satisfyBefore I get this thing rolling – I want to tell you one thing. The tone which I’ve written this article may differ , its just to make it sound like a commercial product. I have no intentions of selling it or making profit out of it. This project will remain , free and I’ll be writing a guide on how to make your very own boot-132 disc so that you can pretty much help out the rest !
Introduction – Presenting Empire EFI. The one of the kind boot loader which all. Do take a look at what Empire EFI as to offer. Unlike other tutorials and guides and solutions , you don’t need a hackint0sh or Macintosh running OSX . Its possible to use this disc on a PC running Windows or Linux
As wise Darth Vader used to say (our CEO and Mentor):-
“You do not know the power of the dark side” – Darth Vader
By the way do take a look at our new prelude (thanks apocolipse aka apoc269)
|Chameleon Boot Loader with netkas’ PC_EFI||The new Boot Loader allows you boot up to different OSes in different partition and along side with native GUID partition support. Its even capable of supporting PC Graphics Card out of the box (such as NVIDIA and ATI cards) . It even supports DSDT patching allowing you to make your BIOS to behave like a Mac’s EFI without the need to flash your BIOS !|
|Its Install-n-Forget||With the help of myHack installer* , Empire EFI allows users to install latest updates from Apple without worrying much about kernel extensions and such. In an event of mess up , simply use your Empire EFI disc and boot up your partition to get it up and running !|
|Its Free , & Open Source (plus its community driven)||While our rival charge you $50 for a software which they stole and which they encrypt. Empire EFI starves on the policy of Darth Vader of making it free thus allowing more people to learn about the Empire. You could even make your own EFI disc and market it for $50 ! Talk about making money like our rivals ! Our solution is so simple that you’ll have to insert our boot disc for the mantra to work and bam insert your retail Snow Leopard . Plus there aren’t any activation and you could even use it up for ? number of computers ! It doesn’t even contain any kexts from our competitors !*|
|Learn and play at the same time||Our unique boot loader embarks you on the journey of learning more of your computer internals such as learning about device IDs , DSDT patchin – which takes you on to a whole new level. If you’re tired of watching Glee on Fox , you’ll be certainly amazed with the whole journey. now you could do it. We don’t cheat , nor we don’t lie|
* – Openhaltrestart.kext is no longer included as from Version 1.03
Not only that. With the power of the dark side , you could save a bunch on building your very own Hackint0sh. Just take a look for yourself , (if you were to choose between Empire EFI and from our competitor)
Our Competitors Offering : USD$49.95 (Limited offer) + USD$ 29.99 (Snow Leopard) = ~USD$ 80
Our Solution : USD0 (for Empire EFI) + USD$ 29.95 = ~USD$ 30.00 (You Save USD$50) (That’s a lot , especially in bad times)
PLUS , WE DON’T USE ANY solutions/drivers from our competitors. Its 100% “organic”
Do take a look at our screenshots if you are still not connivence of our product and for Gods sake , please read everything what I’ve written below
So what are you waiting for. All you have to do is download. The dark side is very strong and now I do sense the force is flowing strong with you. In order for you to test out Empire EFI. Here are the requirements :-
- Intel Processor with SSSE3 or better (If you are not sure that if your processor is SSSE3 capable , kindly get CPU-Z to check it out) (Examples of SSSE3 capable processors are Intel Core Duo , Core 2 Duo , Intel Core i7 , Core 2 Quad , Intel Atom) (Update : Experimental AMD Support as well)
- 1GB Minimum RAM
- Intel Chipset (aka motherboard which uses Intel Chipset) (Intel 945P or better)
- Knowing your computer internals (such as its chipset , southbridge , northbridge)
- Knowledge on basic troubleshooting
- [Added Advantage] Knowledge on ACPI , UNIX and low-end OSX related stuff
- CD-R/CD-RW to burn Empire EFI !
