I built me a Hackintosh – Part 2

In my previous article I mentioned all the hardware pieces I used to put together my Hackintosh.  In this article I’ll detailed how I went about the software side.

Once again, do yourself a favor and read as much as you can stand from the Insanelymac forums.  Register an account as well – as by the time you finish this little project, you’ll probably post a question or two.

Second – run out and purchase a copy of Leopard.  Although this entire process is probably highly-illegal, buying a license should help commute any jail time you may be issued. :-)  Seriously, people worked hard to develop the software — help pay their bills by buying a license.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I went for a dual boot system – Vista 64-bit and Leopard 10.5.2.  In putting my rig together, I made the ‘mistake’ of installing Leopard on the primary drive before Vista.  Vista wasn’t very happy about being installed second.  To fix this problem, I simply switched the drive order so that the Leopard drive was second and the blank drive was first.  Vista installed fine afterwards.  At the end of the article, I’ll explain how I got the Master Boot Record changed to recognize both Vista and Leopard.

Next – get your hands on the Kalyway Leopard 10.5.1 ISO.  Don’t know how?  Sorry, can’t help you here.  Try using your favorite search engine to find a copy on the web someplace.

Here are the instructions I used to get my system running:  [How To] Install On Gigabyte/ASUS/Compatible Boards.  The guide will have you download a number of other utilities and updates.  (Yes – this is process is so much easier if you have another machine around to do research on.) Do read the guide in it’s entirety before attempting the install.  It can take a few hours to get the whole process accomplished.

The guide is pretty complete – However, I attempted to perform this build without this guide and had thrown away a day of my life messing around with all the wrong things.  I attempted several different distribution before using the Kalyway ISO – I tried each distro several times as well. Follow the guide – use the right hardware and you won’t have any problems.

Other pieces of advice that I can give on the actual install process: 

  1. Make sure you don’t have your Ethernet cable plugged in during the installed.
  2. Be sure to read the screens carefully during the install.  Some of the items the guide has you perform are not very apparent — don’t skip those steps.  This is particularly hard for people who have never used the Mac OS and aren’t aware of how the UI is designed.
  3. Have patience.  Some of the reboots take forever, but will happen eventually.

After the installation, everything worked out of the box. Or at least I had thought until I decided to change my video card’s resolution.  I noticed the Kalyway ISO only had one resolution installed by default — if you followed the directions in the guide as you suppose to.  In order to get the latest and greatest video drivers installed, I had to install the NVInject Installer. I used version .41 without any issues.

After completing my OSX installation, I found out I made that mistake of installing the OSes in the wrong order.  So I reordered the drives and installed Vista 64-bit Home Premium and I downloaded EasyBCD.  This handy tool will modify the Vista boot loader to allow you to see and use the OS X drive/partition.

Another very useful program to purchase immediately is Little Snitch.  This utility is very similar to Vista’s "nagging" utility of telling you about every little application that needs to communicate on the network/Internet.  This is a GOOD thing.  It’s only $25 and it works very well.  In addition, it has a neat little GUI overlay on the menu bar that shows current connections and conversations.

Once you’ve completed all of the above, it’s important to note that you have to watch out for those Apple software updates.  Any one of them can destroy a perfectly working machine.  Update your favorite RSS feeder with the RSS link from Insanelymac site to keep abreast of the patches you can and cannot install.

I’ve been using the new rig as my standard machine for the last few weeks and I can’t be happier.  I’ve installed all my productivity tools I use on a daily basis and I even went out and bought an iPhone.  (Yes, it works perfectly with everything!)  My next project is to get this machine up using TimeMachine so that I can have a backup when things go south (and they will I’m sure.)

Drop me a line or a comment if you have any questions on my build.

-JT

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