl the internet for kexts (Mac Drivers) to support my hardware. Also, as its not an Intel, I cannot use the default “Vanilla” kernel and Snow Leopard DVD. Because of this, I have employed the use of my trusty Imation Nano Pro 16GB USB stick to do the job for me!

Here’s how I did it:

Step1: Prepare the USB Stick.

For this, you need either a working Mac, or a VMWare image of a Mac. So, boot up the Mac, or VMWare image, and open Disk Utility, which is located in System-> Applications Folder. Insert the USB stick and select it from the left column. Go to “Erase”. Under “Volume Format” you need to select “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)”, name it whatever you want and click “Erase”. This will make your USB stick compatible with the Mac, and allow reading and writing to it.

I’ll assume you have an .iso image of Snow Leopard handy, which you made yourself somehow, or downloaded. So while still working with the USB stick, select “Restore” from the top right of Disk Utility. You will now need to drag your iso into the text box for “source”, and drag the USB partition1 into “Destination”. Click restore and wait half an hour  or so for this to complete.

Actually, while its restoring, you can search for, and download a tool called OSX86Tools. Its needed for this next bit.

Step 2: Make the USB stick bootable.

When the Restore is complete, open up OSX86Tools and click on “Install EFI/Run FDISK”. A little black box will pop up. Select the USB stick from the top drop-down menu, leave the rest, and click “Install EFI”. This will make the USB stick bootable. You can now reboot.

Step 3: Preparing your PC

You need to decide if you want to Dual Boot with your existing operating system, ie Windows, or if you want to just have a dedicated hard drive for Mac. Either way, there’s gonna be some formatting involved! For a dedicated hard-drive, you can do the formatting later during install (you know formatting deletes everything on your hard drive, by the way, yeah?). For dual boot, go into Windows and split your disk in two. I’m not going to tell you how to do this, because I don’t want to take responsibility if you mess it up! 😀 But you can Right-Click “My Computer”, select “Manage” and then “Disk Management”. You can play around in here with resizing and creating new partitions, or else get a dedicated Partition Program (AVOID PARTITION MAGIC. SERIOUSLY!!). Initially you want to format the chosen partition to FAT32, and Mac isn’t the biggest fan of NTFS. You’ll be formatting it again to Apples format during install anyway, but the Mac installer can just handle FAT32 better. So just do it!

Step 4: Installing Mac OS Snow Leopard.

This is the tricky part. If your computer is not set up to boot from USB, go into the BIOS and set this up (Google if you don’t know how).When it starts to read off the USB stick, you will see a “Darwin/X86”  screen. From here it will hopefully boot. If not, you can press either Escape or F8 and it will take you to a menu where you can put in special boot parameters (eg arch=i386 -v) to make it boot. If its working though, don’t bother with that. You should now be on the main Install screen. From here just select your language, and keep clicking through until it prompts for a hard drive to install to (“Select Destination”). DO NOT SELECT YOUR WINDOWS HARD DRIVE if you are dual booting. If you have the dedicated hard drive then you won’t see anything there. Click on “Utilities” up the top of the screen and select “Disk Utility”. This is the same program you used earlier with the USB stick (unless you burned the .iso to a DVD of course). Select the partition that you intend to use with Mac OS and click on “Erase”. As before, select “Erase”. Under “Volume Format” you need to select “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)”, name it whatever you want and click “Erase”. You can now close “Disk Utility” either by clicking the Red X button up the top left, or selecting “Disk Utility” from the very top left of the screen and quitting in there. This will now take you back to the “Select Destination” screen, and hopefully your hard drive should appear  there now. Select it and click Next.

Step 5: Customising the install

This bit will make or break your install!!

Every install is different for each motherboard, processor, audio chips, video chips, network cards  etc etc etc. Assuming you have decided not to install the original Apple install DVD, and have instead opted for one of the customised installs such as Hazard, kalway, or iDeneb, then the following part will look different. You see, the releaser of each of those editions has customised the installer to include different kexts (drivers) and different patches. They shouldnt stray too far from each other, but still, they’ll look different.  I can tell you what I selected but unless you have identical hardware to me, you will need to select different options. Simple as that.

So, I selected the Mobdin Kernel for AMD, VoodooHDA audio, LegacyAppleIntelPIIXATA and all the other AMD patches. (The chameleon loader comes with the AMD patch. If you are Intel, don’t forget to select a bootloader!)

Depending on which patches you choose for your own machine, you will get errors and crashes. If you get any problems, you just need to go back and select different options. Most new machines should be almost compatible these days so most people will have no problems. And even people who do have problems, can get them fixed with a bit of tinkering. If you can get the install completed and are having boot problems, press F8 before the chameleon loader starts and type “-x -v -f”. The -x loads in safe mode, the -v loads in verbose mode, ie outputs lots of text so you can see where the problem occurs, and -f forces the Mac to load kexts directly from the hard drive, ignoring the cache. Don’t worry about that for now….;)

There is one more thing. On my PC, when I booted up for the first time, it got me to create a new user account, which is all normal. However, once I filled in the details, it either hung indefinately, or it brought me through an infinite loop of asking me to fill in my details over and over again. The fix for this, is to boot into single user mode, by typing “-s” at the boot prompt. It should load up in under a minute and you’ll see some stuff above it relating to “fsck -fy”. Type in the few lines that it provides and now you’re into single user mode. From here, you will have to manually create your user account. Google it! 😉

So, with a bit more tinkering, you may get yourself an acceptably working substitute for a Mac, that you can finally run XCode and the iPhone SDK on sufficiently. At present, my machine is working OK, but because Hackintosh’s are relient on non-Apple employees making kexts to work with non-standard hardware, you can either get lucky and have kexts available to you, or you’ll never have support for certain devices, eg graphics card/sound cards/network cards.

I could get my ATI Radeon X1200 onboard graphics working to basic levels, but it looks like it will never get support for QE/CI. I managed to get a kext for it called EVOenable_X1800.kext, which got System Profiler to pick it up, but thats about it. No resolution change, no Quartz etc etc…

I also had to search high and low for a kext for my network card so I could just go online with it! I found a generic Realtek one which seems to have worked (RealtekR1000SL.kext).

So, thats it for now. I hope you enjoyed literally my longest ever blog post! If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment!

Cheers.

2 Comments »

  1. Comment by Agueda Barda — 21st December 2010 @ 10:31

    Oooh, you’re such an inspiration. I love this blog!

  2. Comment by Exercise Balls — 24th December 2010 @ 12:48

    Thank you, I have recently been searching for information about this topic for ages and yours is the best I have discovered so far.

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