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Old 16-09-11, 04:41   #1
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Install a MAC OS X on Your Custom-Built Computer!

The How-To Geek Guide to Hackintoshing –
Part 1: The Basics

Macs. The finest computers made by Apple, known for their simplicity and style, their Operating System, and their price. If Mac OS X is all you’re craving for, read and find out how to install it on your custom-built computer!

This three-part article series was written by one of how to geek's favorite readers, Usman, often known in the comments by his screen name, Hatryst. Stay tuned this week for the rest of the series, including how to install OS X, and how to upgrade from Leopard to Lion.

Why Hackintoshing?

There are two factors that may inspire someone to buy a Mac: The design, and the Operating System. Even if you’re concerned with the OS only, you still need to spend a lot. Most PC users will admit the fact that a Mac is better at doing some particular tasks, and all the credit goes to Mac OS. But getting a Mac isn’t as easy as it sounds. As of today, the cheapest Mac (Mac mini) starts from $599, and there isn’t much you can do with it, while the most powerful and upgradable Mac (Mac Pro) starts from $2499. Someone might ask, isn’t it possible to purchase a Mac OS X install disc, and install it on a regular PC just like you would on a Mac? The easy answer would be NO. The difficult answer is YES, with a couple of modifications. If you need just the OS to work on, and you don’t want to spend a lot of money buying a Mac, you can build one for yourself that’s just as powerful and effective as a real Mac. And also on the positive side, it is fully upgradable, and you might get it built for half the price or even lower, with all the specs that you want.

Such a custom-built PC running Mac OS X is called a Hackint0sh (Hacked Macintosh = Hackint0sh), and this process is known as Building a ‘Hackint0sh’ or a ‘CustoMac’. In short, hackintoshing is all about building a PC with some specific hardware, and using a special method to install Mac OS X on it. This has been going on for quite a while now by the name of Project OSx86 (Mac OSX + X86 architecture = OSx86). Now that Mac OS X Lion is out, we’ve decided to put together some guidelines for YOU to try it out, without spending too much. A requirement from Apple (as of today) is that you must have Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6.8) running, in order to upgrade to Lion. Apple is also shipping Lion on USB thumb drives, but installation from a USB isn’t much different. In the future, there might be a newer and direct guide for installation of Lion on a PC, but we will have to wait for that. This article covers all the basic concepts you need to know in order to understand hackintoshing.

However, one thing is worth mentioning here. If your work or means of earning depends solely on a Mac, it is recommended to get a real Mac, because it will be more reliable and hassle-free. With a Hackintosh, you will run into problems every once in a while, no matter how perfect it is. It is more of a hobby and a fun project now, rather than a serious business. So remember, Hackintosh is NOT a replacement for a real Mac.

How it Works

As mentioned earlier, the process of installing OS X on regular PCs isn’t new. It all started when Apple announced its support for Intel based processors. Programmers and hackers dug deep into Mac OS X installation DVD, modified it, and created a patched version which could be installed on a PC as easily as possible. You just need to boot from the disc, run the setup, and voila. Several distributions (distros) of these patched versions are still available over the web. But Since Mac OS X is licensed software, this method was soon realized to be illegitimate. If you’re able to download the Mac operating system for free, it clearly counts as piracy. So we won’t be talking about that.

Here’s what we are going to do. We will be buying a Mac OS X Snow Leopard install disc (from an Apple store, if you can still get it, or from Amazon), making your PC recognize the install disc, installing Mac OS X Snow Leopard on the PC, and finally we will be upgrading to OS X Lion and enabling full functionality of the system afterwards. Of course, there are questions regarding the legality of this method as well, since Apple doesn’t appreciate installing Mac OS on non-Apple hardware. But it is better than the other pirated, illegitimate methods. And this is called the TonyMacX86 method. Now we will be describing the basics of how it all works and everything you need to know before getting started.

The Hardware

Since Mac OS X is designed only to work on Apple-manufactured hardware, a couple of limitations exist. You can’t just go ahead and build a PC and start the process. STOP. You need to do some research first. And if you’re building a PC for the first time, be sure to check out our

How-To Guide to Building Your Own PC, here;


Some hardware components will work with OS X natively, and some won’t. You need a computer with the parts most compatible with Mac OS X. The question is, What’s compatible, and what isn’t. There are several build options available, even Sandy Bridge compatible ones, and there are many options to choose from. As a matter of fact, some pre-tested builds are available HERE, and you can choose one of them to avoid the hassle of researching. But of course, if you want it fully customized, have a look at compatible hardware database wiki, and select the hardware components that suit your needs best. Or even more, you can have a look at complete builds along with guides on how people got them fully working HERE.

