My hackintosh Experience

And so, I decided to learn iOS programming.. After searching so many forums, asking here and there, I figured out that the best way to program an iOS app is to have XCode software, and this can’t be installed except if you own a MAC machine. But, wait a minute, should I really buy one for more than 1000$ and I already own a good desktop? hmmm, so I searched all over the internet, and found out that there is something called “hackintosh” which allows people to install MAC OS X into their intel powered PC’s.. some suggested to install MAC OS X using VMware, but I wasn’t satisfied by the performance.. Well it worked, but not for a developing purpose. And so I decided to install it natively into my PC..

After trying so many DVD’s, burning more than 7 including iDeneb, Kalyway, etc, all of them refused to even boot, this was the error message: “waiting for boot device”, and nothing else. after a couple of searches, I found out that having a SATA HDD might be the cause.. I’ll explain how I fixed that error later on.. The only DVD that worked for my setup was labeled as Niresh12495. How to get it? well, this is not a pirating blog, and I’m only sharing my own experience, so do your homework.

Before I share my experience, please note that installing hackintosh is highly user specified, which means that my setup might not work under your hardware specifications, so please, do some searches before you even start installing anything 🙂

And as a DISCLAIMER: I’m NOT responsible of ANY harm that may cause your PC because of applying/trying to apply any of the methods I’ll share later.

Here is my setup:
Motherboard: Intel DG35EC Classic Series
Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 @ 2.66 GHz
Graphic Card: nVidia Geforce 9600GT 512MB
Network: Alfa USB Wireless Adapter – AWUS036H
RAM: 2 x 2GB DDR2 @ 800MHz
HDD: Maxtor 250GB SATA
Keyboard: a USB keyboard –> THIS, or your PS2 keyboard will not work

What I want to achieve:
Pure MAC PC, no other partitions, no windows, no nothing, only MAC

 

Booting the DVD, a pain I never expected.!

Convincing the DVD to boot was a hell of nightmare “spent more than a week to do so..!!”, it always stuck at “waiting for root device” or something between these lines,  then I figured out that it has to do with me having a SATA hard drive, this is how I fixed it:

1- Access BIOS
2- Restore BIOS settings to its default values -> This is important, nothing worked for me except after resetting BIOS settings..!
3- Under Advanced tab, make sure to set the following:

  • ATA/IDE Mode: Native
  • Configure SATA as: AHCI
  • S.M.A.R.T: Enable

Insert DVD, reboot, and bingo..!! DVD booted..!!

 

MAC Setup, problem appears, solutions?

Installing the OS itself wasn’t that hard, I went to the disk utility menu, formatted my whole hard drive as Journaled HFS+ “remember, I want only 1 partition for MAC OS X”. Then OK, next next, and it starts installing.. The progress bar showed something like 15 minutes, but it actually took around 30 minutes to install, so if you are installing “by any chance”, it will take time, be patient 🙂

Since I didn’t install any booting program “yet”, I had to boot “MAC OS X – Lion” from the DVD itself..  And I found another option, which was “OS X Lion”.. I was so happy to be honest, finally its installed after 1 week of trials and errors ^_^ .. And so booted into MAC for the first time, and was greeted with “MAC can’t detect a working keyboard”, thats because I didn’t have a USB keyboard but a normal one with a PS2 jack .. So went and bought one for 10$, plugged it in, and it was detected 🙂 .. Continued with the setup, and violla..! MAC installed..! happy me 😀

After some tests, I had to take care of a couple of things:

1- Sound wasn’t working.
2- Install the 10.7.4 update.
3- Wireless card wasn’t working.
4- Screen resolution never showed a widescreen option “1440×900” .
5- MAC would never boot except with install DVD -> a bootloader was required.
6- Wasn’t sure if the graphic card was fully operating or not.

Sound wasn’t working:

Using my built-in sound card High Definition Audio (HDA), the driver is called “VoodooHDA” and I’m using version 2.7.2, which works perfectly for me 🙂

Install the 10.7.4 update:

I faced so many errors “specially with resolution” when I applied the update after finishing everything..

