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Converting a non-Apple machine to run Max OS X takes quite a few steps. The benefits can be big: you can wind up with a Mac at a fraction of the cost. However, in doing so you take a walk on the dodgy side of legal, as well as potentially diminishing your OS X experience – this article will look at the pros and cons of considering converting your netbook to a ‘hackintosh’. It is not an article condoning the practice or indeed offering a guide of how to do so – simply an unbiased consideration of the factors you will need to think about and decide upon should you wish to proceed of your own volition.

Pro – it’s cheap. An entry-level Mac will set you back around £800, even with student discounts. What you get for that is a class machine – but a user might be tempted by opting for the same OS on similar specifications, without the added expense. You can pick up a netbook for sub-£200, with a distribution of Lion (the latest) costing only another £25. So, you save yourself a bundle of cash.

Con – it’s not what it’s designed for. OS X and the Mac build run hand-in-hand – Apple deeply believes that design is a process synonymous with functionality and experience. Of course, by shoving the OS on to your netbook you’re hardly facilitating that ideal. Bits of it probably won’t work – users frequently have difficulty using OS X’s coveted ‘Sleep’ function and there are often issues with the broadband ethernet or wireless connections. What’s more, aspects to Lion such as Mission Control and multiple desktops just won’t play too nice with your probably-not-multitouch keypad. Apple’s OS integration goes deeper than this, too – because their devices only run a very limited set of hardware, the operating system can be optimised to the max for those specific components. You probably won’t see the same performance from a ‘similar spec’ netbook as you would from a real-life Macbook Air.

Pro – You can choose from a wider range of hardware. Apple offers a graded set of hardware, but it’s got some notable exclusions – Blu-ray being one, USB 3 being another. Also, if your netbook has an optical drive, that’s something you’ll find lacking on Apple’s nearest equivalent, the Macbook Air. So, if you need access to particular hardware and don’t fancy buying Mac-compatible external peripherals, installing OS X on a netbook solves that.

Con – it’s a walk on the dubious side of legal. Apple expressly mentions in its user agreement that their OS should only be installed on Apple-branded machines. When you agree to this user agreement – which you have to on first install – you enter in to a legally binding contract to abide by it – one that you’ve already broken. So, if things do turn really unlucky and you wind up prosecuted, you haven’t really got a leg to stand on.

Pro – it doesn’t take as much effort as it used to. Back in the day, getting a hackintosh up and running used to be the earthly equivalent to hellish torture. Custom kexts, hundreds of bootloaders, DSDT patching – those things are gradually becoming a thing of the past. There are now several component-independent ways to speed the loading of Lion on to your netbook.

Con – it still takes effort. Don’t be fooled in to thinking that things have got easy – they haven’t. Easy is lifting your new Mac out of its custom-designed packaging, switching it on and being ready to go in 30 seconds. You will have to dedicate hours of your time to making your hardware work, and accept some limitations on what you’ll be able to achieve.

Summary

Making your netbook in to a hackintosh is going to involve a deal of your time, so you need to consider if the money you’re going to save will be worth the effort for the uncertain result you’ll get. There are websites that offer great guides, hand-holding you through every step which facilitate the transition. However, if you want to stay legal, optimised and enjoy the full OS X experience, you’ll have to forgo the project and stump up for the real deal.

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, After reading the compatibility chart by Ed Gain I realized I had sucessfully gotten Mac OS X Lion 10.7.4 running on my Acer D257, which was not on the chart, and also got it to run on my Acer 532h also. This method will work with OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard also but I prefer to use Lion since it’s a newer operating system.

Before we get started, there is a bit more: I also created a quadruple boot with my laptops. I will create a new guide showing that but just for now I will go through getting Mac OS X running on the netbook. If anything goes wrong don’t be afraid to leave a comment and I will reply as quickly as possible.

Things needed:

  •  Acer Aspire D257 or 532h
  • To use Lion upgrade RAM to 2GB
    (DDR3 for the D257 and DDR2 for the 532h)
  • iAtkos L1 (Lion 10.7.1)
  • USB Keyboard and USB Mouse
  • External USB DVD Drive
  • Sign up to osx86.net comes in handy no matter what

Files for individual netbooks:

Before we begin ensure laptop is on power source.

  1. Plug the External DVD Drive via USB to the netbook with the iAtkos L1 DVD already inserted, hit F12 to boot from other sources and choose the DVD.
  2. Press F8 to get to the menu and boot with the tag mach_atom
  3. Loading time will take some time on both netbooks, after the the first screen choose your desired language and continue
  4. Before beginning go to utilities on top and choose disk utility choose the hard drive and create a partition with MAC OS X (Journaled), hit the plus button on the bottom and make GUID Partition Table, Then create and we are ready to install MAC OS X. After closing disk utility the installation process will continue, now choose the partition and before hitting continue choose customize at the bottom left.
  5. Choose chameleon as the boot loader, create extra directory, remove RTC (will cause Kernel Panic plus not needed on Netbook), Use the 10.7.1 atom kernel in custom kernels, and then in drivers choose all the laptop accessories battery, sensor etc. no video drivers will be chosen or kernel panic, and for PS2 use both apple and voodoo, then do the same for sound.
  6. Now after everything is chosen to the specs of your individual laptop continue the installation until finished.
  7. When finished completely, we are ready for the first boot, at the menu screen we use the tags custom (this is the kernel) and arch=i386.
  8. Now this is where the USB Keyboard and USB Mouse comes in handy, plug them in and enter your info and password after we are on the desktop the keyboard can be unplugged but not the mouse. The Keyboard will function but not the trackpad as of yet.
  9. In the attached file use the show hidden files, move the /Extra folder to the desktop and create a new one that is not hidden drag it to the / where the first one was, and now drag all the contents into the new Extra folder now delete the mach_kernel that in the folder / and rename the kernel that is custom to mach_kernel.
  10. Replace the Extra file with the one in the correct folder for your laptop, use kext wizard to replace the applehda.kext with the 10.6.2 one so we do not get a kernel panic.
  11. I replaced the atheros cards with the Broadcom chip so if you decide to do this, use the working wifi kexts with kext wizard and replace the ones in system/library/extensions and that will make the broadcom chip work.
  12. After all the kexts have been replaced, open the permissions.txt file and then open terminal, sudo su and insert your password. With su permissions copy the commands one by one and then restart.

Now you’re done with the 10.7.1 successfully.

Let’s continue to update to 10.7.4:

  1. Download the 10.7.4 Combo update from here
  2. After the Combo Update has been installed replace the mach_kernel, with the new 10.7.4 mach_kernel you downloaded.
  3. Then once again replace the applehda.kext with the 10.6.2 one and the wifi kexts with the ones provided
  4. Re-run the terminal and the commands in the permissions.txt and all should be well

Congrats, your netbook is now on 10.7.4!

Any questions, don’t be afraid to ask, this is my first guide so the better I get, the better I will provide information.

 

HP Mini 110

Written by Angel Macias

If you own one this little machine the first thing you have to confirm is your hardware since this machine has 2 hardware configuration, but this is up to luck, mine has:

  • Intel Atom n455 1.66 GHz processor (1 core with 2 threads)
  • 320 GB Sata 2 Hdd 7200 rpm
  • 1 GB ram 1333 MHz
  • Realtek Rtl8188ce wifi card (Not working)
  • Realtek Ethernet port (Not working)

Ok first of you will need:

  1.  A computer already running osx (if you don’t have one ask a friend you will only need it once)
  2. A 10.6 retail disk or image, (this only work with the retail image)
  3. You also will need the NetbookInstaller, always use the latest version you can find it here: http://code.google.com/p/netbook-installer/downloads/list , you will only need this to update you system up to a working point after the install
  4. You will also need the Nawcom ModUsb (search for it Google is you friend)
  5. An USB memory stick with at least 8 GB
  6. A lot of patience =)

Let’s begin

I recommend you to keep windows, I recommend you installing paragon partition manager and backup you restore partition of windows, then format it an resize so you can give at lease 50 GB which I recommend, but its entirely up to you, and then continue with all of the steps. The partition must be fat32 for osx to recognize it.

  1. On the computer already running osx, insert you disk or image of the retail snow leopard, and put you USB.
  2. Open up disk utility, and on the left panel select you USB, go the option restore, in the source you are going to put you 10.6 image, and in destiny you USB, then click restore.
  3. Once the restore is done, you are going to open up the installation of the ModUsb, and select the newly restored USB to install on. Once this is done you will not need the osx running computer you can turn it of =)
  4. Ok so now on the HP Mini, put the USB on, power on the computer and press F9 to choose a boot device. Select the USB to boot from; you should be received with a chameleon kind of screen. (Nawcom Version)
  5. When you get to that point you will see all you partition, but select the USB, you will recognize it because it will have an apple =).
  6. You will not need any boot flags for this if you did all the right way, if you did you will be greeted with the snow leopard language selection screen , select the language you want and continue.
  7. Now before you continue you have to do to Utilities  Disk Utility, and on the left panel select the partition select the partition which you want to use for snow, then go to the Erase option of it, name it whatever you want , select Mac Os X (Journaled) as format, and the click erase. Once done you can close the disk utility.
  8. No continues you installation, in some point you will be asked to select the drive you want to install snow leopard, at this point go to customize (bottom left), and deselect printer compatibility, additional languages you don’t need, check the x11 and quick time 7 checkbox (you can skip this step but its better if you do it for compatibility), leave all other options alone, since ModUsb selected them for you.
  9. Ok now continue to the installation, it will take 20 to 30 min tops, when you are done your computer will restart, take of the USB at this point (it may cause kernel panic because USB ports don’t function at this point).
  10. If everything is done right you will only have to select the snow leopard partition when chameleon comes up, if everything is alright you will be greeted with the first setup steps of mac osx.fill everything up and reach you desktop.

Congratulations: you now have Snow Leopard installed!

Well you now have Snow Leopard, but as you can see not everything is working; you will not have QE/CI, Ethernet, Wifi, USB ports etc.

This is when your Windows partition will come in handy: restart and log in to it, from here install Mac drive to it Google again for it =), once its done download the 10.6.7 combo update from apple, and the netbook installer, also you will need TonyMac Multibeast and 10.7.0 legacy kernel with google you will find it. Copy them to the Mac partition, try to look for the Downloads folder and paste them there.

Now log of windows and enter Mac =), run multibeast, you will only need this to update the voodoohda.kext so do that and also install kext utility b7 and the show all application they will come handy, once done run the 10.6.7 combo update *(10.6.8 give kernel panic an you will have to start all over again so don install that) once the update is done don’t restart, install the 10.7.0 legacy kernel and once done restart.

If done right you will get to your desktop, if you restarted without installing the legacy kernel you wont be able to boot Mac but don’t worry you can copy it from you windows partition =).

Ok so now run the netbook installer, it will ask for you password and all once it’s done, do not restart!! , go you your hard drive and in you extra folder you will find that mach_kernel was installed by the netbook installer, and that is the correct one so delete the legacy_kernel (he has serve his purpose xp) you may also find a legacy_kernel.old there delete that too. Now you can restart =).

When you reach your desktop again you will find that USB ports are detected, graphics too without QE/CI, and this should be a very workable with Mac mini.

Realtek Ethernet and Rlt8188ce wifi does not work, and I haven’t found a way to make it if you do please tell me =) I hope that this is of any help to you.

 

Credits:

To Nawcom for his awesome tools Modcd and ModUsb.

To TonyMac for Multibeast which is a huge time saver.

To Meklort for the netbookinstaller which rocks!

 

Thanks to the efforts on the InsanelyMac netbook forum and other blogs around the ‘net I’ve been able to add a few more netbooks to the Mac OS X Netbook Compatibility Chart – the following additions have been made:

  • Acer Iconia Tab W500
  • Asus Eee PC 1015PX
  • Asus Eee PC 1215B
  • Asus Eee PC 1215P
  • HP Mini 5102
  • Lenovo S10-3t
  • MSI Wind U230
  • Samsung NF208/210
  • Samsung NB30

Also one model updated, which is now very compatible with OS X:

  • Samsung N210

As usual, we’re highly dependant on the efforts from the hackintosh community so if you spot any missing netbooks that should be on there, or if you see any breakthroughs that aren’t yet recorded on the chart then please let us know.

 

French myMacNetbook reader Julien Dupont has shared with us his success in getting Mac OS X running on the snappily-named Packard Bell Dot SE W-020 Fr .

Sadly Wi-Fi is not working yet and video is limited to a default 800×600 resolution. However, sound, ethernet and trackpad are confirmed as working.

Julien managed to complete the installation using Iatkos S3 V2 (Mac OS X 10.6.3). His custom installed is listed as follows:

Bootloader

  • aserbln v1.1.9

Bootoption

  • Graphics enabler
  • Ethernet
  • USB
  • UUID

Patches

  • /extra directory
  • fake smc
  • Disabler
  • rtc > rtc
  • modified Kernel > atom
  • EVOreboot
  • Sleep enabler
  • USB
  • UUID

Drivers

  • SATA/IDE > intel sata IDE ou ahci selon votre configuration dans la bios
  • Sound > voodoo HDA
  • Apple HDA 10.6.2
  • PS/2 > Apple ps/2
  • CPU power management > voodoo p-state & voodoo power
  • Laptop hardware > everything but NOT acpi thermal (32 bits)
  • NTFS 3g
  • VGA > Intel GMA X3100 (doesn’t work)
  • Network > Wireless Broadcom (doesn’t work)
  • Wired > Atheros Attnsic L1E

After install restart with cpus=1 -v then wait

Download AtherosL1cEthernet at http://xsolutions.free.fr/home/netbook/inetbook/Atheros-lan.php

Install with kexthelper b7 http://web.mac.com/v1.42ghz/Kext_Helper/Software_files/Kext%20Helper%20b7.zip

Thanks again to Julien for sharing this with the community. As always, if you’ve managed to get Mac OS X working on a netbook that’s not listed on our chart, you can submit it to us for inclusion.

 

The latest version of Lenovo’s S10 netbooks, the S10-3, has been added to the Mac OS X netbook compatibility chart, thanks to schoolboy Benjamin Goldsmith.

Most key features work except for sleep. Don’t forget, if you’ve managed to get Mac OS X working on a netbook that’s not listed on our chart, you can submit it to us for inclusion.

 

Our Mac OS X Netbook Compatibility Chart has been updated again. 18 netbooks have been added in total, the list is as follows:

  • Acer Aspire One D150
  • Acer Aspire One D255
  • Asus Eee PC 1001HA
  • Asus Eee PC 1001PX
  • Asus Eee PC 1005HA
  • Asus Eee PC 1005P
  • Asus Eee PC 1018P
  • Asus Eee PC 1201HA
  • Asus Eee PC 1201NL
  • Asus Eee PC 1215N
  • Gateway LT2104U
  • Gigabyte T1028
  • Dell Alienware M11x R1
  • Dell Alienware M11x R2
  • Dell Inspiron Duo
  • Dell Mini 10 (1018)
  • Samsung N150
  • Sony Vaio TZ31VN

And the following netbook has had its feature compatibility updated:

  • Asus Eee PC 1101HA

Again, many thanks to everyone who contributed either via comments, the Mac OS X Netbook forum at InsanelyMac, or directly over email.

If you spot any error or omissions, or if you’ve written your own guide for a netbook that isn’t featured (or a better guide for one that is), then by all means get in touch!

 

Developer Meklort has announced the release of NetbookInstaller 0.8.5 Preview on his blog, which is the first public release of the combined application which sees the merging of the previously separate NetbookInstaller and NetbookBootMaker apps which are key to the easy installation of Mac OS X on netbooks.

Note that this is a preview release and is only really suitable for those that want to pioneer and provide feedback to Meklort. It’s highly likely that this will break parts of your Mac OS X installation so handle with care – if you’re feeling brave you can download NetbookInstaller 0.8.5pre here.

 

Apple today announced an all-new 11″ MacBook Air, the closest its ever got to a netbook. The smallest Apple notebook ever released, the MacBook Air measures a mere 0.68 inches (17mm) at its thickest point, and an incredible 0.11 inches (3mm) at its thinnest point.

It also sports SSD storage directly on the motherboard as opposed to a standard 1.8″ hard drive bay, and has 2GB RAM as standard at 1066MHz (frontside bus of 800MHz), upgradeable to 4GB. The new MacBook Air range moves aware from Intel’s low voltage processors, and now sport the standard Core 2 Duo processors at 1.4GHz, with an option to upgrade to 1.6GHz.

An extra USB port has made its way onto the new MacBook Air, and it loses the previous ports flap. The 11.6″ LED-backlit screen has a 1280×768 resolution with a 16:9 aspect ratio, and the newly upgraded nVidia GeForce 320M graphics pack 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM, with a Mini DisplayPort capable of powering Apple’s recently announced 27″ cinema display.

The battery life is also impressive, with a standby time of 30 days, and a real-world “wireless productivity” battery life of 5 hours. The price point is also more aggressive for Apple, at $999, which may still be a far cry from today’s current netbook prices, but for Apple’s premium products this is a bit more reasonable, certainly when compared to the outgoing 13″ MacBook Air model.

Let us know what you think of the new MacBook Air and if will or won’t be getting one and why.

 

If the rumormill is to  be believed, Apple could be about to release an 11.6″ MacBook Air at its “Back to the Mac” event tomorrow.

If true, this could be the closest Apple has come so far to producing an Apple-branded netbook. The specs are expected to include 2GB RAM, SSD card-based storage as standard, and likely a ULV (Ultra Low Voltage) Intel Core i-Series processor.

The 11.6″ model is expect to join the existing 13″ model in addition, not as replacement, and at a more aggressive price point.

 
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