Keep in mind that what you’re about to do is not something which is easy. Empire EFI would act as a boot loader to help you to install OSX and once you’ve installed OSX. You are on your own. So you’ll have to do tons of homework and research on the Internet before attempting to try Empire EFI. Don’t tell me that I’ve warned you
CURRENT VERSION : 1.08
Scroll down if you’re looking for AMD Version or specially patched version of Empire EFI for your motherboard/chipset/processor
I am also looking for your input for Empire EFI v1.09 , please do contribute
Whats New in – Version 1.08 –
- All-In-One , it now includes separate ISO for normal version , legacy version (for problematic BIOS) , and a special version for Core i5/Core i7 8XX
- Added Support (Experimental) for Core i5/Core i7 8XX with Intel P55 Motherboard (this is due to the new 10.2 kernel which includes support for Intel Core i5/i7)
- Removed support for nForce motherboards , ATI and other non-Intel boards as it was causing a lot of problems on Intel boards
- Included a newer version of VoodooHDA by Slice from ProjectOSX , so that sound can be enabled out of the box (aka you can get to listen to the startup sound and other things after installing OSX)
- Added ATILegacy4800.kext from netkas and enabled GraphicsEnabler for ATI 48xx and nvidia gtx 2xx series card (Please use DVI2VGA adapter during installation as DVI may or may not work)
- Added Support for AMD , ATI , nForce motherboard. AMD users can now rejoice ! (scroll down below for an AMD experimental version by nawcom)
1. Download the package
2. Choose the suitable version (if you are not sure then choose the normal version. However if you have tried the normal version and you have had some issues booting it be sure to try with legacy version. For Intel P55/Core i5 users you would not have a choice but to go with the i5 version)
3. Burn the desired ISO at the slowest speed possible.
4. Reboot your PC and be sure that your DVD/CD ROM is set as the first bootable drive. Empire EFI should boot up (do ignore any errors do you see such as no Preboot.dmg or no ramdisk)
5. If everything goes well , you should see Empire EFI boot Screen. Now eject your disc , wait for 10-20 seconds. Then insert your Snow leopard DVD and then wait for at least 30-60 seconds
6. After that simply hit F5 and let Empire EFI rescan. It should able to detect your Snow Leopard DVD and all you have to do is select it
Note : if you are having issues such as chameleon seeing Snow Leopard DVD as a HDD or unable to detect , scroll down and read the FAQ !
Note #2 – By default Empire EFI would only address 1GB of RAM. This is to prevent memory related issues with system and other things and Empire EFI would disable graphics acceleration in order for you to install the system
Note #3 – (Read This) ATI issues may have “garbaged” display , it seems that for some reason the installer hates direct DVI Output. Some of the users did manage to get DVI2VGA adapter to get it working (others used the other way around VGA2DVI). Some had to connect it via HDMI. It seems that if you’re not using standard ATI 48xx card according to the specifications set by ATI and which Apple follows it strictly , your output may be garbaged. This is because Apple’s “stock driver” only recognises certain output only. I can’t help much on this , because I can’t hack and “inject” drivers on the go. It has to be done after-installation only. This applies to some nvidia cards as well. This is the reason why you get a blank screen. Apple stock drivers are really picked about it , thats why you’ll have to generate a custom EFI
Note #4 – I am going to write a post-installation guide which takes care of how to find drivers , so on and so forth. Stay tuned
Suppose if the newest and greatest version did not work for you , I do offer cooked version and special versions of Empire EFI for certain boards. If the generic version did not work , do try these other flavours. If you’re looking for an older build of Empire EFI , scroll down and grab it directly from my changelog.
Special Cooked Version for Problematic Board (Empire EFI Verison 1.06) – Just like the previous version which is listed down. It uses ISOLinux to boot up the system (which should prevent some weird memory errors and be sure to burn it at the slowest speed possible). This version includes lots of disablers such as SMC , Power Management and other stuff which causes hangs in some system (i.e AppleIntelCPUPowermanagement hang or AppleSMC hang). Use this version only if you have problems booting the CD manually otherwise just stick with regular 1.06 ! (Deprecated)
Special ‘Cooked’ Version for Problematic Board (Empire EFI Version 1.01) (Mirror #1)- A lot of folks are complaining on why it doesn’t work on their board. Some do get the memory allocation error. I’ve cooked a special version of Empire EFI on this problematic boards by using ISOLinux. So if you could get Linux Live CD to boot , there is a high chance that you can get this to boot up as well. Try this version if you’re having problem with the default version !
