It’s time for a new Mac but Apple has a gap in their product line right where my next computer should be. So the solution is to build a Mac by repurposing a Windows PC – that’s the concept known as a “Hacintosh”. Although it has been a couple weeks since my last post on the subject, it actually didn’t take that long to get working – I just got tied up with other stuff. It did take a few tries, but I got the Hacintosh install figured out for my hardware and I’ll describe the steps that worked for me. But first, here are a few things that did not work for me.
My biggest problem was that it turned out that the computer I got, the Dell E520, had onboard networking which would not work in MacOS. Apparently, the E520 comes with one of two possible chips for the onboard networking. The one that happens to be in my E520 is the one that won’t work with the MacOS (InsanelyMac post). So I tried a number of times to do the install and to get the card working. In the end, not only did I realize that it was not going to work, but also that the networking failure was causing the install process to get stuck after answer the questions about keyboard layout. There are workarounds (Wikidot post – see “Install Error Loop at Account Creation”) but the easiest and smartest thing to do was to do the MacOS install after the new network card was in the computer. I got a Netgear GA311 Gigabit card (on the OSX86 HCL), and disabled the onboard networking in the BIOS. The next time I did the install, the install process didn’t hang and there was nothing I needed to do to get the networking working.
I also added the FireWire card, a Rosewill (NewEgg house brand) RC501, when I put in the network card. Again, the card just worked and there was nothing I needed to do for it.
I thought I was doing a good thing by using a lot of the additional material out there on the ‘Net. I tried using all kinds of different kernels and additional tools that come with the Kalyway install DVD. I tried the iATKOS install. I tried the TOHrc2 install. In the end, the easiest was the 10.5.2 Kalyway with none of the extras. That caused the least amount of problems.
Finally, while people seem to like the AHCI thing, I didn’t. My first concern is that I can’t swap hard drives from other computers and rely on them working. So when I add in my drive with my MP3s, it wouldn’t read and if I were to reformat it to work on this computer then move it to another computer in the future, it wouldn’t work there. So the lack of portability was an initial hit. But secondarily, I discovered that since my DVD drive is SATA, the AHCI controller was trying to get a response from the DVD drive on every boot when there was no DVD in the drive. It was exactly 30 seconds on every boot. I found that shutting off the AHCI made that 30 seconds disappear. For portability and to save half a minute on every boot, it seemed to make sense to shut off AHCI.
At the end of the install process, I’ve got the computer able to boot into either MacOS or Vista. I’ve got the Vista partition visible from MacOS, the MacOS partition visible from Vista, and a USB drive is recognized when inserted. Restart works, Sleep works, and Shutdown works. All the peripherals work, and only the onboard networking does not work at all. The onboard audio works when booting up but does not come back after the computer goes to sleep. It’s annoying that it doesn’t work perfectly, but since I have USB audio and since I don’t plan to let the Mac sleep, it won’t be a problem for me. (The onboard video works, but since there’s no DVI connector, I didn’t want to use it anyway.)
I tried setting it up to use the Vista bootloader which would have allowed booting into MacOS as a secondary but I wanted MacOS to be primary and it didn’t seem to make sense to waste time going to the secondary OS for bootloader. Also, I looked into GParted and other Linux style solutions but it didn’t make sense to me to go with a third OS when I wasn’t going to have Linux on the computer.
Here’s my install process. It sets up a dual boot computer using one hard drive to hold a partition for MacOS and a partition for Vista. MacOS will be the primary booter (which is why no “Chain” file is necessary) and will allow booting into Vista. My process uses elements from Jordan’s MacOnPC How To Guide,
I Am Nihilist’s Easy Installation Guide, wmarsh’s E520 Leopard Install Guide, and TopazBar’s Dual Boot instructions. Thanks to them and all the other postings at InsanelyMac and the OSx86 Project Wiki. The only software requirement is the Kalyway 10.5.2 install DVD and a Vista install DVD. I did it using a Dell E520, but it can probably be adapted for similar computers. Also, my process totally wipes the hard drive. I’m know that this isn’t necessary and can probably be done with a drive where Vista is already running just fine. But this is what worked for me.
- Dell Dimension E520
- Computer – ACPI x86-based PC
- Processor – Intel Core 2 Duo 1.87Ghz (Conroe E6320)
- RAM – 3 Gbyte
- Storage Controller – Intel 82801HR/HH/HO SATA RAID Controller
- Intel 82801 PCI Bridge – 244E
- Intel ICH8 Family PCI Express Root Port 1 – 283F
- Intel ICH8 Family SMBus Controller – 283E
- Intel ICH8DH LPC Interface Controller
- Intel P965/G965 PCI Express Root Port – 29A1
- Intel P965/G965 Processor to I/O Controller – 29A0
- Display Adapter – onboard video (Disabled)
- Display Adapter – NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT
- Network – Intel 82562V 10/100 Platform LAN Connect (Disabled)
- Network – Netgear GA311 NIC
Prep Hardware, BIOS
- Insert new network card
- Insert new FireWire card
- Insert new Video card
- Insert additional RAM
- Reconfigure BIOS to disable AHCI
- Reconfigure BIOS to disable onboard networking
Clean Hard Drive, Install Vista
- Insert Vista install DVD, boot from DVD
- Next on language screen
- Install Now button
- Accept license, Next
- Click “Custom Advanced” block
- Delete existing partitions, create new partition using half of drive, format new partition, Next (leave remaining space “Unallocated”)
- Vista installs…
- Vista reboots (remove DVD)…
- Vista starts “for the first time”…
- Vista completes installation (screen goes black periodically)…
- Vista reboots again…
- Enter a new user name and password (twice), Next
- Enter the computer name, Next
- Click “Ask me later” block
- Set the time and date, Next
- Click “Home” block
- Click Start button, Vista checks for performance… …
- Install completed, modify Vista as you like (i.e., change everything to “not recommended”), update Vista, update drivers, etc.