In short, the most compatible OSx86 hardware includes an Intel Processor (Core2 and above, Core i3/i5/i7), a compatible motherboard (preferably one whose DSDT is available, read on for further explanation), all P55 and H55 motherboards are expected to work perfectly. And a graphics card which is tested to be working perfectly. It is generally recommended (and better) to install OS X on a separate hard drive. This makes dual-booting much easier.

So now you know something regarding what’s compatible and what’s not. But here’s a word of caution. No matter how carefully you choose your hardware, you’ll eventually run into problems like enabling audio, getting full graphics acceleration and stuff like that. And once you upgrade to Lion, you’ll probably face these problems again. This is normal, and will be tackled easily once you get to know the basics.

Once you’ve got your hardware selected, you need to know how the process works. You can’t just go on, following each step and installing. You should know how to get out of a problem that might arise when you’re following the procedure. If you need help, go ahead, and post it on the tonymacx86 forums.

The method we are going to use is called iBoot+MultiBeast. If you need to see a video demonstration of how it is done, our friends over at Lifehacker have put together an excellent walkthrough. So go ahead, and check it out as well. Before getting started with it, let’s have a detailed look at the things we have mentioned so far, about the stuff coming ahead, and some FAQs that beginners always ask.

Some commonly used terms

iBoot: Your PC is not able to accept or read the Mac OS filesystem natively. iBoot is a small utility that gets your computer ready to accept the Mac OS X install disc. It has to be burned on a disc, and you need to boot your computer from it before you can start installing Mac OS X. iBoot is a creation of tonymacx86, and available from their downloads section.

Chameleon/Chimera Bootloader: The bootloader that will greet you and show you the choices of Operating Systems when you turn on your hackintosh. This will be installed using MultiBeast.

MultiBeast: After installing Mac OS X, you might experience several problems, like not being able to change the screen resolution, or the audio devices not being recognized. This is because the OS is unable to find proper ‘kexts’ for these devices. MultiBeast allows you to install the kexts required for display, audio, ethernet, etc. Apart from that, since you already know that Mac OS filesystem cannot be read natively by your computer, so the iBoot disc will always be required to boot into Mac OS. To get rid of that, MultiBeast is used. It puts a bootloader in your OS X hard drive, which has the same functionality as iBoot. Hence, you won’t need iBoot anymore. MultiBeast is also available from downloads section of tonymacx86 website.

Kext: In simple words, kext is to a Mac what a driver is to Windows. It is required for ensuring full functionality of your onboard devices and peripherals. Kexts can be installed manually, and several important kexts can be found in MultiBeast as well. You just need to know which ones you need to use. And you’ll get to know about that in the next part of this guide.

DSDT: DSDT is an interface between your motherboard’s BIOS and the Mac OS, and in most cases, it enables the OS to identify and recognize your onboard devices. In this way, you probably won’t need to install kexts for each of them. Also, the presence of a DSDT solves problems related to Sleep, Shutdown, Startup, etc. That’s why it was mentioned in the hardware section to get a motherboard whose DSDT is available. That makes things a lot easier. Otherwise, you would have to look for proper kexts and install them manually.

xMove: The mandatory tool for installing Mac OS X Lion over/alongside your current Snow Leopard installation. More about Xmove will be explained later.
More detailed information about these and several other less used terms can be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find a database of confirmed compatible hardware?

You can find compatible hardware information by having a look at the Builds, Compatible Hardware Wiki, and User Builds on tonymacx86 forums. Be sure to have a look at Guides for Snow Leopard and Guides for Lion. Remember the logic: A build that can run Lion is surely capable of running Snow Leopard.

Is my hardware compatible?

Make sure you know what hardware you have. If you don’t know, use a utility like CPU-Z or Speccy to find out what hardware you have in your PC. Then, search for each component in the hardware wiki, in the tonymac86 forums, and on the web as well. You will find out soon if it is compatible or not. You might consider posting your own build in the Buying Advice section of tonymacx86 forums, and the community users will be there for help and suggestions.