So I went and read several reviews over the internet, and figured out that going to Apple -> Software Update wasn’t a good idea to update it “even if wireless was working”, instead, they suggested to download the 10.7.4 combo update from apple website, install, reboot, and Lion 10.7.4 was up and running..

Wireless card wasn’t working:

This was a bit tricky for me. There is a driver under the name “036H_MacOS10.5.zip” which worked for me, and here is how I made it work:

1- Install the driver, dont reboot
2- Go to terminal and type the following commands [in order]:

cd /System/Library/Extensions
sudo chmod -R 755 RTL8187l.kext
sudo chown -R 0:0 RTL8187l.kext

3- reboot
4- go to terminal agian, and type

sudo kextutil -t -v /System/Library/Extensions/RTL8187l.kext

5- now go to System Preferences -> Network, and you should find the wireless adapter overthere.
6- finally, go to Applications -> Realtek USB WLAN Client Utility and connect to your wifi spot.

Screen resolution never showed a widescreen option “1440×900”:

When I go to “Displays” option, I can never find ANY widescreen resolution to chose from.. First thought that it was a graphic card issue, but then I discovered that MAC recognized my display screen as VGA because of me having a DVI to VGA adapter. So after a couple of searches, I found out that there is a very cheap tool called “SwitchResX4for a mere 14€ which can create any custom resolution “in my case, 1440×[email protected]” .. So here is how to do this “step wise”:

1- Install the software, and open it
2- Go to VGA/SVGA Display -> Custom Resolutions -> Add
3- Select Custom Resolution -> tick on Use simplified setting -> Choose CVT -> Change Active Horizantal Resolution to 1440 and vertical to 900, and Scan rate to 75 -> OK
4- Close the application. It will ask you to save the settings, save it
5- Reboot.

Once you do that, you will find a new resolution under display with 1440×[email protected], apply it, and here you go 🙂

MAC would never boot except with install DVD:

Well, it’s not a real problem, but I took sometime to figure it out 🙂 .. There is a wonderful bootloader called Chamelon Bootloader, the one I’m using is build 2000 .. Installed it with the following customized install options:

1- klibc
2- uClibc++
3- Resolution
4- Standard Theme

Rebooted, and, nothing.. It refused to boot -.-” .. Then I figured out that there is a folder called “Extra” INSIDE the DVD itself, this had to be pasted into / directory BEFORE REBOOTING.. Then, I modified my org.chameleon.Boot.plist to look like this:

<key>Instant Menu</key>
<string>Yes</string>
<key>Kernel</key>
<string>mach_kernel</string>
<key>Kernel Flags</key>
<string>arch=i386 maxmem=4096 GraphicsEnabler=Yes</string>
<key>Rescan</key>
<string>Yes</string>
<key>EthernetBuildIn</key>
<string>Yes</string>
<key>PCIRootUID</key>
<string>1</string>

Installation is not yet done, after several reboots, I had an issue of power something causing a kernel panic.. So I had to install a kext called “Disabler.kext“, [use Kext Utility to install it].

and violla..! I can boot into my MAC without any DVD..! 😀

Wasn’t sure if the graphic card was fully operating or not.

Several articles suggested that if you tried to make a move under “chess” game, then your graphic card is functioning.. I was able to make a max of 3 moves, so this wasn’t a good test for me at least. Then I noticed something after trying several drivers; My card sometime shows under PCI & Display Adapter options, and sometimes under one of them only. So if you have the card listed under both options, then you are off to go..

Then I went on and tested a 3D demo game called Mini Ningas “download link can be found here, this website has a fair amount of good demos, check them out..!” The game was working perfectly, which was more than enough I believe 🙂

 

In the end..

And that’s it..! that was my experience with hackintosh installing. I’m using this PC in almost a daily bases and things are wow..! Downloaded XCode and currently trying to learn a little bit of cocoa interface, its way harder than Java & C++ to be honest, but I think I can grab the knowledge with patience ^_^

Thank you for reading till this line, please comment back with any suggestions/feedback, I’ll appreciate it ..

Comments 2

    1. Post
      Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *