Wednesday, March 16, 2011

MACOS X on regular PC

We’ll see how to install OS X on a Windows XP machine, on a 7Gb dedicated partition. So you have to prepare your hard disk with:

- The first, primary and bootable partition with a normal Win XP installation;
- A second empty NTFS primary partition;
- Any other partition you like.

Please refer to other documentations if you don’t know how to deal with hard drive partitions. You can use, for example, Partition Magic to change your HD partitions… anyway if you are not experienced in partitioning, my tip is stop here.

Then, you have to get some software:

1. An Ubuntu Linux Live CD: you can get it, or you can download it. It’s free. A valid alternative to Ubuntu that I found is Knoppix STD: use it if you’ve problems with Ubuntu;
2. VmWare Workstation it’s a commercial application, but a free trial is available;
3. The Deadmoo’s OS X Linux distro: this is available on P2P networks, usually under tiger-x86.tar.bz2 filename. I want to remember again that you’ve no right to download and to use it, if you don’t have a valid Apple’s OS X Licence.

- Boot from Ubuntu (of Knoppix) Live CD;
- Open a Terminal Window, get administrative rights (it should be sufficient to enter the command “sudo su“)… and type:
cfdisk /dev/hda
- The CFdisk utility will start: choose the partition where you want to install OS X (it should be the second one, but please make attention!) and choose “TYPE”. Now write “AF” (without quotes, of course) as type, and confirm changes choosing “WRITE”. The partition you chose will be erased and it’s type will be set to AF (Apple Format).

Now reboot, go back to Windows XP, install and open VmWare.
Create a new “FreeBSD” virtual machine. When asked to choose the primary hard drive for the virtual machine, choose your phisical hard disk; Also add a second hard drive to the virtual machine: the virtual drive inside Deadmoo’s archive; insert your Ubuntu CD and make sure that your phisical DVD/CD-rom reader is enabled in the virtual machine.
Then start the virtual machine and press on ESC as the machine begin, to enter boot menu: choose to boot from CD. Ubuntu should start booting in the virtual machine’s window. On the contrary, if you see Windows starting, immediately turn off the virtual machine and check CD-Rom settings (in this case, the CD boot has not started and your Windows XP is going to start into itself!).

When Ubuntu is ready, open a terminal window and type a command like this:

dd if=/dev/hdb1 of=/dev/hda2/ bs=8192
hdb (2nd hard drive) should be the mounted Deadmoo’s image: our source;
hda2 should be the 2nd partition of the 1st hard drive (our physical one): the destination.

If you’re not sure about partitions, type:
fdisk /dev/hda -l
to get a list of your connected hard drives and relative partitions identifiers.

The process will take about 5-10 minutes. At the end, you can shut down the virtual machine.

Download this file.
It contains a file named chain0. Extract it to the root of your C:\ partition and add the following line:
C:\chain0=”Mac OS X”
to your C:\boot.ini file.

Now reboot your PC and choose Mac OS X at the boot list screen. Then the “Darwin boot” will ask you to select the partition with Mac OS X installed: select it with arrow keys.

Now try to type -s and then enter. If everything goes ok, at the prompt type:
sh /etc/rc
passwd curtis
passwd root
and enter your new password when asked. If anything is wrong, try to boot with -x or without arguments.

Please take note that sometimes it’s needed to boot several times (with -s, -x, or with no arguments) to get OS X work… I don’t know the reason, but it happens!

NOTE : This method is not an emulation (like others that run Mac OS X into a virtual machine. Here VmWare is used only to transfer the OS X image to the 2nd partition). Mac OS runs directly on the x86 machine, so speed is the best you can get.

Of course our PCs are not exactly the hardware thought by Apple’s developers, so speed is not the same of an original Macintosh.

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