Finally, Lifehacker has put up a guide on choosing the most compatible hardware for your hackintosh, a must read for those looking to build a hackintosh.

I have an AMD processor, will I be able to use tonymacx86 method?

No. Apple ONLY supports Intel based processors, so does this method.

I need more information, I have some more questions

Head over to tonymacx86 forums, create an account, and you may ask your question there.

Finally, stay tuned for part 2 of this guide, where we will discuss the installation of Mac OS X Snow Leopard (prerequisite to OS X Lion, as long as another easy guide isn’t available for the purpose) and tweaking the install. In Part 3, we will try to upgrade it to the latest version, i.e. Mac OS X Lion, and try out basic dual-booting as well. Our goal is to give you a starting point for building a hackintosh, and you’re on your way then. If you’re ready to walk along and make yourself a CustoMac, make sure to have compatible hardware at hand, a copy of Mac OS X Snow Leopard install DVD, iBoot and MultiBeast from tonymacx86 downloads section, and most importantly, patience and tolerance!

Notes from The Author, Usman;

UPDATE: Tonymacx86 just released a new build: Customac Mini 2011 –

Customac Mini 2011

You have to buy the $29.99 Snow Leopard Retail DVD for this method.
Any other disc (like the Snow Leopard restore disk that used to come with a new Mac, before Lion came out)
won’t work for this method

There are still various opinions as to whether this is legal or not. As mentioned in the guide,
we are doing it in a relatively legal way, by paying Apple for the copy of Mac OS X that we’re using.
That doesn’t make it fully legal, but makes it sound good?

NB. Installing Mac OS X in a VM is a bad experience. You won’t get any graphics acceleration.

PS,,,, people a thank you would be nice or a few dollars even better to help me and this site, its taken me over 3 hours to put all this together with the connecting thread with posts on how to Build Your Own PC

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Old 24-09-11, 02:14   #2
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Default The Geek Guide to Hackintoshing – Part 2: The Installation

The Geek Guide to Hackintoshing – Part 2: The Installation

Got yourself some hackintosh compatible hardware? Great! So follow along, because in this guide, we are going to show you how to INSTALL Mac OS X Snow Leopard on your custom built PC!

In the post 1, we discussed the basics of hackintoshing and described what compatible hardware is all about. If you missed it, be sure to read it first. Today, we are going to put that compatible hardware to work, and so our hackintosh will start coming to life. This part of the guide will explain the installation of Mac OS X Snow Leopard on your hackintosh, which may or may not be upgraded to Lion later on (it totally depends on your choice). Upgrading your hackintosh to Lion, and setting up dual booting will be discussed in the Part 3 of this guide.

Please note, this guide is generic, it just gives you a starting point of how hackintoshing works, and how it has to be done. Everyone will have different experiences, based on the hardware chosen. But in the end, hopefully, you will have a fully functional hackintosh.

As mentioned earlier, there are guides to install Lion directly on a PC, without the need for Snow Leopard. But if you run into a problem, you won’t find much support regarding those guides. Besides, not everyone wants to have Lion on a PC, since Lion is more iOS-oriented, and can be better enjoyed on a real Mac (not to mention its problems some users complain about). The advantage of using tonymacx86 method is that it has a dedicated forum for help and support, and you can find many users who have had success with this method. And most importantly, you will find confirmed builds and guides with those builds, so you can just go ahead and follow someone’s build and guide for installation on that build, saving yourself the hassle of looking for compatible hardware and also saving a lot of time. Also be sure to have a look at tonymacx86 F.A.Q.s before proceeding.

Required Stuff

So once you’ve built your computer, you need a couple of downloads from tonymacx86 website’s downloads section. To have access to the downloads, you must register first, which is a good idea since you might also need to post on the forums if you need help with something. Once registered, download the following:
  • iBoot
  • iBoot legacy (alternative, if iBoot doesn’t work for your CPU)
  • MultiBeast
iBoot, as described previously, is a utility for booting from the Mac OS X Install Disc. You have to burn it to a CD or DVD, and you can use a utility like ImgBurn to burn iBoot to the disc. Don’t forget to copy MultiBeast to a USB thumb drive as well. Apart from this, you’ll also need the Mac OS X v10.6.7 update combo, which you can get HERE. Although the 10.6.8 update is out, 10.6.7 is the one which doesn’t cause much problems, and it’s recommended to upgrade to it first. Finally, remember DSDT? It’s a useful file, and helps a lot in making the OS recognize your motherboard even better.

