Dell Mini 9 OS X Discussion Discussion for installing and setting up Mac OS X on the Dell Mini and Vostro A90

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zeitung zeitung is offline
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Default DM9 - 10.6.8 fresh install tutorial - 08-13-2012, 12:08 AM

What will this toturial help you do? Install a fully working install
of MacOS 10.6.8 on the Dell Mini 9. The only thing that does not work is the bluetooth toggle*, everything else (sleep, sound, mic, card reader, VGA out, wifi, ethernet, wwan…) works.

*there are some fixes for the bluetooth toggle but I don use them because they cause weird behavior, I installed a physical switch for the bluetooth so it is not a problem for me. You can do it your own way, or just enable bluetooth from the BIOS when you need it.

Why am I writing this now for a 2008 computer? Becouse I think it works great and is a great netbook for the road to do the most basic things. And I recently broke my install with the mic fix and I spent a lot of time to get it working again. Hope this will help somebody save some time

I am not the author of these methods, I am just putting everything that worked best for me together from different posts on this forum in one tutorial. Most of the threads about the dell mini 9 are dead, I dont think anything new will come along so this is the sum of it all.

So here goes, this will also work on a 8GB SSD (i had 2,5GB free space left after the complete install), but you will have to use an external HDD (at least 10GB size) to install to first. If you are totally new to the hackintosh scene maybe read some other posts on the forum before diving in. I tried to write it as noob friendly as it can be.

What you need:
-Dell mini 9 - at least 16GB SSD for direct install or an additional external hdd in the case of 8GB SSD
-USB drive with retail MacOS 10.6.3 patched with NetbookBootMaker 0.8.4 RC1
-USB or SD with necessary files (see download link below)
-BIOS settings during install: USB Legacy enabled, bluetooth enabled, usb wake from sleep disabled
-patience: do not rush, sometimes it will take a long time to boot, sometimes it will hang, do not force shutdown too fast, wait up to 15 minutes if nothing happens hold the power button and try again. When you complete the install it will boot in seconds, but during these steps wait it out, grab a coffee or something.

1. Install MacOS (note: when installing to an external USB HDD the install failed several times on me, don't give up, just keep retrying if it does not complete at the first try).

2. When the system boots the first time, fill out the user information and than Run software update (yes software update, no combo updates here, combos failed on me most of the time, if you use the combo other steps might not work...), first install all the updates except the 10.6.8 update and at the end the 10.6.8.

3. On reboot hold SHIFT at chameleon and type recovery=yes

4. When it boots to recovery mode install legacy kernel via the installer

5. Run NetbookInstaller 20100616212351, only first two options checked
(bootloader and extensions)

6. Reboot (should boot normally without any arguments). To hide the legacy_kernel in / type this in Terminal: sudo chflags hidden /legacy_kernel

7. Run software update again, install remaining updates ( i installed
them one by one, the install failed when i tried all at once, reboot between updates as necessary)

8. Repair disk permissions

9. Disable hibernation and delete the sleepimage file:
Open Terminal and run these two:
- sudo pmset hibernatemode 0
- sudo rm /private/var/vm/sleepimage

10. Sleep fix: install SleepEnabler.kext with Kext_Helper_b7

11. Reboot

12. Install VoodooPowerMini.kext with Kext_Helper_b7 to enable IntelSpeedStep (will save some battery life)

13. Reboot

14. Repair disk permissions

15. Sound fix: Apply the patches in the Mini9SoundPatch.zip, just follow the instructions in the INSTALL.txt and STOP at step 9. and do this: Copy UpdateExtra out of /Extra/ to the Desktop. On the Desktop right click on the UpdateExtra and select show package contents. Then go to Contents/Resources/SupportFiles. Edit machine.plist. Replace "Inspiron 910" (after the Model name key) with the name found at About This Mac -> More Info -> Model Identifier (mine is MacBook4,1). Then save and exit and replace the /Extra/UpdateExtra with the one on the desktop.

note: to get to /Extra open finder, select Go -> Go to folder -> type /Extra

16. After the UpdateExtra completes reboot, if it does not boot after multiple atempts, go into recovery mode again (recovery=yes) and repair disk permissions (i had to do this because I didn't repair them before…)

17. At this point (you can do it later or not at all) I ran the
cleaning program (i used CleanMyMac, there are many free alternatives)
to remove the unneeded languages, universal binaries...etc. this
step is useful if you have a 8GB SSD to save that precious disk space.
In my case I freed up 250MB.

