Installing Snow Leopard for OSX86

This is a very quick guide which I made up. Again its not prefect , I’ve made this to teach on how to restore your MacOS X Snow Leopard disk which you have bought it for $29 to a USB Stick in order for you to run Snow Leopard Retail installer and install it on your drive.

Before we begin , do make sure you have (the following stuff) :-

  • Snow Leopard 10A432 DVD aka “$29 DVD” (By the way its a full DVD and its not an upgrade DVD)
  • A working MacOS X installation (Tiger or Leopard) (even Panther would do if you’re still using PPC that is)
  • 8GB USB Stick (if you have a hotswap , another hard disk , external hard disk – by all means use them) *If you don’t have a 8GB or larger USB stick , there is alternative method) (even iPod would do)
  • -or – 128MB USB Stick (if you plan to use Retail DVD to boot) (Not recommended) -or – a blank cd
  • Common sense (yes you’ll be needing them)
  • ADDED Advantage – Have installed OSX Leopard Retail discs via boot-132
  • IRC Client for you to grab some of the required files
  • Basic knowledge of how to patch DSDT manually , troubleshooting and stuff
  • USB Keyboard/Bluetooth (It works with PS2 keyboard as well – Tested)

Preface & Introduction

This guide works with older Intel Pentium 4 series (i.e Pentium D , Celeron D with SSE3) and even AMD as well. You’ll be needing a special kernel and other stuff. This could be again found over at the IRC Network. It even works for Intel Core Duo , Core 2 Duo , Core 2 Quad , Core i7 , i5 – any latest processor from Intel would do and its preferably recommended to use. secondly , you must be using an Intel Chipset (i.e ICH-x series). these are the requirements for you to do Snow leopard installation. I would like to add that its possible to use nForce and ATI as well , but you’ll be needing the respective kext to get it working. I’ve also included the main difference of running 32-bit and 64-bit. If you run Snow Leopard in 32-bit , its still capable of running 64-bit applications and its capable of seeing more then 4GB of RAM , however there are few drawbacks (i.e performance drop for graphics drivers and other things). I’ve explained the whole 32-bit vs 64-bit decision , do read. You’ll understand whats the difference. No , its not like Windows  ! I’ve written this guide to include several possible outcomes or senario. Again , I am trying my best to make it all available. Keep in mind that this guide is not COMPLETE Yet and its work in PROGRESS (although it covers most of the part to get snow leopard installed and working – there are still tiny bits of details that I should add to make it prefect)

Lastly , but not least – You are not required to follow this guide 100%. Just pick which part is relevant for you and apply it. I’ve made couple of assumptions which I’ve stated before. I’ve assumed that you do have knowledge on how to do retail installs and such. Even if you dont , dont worry – this guide would still help you. Its just that you’ll have to Google even more to understand the fundamentals. Oh yeah did I say you can use this guide as a supplement for other guides !

What Differs from your guide and another persons guide ?

I admit this guide may not be the best. But I am trying to include all possible scenarios here – right from A to Z. That is why its too long. What if you go with plan A , what if you go with plan B , so on and so forth. While other guides do focus on one way. I am exposing people to other alternative methods. I don’t rip other peoples guide and copy , paste them and just link it back. Its written by me with the help from my friends (cool guys Even if I did , I’ll be sure to include the source and credit the original author. This guide is not meant for friendly noobs or those who have no clue on what they about to do.

About The Author (aka this is the only part where I can blow my own trumpet)

Pradeesh (aka prasys) has been with OSX86 Scene for a long time , since the deadmoo era and previously he was with (The first OSX Emulator for PC) . He has meet and learned from wise gurus of OSX86 such as JaS , semthex, netkas and a lot of other taletend people from the scene ! The reason why he wrote (aka why I wrote) is to give people true in-sight of Snow Leopard and how its done.

Which Method should I use ?

If you are wondering – I’ve divided this guide into three (four to be exact) methods. I’ll briefly explain about each method. for more detailed explanation on how its done , read through the appropriate method to find out !

(Traditional) USB Installation Method [Recommended]– This is the far most the best method that one could use. This allows you to build you to install Retail Snow Leopard which is tuned for your hardware only. The disadvantage of this method is that it takes time , and you have to read through the guide , understand fully before proceeding and most importantly you must have the patience. I highly recommend this method !

Simplified USB Installation Method – Well not everyone is willing to spend a lot of time in finding the right kext. This is why a guy named Conti came up with an installer which does all the labour-intesntive stuff , thus making it easier for you. The disadvantage of this is that you don’t have full control over your kext selection and this method wouldn’t work on certain PCs .

Installing Snow Leopard from Leopard – This is another method whereby if you don’t have any USB key/flash drive handy. You could run Snow Leopard installer within Leopard and install it to another partition. The disadvantage of this is that you’ll not be doing “a clean installation”. Don’t worry bout it , its possible to fix

Installing Snow Leopard via DVD (Without Prior Installation of OSX/the need of Mac) – This is a very new method and it has been tested to work on most newer hardwares. It allows you to boot retail Snow Leopard DVDs on PCs without the need of installing OSX. However bear in mind this method requires a new Intel PC and it will not work with all of the hardware configuration . Click on the link to learn more about Empire EFI

(1st Method) USB Installation Method (Recommended)

In this part , we would be copying our entire DVD to our USB stick to make couple of modifications  to our Snow Leopard installer. Its needed if you plan to use MBR Installation. I’ve written an alternative guide if you don’t have a large USB stick/hard disk or fi you want to use Retail DVD to boot. Again , you’ll be still needing a USB stick of 128MB at least ! (Read more on Installing OSX from DVD below)

Firstly , launch Disk Utility. Simply go to Spotlight and type disk Utility and launch it . Then navigate to your USB stick and format it . If you’re unclear how to do it , do refer to the picture below

Note : if you don’t have a USB stick , you may use an empty partition for this purpose or alternatively an external hard disk as well.

Screen shot 2009-08-29 at 12.34.13 AM
Formatting your USB Stick !

Once you’ve formatted your USB disk as MacOS Extended (Journal) , (Be sure to change its name to OSX86 , for simplicity sake )head over Restore section and drag MacOS X Install DVD in the source column and your USB stick to destination and make sure you uncheck erase destination

Screen shot 2009-08-29 at 12.35.21 AM
Restore Screen - This is how it should look like - Mac OSX Installer image as your source and your USB stick as destination (and not the other way around)

This process would take anywhere from 15 minutes up to an hour – depending on your Read/Write speed of your USB stick , read/write speed of your DVD-ROM. And one important thing , aschar (from #snowleopard) did mention this

aschar prasys: – but add – that after formatting the usb stick they should check in finder that ignore ownership on usbstick is unchecked

Doesn’t make sense to you. Don’t worry  , right click your USB stick and select Get Info. Do make sure that Ignore ownership for this device is unchecked. THIS IS VERY VERY IMPORTANT . MAKE SURE ITS UNCHECKED (THAT IS NO TICK IN THE CHECKBOX)

Screen shot 2009-08-29 at 1.32.02 AM
Do make sure that Ignore permission on this volume is unchecked.

Once that is done , you may want to grab Chameleon v2 RC1 Installer from  Official Chameleon web-site and netkas’ PC_EFI boot file from netkas‘ site which could be found here. (PLEASE DO NOT USE CHAMELEON V2 RC2 – The reason is because it doesn’t quite work on most of the PCs out there. If you insist on using latest Chameleon , use Chameleon RC3 .For Chameleon RC3 , you may need PC_EFI v10.3) Install Chameleon to your USB stick. Run the installer , select your USB stick and then select customise – Please do not install any additional extra kexts from Chameleon installer as they wouldn’t work.

Note : I’ve been told that by certain group of people who did manage to get Chameleon V2 RC2 to work. Again its either a hit or miss. You may want to give it a go as well. However do keep in mind thats its recommended by the Gurus to use PC_EFI v9/Chameleon V1 or PC_EFI v10.1/V10.2 (Chameleon V2 RC1). If you plan to use Chameleon V2 RC2 , do get PC_EFI v 10.2 or V 10.1 . If you plan to use Chameleon RC3 , then grab PC_EFI v10.3 for Chameleon RC3. it includes support for newer motherboards and as well as native ATI Injector for snow leopard

Note 2 : I’ve able to confirm that Chameleon V2 RC2 only works with handful of PCs. It works well with my MSI Wind u100 , however it refuses to work with my Desktop . I just dont know why

Note 3 : For Intel i5 users , you must use this special Chameleon RC3 boot file. If you have installed Chameleon RC3 , please replace with this patched boot file otherwise you would not able to boot

Do not select any Extras
Do not select any Extras as its not compatible with Snow Leopard

NOTE : If you’re having trouble installing Chameleon via installer. Scroll down and read on how to troubleshoot the problem and to install Chameleon manually.

Once that is done , do replace the boot file with the one from netkas . Do make sure that you can view hidden files. To do this simply fire up Terminal (again use Spotlight) and type

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
killall Finder

Once that is done , you’ll able to see the hidden boot file in the root of your USB stick. Replace it one from netkas’ site. Now you’re almost done. Next up is for us to feed our /Extra/Extensions folder. Now there is some important things , first grab Snow Leopard compatible kexts from this site. Our friend stellarola has included all the compatible 64-bit and 32-bit Snow Leopard kext in one place . So grab em , we will be needing it. Now its important for us to feed our Extras/Extensions with the right kext. Don’t copy all the kexts over , instead use the following kexts and copy them to /Extra/Extensions. This is important in order for us to get snow Leopard to boot. I’ve also included a packed must-have Extensions.mkext . It covers for most of generic hardware which runs on Intel processor and Intel chipset.

Note : I am quite aware that there are number of guides out there may call it as AdditionalExtensions. Again you may call it whatever you want it to be. For simplicity sake and to follow Official Chameleon/PC_EFI guidelines , its /Extra/Extensions. Again its up to you if you want to call your Extensions folder as VacationPhotos or ItsATrap

  1. NullCPUPowerManagement.kext  (Click to download it) – (REQUIRED) Needed to prevent appleintelcpupowermanagement.kext from being loaded which would result in a kernel panic
  2. PlatformUUID.kext (Click to download it)-  (REQUIRED)needed to prevent some UUID 35 error (This kext is optional , I didn’t use this , however if you get any UUID errors – do include in your /Extra/Extensions)
  3. FakeSMC.kext (netkas site) – (REQUIRED) – Its an decryptor which is needed to decrypt apple protected binaries. Generally on real mac its built in to it , but since we are using a PC. We need a software solution for it !
  4. AppleRTC.kext (Optional) (Click here to download it) – (REQUIRED) Its needed if you’re not going to patch your DSDT. If you’ve patched your DSDT. You don’t need this kext. If you have no idea on how to patch your DSDT or if you’re too lazy. Use this kext
  5. Disabler.kext (Click to download it) – (REQUIRED) This one disables the problematic kext and as well “graphics driver” during installation as its known to give Kernel panic during installation. You don’t have to get this if you run Snow Leopard Installer within Leopard itself
  6. JMicroATA.kext (Click to download it) – (OPTIONAL) This one is needed if you have jMicron ATA controller and if your hard disks/CD-ROM Drive is connected to it. If not , you don’t need it
  7. ApplePS2Drivers (Click to download it) – (OPTIONAL)  No silly – its not Playstation 2 Dual-shock controller drivers for your Hackintosh. Its PS/2 Drivers for your laptop/desktop if you’re still using a PS/2 Keyboard and mouse that is. As for laptops you’ll have to install this in order for you to get your trackpad and your keyboard to work !
  8. AppleNForceATA/AppleVIAATA/AppleATIATA (Click on the individual kext name to download the respective kext) (OPTIONAL) – This is required if you use a motherboard which uses nForce/ATI/VIA chipset instead of Intel. Without these kexts OSX Snow Leopard wouldn’t able to see your hard disks and you’ll be stucked in Waiting for root device

Note :  If you want to save time and you want to get things working fast. I’ve packed my very own must-have Extensions for /Extra/Extensions. You may download it from here. It has several of the kexts which I’ve mentioned above. Click here to download it

Now we would have to generate Extensions.mkext for our our /Extra/Extensions folder. To do so , fire up Terminal and type (Again if terminal is not your style , scroll down a bit for an automated script – Do read about how it actually done)

sudo chown -R root:wheel /Volumes/OSX86/System/Library/Extensions

sudo chmod -R 755 /Volumes/OSX86/System/Library/Extensions

sudo chown -R root:wheel /Volumes/OSX86/Extra/Extensions

sudo chmod -R 755 /Volumes/OSX86/Extra/Extensions

sudo kextcache -v 1 -m /Volumes/OSX86/System/Library/Caches/

/Volumes/OSX86/System/Library/Extensions (Note : This has to be in one line , not two separate lines)

kextcache -v 1 -t -m /Extra/Extensions.mkext /Extra/AdditionalExtensions

sudo kextcache -v 1 -m /Volumes/OSX86/Extra/Extensions.mkext /Volumes/OSX86/Extra/Extensions/

Let me explain what these commands do.  A real quick , I am not going to go in detail as I just want you to get the basic concept first. sudo here means run as su (super user) (which literately translates to super user do) (or as how Windows users will call’ em- run as Administrator). chown here means that change ownership , that means we are taking ownership from the file to make it available for certain group of users. kextcache is needed to generate kernel extensions , which would be required by Chameleon in order to boot your Snow Leopard installation.  Do ignore if it talks bout some dependencies are missing , its not a serious issue , just safely ignore those errors as OSX doesnt know about our EFI boot loader – Chameleon ! – Alternatively if Terminal is not your thing (or if Time is not your friend) , there is a script made made by Conti – which fixes Extensions permission and ownership automatically for you. All you have to do is to run the script !

Note : If you can’t run the script type sudo chmod +x /path/to/script (or simply type sudo chmod +x and then drag and drop the script to terminal window and hit enter). Then only run the script !

Patching Installation for MBR Disks ( Disregard this step entirely if you plan to do a GUID/GPT Installation)

This step is meant for those who plan to MBR installation , that is to install Snow Leopard to a MBR partition. This is common if you’ve have used a pre-patched disc such as iAtkos , iDeneb , or those discs were created for hackint0shes (Personally , I hate pre-patched disc) or you’ve patched OSInstall.mpkg before to install from a Retail Leopard disc

If you dual boot with Windows and OSX , chances are you’ll be still using MBR – unless you have done retail installation . In order for you to install or upgrade on MBR disks. You’ll have to edit a couple of things. I’ve zipped up the required patched materials here (I believe its made by Kabyl , modbin and the crew of ToH). Download it and place OSInstall.mpkg in /Volumes/OSX86/System/Installation/Packages (Alternatively go to Next go to your USB stick (“OSX86”)or simply to make your its your System/Installation/Packages folder which is located in your USB stick). Not quite there yet – rocket pants. We’ll still have to patch another file. If you’ve done retail installation before (that is with Leopard) , you’ll just have to patch this. However with Snow Leopard , apple has included another check. Now , copy OSInstall to /Volumes/OSX86/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Install.framework/Frameworks/OSInstall.framework/Versions/A/ ) . If you can’t memorize that simply select Go from Finder and select go to folder. Copy and paste the location.

(Alternative OSInstall.mpkg – Use this if you’re having issues with my previously patched OSInstall.mpkg)I’ve also included an alternative patched OSInstall.mpkg , which you may download from here (just in case the one in the package fails). This one removes checks on CPU , RAM requirements and other things. in other words , it will bypass all checks !

Screen shot 2009-08-29 at 1.48.11 PM
Select Go To Folder and copy and paste the location. its much more easier then navigating through Finder. Alternatively you may use Terminal to copy the new patched file
Replacing mach_kernel with a patched mach_kernel (required for Intel Pentium D/Celeron D/Pentium 4 with SSE3 or AMD processors with SSE3 and SSE2 and for Intel Core i5)
By default , vanilla kernel will not work on these processors , its because its not based on Intel Core micro-architecture series. Thus resulting a reboot. To fix this modbin has bin-patched (aka binary patched) the Vanilla kernel , so that it doesn’t perform any checks on CPU type. So it would boot on all CPUs regardless if its AMD or Intel. Keep in mind that. You may grab the patched kernel from here (for Intel Pentium D/Pentium 4 with SSE3/Celeron D with SSE3) and if you’re using AMD kernel , grab test7 by modbin
For SSE2 support and for Intel i5 users and as well as those who plan to make use of 64-bit (I.E Intel Pentium 4 , Pentium D with 64-bit and as well as AMD Ahtlon 64 users) , you may want to try this new kernel by qoopz , which you may get it from here. Its recommended to choose this kernel over the vanilla kernel for many reasons

Important Note for EFI partition users (aka GUID/Vanilla systems)

if YOU Have followed boot-132 guide/retail vanilla EFI guides and such , you must have made use of your 200MB hidden EFI partition.  Keep in mind you will not able to boot to your Snow leopard partition from your EFI partition. This is because your kexts were designed for Leopard and not Snow Leopard. Therefore you’ll have to use your USB stick to boot your Snow Leopard partition. If you wish to boot from your EFI partition and to store all the kexts , then you’ll have to start fresh. I would highly recommend you to use use a usb booter (aka your OSX86 stick) to boot to your Snow Leopard partition untill things settle (for instance sound drivers , graphics drivers and such).  Do read on Dual boot users , if you plan to do dual boot
Dual Boot Users (Leopard and Snow Leopard)
Its the same , if you’ve installed Leopard and Snow Leopard on the same partition and chameleon is installed in Leopard’s partition. you can’ boot to Snow Leopard unless you remove needed kexts from /Extra/Extensions in your Leopard partition and move them over to /System/Library/Extensions. this applies the same for Snow Leo partition. This way you can boot both partitions . This concept applies for those who are using EFI partition. Do remove your Extra kexts from your EFI partition and move it over to /System/Library/Extensions
DSDT (Optional)
If you have your DSDT patched for Leopard do kindly copy your dsdt.aml which is located in root of your drive or /Extra/ (i.e “Macintosh HD”) and move it to root of OSX86 drive or /Extra folder of OSX86 Drive. This is completely Optional , do this only if you have problems with installer and stuff. You’ll have to test it out first to see if installer boots or not. Anyhow if you’re being adventurous and you want to learn more about DSDT patching , I would recommend you to read this guide. Its a newbie-friendly guide written by apocolipse. Do have a look at it. DSDT patching enables your hackint0sh to behave more like a macintosh , thus requiring you to use less patched kexts
Feeding your /Extra/Extensions for Snow leopard installation and to create your own “EFI-X” disk
These are the important kexts. Just place em (and no you don’t have to fix permissions). Next up , reboot and boot from your USB stick. Before you hit enter , simply hit tab twice and type

-v  -legacy -x32

in boot arguments and just pray that it boots. If it hangs somewhere , don’t panic. Just grab your IRC Client and connect to , #snowleopard. Look for me , if I’m not there – then just ask your question in that room. Please do capture the kernel panic and upload it to imageshack or somewhere , so that someone could assist you and pinpoint which kext is causing it and how to fix. Anyhow , I’ve included basic troubleshooting guide , so that you can troubleshoot it easily. The reason why i’m using 32-bit flag is that by default chameleon uses 64-bit. Its better to stick with 32-bit first , we can use 64-bit later on . Don’t worry about it.

If you have issues with CPU sync and stuff then add cpus=1 . You don’t have to enter cpus=1 , if you have patched your DSDT. Add -f , if you’re having kernel panics or if you aren’t able to load kext

(2nd Method) Simplified USB Installation

You may read more about this method. With this method you just have to copy contents from your OSX Disc to your USB Stick and then run an installer. This eliminates the need of installing Chameleon , finding kexts , and preparing yourself. However do keep in mind that , Simplified USB installation method doesn’t work with AMDs , legacy Intel processors and motherboards which uses nForce/ATI Chipset.

(3rd Method) Installing From Leopard
If you plan to install Snow Leopard to a new partition. You may run the Installer from your existing Leopard itself. To do this , go to /Volumes/OSX86/System/Installation/Packages/ . Double click on OSinstall.mpkg. Its possible to upgrade your existing Leopard installation on another drive or install fresh on to another partition

The other option is of course , (if you plan to do an upgrade or a clean installation) , then use the USB stick to boot up your Snow Leopard installation and start installing. You’ve two options. Its up to you on how you want to install your Snow Leopard ! Oh yeah one more thing , don’t install any of those additional languages and printer drivers. If you want OSX to be in your mother tongue or language of your choice , do it after installation. Just make sure you install MacOS X System only. You may install Quicktime 7 , Rosetta and other apps later from your DVD or your USB Stick

Once you’ve managed to install MacOS X Snow Leopard. Do use your USB stick to boot your newly installed OS. Do make sure you boot with the same arguments as above to get it running. Once its up and running , you may install Chameleon V2 RC1 + PC_EFi v10.1 to your hard disk and copy the required files over to /Extra/Extensions and boot it natively from your hard disk itself

Your EFI strings from Leopard would work fine. So if you have em over , you can use the same trick and inject it. Keep in mind that ATI Radeon pre 48xx series card may not work with Snow Leopard. this is a known issue and hopefully there is a way to get these cards working. As for NVIDIA cards , you may either use NVEnabler or NVInject. Use NVEnabler if you’re running 32-bit and NVInject if you’re using 64-bit.

For ATI cards such as ATI 4800 series card , you’ll have to use 32-bit kernel to get netkas’ ATY Injector to work. You may grab the installer from netkas’ site . Another thing to note , according to lastExile (he’s an expert when it comes to ATI cards and OSX86 , in fact I consult him for any ATI related issue) , multiple port cards will not work , however dual DVI cards (48xx series) should work. ATI HD 2xxx series and HD 3xxx series aren’t supported in OSX Snow Leopard and ATI x1xxx series (such as X1600) should work fine. Alternatively you may use Chameleon RC3 + PC_EFI 10.3 , you can get native Injector working with it in both 32-bit and 64-bit

Get your KEXTS (Drivers) here !

If you’re looking for kexts (or what some of you may call as drivers). I’ve two good places for Snow Leopard kexts. One is ( a site which is dedicated for kexts for both Leopard and Snow leopard). Its user-friendly . The next one is from nawcom. it contains tons of kexts and installers. Keep in mind that not all the kexts from Leopard would wok with Snow leopard. So do keep that in mind !

64-bit vs 32-bit

Again , I get tons of questions on 64-bit vs 32-bit with Snow Leopard. Let me tell you this , by default Chameleon uses 64-bit. On some PCs , without 64-bit support , it tries to force the kernel to use 64-bit , which may result in a kernel panic. So this is the reason why you would have to use -x32 or -legacy. Even if you use 32-bit kernel ,and if your processor is 64-bit capable (i.e Intel Core 2 Duo , Intel Atom 33x series , Intel Core i7 ) , Finder and other programs would run in 64-bit. this is how its done in real macs. Do not worry about 4GB memory limitation. There is a technology which is known as PAE {Physical Address Extensions}  (which has existed since the era of Pentium I) which is capable of addressing memory more then 4GB. If you’ve used Leopard before , you may notice how it addresses more then 4GB of RAM despite being a 32-bit OS. Its because of PAE. The whole 32-bit vs 64-bit is totally up to you. Not only kexts are written for 64-bit at this time , so if you’re using some old patched kext from Leopard and tiger , swap back to 32-bit and don’t worry you can run 64-bit applications and such. Its just that you might lose a bit of performance because the kernel space (aka drivers) are in 32-bit .

If you’re using Intel Graphics such as Intel GMA 950 , Intel GMA 900 , Intel GMA X3100 (965). You’ll have to use 32-bit kernel. By default Chameleon RC3 uses 64-bit and it hates 32-bit. Its recommended for you to stick with 32-bit kernel.

32-bit Snow Leopard kernel which runs 64-bit applications and programs without any issues (Thanks to Cybex for the picture)

Basic Troubleshooting Guide (Pre and Post Installation)

Using Leopard Kexts for Snow Leopard – Its possible for you to use kexts from Leopard such as Networking kext , Sound kext , and even graphics drivers from Leopard (for Intel graphics that is). However if you plan to use your ATI/nVidia kexts from 10.5/10.4 – its not possible – as Apple has changed a lot of things in these drivers to include OpenCL support. Most of the generic kext would work fine , such as drivers for keyboard/mouse. However keep in mind that they will only work if you run the kernel in 32-bit mode instead of 64-bit. This is a must for Intel graphics user as these kexts wouldn’t work in 64-bit and for those who are still using aty injector as at this time of when this guide was written there is still no support for aty injector for 64-bit

Installation Failed – Don’t panic if you get this towards the end. You’ll get something like the drive is not going to be bootable. This is because the installer tries to bless the drive and tries to make oSX partition as the default drive. It doesn’t know that we’re on a PC and as we all do know that PCs don’t have EFI. Therefore giving you an error. You may safely ignore this message

Kernel Panic (IOATAFamily.kext) – Kindly go to your USB stick , navigate it through /System/Library/Extensions and delete IOATAFamily.kext or simply replace IOATAFamily.kext with a patched kext from your Leopard installation or from netkas. If that fails , simply delete this kext. You’ll lose ATA support , however it would still install on your SATA drives. Just make sure its set to AHCI instead of IDE
Generic Kernel Panic on CPU - This problem is related with Chameleon V2. Its recommended for you to use PC_EFI v9 with a patched boot file which can be found @ #snowleopard , (Picture courtesy of madiskallas)