So have a look at the DSDT database. If your motherboard is listed, there must be a DSDT for it. Download it to the thumb drive as well. If there isn’t a DSDT for your motherboard, don’t worry. It is totally optional to use a DSDT.

After you’ve got all the required and abovementioned stuff, you’re all set, and ready to start with the installation procedure. Also make sure you have noted down all the installation steps as well.
TIP: While installing, it is better to have access to a secondary computer as well. This is not mandatory, but it really helps when you have a problem with your hackintosh, just look for it in the forums using the other computer, and you’ll find the answer. Nearly each and every problem you might encounter has a solution on the tonymacx86 forums. So there’s no need to worry if you get stuck at some point. This is normal, and your troubleshooting skills will definitely come in handy.
The steps from here onwards are a part of the tonymacx86 iBoot+MultiBeast guide. You can use the original guide if you can easily understand the steps mentioned.

Preliminary Steps

First, there are some things to be done beforehand. You should be running a minimalistic hardware, i.e.
  • Just one USB keyboard and mouse, and nothing else plugged into the USB ports.
  • You should’ve only one SATA hard drive, preferably a formatted one with no data on it. Unplug any other hard drives.
  • Make sure your optical drive is also attached to a SATA port.
  • If you have more than 4GB of RAM, remove it, and we will add it later on.
  • Finally, you must be running a single monitor on a single video card.
Next, you need to change a couple of BIOS settings. Now this may vary, depending upon your motherboard manufacturer, but here are the general things your motherboard should have. It is recommended to select the load optimized defaults option (or other option, corresponding to your motherboard). If you have overclocked your CPU, be sure to restore it to its default clock speed, just for the ease of installation and for avoiding any conflicts. Then, you need to set the BIOS to AHCI mode. Basically this aims to configure all Hard Drives and Optical drives as SATA. Next, the boot sequence needs to be altered. The boot priority should be to boot from optical drive first, and then from the hard drive. This way, when you will boot up your PC, it will try to boot directly from the iBoot disc, so that we may proceed with the installation. Additionally, set HPET or High Precision Event Timer (depending on how it appears in your motherboard) to Enabled, and set its value to 64, if that’s an option. These are just the general and most-recommended settings, you might need to perform a couple more changes in your BIOS before being able to boot, so consult the forums for more help regarding your motherboard. Be sure to save all changes before you exit the BIOS.

Starting the Installation

After saving the BIOS settings, reboot your computer, and insert the iBoot disc that you burned earlier. Chances are, it will go perfectly fine. But if it doesn’t, and nothing appears on the screen or some error comes up, you might need to give iBoot Legacy a try. Burn it to a disc, and try booting from it. Once iBoot is loaded, you’ll see a screen with the tonymacx86 logo and a CD icon that reads “iBoot”. This is referred to as the “chameleon prompt”.

At this point, eject the iBoot disc, and insert your Mac OS X Snow Leopard install disc. Wait a couple of seconds, and then press the F5 key to refresh. Now the CD icon will read “Mac OS X Install DVD”.

All you need to do is press ENTER to allow the disc to start loading up files. You will see the Apple logo on a gray screen and a spinning loader. Wait till you get to the installation screen. That’s the easy way, but mostly it doesn’t go very well, and you might be presented with either a kernel panic or an unable to load screen.

If that happens, just reboot your computer with iBoot, insert the Mac OS X Install disc when iBoot loads up, and before hitting enter, type some commands from your keyboard. Apparently there is no entry area on the screen, but you’ll realize that whatever you type will be displayed on the screen as you type. When you type something at the chameleon prompt, this is called a “Boot Flag”. You can use multiple boot flags at once, and that’s exactly what we are going to do. So in such a case when you can’t make your way to the installer, you can use the PCIRootUID=1 -x -v boot flag. -v is for verbose mode, which displays all the activity going on in the background (when you’d normally see the Apple logo), so that you may troubleshoot based on where the installer hangs up. -x is for safe mode, and PCIRootUID=1 tells the installer regarding your video card.
TIP: Be sure to note down every boot flag that worked for you, and every point at which the installer halted. This helps a lot in reinstalling, if required, and for post-install tweaks as well.
So once you see the installer screen, take a deep breath. You’ve made it half way through. Installation from here onwards is same as on a normal Mac. Select your preferred language, and press continue.