Special “beta” verision for Intel/nForce Intel/VIA Chipset and Intel ICH9-R/M users (Version 1.04) – If you’re using nForce motherboard you may test this new version out. It has kexts meant for ICH9-R/M users (some variants of it) and it includes the new nForceATA kext from c0rk007hck (Deprecated)
For Intel Core i7/X58 Users
If the default version did not work , then feel free to try the special version for Intel Core i7 users/X58 by aschar. Its known to work for a lot of Intel Core i7 users. Its specially tuned for X58 Motherboards !
Empire EFI for Intel Core i7 and Intel X58 Chipset (V1.04 by aschar) – This version is tuned for X58 Chipset. it contains support for X58 Chipset and you shouldn’t be getting any black screens on your X58 Chipset with Core i7 processors. aschar who is also an i7 user has built this cd (by the way – knows exactly the do and donts of X58 and Core i7) . This version contains special X58 extensions , a guide on how to patch ALC889a codec (which is commonly found on X58 motherboards) and other X58 related stuff. If you do have any issues with this version , do post a comment about it and I’ll forward it to aschar , or you may just go to #snowleopard (irc.osx86.hu) and talk to aschar !
Empire EFI for Intel Core i7 and Intel X58 Chipset (Beta/V1.06 by aschar) – This is a beta version with support for ATI and some other changes for Intel X58 Users. For non-gigabyte X58 chipset boot with -pci0 (to do that , wait for 60 seconds , insert MacOS X DVD , and then hit tab twice and then type -pci0).
NOTE : ATI Radeon 4850 users should use this Empire EFI version for Core i7 even if you are not using Core i7/X58 Chipset. This build has a special fix to enable 4850 to work with it.
Empire EFI for AMD Processors (Experimental/V1.08 by nawcom) – This is an experimental version for AMD processors to enable them to use Retail Snow Leopard installation disk. However keep in mind that if you have more then 4GB of RAM installed , please remove some RAM and be sure to have less then 4GB of RAM otherwise you’ll run into some problems. There are some known issues with Empire EFI for AMD processors.
Empire EFI for AMD Processors #2 (Experimental/V.108) (Mirror)- This is another take on Empire EFI for AMD. INstead of using supernforceata , I am using back the good ol’ nforceata which a lot of users recommended , plus I’ve added couple of more legacy kext. Instead of qoopz’ kernel , its using modbin’s modded kernel for AMD.
Empire EFI for Nvidia GTX 2xx graphics (including GTX 2xxM and GTX 1xx M support) (Experimental/V1.08) – This is an experimental version (including i5 and core i7 , and P55 support) for those who are using GTX 2xx series. It should be working as I’ve included OSX 10.6.2 nvidia drivers kext which has better support for the GTX 2xx series). Its currently hosted on megaupload , don’t ask me for mirrors or where to host them. If you’re willing to mirror it , let me know
Empire EFI for ATI Graphics (48xx series/V 1.08) – This is yet another experimental version by me. What I’ve done is that I’ve included the new ATI kexts from 10.6.2 into the DVD , thus allowing ATI Users to boot up to installer and install it. I’ve tested out this theory and indeed works.
Comments ? Criticism ?
If you have something to say , feel free to post about it in my comments. If you’re seeking for help , feel free to drop by to #snowleopard @ irc.osx86.hu . I do welcome suggestions and even criticism on how I should improvise it . Please do. The empire is counting on you !
If Empire EFI did work for you and if you could run OSX beautifully , consider buying an Apple hardware as I truly think that Apple deserves the money for coming up with such a good hardware and OS which syncs in harmony ! -or- instead donate it to WWF or needy folks in Africa !
The Legal Stuff
I’ve given due credit for almost everyone and whichever tools I’ve used. You may look it up in the read me. All of the tools which I’ve used are Open Source tools meaning that you can obtain the source code and modify it according to your wish and then release it according to AAPL. Anyhow , these are the tools/tutorials which I’ve used to create Empire EFI. I’ve quoted here so that you too can make your own Boot CD
chameleon Boot Loader – The Core of Empire EFI
Boot-132 Method – The way on how Chameleon and other things get loaded
1.If Empire EFI fails (i.e if you were getting errors , instant reboots and other stuff). You should try building your own snow leopard bootable usb boot stick , this is because Empire EFI is not a complete replacement of DIY-Snow-Leopard-Retail-DVD Solution .
If you have a mac (or a hack) (running MacOSX 10.4 or later) , and a 8GB usb stick , you should consider reading this method instead.
If you have Linux installed and 8GB Usb stick , you should consider this method
If you have Windows installed and if you would like to create your own bootcd for your motherboard/usb stick , then you should read up on this method
2.From time to time , newer version of Empire EFI may not work with certain motherboards. You should try using an older version instead of a newer one. This is because a newer ones may contain experimental or new stuff which may not play nice with certain motherboards.
3.If you’re planning to upgrade to 10.6.2 , please read this guide . Its better to backup a couple of things as Apple has removed support for Intel Atom processors from 10.6.2 onwards
4.Plus those who are getting Snow Leopard DVD icon as a HD Icon. Go to your BIOS settings and change SATA operation to IDE (just try toggling between IDE and AHCI). It would eventually detect as a CD-ROM and it should work. There are few issues with certain SATA DVD-ROM Drives !
5. if you’re having display issues i.e blank screen and other graphics related issue. You may have to use another graphics card. Generally GTX series does not work in installation and that goes the same for ATI 48xx users. However there are some number of users who have reported to get it to work with aschar’s cooked version. You may want to give that a shot !
6. If you cant’ read whats written in the white text. Simply hit tab twice and it will take you to a command line interface whereby you could read. You don’t have to strain your eyes for this
If you need more help on fixing BIOS related issues ,scroll down and read on fixing bugs and some problems
The Idea behind Empire EFI
The whole concept was started by Conti , aschar and the great team. A lot of people have underestimated the community thinking that what Py$tar did was right and they didn’t rip anyones project. I wanted to show to the world and those who have doubted the Hackint0sh team that its possible for people to come up with it and to simplify installation. Whlist we don’t offer paid support like pystar , I truly believe that there are lots of information that can be obtained from the community , not to mention that there is no fun when everything is done automagically for you. When you install an OS , there should be a little bit of fun of getting up and running. After all , we want people to learn at the same time. Personally I am getting sick of those distro users, this tries to save up time but again if you have the time its recommended to read on how its done manually !
Empire EFI uses Chameleon’s bootcd and netkas’ PC_EFI extension. Its pure 100% organic , i’ve compiled all the stuff which I’ve used. I’ll be writing a guide soon on how to build your very own Empire disc , so that you too can create your own version and help the community
Fixing Bugs and some Problems
If you’re getting issues such as “Memory allocation error” , please REMOVE all USB disks , pen drives and try again. Try to play with your BIOS settings as well. I can’t help much on this. Do make sure that your BIOS settings is set to something like this. Not all BIOSes do have these options , but try to look around.
Edit : It seems that memory allocation error is caused by certain motherboard and BIOSes. You’ll have no choice but to use a USB installation method in this case. However I’ll look into it !
Set AHCI/RAID/SATA to enabled (or in AHCI mode) , Set HPET to 64-bit , Disable onboard IDE Controller (Don’t Disable this if you have an IDE DVD-ROM Drive) , Disable EIST (Intel SpeedStep) and if possible disable multi-core ! . You may enable them back after installation !
“Waiting for root device” – If you get this error while booting from the DVD it means that OSX does not support your controller (aka your southbridge , or in other words the current sata port). This is because you may be using jMicron or another sata controller. Try changing the sata connection to say another port and try again. It takes bit of trial and error. Some say that SATA port 0 did the trick , others say thats SATA port 1.
Unable to Install OSX in this volume – Go to Disk utitily , select your HDD. Select partitions , select 1 partition and click Options. Then be sure to click GUID. By def
If you’re still having issues , try the vmware method. From here , follow my other guide on how to install Snow Leopard via USB !
Gotta write a complete post-installation guide. If you need help with post-installation , simply check out Post-Installation folder in your Empire EFI CD once you’ve installed OSX. Its located in the Extras Folder !
I need your help and favour !
aschar , the rest of you guys (yes you) and I are working day by day on bug tracking and fixing issues. I know Empire EFI is not a prefect solution yet. Its far from being prefect but I would like you to know that I am working hard (striving for the best) in enabling you to install OSX. The most I could do is to help you install OSX. That far I can help you. Regarding post-installation (i.e after installing OSX) , I cant help you that much , but I would recommend you to do tons of reading and asking around in IRC To get help. PolishOX has this nice idea of having a central wiki , if you do know to setup a wiki and would like to help us , please drop an e-mail. Secondly , I am looking for someone to host my files , its better to have alternative mirrors and stuff. if you do have space and bandwidth that you’re willing to spare , please do drop an e-mail
To the rest of you , who did not get Empire EFI working. Fear not , I’ll try my best to satisfy everyone , but I can’t do that as in order to make someone better off (aka to get their hardware working) , someone else has to suffer :P.
The Reason why it works on certain hardware and why it does not
Okay then its time for me to tell why it works on certain people’s hardware and why it does not on others. By default Apple’s stock drivers only do support a limited number of motherboards , graphics card and things like that. What Empire EFI does is that it acts as a boot loader (thanks to chameleon) which injects drivers directly (without the need of using a patched OSX disc) that enables a variety (again , still limited but more then what apple has originally allowed) to work with. Although this method did seem to get a number of PCs to be a hack. There were quite number of PCs out there which did not work , there could be many reasons to this. One of the common reason (for graphics card) is that the graphics card vendors (i.e ASUS , Gigabyte , Sparkle , HIS) do not follow ATI/NVIDIA’s reference design. What I mean is that suppose if ATI says that for ATI Radeon 4850HD , there must be only two DVI Output , manufactures do not have to follow this as its just a recommendation by ATI. Instead they can tweak it by adding HDMI , VGA , S-Video out and all other connectors. Plus they can tweak the internals a bit to give you over clocking boost and other things. However , the moment they do not follow reference design , its a problem for OSX as Apple closely follows NVIDIA/ATI design recommendations. This explains why you’re getting errors with certain cards. Of course the only way to remedy/rectify this problem is to patch the kexts manually , but remember Empire EFI does not do that due to several reason. Firstly , you’ll be losing the “virginity” (or vanillaness) of the system which enables you to perform upgrades. Secondly , its impossible for me to swap/patch kexts (Drivers) on a read only media (you can’t write or alter the installation media as its read only). I do hope that you understand the reason why sometimes it works and sometimes it does not.
If you need help or if you want to report something use the comments. If you’re more comfortable with message board , then feel free to go here for my unofficial support thread. I would appreciate if you do not ask any sort of questions in InsanelyMac about Empire EFI as your thread would be deleted for an unknown reason (and yeah don’t bother asking them) and do respect their forum R&R
Source Code & Kexts used in Empire EFI
Since I’ve done some minor changes (mostly cosmetic) to Chameleon along side with netkas’ , DigitalDJ and other patches in the community. The chameleon version which is used in Empire EFI could be obtained from here
I’ll also post the kexts which I’ve used in Empire EFI shortly , so all the folks could enjoy it
P.S I would like to know your thoughts and feedback for Empire EFI 1.09 . please click here , read more about it
10/31/2009 – Initial Release (Version 1.0) (Depreciated)
Download 1.0 Mirror #1 *Use this version if yoy have devices such as MSI Wind U100 , netbooks*
10/31/2009 – Minor tweaks and I’ve included Wallpaper and the new Boot Logo from Brice. I’ve also added new Core i7 boot loader with legacy boot loader which uses ISOLInux traditional boot method
11/1/2009 – Updated Intel Core i7 version. Hopefully it boots up this time instead of lock ups. i would recommend Intel i7 users to disable HT and just enable 1 core to get it up and working. Thanks to dgtlchlk for the mirror
11/2/2009 – I think I know why it gives memory allocation error and why it doesn’t work on certain boards. These boards are pretty picky , so I am going to try to use ISOLinux method to load it up first instead of loading on the fly to check if it works. if it doesn’t – I’ll have to find a way to use PC_EFI v9. This could take time !
11/2/2009 #2 – Updated Empire EFI once more again this time (just like the EU versions of Windows , it doesn’t include DSDTSE) as this is to respect Pere’s work and the great work of EvoOSXTeam as he help me out once. So I’ve to play by the rules and respect his decision. To make things easier , a link to EvoOSX blog post containing the download link is included in the DVD. All versions starting from Version 1.03 will not include pystar’s OpenHaltRestart , instead it will be replaced with EvoRestarter and will not include DSDTSE from EvoOSX bundled with it (Click here to download Verison 1.03)
11/4/2009 – Updated Empire EFI to v 1.0.4 This time I’ve included the new patched IOATAFamily and ATA/SATA support via this kext. Thanks to -DuNe- for making the kext. The reason is because I want to follow what people have suggested and hopefully it works with their SATA Issues. Should fix ‘ waiting for root devices’ or ‘no smoking sign’ issues. An i7 version would be out , *hopefully* (Click here to download Version 1.04)
11/7/2009 – Released 1.04 for nForce motherboards (Intel/nForce combination)
11/10/2009 – Released Version 1.05 . It just includes fixes for ATI 48xx users and other ATI users. Hopefully you would able to get to installer and install OSX up. It disables ATI drivers altogether which forces OSX to use 1024×768 for installation purpose. Its possible to fix after post-installation. (Click here to download Version 1.05)
11/10/2009 – Released Version 1.06 – It has support for ATI 4xxx and other ATI cards as well , and not to mention for Intel Mobile graphics. You shouldn’t be seeing black screen/pink screen or grey screen as the new FrameBufferDisabler.kext would disable it automatically. It also has experimental support for Intel Core i7 users on ASUS board. Oh yeah , also released V 1.06 for problematic motherboards too , includes appleinteclpupowermanagement and applesmc disabler and other problematic kexts as well (Click here to download version 1.06)
14/10/2009 – Released Version 1.07 – Added support for Asus p5b and p5b-e series and as well as other motherboards which uses nVidia nForce , jMicron SATA , VIA ATA/SATA , ATI SATA/ATA Controllers. (Download Version 1.07) / (Download Version 1.07 [Legacy] )
18/10/2009 – Version 1.08 released – added support for Core i5/i7 8xx , cleaned up the post a bit so that its easier for people to understand :p
19/10/2009 – Added support for those new ATI 48xx series card and GTX 2xx. You shouldn’t be getting any more black screens. However keep in mind that you’ll have to use DVI2VGA (fixed typo)
11/29/2009 – Added support for AMD processors (thanks nawcom). Its now possible for AMD Users to install Retail Snow Leopard !
Note : included a mirror link to media fire , however i am not sure how long mediafire is going to host the files , as it consumes a large amount of traffic. I may have to use bitTorrent if this continues 😛
12/2/2009 – Made a special version for ATI users !
12/3/2009 – Made a special version for nvidia geforce gtx 2xx users and mobility geforce gtx2xx users and 1xx users as well !
12/6/2009 – Added a new version for AMD folks. Hopefully it works for them !