Computers & Mobile Technology

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We’ve covered creating a hackintosh PC and putting OS X on the Asus Eee before. Making OS X work on a PC usually involves downloading a patched version of the OS X installer and running a patched kernel. It works, but the potential exists that you’ll run into problems with Software Update.

This hack is a bit different. Instead of hacking the kernel, you use a bootloader called BOOT-132. It basically runs before anything else starts up and, with a few kernel extensions, it makes the system resemble the boot process of a stock Mac to the retail, unmodified Apple kernel. This means you can install OS X on your Eee with the Leopard disks you own, without modification, and without downloading a big ISO off bittorrent. It also means you can run Software Update without worry, since you are using a legit, unmodified OS X kernel.

EEEMac Journey has the full step-by-step instructions for making this all work. You have to boot off of the boot-132 CD a few times during the install process, but once you’re done, the machine will be set up to boot straight from the internal disk. I’m not sure if it’ll work, but there’s a good chance this process will work with other netbooks and Intel-based PCs with supported hardware.

EEE Boot: Installing OSX on an EEE PC 901 or 1000 with an original Apple Install Disk

16 thoughts on “Installing OS X on Eee with unpatched Apple install disks

  1. I don’t know the full details of how this works, but here’s my quick layman’s summary from what I’ve read this evening.

    The hack is basically analogous to how Boot Camp allows Intel Macs to run BIOS based OSs like Windows. At boot time, Windows expects to see a BIOS, which is what is standard on most PCs since the beginning of time. Intel Macs don’t have a BIOS, though. They use EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface), and the OS X boot loader on Intel Macs expect to see EFI instead of a BIOS. EFI provides a more robust way for the operating system to recognize and talk to hardware during the boot process, but it’s not what the average joe has in their PC.

    What this hack does is provide a preliminary boot loader that emulates an EFI on BIOS based machines. Combined with hardware that’s supported in normal Macs, and some kernel extension drivers for the bits that aren’t normally supported, it allows the standard Mac boot process to talk to the underlying hardware and start the rest of the OS up.

    That’s the gist that I’ve gotten at this point. There’s more documentation at the links below, which is basically what I’m weeding through right now. :)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OSx86#EFI_emulation
    http://wiki.osx86project.org/wiki/index.php/EFI
    http://www.digitmemo.com/articles/734/howto-install-efi-patch-and-enable-vanilla-os-x-kernel-in-hackintosh/

  2. anybody know if this type of install will support the iphone SDK? I am trying to find the cheapest way to get programming on the iphone without buying a mac. Any other suggestions?

  3. nap70, did you follow the instructions at the link above? I have an XPS 1530 and want to install an un-hacked version of OS X.

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