At the next screen, see the menu bar at the top. On the menu bar, click Utilities>Disk Utility. Once disk utility loads up, select your hard drive, and click the Partition tab. Under Volume Scheme, select 1 Partition, name it something (Mac HD, Snow Leopard, or something that you can remember), and set the partition format to “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)”.

Next, click the Options button, and make sure “GUID Partition Table” is selected. If not, select it and press OK.

Don’t forget, if your hard drive is larger than 1TB, partition it and make it smaller than 1TB. Then click Apply, and click Partition to carry out the changes. Once you get the Partition Complete Prompt, exit disk utility, and click Next on the installer. On the next screen, click the hard drive partition you just prepared for installation. Click the Customize button on the lower left corner, and deselect any unwanted stuff. You can always install it later.

Finally, click Install, watch the progress bar, and keep your fingers crossed. It takes around 15-20 minutes. Be sure to keep moving the mouse cursor every once a while, it’s just a safety measure to avoid the installer going to sleep (although it doesn’t, but you never know).
When the installation ends, you might get either an Install Succeeded or an Install Failed message. It doesn’t really matter, installation is in fact, complete, and now we will proceed to perform the post-install tweaks.

Or perhaps…

Whatever the case is, feel free to press Restart. Be sure to swap disks, eject the Mac OS X install disc and insert iBoot back in. Once you boot with iBoot, you will be presented with two choices now. This time, you have to boot from the hard drive. It will be displayed with an Apple icon, and with the name that you gave it earlier (Snow Leopard, or whatever). Use the arrow keys to highlight the hard drive, and press enter to boot from it.

TIP: Remember the boot flag -v? You can use this it to have a look at what’s being loaded and any kernel panic occurs, you would know where it happened. You may use the same boot flags that helped you make your way to the installer (and that’s why we advised you to note them down). All we want now is to successfully boot into the OS.
You might also get to see the Mac OS X installation video. After that, you might be asked a few questions for setting up your Mac. This should be straightforward. And when you get to the desktop, congratulate yourself. You’re almost there!
Now, depending upon your hardware configuration, you may or may not have some hardware components working at their full potential, i.e. you may or may not have audio, graphics acceleration, internet access, USB functionality, and other stuff working. If something is working right after the install, it is said to be working Out Of the Box (OOB).
TIP: Here’s how you can test what’s functional and what’s not:
  • If the sound icon is showing up in the menu bar, and if you can change the volume using your keyboard, or if you can play an audio file from iTunes, audio is working.
  • Open Safari. If you see the welcome screen, can surf through the web, internet is working.
  • Open Front Row application. If something appears on screen, your video card is performing well. Alternatively, you can check if your desktop’s resolution is optimum, and if the menu bar is transparent, you have video acceleration (QE/CI) working.
  • Attach a USB thumb drive, if it gets detected, you have USB support (but if you’re using a USB keyboard/mouse, and if they’re working, you may not require this test)
For the devices that aren’t working, don’t worry. We will use MultiBeast to enable them, and also to enable your hackintosh to boot directly from the hard drive, without the need for iBoot. But before that, run the Mac OS X v10.6.7 update combo that you downloaded to a USB thumb drive earlier (alongside other stuff). We need to do this first. Install it, but don’t click restart when it prompts you to.

Then run MultiBeast from that USB thumb drive. Keep clicking Continue until you reach the screen with some choices. Now, if you have a DSDT for your motherboard, be sure to have it copied to the desktop, and select UserDSDT and System Utilities from MultiBeast.

If you don’t have a DSDT, just select EasyBeast and System Utilities. Once done, run MultiBeast installer.

Don’t worry about enabling the devices and peripherals right now, because the combo update sometimes causes the functional devices to stop functioning, and that’s revealed after you restart. So restart your hackintosh. This time, without iBoot disc, see if you’re able to boot directly off the hard drive. If not, have a look at your BIOS settings, search for people with similar motherboard, and you’ll be able to find a solution.

So once you have booted into the OS, you’ll notice some previously OOB working stuff might not be working now. This is normal. Remember, after every combo update, you might need to re-run MultiBeast to enable any devices disabled due to the update. So this time, run MultiBeast, and select System Utilities first, it is something you always need to check while running MultiBeast.

For any other non-functional devices, you can just go ahead and look under Drivers & Bootloaders>Kexts & Enablers for enabling them. When you select something, its description appears in the description column. It is a bit difficult to explain what option needs to be selected, because it all depends upon what your hardware is, and what devices you need to enable. However, you always need to select only one kext at a time. Don’t install all of the kexts under a category at once. Install, reboot, and see if that kext had any impact. If not, you can run MultiBeast again, with a different selection. If you need to delete a kext that didn’t work, have a look at its description in Multibeast. Not down its path, navigate to that particular folder using the Finder, and delete it.
TIP: If you had to boot with the PCIRootUID=1 boot flag earlier, check the “PCI Root ID Fix” under the Customization>Boot Options category. And if USB isn’t working for you, use the “IOUSB Family Rollback” kext under Miscellaneous. Don’t forget to check “System Utilities” every time you run MultiBeast.
Here is what a MultiBeast selection might generally (but not necessarily) look like. And yes, you don’t need to make the same selections every time. Once something is installed, it remains there until it is replaced due to the combo update or manually deleted. It means you don’t need to install EasyBeast or UserDSDT over and over again. You will learn this after having some experience. Also be sure to note down the MultiBeast configuration that worked for you, so that instead of doing the same hit-and-trial again, it is a one-click process the next time you reinstall the OS.
Here’s another thing to remember. By default, kexts are installed in a folder named “Extensions”. To access it, navigate to your Mac hard drive, open the System folder, then Library, and then find the folder named Extensions. For sake of simplicity, it is referred to as S/L/E. So if you have to remove a kext from S/L/E, you know where to look for. Same is the case with E/E. Extra is a folder on the Mac hard drive, and is created by MultiBeast. There’s another folder inside Extra, named Extensions, but this Extensions folder contains important custom kexts installed by MultiBeast. It also contains two important files. First one is smbios.plist, and the second one is com.apple.boot.plist. At this point, you don’t need to know much about these files, you just need to know that they exist. But you’ll realize their importance as you proceed.

So that’s the point at which you’ll have a fully functional Snow Leopard hackintosh. This guide describes how to proceed, but you might have some stops in the process. That’s where the forums will come in handy. Post on the tonymacx86 forums when you get a problem, and you’ll surely be guided. If you’re willing to do it, go ahead, try it out yourself. As long as you are doing this on an empty hard drive, don’t be afraid to do a reinstall as many times as you require. Practice makes perfect, and you’ll have to reinstall it a couple of times to tweak it to perfection.
TIP: Have a look at this video tutorial by Lifehacker where the proper use of MultiBeast is explained, and the recent version of Lifehacker’s hackintosh guide. Also try to watch more video tutorials on YouTube, that’s the way you’ll understand the most.
In the next part, we will be upgrading this hackintosh to Lion. Although if you’re satisfied with Snow Leopard, that’s fine. It’s just a choice after all. We will also see how to dual-boot your hackintosh with Windows. All coming your way very soon!
Thanks to How to geek Usman

DTD1 does not take responsibility for the info in this thread, nor any errors that may affect your PC. Members attempt this at their own risk
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Default The Geek Guide to Hackintoshing–Part 3: Upgrading to Lion and Dual-Booting

If you have been following our Hackintoshing guides, you might know the basics, and how to install Snow Leopard on your custom built PC. In this guide, we will try to upgrade your Snow Leopard hackintosh to Mac OS X Lion, and also explain a thing or two regarding dual-booting your hackintosh with Windows.
We started with the basics & choosing the most compatible hardware, and then showed you the installation of Snow Leopard on it. So if Snow Leopard (v10.6.7) is working perfectly for you, you might consider upgrading to Mac OS X Lion.

Now it is to be noted that upgrading to Lion is totally your own choice. If you are satisfied, enjoy your hackintosh the way it is. But if you want to upgrade, be sure to perform a backup first. You can image your working Snow Leopard drive using a backup/imaging program like “SuperDuper” or “CCC” (Carbon Copy Cloner). This is just a precautionary measure, so that if anything goes wrong and Lion cannot be installed on your hackintosh, you may easily revert to the previous working condition. You can also use the recently released rBoot rescue CD by Tonymacx86. Before you image your hackintosh, make sure you have everything working perfectly.

So before upgrading, you have to download the necessary stuff. Firstly, visit tonymacx86′s downloads section, and download xMove. You’re also going to need the most important download – Mac OS X Lion. It costs $29 from the Mac App Store, and once purchased, you can download it on any Mac computer from your Apple ID. Be aware of the size of the download, it’s a huge 3.5GB. So if you have a slow internet connection, you should have a lot of patience. If you cannot download it from the Mac App Store, you can use the Mac OS X Lion recovery USB drives that Apple is distributing now. It costs $65, and is almost the same thing as the Mac App Store download, except for the fact that it is on a thumb drive. tonymacx86 recommends that you use the Mac App Store download, a newer guide will be released for the USB thumb drive, and we will cover it when it comes out. Apart from that, you might need MultiBeast, for enabling the devices that may get disabled due to the OS upgrade. You might consider using the latest released MultiBeast 4.0 (made specifically for Lion).

You might have some questions regarding compatibility of Mac OS X Lion on your hackintosh. If Snow Leopard is working perfectly for you, Lion will probably work perfectly for you. But there’s always a rare chance that something won’t work, or the installation may not be successful. So before you make the move, have a look at the forums. See how people with similar hardware got it to work. Once you’re satisfied, gather all the required stuff and get started.

The steps from here onwards are same as the tonymacx86 xMove+MultiBeast guide, although explained in a bit more detail. You can follow the original guide as well. Lifehacker also covered the upgrade method, be sure to check that out as well.

The installation proceeds as follows. We are going to copy the installation files to your Mac hard drive, then move those files into a new partition on the hard drive, and then boot from that partition to install Mac OS X Lion on top of Snow Leopard, or on a new partition.
So once you have downloaded Mac OS X Lion from the Mac App Store, it should automatically run, but you’ll have to manually do so if it doesn’t. Once the installer is open, click Continue. This installer is not going to actually install Lion right now, it will just copy the installation files. The next screen will ask you to select the hard drive on which the installation files are to be be copied. Make sure it is your Mac hard drive (the root drive, the drive on which Mac OS X Snow Leopard is installed). If it isn’t visible, click Show All Disks, select that drive, and hit Install. This will take almost 3-5 minutes, and after that, you’ll be prompted to reboot.

TIP: There’s also a quick alternative to this. Right click on the “Install Mac OS X Lion” app, click Show Package Contents. Navigate to Contents/SharedSupport/ and mount the file named “InstallESD.dmg”.
ANOTHER TIP: If you’re using the OS X Lion USB Thumb Drive, you can use the new xMove 1.1 to move the files to the installer partition that we will be creating in the next steps.
Next, open Disk Utility (from /Applications/Utilities, or simply write Disk utility in spotlight and press Enter). Select your hard drive on which Snow Leopard is installed. Select the hard drive, and not the Snow Leopard partition. Once selected, click the partition tab, and click the + button to add a new partition. Name the new partition Installer and make it a bit more than 8 GB. As always, the partition format should be Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Once you’ve done this, click Partition to partition the drive. You Snow Leopard partition will not be affected in any way, except that it will be reduced by 8 GB.

Now there’s one more option for you that many upgrading users overlook. Mostly, users install Lion on top of their working Snow Leopard. Think of it as this, you have a single hard drive with the installer partition and the Snow Leopard partition right now. When you will boot into the Lion installer, where are you going to install it? Obviously, on top of Snow Leopard. This won’t replace any files in the Snow Leopard partition, but it will just be upgraded Lion. But as in some cases, Lion is perfectly installed, but doesn’t boot. Since it was an upgrade from Snow Leopard, there’s no way to roll back to Snow Leopard. Since most users don’t clone their Snow Leopard drives beforehand, they lose the fully working Snow Leopard as well. As a result, they have to reinstall Snow Leopard, tweak it to perfection, and try to upgrade to Lion again, and so on. To avoid this, however, you can choose to install Lion on a totally new, empty partition. In this way, your Snow Leopard partition will remain intact.

So if you’re interested in installing on an empty partition, don’t exit disk utility yet. Add a new partition, name it Lion, give it at least 25-30 GB of space (or more, if you want), and create the partition. Exit Disk Utility after you’re done.
TIP: You can also do this when you will boot into the Lion Installer, since you can access Disk Utility from within the installer.
However, you need to note two things if you’re going this way. First, you will have to use MultiBeast for enabling your devices and peripherals, like you did after a fresh install of Snow Leopard. Secondly, if you ever plan to delete your Snow Leopard partition, make sure to configure the Lion partition as the startup disk (by going into System Preferences>Startup Disk). You can also install Lion on a separate hard drive, instead of an empty partition.

