Snow Leopard on eVGA X58 Micro and 8800GT
After numerous attempts, I have finally managed to get Snow Leopard running on my eVGA X58 Micro motherboard-based system. After finally managed to get this going, I have decided to try and write a guide. Unfortunately, I didn’t write down everything step-by-step, so I will attempt to remember all the steps I used to get this going in the hopes that it will help at least one other person. The items that you will need to get this going are as follows:
- Kalyway_10.5.2_DVD_Intel_Amd.iso (Copy and paste the filename into Google)
- Retail Snow Leopard Disc (snowleopard_10a432_userdvd.dmg) (Need a Dual-Layer DVD to burn, or, put the image on an external drive and transfer it and mount it when needed. once again, copy and paste filename into google)
- 2 SATA hard drives (recommended)
- My X58 OSX86 Files (slow mirror)
The process is fairly simple. First we install Kalyway on the secondary hard drive. It doesn’t need to be perfect, and doesn’t need to have all deviecs working, just enough so that it boots up. From there, we will install Snow Leopard directly to the 1st hard drive, install the Chameleon bootloader, copy over our drivers, boot the new system and update it.
Sound simple? Lets hope it is. Please keep in mind this: I am not an expert. I’m a newbie when it comes to OS X, I know very little about it, and very little about how all this works. This guide is basically a “How I Did It” guide, step for step. Good Luck!
First off, before I do anything else, I need to throw out some thanks. Without these guides and the people that wrote them, I wouldn’t have standed a chance:
- xxxslayeriiixxx for EVGA X58 Snow Leopard Mac OS X 10.6.4 (10F569 Installation
- aquamac for GFX Strings HOWTO
- ihavearedcouch for Leopard 10.5.7 Vanilla Installation on EVGA X58 and X58 Snow Leopard Installation
- VoodooHDA Team for VooDooHDA
- Chameleon Team for http://chameleon.osx86.hu/
All of these people, in one way or another, contributed to the end result. There may be more that I’m missing, but I will credit when I come across their names.
Ok, so lets get down to it.
Warning: All the data on your hard drives will be wiped, back everything up that you will need.
Step 1 – Install Kalyway 10.5.2
First off, I’ll say that it doesn’t have to necessarily be a Kalyway install, or 10.5.2 specifically. We just want ANY version of Leopard up and running right now. I just used Kalyway because it was the easiest and quickest to get going. I suggest you go into your BIOS and enable AHCI mode, it should be found under the Onboard PATA/SATA Devices section. I don’t know if this is needed or not for Leopard, but it will be for Snow Leopard.
My suggestion at this point is to only have 1 hard drive plugged in. Before we boot our Leopard install, we will plug the second disk back in.
Boot the Kalyway disk (or whatever disk you use) and start the install of Leopard. I don’t remember the exact options I chose under the Customize screen, but I went down through and disable and drivers that I knew I wouldn’t need for sure, and selected a few that looked somewhat familiar. I have read that others didn’t select anything and things were fine.
If you have trouble with Kalyway install, please email me or comment on this guide and I will run through the install again on my desktop and write it down step by step.
After Leopard boots up, you can shut down the system and plug in your second drive that we will be using to install Snow Leopard on, then boot back up and then you can move onto the next step.
Step 2 – Prepare the Snow Leopard Disk
So now that you’re booted up into Leopard, and the second hard drive is plugged in, we can prepare it for Snow Leopard. Open up Disk Utility (Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility). Select the newly added hard drive in the list on the left (be careful not to select your currently running drive). On the right side, go to the “Paritition” section, select 1 partition from the drop down (you can select more than one partition if you plan on dual or tri-booting later, its up to you). Then press the Options button and choose “GUID Partition Table“, press OK, then select the first partition (or only partition if you only said 1), and set a name to it, I just called mine “Snow Leopard” as to not confuse them both. Also, make sure you set the format to “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)“.
Step 3 – Snow Leopard Install
Next step is the Snow Leopard install itself. Now, for this, I had a DMG image that I transfered from my server to my Leopard install and mounted that using Disk Utility, it made it much faster and I didn’t need a dual-layer disk for it. However way you did it, you can now mount the Snow Leopard retail dvd. That will autostart an install window, if not, then double-click the icon on your desktop. At this install window, execute the key sequence of [ Shift + Command + G ] and navigate to “/Volumes/Mac OS X Install DVD/System/Installation/Packages“. From there, you want to run the OSInstall.mpkg (please note the mpkg extension, there is another package file there that looks identical but is pkg).
Go through the install file, select your target drive as the “Snow Leopard” partition we made earlier. When you go to Customize the install, uncheck all printer support!. All I had checked on mine was “Essential System Software” and “X11“. Selecting printer support will cause your install to fail.
When the install is done, close off the installer but do not reboot yet…
Step 4 – Chameleon Bootloader Install
From my package that you downloaded in the beginning, run the Chameleon Installer (unzip and double-click) and set the target drive to be the Snow Leopard drive again. This install is pretty straight forward, not much else to it.
