18 October 2009

Hackintosh Must Have: Mac OS X Installer USB Hard Drive

NOTE: This Guide is deprecated. From now on, please use this new guide for the HP Mini 311. (Can be adapted for other netbooks as well, as long as you have an Extra folder with all the compatible kexts, plists etc.)

(This is for Snow Leopard)

In ways it's like your perfect pair of denim jeans and even more valuable at times. I'm speaking specially of those times when you've rendered your internal drive, and by consequence, your Mini no longer bootable because of the various "experiments" (though pointless they may often be) that you've done in pursuit of geek nirvana.

You could try getting a boot-132 CD for Retail/Vanilla install (this one is also for use with Vanilla install) but I prefer installation via bootable usb hard drive because it's faster because with the numerous wipe-out and reinstall that I constantly do for those "experiments" (but actually more in pursuit of relieving boredom from lack of a social life rather than geek nirvana), every minute and second saved from DVD disc spinning inside an external optical drive do add up considerably.

So here are the ingredients:

  • NetbookBootMaker 0.8.3
  • External USB Hard Drive "USB HDD" (8 gigs or more) - I don't own a USB flash drive with this much capacity so I don't really know if it would work, but you can always try.
  • Snow Leopard Retail DVD image (.dmg, .cdr, .ISO)
  • Real Mac or a working Hackintosh
Plat de Résistence - Cooking Procedure :

1) With the USB HDD plugged to your Mac or hackintosh, launch Disk Utility. Click to highlight the usb hdd then click on the Partition tab to format the drive. Either use GUID or MBR. Click on OK.
2) Select partition format as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) and type in a name for the usb hdd; "SnowDVD" for example. Click on the Apply button at the bottom right.
3) Still in Disk Utility, click on a volume from the list at the left pane. This will show a Restore tab an the right pane. Click on Restore tab.

4) From the list at the left pane, select and drag the "Snow Leopard Retail DVD" volume to the field labeled "Source" at the right pane.
*If the image or volume isn't shown in the list, locate it in Finder and drag it there to add it to the list.
5) Again from the list at the left pane, drag the volume "SnowDVD" to the field labeled "Destination" at the right pane. Click on the Restore button. This will take some time; wait until Disk Utility completes restoring the Snow Leopard Retail DVD image to the "SnowDVD" volume. Quit Disk Utility.

6) Launch NetbookBootMaker. Select "SnowDVD" volume from the "Select USB Partition" drop down menu. Click on the "Prepare Boot Drive". Wait till it completes loading the needed files. Quit NetbookBootMaker.

7) In Finder, Cmd+Shift+G and type in the path /Volumes/SnowDVD/System/Installation/Packages in the dialogue sheet. Press Enter.

8) Look for "OSInstall.pkg" and "OSInstall.pkg.orig". Delete "OSInstall.pkg". Rename "OSInstall.pkg.orig" to "OSInstall.pkg" (click once to highlight the file; press Enter to edit filename; backspace to delete the ".orig" part). This is done to avoid stalling when installing Mac OS X using this installer - NetbookBootMaker has modified the OSInstall.pkg file.

You now have a working Mac OS X Installer USB HDD which you can already use.

However, if you want to customize it for the HP Mini 1000; i.e. functional audio right away via VoodooHDA, correct power management, MacBook Air smbios etc. (for when you wanna use this drive as a handy external booter in the future) you can continue with these next additional steps.

Voodoo Moose & All That Jazz - Dessert:

1) Download this .zip file "additional" and unzip it to a location in your drive.

2) In Finder, Cmd+Shift+G to go to /Volumes/SnowDVD/Extra/.

3) Copy the files, all 4 of them, included in the .zip file you just downloaded: 2 folders "GeneralExtensions" and "Themes" and 2 files (.plists) "com.apple.Boot.plist" and "smbios.plist". Paste them inside /Volumes/SnowDVD/Extra/. Replace or overwrite the files.

4) Launch the UpdateExtra app found in /Volumes/SnowDVD/Extra/.
Click on the "UpdateExtensions"button. Wait until it finishes updating your Extra folder. You'll know it's done when the button is no longer recessed.
Bon appétit! :D


Semaj said...

Thanks for the guide! I am trying it on my hp mini 1030nr now, I will let you know how it goes....

does wifi work for you? does anything not work on your system?

exited to get snow leopard working on my 1030nr

LeMaurien19 said...

You're welcome! I've a 1001TU and everything seems to work fine, including wifi. All the kexts/files I'm currently using are available and referenced in the guide (see Snow Leo EFI Guide : Revamped).

Although I'm not sure if they would give the same results but there's no stopping you from giving it a shot ;)

Good luck

불가리 said...

I have 110-1111TU

but now work wi-fi T_T

please help me !!

vanweerd said...

My tried installing to the HP 1116nr mini without the .orig rename, but that hung about 3/4 of the ways in.

Trying it with the .orig file in place, it cruised along passed 0 minutes left and is now at -15 minutes left!

There are no errors in the install log (the default netbookboot install had many).

Last lines say:
Starting installation
Cleaning up to retry after install failure
Recovery: cleaning up oartial sandbox

It looks stuck. I'll leave it another 30 minutes and try again.

vanweerd said...

I've installed successfully on a HP Mini 1116nr using these instructions. I needed to try twice- the second time I included the "Voodoo Moose & That Jazz - Dessert:" on my install stick. However, my initial failure may have been to due a permission issue on my install stick, so that's not for sure.

On my second install, I followed the instructions exactly, and followed with the video as well on step 3 (it's only 3minutes long) pausing as necessary.

After install:
Wifi is good.
Sound is good (tested to ACDC Hells Bells)
Performance is pretty good on 1GB of memory so far (though I hear I'll want 2 GB soon enough)
10.6.1 update worked fine.

I haven't done step 4 yet- customizations/maintenance. I'll try that later today.

Some issues at moment:
Shutdown does a reboot instead of shutting down.
Sleep makes a funny speaker sound when shutting down (maybe because I haven't done DSDT on step 4). Also not sure if sleep is working.
Fan seems on all the time.

Thanks a lot of the tutorial.

Captain Semtex said...

Just to let you know that I used an 8Gb USB stick ($20 from W*Mart) to create my "SnowDVD" and it all worked perfectly.

This freed up my USB HDD to use for Time Machine backups... for when I stupidly install the next Apple software update before visiting here!!

Anonymous said...

Will this work with a 2140? I can get one of these cheaper than a 1000.

LeMaurien19 said...

I supposed it could. This part of the tutorial tells you how to make an installer for Mac OS X Snow Leopard on a spare USB flashdrive or external drive.
After installation, loading the right kext combination is key to getting the most out of your hardware.
Check this compatibility chart from MyHPMini forums.

MikeO said...


I followed all instructions to a T & now my native Mac OS will not boot unless in safe boot.

I ran the UpdateExtra.app, looked like it was done, but the drive would not eject. I gave it a while, closed all open apps, then restarted the computer - it Kernel panicked.

Now upon boot it pretty much immediately KPs right from the apple loading screen.

Any ideas on how to remedy this?

I have a separate snow leopard partition I can boot from, and the leopard partition boots in safeboot.

Suggestions welcome!!

Anonymous said...

Hi folks I too have an 1116nr. I'm following the instructions on this site to the letter but and having a problem.

When I boot from the 10.6 USB drive I created the OS X installer appears to run fine but fails after a few minutes prompting for a restart. The installer log say something about not being able to copy the Essentials.pkg? I check it's there. What's going wrong?


David Stewart said...

Ok you can ignore my post about essentials.pkg. I was finally able to install using your instructions. I'm still uncertain what the problem was but I recreated my boot drive a couple of time and eventually it installed? Maybe a bad drive? Not sure.

Everything works perfectly now on my 1116nr except when I put it to sleep or shutdown it makes a strange kind of scratching sound and then seems to lock up with a black screen? Anyone know what that's about or how to fix it?


LeMaurien19 said...

Try using VoodooPS2 instead :D For reference, please see this post
You might also try your hand at DSDT patching; instructions can be found here.

Levi said...

Hey LeMaurien19,

Thanks for the GREAT post!

But, I have a slight problem...

I'm in the process of "Updating Extensions", but when I click the button, it says my current OS is not supported. I'm running iDeneb v1.3 10.5.5 and it says 10.5.6 is the minimum. Is there any way around this?


Levi said...

Also, is it necessary that I erase an entire 500GB HD and put the OSX image on it, or can I create two partitions and put the OSX disk image on the first partition?


LeMaurien19 said...