After creating the installer partition, run xMove. Pay attention, when it asks you to select the destination disk for installation, select the Installer partition, and not any other partition.

Click Continue, and wait for the xMove installer to do its work, it takes a while. Once it’s done, you can exit it. Now it is time to install Mac OS X Lion.
Restart your hackintosh, and at the chameleon prompt, move over to the Installer partition, and boot from it. You can choose to boot with some boot flags as well, if that’s required.
TIP: If your installer gets stuck at [ PCI Configuration Begin ], boot with npci=0×2000. That’s the single, most common stop in the installer loading process, and that’s the solution for it (although it may not work for everyone). Post in the tonymacx86 forums if you get stuck at any other point. Boot with -v, and post where it halts.
When you see the Mac OS X Lion installer, recall Mac OS X Snow Leopard’s installer. Everything from here onwards is the same. Select a language, and click the arrow button to continue.

Now you have two choices. On the next screen, you can go ahead and click Continue, select your Snow Leopard hard drive for installation, and install over it. This usually saves you the hassle of installing kexts and stuff. But if you want to proceed with care, better install Lion on an empty partition, i.e. do a clean install. So you can select the Lion partition (if you created it earlier) or use disk utility at this point to create a new partition for it.

Here we’re going for a clean install, with the destination partition named “Mac HD”
After making your selection, hit the Install button, and wait for 15-20 minutes. When the installation finishes, your hackintosh will restart, and you’ll arrive at the bootloader prompt. Now, if you did a clean install, boot from the Lion partition, and you might have to perform a few extra steps (user account settings, regional settings and stuff) before you can get to the desktop. But if you installed over the Snow leopard partition, boot from it and you’ll arrive directly on the desktop. You may also use any bootflags that allowed you to access the Lion installer. Congratulations, you’re now running Mac OS X Lion on a PC!

All that’s left to do now, is to enable any disabled devices. You know what you need for that – MultiBeast. Remember, in the previous part of this guide, we asked you to note down your MultiBeast selections? If you did a fresh install, just run MultiBeast with all those selections, and your non-working devices will be functional again. If you did an upgrade, use the selections for non-functional devices only. And yeah, remember the 8 GB Installer partition? That’s no longer required now. So go ahead and open Disk Utility, and select your Mac hard drive. Click the Partition tab, select the Installer partition, click the button, and then click Remove to delete that partition. The free space can be allotted to any other partition on the hard drive by simply dragging the partition slider to fill up the unallocated space. Click Apply, and then click Partition to resize the partition and add the unallocated 8 GB to it. That’s it. In a couple of clicks, your Lion hackintosh will be roaring in its full glory!

Dual-Booting Issues

As mentioned in the first part of this guide, it is recommended to use separate hard drives for Mac and Windows. But in case of a laptop, you will have only one hard drive to deal with. So here is tonymacx86’s tutorial for installing Mac OS X Snow Leopard and Windows on a single hard drive. It’s pretty much the same and simple, as long as you know the basics.
But if you have Windows (Windows 7) installed on a separate hard drive, simply attach that, and make sure the first hard drive in your BIOS’ boot sequence is the Mac hard drive.

Basically, this will allow the chameleon (chimera) bootloader to load right after your computer performs the POST. It will automatically detect your Windows hard drive and all its partitions. If you have other partitions on your Windows drive, they will also show up in the bootloader as “Windows NTFS”. You have to select the “System Reserved” partition for booting into Windows. Just use the arrow keys to select it, press Enter, and you can boot from it. It’s that simple.

So there we go. The mystery and difficulty of hackintoshing is no longer a problem for you. Follow the guides, do your research, and don’t be afraid to try it. Put your skills to the test now. Get started, and all the best with your hackintosh !
Disclaimer: This How-To Guide is written for the interested geeky users only. A hackintosh isn’t a replacement for a real Mac. Moreover, we don’t take any responsibility of any damage (if caused) by following these guides.
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Default Re: Install a MAC OS X on Your Custom-Built Computer!

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