Sunday, June 26, 2011

Running OS X on my netbook?

Well, I knew this would take some time but I think there's some light at the end of the tunnel.
As I posted a few days ago, I'm using this guide to install Snow Leopard on my EeePC 901.
What I've done is little more than to follow the guide and install OS X 10.6.1 on my very old Philips 160 GB External HD which has lain dormant for many years.
Now I have actually got a legitimate Snow Leopard install disk. Unfortunately, it's only for upgrading from an earlier version of OS X so I couldn't use it at first.
So, I downloaded a torrent version of Snow Leopard and installed to the External HD from that.
After using Disk Utility on my MacBook to erase and partition the Philips, I created just one partition of type Mac OS X Extended (NOT journaled) with a GUID partition scheme (GPT).
Then I mounted the downloaded iso and and continued from step 5 in the guide.
Next, I continued with steps 6-10 and finally plugged the Philips into my netbook.
Despite pressing the ESC button during the power up, it took much longer than normal to get to the Device Boot Menu.
Choosing the Philips, this brought me to the Chameleon bootloader from where I "again" chose the Philips.
Now, it showed the Apple symbol for some time while it seemed to be doing something but eventually, it seemed to give up and announced that no keyboard was attached to my EeePC (untrue!) and waited for me to rectify this ommission.
So, now I tried again to install using the legitimate Snow Leopard upgrade disk now that I have a version of OS X on my External HD.

This went fine other than the last step in the install called "Moving items into place" which was supposed to take only 4 minutes, actually went on for more than 30. Any, when it did finish, once again, I hooked up the Philips to my netbook and rebooted.
And this time, it booted, perfectly, no problems other than that I just ignored a lot of the "personal details" questions that Apple fires at you.
Indeed, I was surprised at how well the OS X Welcome screen, with its 3D effects, looked on this cheap little machine.
I didn't try everything but mouse works without a problem and sound although I was unable to find any VoodooHDA.prefPane file as the guide recommends.
Now I was excited and wanted to see if I could get this onto a large ssd partition on my EeePC.
I created, using Gparted, a 7.5GB hfs+ partition on /dev/sdb and then tried to use the Disk Utility (from the External HD) to Restore the OS X install from the Philips to my ssd partition.
I tried this twice but, on neither occasion, did I get a bootable partition (although Grub2 did identify it as bootable and added a stanza to grub.cfg.
I think the problem may have been that the ssd partition always ran out of space (even though it was 7.5 GB compared to 6.5 GB of stuff to be copied over.
I believe this might be because Restore tried to copy over the whole disk and not just what's stored on it.
That's as far as I've gotten but it certainly is worth continuing with as Snow Leopard looks great on the 901.

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