Step 5 – Copying my /Extra/ Folder
This is by far the most difficult thing with getting Snow Leopard going, having the proper Kexts for your install. In my package that you downloaded earlier is the exact /Extra/ folder that I am using to have my hardware work as it should. If this does not work for you, then you must have different hardware. As for the Graphics Card, I understand you will probably have a different one, so we’ll get to that next step.
Copy the Extra folder from my package over to your /Extra, and make sure you overwrite what you have so nothing is left around. To be sure, you can even delete your /Extra and move mine there. We’ll make some edits to some of the files though to match your system.
Once that’s done, on to the next step.
Step 6 – Generating Graphics EFI Strings
This step may be a bit complicated, but its nessessary for you to get native resolution. First off, go to Aquaman’s Post and find your graphics card in the list and download the file associated with it. For me, I have the “8800GT 512MB“, but this may vary with you. (Side Note: I will try and mirror all of Aquaman’s files here when I get a chance) Next, I will pretty much copy and paste what Aquaman has for a guide because its well-written, and pretty straightforward.
Note: This only includes NVidia cards, I have never messed with Intel or ATi cards in OS X before, so you will have to look elsewhere for that info, sorry!
1. Extract the file you downloaded from the above link for your particular graphics card to your desktop
2. Open up the Terminal, browse to the location of the extract files and run: ./gfxutil -f display . This will give you an output of something like “PciRoot(0×1)/Pci(0xe,0×0)/Pci(0×0,0×0)” , copy this for the next step
3. Open up the in.plist file, near the top of the file you should see a line similar to the output of the last step, replace that with what your output was. Then scroll to the bottom of the file where you see the model name and replace it with your model so it looks like “<string>NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT</string>” or whatever.
4. Go back to the terminal, and execute the following command: “./gfxutil -i xml -o hex ./in.plist ./out.hex“, this will create an out.hex file that you can now open using TextEdit. This is your EFI String for your graphics card. So, copy all of the text for the next step.
Step 7 – Editing your com.apple.boot.plist
Open up the file /Extra/com.apple.Boot.plist (you may run across permission issues, if so, you can copy this file to your desktop, make the edits, and copy it back to the /Extra folder). You will see the boot file that I use for my system. First thing we’ll do is replace my graphics EFI string with the one you generated in the previous step. So, look for the “<key>device-properties</key> <string>loooooong line of stuff</string>” and replace the long line of stuff with yours.
Next, change the “<key>Graphics Mode</key><string>1680x150x32</string>” with whatever matches your monitors native resolution.
Finally, we need to change the UUID to match your system. To find out your UUID, open up Disk Utility (/Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility), select the Snow Leopard hard drive on the left, and then click the Info button up top, and your UUID should be listed in the window. Copy and paste this, over-writing mine in the file.
That’s it for the boot.plist file, so you can save and close it, if you get a permission error, save it to your desktop, and then close it, and drag-n-drop it to your /Extra folder again.
Step 8 – DSDT.aml File
If you’re using the same motherboard as me, you should not need to do anything with the DSDT.aml file that I have provided in my /Extra folder. If this doesn’t work for you, you may need to seek out additional information on making your own. There should be lots of info on various forums, or in a google search. If you get stuck on this, email me or post in the comments and I will do my best to guide you into the right direction.
Step 9 – Customizing the smbios.plist
Next up, we need to customize your System Profiler information. You will find this file inside the /Extra folder that I have provided you. Open it up and lets make some edits:
- Change the SMUUID to the one we got from the Disk Utility UUID of our Hard Drive
- Change the SMSerial number towards the bottom to whatever you want. I haven’t seen this mentioned anywhere before, but using the default will cause some applications not work. For example, TeamViewer wouldn’t connect to the TeamViewer servers because apparantly it sends the systems serial number when doing so.
Step 10 – Repair and Reboot!
I don’t know if this is even required anymore, but out of habit, I do it anyways. Open up your Disk utility again, and run a repair on your Snow Leopard drive. There probably isn’t a need for this anymore, but I like to be safe.
Next, shut down your computer, unhook your old Leopard hard drive, fire the system back up, and hopefully you will have a fully working Snow Leopard install.
If your system doesn’t boot, try booting with “-v -f” and see if that does the trick. Otherwise, something went wrong somewhere along the ways, and you can post in the comments or on the forums.
When going through your setup, you can skip the registration by [ Command + Q ]
Step 11 – Final Words and Updates
After everything is all up and running and you’ve gone through the setup process, you can now update the system.
The beauty about doing a Retail Snow Leopard install is that its fully upgradable without doing anything special. The first thing I did was downloaded the Apple Combo Update 10.6.4, updated my system, rebooted and ran the rest of the updates through the Preference pane.
If you don’t have any audio working, then run the VooDooHDA package I have included in my downloadable files, this got audio going for me perfectly.
That’s It! Hopefully now you have a fully running system. Using this method, I have all my devices working properly. I can run Steam and player Team Fortress 2 no trouble. Networking, Audio, etc. all work fine.
If this guide worked for you, please take a moment and comment below. I like to know if it helps people. Also, if you notice any errors, ommissions, or want clarification on anything, let me know. I’m not an expert at all, but I’ll help when I can.