Kernel Panic (generic CPU error) – It occurs if you have an Atom processor or some of the very old boards. The only way to fix it by using PC_EFI v9. Its kind of simple to do , all you have to do is download this installer and boot file for Snow Leopard. Its bit old school. To do this firstly , you’ll have to download PC_EFI v9 installer and this boot file from it. Install this boot loader to your USB Drive (be sure to change its destination) and replace the boot file with this patched file. Be sure to follow rest of the guide such as generating extensions.mkext and so on and so forth. Its just that instead of Chameleon , you’ll have to use PC_EFI v9. If you’re still getting generic kernel panic , try to fix permissions by referring to this guide
Installer Kernel Panic - Typically caused by Graphics card frame buffer

Kernel Panic (During Installation) – This occurs for many of the people . I’ve managed find out what was causing it. It was no other then frame buffer kexts. It seems that on some graphics card  (regardless of Intel , NVIDIA , ATI) , it causes some random kernel panic lockups. I’m not sure why either (I am guessing its because , the installer is doing some checks against the graphics card to check if its EFI-capable or not). Anyhow the fix is easy (thanks whis). All you have to do is delete apple frame buffer kexts from your /Volumes/OSX86/System/Library/Extensions/ – the kexts which you’ll have to delete are :-

NVDAResman.kext for NVIDIA Graphics card

ATIFramebuffer.kext for ATI Graphics Card

AppleIntelIntergratedFramebuffer.kext for Intel Graphics card

Note  : – This is also applicable after you have installed OSX. Sometimes you may get a kernel panic right after running setup assistance

CMOS Bug If you get an error on BIOS after you’ve installed Snow Leopard (this includes BIOS settings have changed or other strange BIOS errors) This is a known issue and it requires your DSDT to be patched. Again you can check out the guide below which I’ve included on how to fix it

Fix Permission Error in Disk Utility. This is caused when Snow Leopard is installed from Leopard. (Credits to jose for this picture)

Disk Utility Permission fix error – If you get this error in Disk Utility , ” No Installer packages can be found for this disk” whenever you want to verify permission and fix permission. This is caused when you run Snow Leopard installer within Leopard itself. Its a simple fix. You’ll have to re-run BSD.pkg , it could be found in /Volumes/Mac OS X Install DVD/System/Installation/Packages or /Volumes/OSX86/System/Installation/Packages . Just run it and voila it should be fixed ! Now you can use Disk Utility to repair permissions !

Fixing ‘Waiting for DSMOS error” – This is another error. Generally its caused by improper permissions (do use together with the script which I’ve supplied above or fix permission by hand). Alternatively , try this method as suggested by Tom who is so kind to share on how did he fix this problem. Generally its related to ATI Cards. This is how he did it

I installed Snow on my Asus P5W DH Deluxe with ATI HD 3870 system recently and tried many of the suggestions to get the system to boot without success. It would always hang soon after “DSMOS has arrived”. The solution I finally found was to remove ATIRadeonX2000.kext and
ATI3800Controller.kext from /S/L/E and then the system booted to the GUI correctly and allowed me to fine tune from there. Other ATI video cards that are currently unsupported should benefit from the same process by removing the appropriate kexts from /S/L/E. I haven’t tested this but the ATI1xxx series should remove ATIRadeonX1000.kext and the corresponding ATI1xxxController.kext and ATI2xxx and ATI3xxx series remove ATIRadeonX2000.kext and ATI2xxxController.kext to achieve the same results. I hope you can use this info in your blog.

I currently boot the system from a USB stick with Chameleon-2-1.0-r431 with the following kexts in /E/E folder and they have so far provided me with a very stable system. I also added this line “-x32 boot-uuid=BCA03D4B-F4A5-387A-B80F-B793D2115741″ to the “Kernel Flags” section of to boot by default in 32 bit mode as I have heard it may improve stability until 64 bit options are improved. If you have any suggestions please send a reply.


To cut it short , do follow his steps if you’re having issues with Waiting for DSMOS  (despite fixing permissions and rebuilding your extensions.mkext)

Reboot Loop It clearly means your processor is not supported for instance if you’re like me , still on a Pentium D. For this you’ll have to grab a patched mach_kernel. To do so visit #snowleopard , and then type /topic #snowleopard. Its there in the topic and you’ll have to replace mach_kernel with this patched kernel !

Freezing problem fix (for laptops) Netkas wrote an article on his blog about this. So if so do check it out here . Netkas wrote a guide on how to fix it. Again we we’ll have to wait till Slice comes up with a fix. If you’re wondering whos Slice , google it up for “Slice IOUSBFamily”. Hes a talented Russian Developer who have fixed issues with USB and PCI Buses as well. I do know some of you may need a USB fix for your leopard and the patch is made by none other then him !

Chameleon Installation Error (Thanks Chris for pointing it out) :- If you get errors during Chameleon package installation. Do follow this guide over at insanelymac. Follow steps 13 , 14 and 15 and then again from this guide. Thanks again Chris

Waiting for root device – If you get this error while booting from the USB stick. Disable USB 2 support in your BIOS or alternatively use a USB Hub and connect your USB stick to it , It will work . If you get this error after installing Snow Leopard , it clearly means that your SATA/ATA controller isn’t supported by Snow Leopard. To fix this , you’ll have to copy your ‘IOATAFamily.kext’ (for ATA) and ‘IOAHCIFamily.kext’ (for SATA) and/or your nForceATA kext and your VIATAkext. This generally occurs if you’re installing Snow Leopard on unsupported chipsets. the workaround is to use kexts (drivers) from Leopard. Alternatively , please do make sure that you’ve turned on AHCI in your BIOS.

Intel Graphics issues (no QE/CI/Bluescreen/Blackscreen for Intel graphics) – It will never work on 64-bit , you’ll have to fall back to 32-bit. For certain Intel users , you’ll have to get patched kext. Kexts from Leopard would work fine for you as its written for 32-bit. You’ll have to force the kernel to use 32-bit. This can be done by booting with ” -legacy -x32″ (without quotes)

Further references

I know for some of you , this guide may not be enough. This is why I’ll be including two additional guides for you to read if you’re in doubt. This includes on how to install from Leopard itself and what are the additional steps that you can take. I would recommend you to read it first as it would increase your understanding even more.

Snow Leopard Installation Guide #1 – Includes how to install from Leopard and how to fix DSDT for CMOS Bug. Written by great gurus and wise folks of projectosx

Snow Leopard Installation Guide #2 – Another guide but this one includes permission fixing and stuff. Another must read

Snow Leopard Installation Guide (Retail) for AMD Users – A must read for AMD users would like to attempt a retail installation

Don’t be sad if you can’t get Snow Leopard to work as its relatively new and it takes time for people to work on it , hack it and release kext to solve certain issues .Best way you ask ? – Get a real mac and experience it , if it didn’t quite work out well for you


netkas, asap18 , modbin , mushishi , stellarola , apocolipse , Kabyl ,nawcom , arya ,aschar , Amaranth , lastExile , apocolipse ,Conti ,  and great folks over @ projectosx , VoodooTeam and everyone else , Tom  If I did forget to mention bout you , don’t feel sad – just PM me in #snowleopard and you’ll be credited


1.0 (Aug 29th) – Initial Release

1.01 (Aug 29th) – Minor tweaks

1.02 (Aug 29th) – Added additional information , uploaded couple of pictures. I’ll upload more later !

1.03 (Aug 29th) – Added even more heaps of information , information on Nvidia graphics and such

1.04 (Aug 30th) – Thanks to SilverZero forums and azi form #snowleopard on pinpointing out my silly mistake in the picture. It has been fixed

1.05 (Aug 30th) – Tons of fixes and stuff. Added more detailed information

1.06 (Aug 30th) – More fixes , added on how to fix Disk Util error , added about the author (lol i love talking about myself)

1.07 (Aug 30th) – A lot of people are complaining about permission issues , generic cpu error. I’ve included alternative fixes for that.

1.08 (Aug 31st) – Fixed minor typos

1.09 (Sep 1st) – Added information and tips which I’ve received from e-mail. Will add alternative troubleshooting guide for other cases (argh – I hate doing this)

1.10 (Sep 2nd) – Fixed typos (thanks chendo)

1.11 (sep 3rd) – added additional information , fixed chmod/chown mess up (thanks russo and straterra). Thanks to russo , I can’t believe it I left -t command there , its a bad habit of me. -t is for “test” and obviously it doesn’t work ! Thanks to apocolipse  for figuring out that one

1.12 (Sep 13th) – Updated couple of additional information. Added alternative approaches

1.13 (Sep 14th) – moved image hosting to imageshack as it took up a large portion of my bandwidth. Trying to cut down bandwidth usage here

1.13A (Sep 14th) – Updated on how to build your very own Extensions.mkext. This time it includes guide for nForce !

1.14 (Sep 19th) – Added couple of information for Intel graphics users & revised the guide !

1.15 (Sep 20th) – Included details on Netkas’ PC_EFI v10.3

1.16 (Sep 25th) – wonder where is my updates. Updated br0ken link to script by the way

1.17 (Sep 26th) – Rewrote some part of the guide , Added method comparison , Added Simplified USB Installation
1.18 (Sep 26th) – ” yw gorf, you saved the planet from osx86 erradication of SL because of prasys tutorial missin” – Well said, fixed my own article

1.19 (Oct 7th) – Fixed Conti’s URL and other broken URL

1.20 (Oct 13th) – Fixed and revised guide for intel Core i5 users and as well as intel SSE2 and AMD sse2 users. Need to talk more for AMD users !

1.21 (Oct 30th) – Added more details on how to fix kernel panic issue on start

Lastly but not least , please post feedback. If you do , please state if did work for you or didn’t not. If it did , do mention if you took any additional steps. I would appreciate that. Its because it would help other people who may face similar problem . The main thing is that we should be helping each other  !

235 thoughts on “Installing Snow Leopard for OSX86”

  1. Hello,

    I’ve got a question about the Charmeleon software and PC_EFI_Boot. And further software noticed.
    Everything you download, should be downloaded on the MAC you use right? Or can you prepare everything on the laptop? Or will it just say, you have to format the USB. Thanks for the guide, great job!


  2. I tried this method and everything boots fine but the installation process is showing no hard drives detected. I have a SATA hard drive hooked up. My motherboard is an abit in9 32x-max with an nforce 680i chipset. I couldn’t find any setting for AHCI in my BIOS, there is an option to toggle the hard drive’s mode between IDE and RAID, I’ve tried both and neither work.

  3. Soooooooo…

    Thanks so much. Clearly this is a superior guide and Empire EFI promises to be straighforward. I am installing Snow onto an Asus P5Q turbo… with a quad core and NVIDIA 8800 GT. It is quite straightforward. The intel chipset seems to be vanilla.