18. If you installed to an external disk, now is the time to clone it to the internal SSD. Before you do, make sure it is formatted to mac os journaled (and guid partition table). Use carbon copy cloner. When it is done use NBI to install ONLY the bootloader (do not install extensions or regenerate dsdt.aml, it will break the mic fix)

19. To get WWAN working copy the "Dell Mobile Broadband" script to /System/Library/Modem Scripts

Under network preferences you should see it when you chose "other" under the vendor dropdown menu.

That is all, everything should work, test it out. Don't forget to disable USB bios legacy to enable sleep functionality.

If anything is acting strange rerun UpdateExtra and Permission Repair. Do not run NBI, do not mess with the DSDT.aml, do not reinstall the extensions, it will messs up the sound fix and the sleep enabler. And keep in mind it is still a hackintosh, sometimes it will just freeze or just act funny, but from my experience with the mini until now the 10.6.8 with this install method is rock solid against other versions.


Necessary files: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1356918/DellMini9_10.6.8.zip

----Some tips to speed things up a bit----

-Disable Spotlight - in Terminal run:

sudo mdutil -a -i off

-Disable window animations:

defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAutomaticWindowAnimationsEnabled -bool NO

-Disable AirPort Base Station Agent - Open Applications/Utilities/AirPort Utility and under preferences, uncheck monitor device for problems and check for updates - this will disable the airport daemon from running in the background all the time.

-disable Dashboard:

defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean YES

killall Dock

-Use 2D dock instead of 3D

defaults write com.apple.dock no-glass -boolean YES

killall Dock

-Speed Up Dialog Boxes:

defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSWindowResizeTime 0.01


Dell Mini 9 | A07 BIOS | 16GB Runcore | 2 GB RAM | MAC OS X 10.6.8 |
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michaelcly michaelcly is offline
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Default 08-13-2012, 01:25 PM

Nice write-up! I think you're right—10.6.8 running fully on a Dell mini9 is still a worth owning. I'm think I'll try redoing mine. Before I go through all of that, I have a couple questions:

I have 10.6.8 running perfectly accept I have no sound after wake from sleep and battery life is 2hrs w 10.6.8 vs 3 with 10.6.7. I used the legacy installer. My questions are:
1. do you think VoodooPowerMini.kext will fix my battery life
2. how many hours on a fresh charge do you get.
3. what bios version are you running (v 5 here)
4. My legacy kernel installer renamed where the extensions are located to GeneralExtensions. Is this anything to be concerned with?
5. Why change the model identifier in machine.plist (update extra)?

I'm glad to see this write up. I would sure like to know how you put a switch on your bluetooth.
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zeitung zeitung is offline
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Default 08-13-2012, 07:07 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelcly View Post
Nice write-up! I think you're right—10.6.8 running fully on a Dell mini9 is still a worth owning. I'm think I'll try redoing mine. Before I go through all of that, I have a couple questions:

I have 10.6.8 running perfectly accept I have no sound after wake from sleep and battery life is 2hrs w 10.6.8 vs 3 with 10.6.7. I used the legacy installer. My questions are:
1. do you think VoodooPowerMini.kext will fix my battery life
2. how many hours on a fresh charge do you get.
3. what bios version are you running (v 5 here)
4. My legacy kernel installer renamed where the extensions are located to GeneralExtensions. Is this anything to be concerned with?
5. Why change the model identifier in machine.plist (update extra)?

I'm glad to see this write up. I would sure like to know how you put a switch on your bluetooth.
1 + 2. I used i-cpu to check the cpu frequency change, without it it stayed at 1,6Ghz, with VoodooPowerMini.kext it changes depending on load. So yes I think it will help your battery life. I have two batteries the first (old) one holds just under 3h. The new one about 3,5h. Without the VoodooPowerMini.kext it was also around 2h.

