Sunday, December 07, 2008

Mac OS X 10.5.2 Leopard on a Dell Inspiron 531s

I've been for quite some time on seeing what it takes to get Mac OS X (Leopard) running on Intel PC hardware. For the last couple of weeks, I've done nothing but research and being a troll on forums and happened to stumble across a forum post about troubles with Mac OS X and a Dell Inspiron 530/531s. Cool thing is I actually have a Inspiron 531s, so the quest begins to make it happen

On several posts around the internet (most notably the insanelymac forums), there are claims that the 531s does/doesn't work, etc.

I'm here to tell you it does work and I was successful in getting Mac OS X 10.5.2 Leopard Leo4Allv3 version installed. It isn't fabulous by any stretch of the imagination just yet, but I'll explain below.

Just so it's not confusing or misleading, here are *my* hardware spec's on the Dell Inspiron 531s:

* AMD Sempron 3600+ (2.0Ghz, 256K cache)

* NVidia Geforce 6150SE nForce 430 (on-board, using 256MB physical RAM for video memory)

* 160GB SATA Hdd

* 1GB DDR2 SDRAM @ 667Mhz

* 48x CDRW/DVD drive

Below are the Mac OS X custom install settings for specific kexts I needed to enable to get it to work:

* Kernel-9.2.0
* Third Party Drivers
--> Chipset Drivers > NforceTest
--> Graphics Drivers > NVidia Driver > NVinject Choices > NVinject Version 0.1.3 > NVinject 256MB
* ACPIPlatform
--> Old-ACPIPlatform

Installation Directions (really brief):

1) I followed these directions almost verbatim, Click here to see them

2) When you get to the point in the Post-Install firstboot boot setup stuff where it asks "Do You Already Own a Mac?" when I would select the option "Do not transfer my information now" and click 'Continue' it would freeze temporarily and route me all the way back to the "Before You Begin" window. To fix that, I followed these directions:

a) Booted into single user mode ( -s at the boot> prompt)

b) fsck'd the filesystem and mounted the filesystem read/write per directions when in single user mode

c) Followed the commands below to fake out the firstboot crap and get into the OS (per the wiki link above):

# /sbin/fsck -fy
# /sbin/mount -uw /
# touch /var/db/.AppleSetupDone
# passwd root

On an operating system standpoint:

What Works:
* Well I can boot into Mac OS 10.5.2, yippie!
* NVidia 6150 at least works now and I get video, but it's really poor resolution

What Doesn't Work or isn't working (yet)
* On-board NVidia network card: I've found a post in insanelymac's form that I'm going to try this evening, but the Forcedeth/Forcedeth-V kexts from the install DVD did not discover my on-board NIC at all
* Have *no* idea how to get better results out of the on-board NVidia Geforce 6150. Right now, the only resolution I can do is 1024x768 and certainly no QE/CI. Any ideas?

What I haven't tested or am not able to test
* Audio: I think the video and NIC issue will consume most of my time right now. No sense adding more misery to the pile.
* Other network cards: I've read osx86 project's HCL and I do have gob's of hardware, problem is that the Inspiron 531s take low-profile NIC's (which I have none of) I could very well put in a standard PCI 10/100 NIC (Intel Pro100, 3Com 905, etc.) but the case side won't go back on and that looks tacky as hell.
* USB devices: Much like the audio dilema, I'm concentrating on the video and LAN, so this will come after.

So, I hope contributing this helps a lot of you out there. I'm horrible at maintaining posts and such, but I'm going to post this exact blurb on InsanelyMac (Mac OS X 10.5.2 + Leo4Allv3 + Dell Inspiron 531s Success) just in case I happen to forget to come back and post follow-up's to this.

I scored my Dell Inspiron 531s for $150 from a co-worker WITH 4 months left on the original 1-year warrenty, so I'm pretty pleased that I might be able to get Mac OS X going on it!

If any of you have any insight on some of the problems I'm experiencing, please feel free leave a comment!

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