    Anyway, I burned the retail Snow to a DVD DL, nothing fancy, no added kexts, changed any setting in the BIOS I could find to AHCI. Empire EFIU did it’s thing, landed safely into the OSX install and partitioned my HDD to 1 partition GUID named Macintosh HD. Everything seemed to be working until the install just hung. All it says is “Time Remaining: About 28 minutes”, I’ve tried several times now but it’s gotten stuck here everytime. I moved the mouse a bit to the menu bar and got the spinning wheel amd then it all froze completely.
    I know this is the most nebulous description ever but I’m having a hard time debugging. Is there anyway, it’s just going to take much much longer on my system to install and I should just leave it alone?

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  6. Empire EFI is wonderful I love it I have everything working great.
    One thing I have not caught onto yet and it is probly very simple. But how can I get my dell laptop to boot up without the Empire EMI boot disk. if I use the disk it is the best hack and fastest I have ever done.

    Thanks again for the great work hope to learn more

  7. Please add to 1-th method

    Could not uncheck “ignore ownership on usbstick” unless used vsdbutil. Checkbox was checked and gray.

    vsdbutil –i initializes the permissions database to include all mounted HSF/HSF+ volumes

  8. HELP, I have created a disc, insterted, changed BIOS settings to AHCI mode. Boot from CD, I get the option to boot the Aitkos cd, the apple loading screen flashes for a split second then restarts my system. Any ideas???

  9. I just setup VMwave MAC OS X 10.5.5. How to I download and install iPhone development on MAC OS X 10.5.5? My laptop can not setup VMwave MAC OS X 10.6.2 because it don’t support visuazilation technology.
    Help me!

  10. First off, big thanks – managed to install the retail SL 10.6.0 on my old Win XP and my system has never run smoother, EVER, period. Absolutely loving my new-found Mac PC.

    I do have one question though, should someone perhaps know the answer: when I click on the Apple logo and select “About This Mac”, it shows my process as being Intel Core 2 Duo 1.67GHz. My process is actually Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz. So basically my computer is seeing half my processor it seems. Although rarely, it does display it at “2.43GHz”.

    Thanks again Prasys, and to anyone that may know the answer to my question.

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  12. It’s a very useful tuto, and solve a lot of doubts, but I’ve to say that there’s simpler ways to do so. I just used a boot cd with AHCI enabled on BIOS. It worked great. I just had to install some drivers to get my system working great, which is not that hard…

  13. Hi,
    I made the USB boot disk
    Ran the simple package from myHack
    Got into the OS X installation successfully – thanks – I am all very excited…
    BUT, when the installation proceeded to about ’29 minutes left’, it seems to be struggling / computing something, and then it restarts… and then it goes back to the USB boot disk (as it’s still in the drive).. I don’t know if this is normal … can someone please help.. thx

  14. Maybe someone could clear this up for me. What is the difference between using MBR and GUID schemes? If i were to want to make my hackintosh a dual boot windows and mac computer, what should i choose?

  15. Hi Pradeesh. Thanks for the information. I am trying to install MAC OS X 10.6.3 on a PC which has:
    AMD Turion 64 ML
    1.25 GB of memory
    Intel 855GME/ICH4-M Chipset
    Intel Extreme Graphics 2 technology
    Intel ICH4-M South Bridge
    Realtek 10/100 Mbps Ethernet
    Intel Pro/Wireless 2200BG (802.11b/g)
    56K v.92 Fax/modem

    I start installing using your LegacyEmpireEFI1085 and then boot to the retail MAC OS X 10.6.3 but right after the
    RTL8139::registerEEPROM – Flow Control Disabled it gives me a
    Still waiting for root device

    All it does is hang there. I need your help. Please advise.

  16. ****UPDATE****

    Hi Pradeesh,

    Since I am a first time installer of MAC OS X anything, I used your EmpireEFI1085_AMD to boot load the operating system. However, when the SNOW LEOPARD starts booting, all I see is the green lizard laying on a stick. The installation just hangs. I let it run for about 30 minutes and all I see is the lizard on a stick. I tried booting it a couple of times this way but it does the same thing. Please help.

  17. Hi, I wanna install OS X 1.6 on my Notebook ACER Aspire 4720Z. Is there a specific guide to install Snow Leopard on my Laptop? Can you tell me which kext are needed for my setup?

    My best regards,


  18. Hi Prasys,

    Thank you for your great tutorial, now i have my own hackintosh machine altough without AHCI enable option in BIOS, i manage to install it by using USB method and AppleNForceATA.kext replacing the SuperNForceATA.kext… credit goes to all hackintosh team and people related. btw, i using Nvidia NForce4 MOBO MCP61

  19. Hey dude i posted this on the wrong page lol but you need to fix some/all the download links. i cant download the most needed file(s)

  20. Chameleon v2 RC1 Installer does not work. If you install this on 10.6.6i Hazard (since it’s the only working OSX for me) it gives me “Installation failed” error. I don’t know any way around this. So can you make sure that in your guide all your programs work please ? OR if anyone has a working Chameleon v2 RC1 Installer then please provide the link. Thanks.

  21. Hello, please how to install mac os on a PC without any working Mac OS system ? I have juste PCs at home ! Can you redirect me please ?

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    spending way too much time both reading and comm?nting.
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