3. BIOS is A07

4. Not sure, if the computer works ok I dont see any problems...

5. The problem with the model identifier is this: The legacy kernel messes up the model name, instead of inspirion 910 it is Macbook 4,1. NBI warns you that you are running on an unsuported device, UpdateExtra does not. So it just installs (updates? not sure what it does) "General Extensions" because it does not know it is running on a Dell Mini 9, it just installs general stuff, not the specific Dell Mini 9 stuff.

In my case if I did not change the machine.plist UpdateExtra.app only made my dell unable to boot.


The switch is very simple, the connector is under the keyboard, i just put a simple button switch that disconnects the power wire. Will post a picture when I get the chance...


Dell Mini 9 | A07 BIOS | 16GB Runcore | 2 GB RAM | MAC OS X 10.6.8 |

Last edited by zeitung; 08-13-2012 at 07:09 PM.
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michaelcly michaelcly is offline
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Default 08-15-2012, 07:17 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeitung View Post
5. The problem with the model identifier is this: The legacy kernel messes up the model name, instead of inspirion 910 it is Macbook 4,1. NBI warns you that you are running on an unsuported device, UpdateExtra does not. So it just installs (updates? not sure what it does) "General Extensions" because it does not know it is running on a Dell Mini 9, it just installs general stuff, not the specific Dell Mini 9 stuff.

In my case if I did not change the machine.plist UpdateExtra.app only made my dell unable to boot.


The switch is very simple, the connector is under the keyboard, i just put a simple button switch that disconnects the power wire. Will post a picture when I get the chance...
thanks zeitung,
part of the problem I,m having is my bios is 05 for Vosto A90. My 10.6.7 extensions in /extra are in a folder named A90ext. When I update to 10.6.8 using the legacy pkg installer, it puts them in a folder called GeneralExt. I'm missing some model specific stuff. That's why I can't wake after sleep or get voodopower kext to work. So I reinstalled 10.6.7. then moved the legacy kernel only and renamed it mach_kernel and changed ownership to root. Voila, a90ext folder retained. Battery life back.

One problem though, no bluetooth after wake and I lost the mic fix. I know why. Rebooting with this method runs nbi installer. It would have been better to rerun it manually so as not to rewrite the .aml file.

Also, you can edit the nbi installer app's machine.plist the same way you did update extra.

I,m going update to bios 06 or 07, reinstall 10.6.7 from my backup and run nbi installer w/out rewriting the .aml and try it again with the legacy pkg installer (which does not run nbi)

I'd still like to see the button switch for your bluetooth. is it real small?
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michaelcly michaelcly is offline
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Default 09-14-2012, 02:27 PM

Decided to start from scratch and followed your guide to the letter. Worked perfectly.

I now have a perfectly running mini 9 with 2gb ram, 32gb Runcore, 10.6.8.

YOU ROCK!
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xtmesisx xtmesisx is offline
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Default 09-27-2012, 05:52 PM

Did anybody else have issues with the legacy kernel and the netbookbootmaker?
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alienbiker99 alienbiker99 is offline
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Default 09-28-2012, 05:26 PM

thanks for this guide. pulled the mini out til i get a new charger for my macbook pro. Had 10.6.7 running on it, always had one issue when i would update to 10.6.8. Helpful now that everything is in one giant zip and in one condensed guide. Everything works perfect now. Long live dell mini 9
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xtmesisx xtmesisx is offline
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Default 09-29-2012, 02:18 AM

srsly. Am I the only person on the entire Internet that couldn't use the legacy kernel package?
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alienbiker99 alienbiker99 is offline
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Default 10-03-2012, 06:44 AM

no it wouldnt work for me either so i found a copy of just the kernel online and installed and chmod it. but I occasionally get this weird kernel panic when i open up the computer
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xtmesisx xtmesisx is offline
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Default 10-08-2012, 05:19 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by alienbiker99 View Post
no it wouldnt work for me either so i found a copy of just the kernel online and installed and chmod it. but I occasionally get this weird kernel panic when i open up the computer
Word. I'm glad it wasn't just me.

That's what I ended up doing also. Have you repaired the disc permissions through Disk Utility yet? I got a random panic once, but was before I repaired the permissions (I booted from the thumb driver installer to do this). I haven't had an issue since.

I documented everything I did here. untitled number 5: Installing Snow Leopard (ver. 10.6.8) on a Dell Mini 9


DM9 running Snow Leopard 10.6.8
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