- Go into Disk Management and find the Unallocated space – create a new partition without assigning a drive letter and without formatting.
- Give a name to the Vista partition – something like Vista, for example (so when the drive shows in MacOS, it won’t be “Untitled”)
- Shutdown Vista
- Restart computer with Kalyway 10.5.2 DVD in drive, boot from DVD (no options necessary)
- Click “- ->” button
- Select Utilities -> Disk Utility
- Select the new partition, even if it is grayed out (Disk Utility will say it is “FAT 16” and it will be greyed out if it can’t be mounted)
- Click the Erase tab, select Volume Format “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)”, enter a name like “MacOSX” (no spaces, just chars) and click Erase button
- Quit Disk Utility
- Click “Continue” button
- Agree to license
- Select the drive you just named a few steps ago and click Continue button
- Important: click Customize button!
- For Kernel, select only “kernel_vanilla_92”
- For Patches, select only “AppleSMBIOS-27-Default”
- Select no Graphics Drivers, no Audio Drivers, no Network Drivers, no “Mobo_Chipsets”, no “Thirds_Applications”, no “SSE2…”, and no “AMD_1052_Patches”
- Select whatever you like for Additional Fonts and Language Translations
- Click “Done” button
- Click “Install” button!!
- Click “Skip” the verification if you have no reason to believe there was a problem creating the install DVD
- When you get the green checkmark, click restart (remove DVD from drive)
- The computer should boot into MacOS from the hard drive
- MacOS starts with a snazzy movie saying Welcome in a bunch of languages
- You’ll probably need to set up a keyboard unless you have a Mac keyboard, follow the prompts
- Answer questions about country, and enter your Mac ID or registration info
- Answer “A few more questions”
- And then say you don’t want .Mac – twice.
MacOS Post-Install Tasks
- Remove empty folder named “KOOLSOFTS” from Applications
- For add on Video card, download “latest” NVinject.kext from NVInject site
- Download audio drivers from InsanelyMac post – download link is in the 4th paragraph and is labeled “stac9227”
- For Time Machine to work, download tweaked IONetworkingFamily.kext from InsanelyMac post – download link is in the second post (Note that downloading with Safari will put a Quarantine on the kext that can be difficult to remove so easier to use Camino/Firefox to do the download)
- Open downloaded folder and move the ALCinject.kext, AppleHDA.kext, and IONetworkingFamily.kext files to same folder as NVinject.kext
- Open Terminal and do the following:
cd (to location where downloaded above files)
chmod -R 755 NVinject.kext
chown -R 0:0 NVinject.kext
chmod -R 755 ALCinject.kext
chown -R 0:0 ALCinject.kext
chmod -R 755 AppleHDA.kext
chown -R 0:0 AppleHDA.kext
chmod -R 755 IONetworkingFamily.kext
chown -R 0:0 IONetworkingFamily.kext
mv /System/Library/Extensions/AppleHDA.kext /System/Library/Extensions/AppleHDA.kext.orig
mv /System/Library/Extensions/IONetworkingFamily.kext /System/Library/Extensions/IONetworkingFamily.kext.orig
mv NVinject.kext /System/Library/Extensions/NVinject.kext
mv ALCinject.kext /System/Library/Extensions/ALCinject.kext
mv AppleHDA.kext /System/Library/Extensions/AppleHDA.kext
mv IONetworkingFamily.kext /System/Library/Extensions/IONetworkingFamily.kext
rm -rf /System/Library/Extensions.mkext
rm -rf /System/Library/Extensions/Caches/
rm -rf /System/Library/Caches
- Exit Terminal
- Reboot the computer
- Confirm that Audio is working (though it won’t after the computer Sleeps)
- Confirm that the video card is working properly
- Confirm that USB drive will be recognized by inserting while computer is booted
- Confirm that sleep is working and wakeup is working
For read/write access to the NTFS Windows drive
To Setup Dual booting
- In a terminal window, do the following:
(use partition number corresponding to Vista partition)
fdisk -e /dev/rdisk0
- Exit Terminal
- Vista will try to boot but fail saying “\Window\system32\winload” corrupted, and it will tell you to insert Vista disc and recover.
- Follow directions from Vista and recover, then reboot.
- Check Vista boots and works fine.
- Reboot using Kalyway DVD and when given the opportunity, press F8 and type -s
- At single user prompt, do the following:
(use partition number corresponding to MacOS partition)
fdisk -e /dev/rdisk0
- At this point, MacOS will boot
- Confirm that MacOS works
- Reboot again, this time hitting a key on bootup to specify an option
- The Darwin bootloader should show a list of drives to boot from.
- Select the one for Vista and hit enter to boot “foreign” OS
- Vista should now boot fine – that means Vista has recovered and left MBR’s darwin bootloader intact
Mount Mac Drive in Vista
- Boot into Vista
- Install MacDrive
- Use Disk Management to fix drive letters
I’ll wrap up the topic in my next post.