Nope, it doesn't have to be the entire 500GB hard drive; partitioning is a good idea. I'd say you should have at least an 8GB partition.
(I actually use an old 20GB ext hd that I split into 2 partitions)
Should be GUID tho.

Levi said...

Thanks LeMaurien19,

What about my problem with Updating the Extensions? Is there a way around this? or am I just screwed? :)

As I said above, when I click the button to update extensions, I get an error about not having the proper OS. I have 10.5.5, but it says I need 10.5.6... any suggestions?

Thanks for your time!

james h. said...

In Desserts section where you say: Paste the 4 "additional" items inside /Volumes/SnowDVD/Extra/ -- Should these REPLACE the similarly named items already in the Extra folder, or should they be ADDED?

LeMaurien19 said...

Yep :)

Anonymous said...

james - Should these REPLACE the similarly named items already in the Extra folder, or should they be ADDED?

LeMaurien19 - Yep :)

Please clarify..thanks.

LeMaurien19 said...

REPLACE the files.

Ryan said...

LeMaurien, will this work with the upgrade DVD I bought for my Mac Mini in September? I followed your guide and it goes very smoothly until it actually goes to install and tells me that components are missing...Mac OSX...I'm stuck...trying to do this on my HP Mini 1035NR...thanks!

Anonymous said...

Help please!

I've got a Compaq Mini 701ES (HP mini 1000) and I've tried this method and others to install my SL 10.6 on my computer but without luck. I do all the steps exactly the same as you can find in this guide but my computer never finishes installing the O.S. It stops when there's about a 10% still to finish and it reports an error saying to reboot and install again. After that I cannot continue with the procedure to make the system start.
The image of the S Leopard is ok because I installed it on a pen drive and run it on another computer. It's also imposible to run it on my computer, it gives a kernel panic and an error in something like com.apple.driver.AppleACPI
The error while installing says something about "writing error" or something like that.
A friend that installed it on his Dell mini is trying to help me but he also doesn't know how to find the solution.
Is it because I didn't upgrade the BIOS setup? Mine is V02.61 and it's very simple... you can't even find anything there about the USB...

Please, help! I'm desperate and the worst of all is that I know people with the same computer succeed it and has it fully working with SL.

Should I upgrade with a newer BIOS? How Can I do it without windows?... with all the installations I don't have any operating system.

Thanx in advance.

aatwell said...

Anyone able to get this to work with an HP Mini 110?

If so please let me know.



Larry said...

In step 7 and 8, there is no path System/Installation/Packages. So there is no OSInstall.pkg and OSInstall.pkg.org. I used NetbookBootMaker 0.82 and 0.83. Also it hangs with 7 Minutes to go. I am trying to install it on a HP Mini 1031nr. Am I doing something wrong?

LeMaurien19 said...

Type in /Volumes//System/Installation/Packages

If you still can't access that path, I don't know anymore what you're doing. That path is the only path where you can access those OSInstall.pkg.

Please make sure you're not typing in "SnowDVD" after /Volumes/ and just mimicking the example in this guide. Of course you need to check what your drive (on which you restored Snow Leo Install DVD) is named as.

fuyichin said...

Need some help here.

I try to install Snow Leopard 10.6.1 on HP mini 1001TU.

The USB HDD boot, it show a HD logo, then Apple logo...

System hang.

I have updated the HP mini BIOS before.

LeMaurien19 said...

^Try booting with verbose (-v flag). If that doesn't work, experiment with the OSInstall.pkg /mpkg files.

Afaik, this should work well with 1001TU's - the older (first) Mini 1000 not 110-1001TU's...

fuyichin said...

I use netbookbootmaker 0.8.3. Now I get a hang display, rather than just blank screen.

Since kernel panic at SleepEnabler, I remove it (SleepEnabler.kext) from the additional package\GeneralExtensions,
by running -v option:

[SleepEnabler] Registering PowerManagement dispatch table...
panic(cpu 0 caller 0x2a86f7): "Version mis-match between Kenel and CPU PM"@/SourceCache/xnu/xnu-1486.1.8/osfmk/i386/pmCPU.c:681
Debugger called:
Kernel Extensions in backtrace

Mac OS version:
Not yet set

Kernel version:
Darwin Kernel Version 10.1.2: Wed Sep 9 23:10:05 PDT 2009; root:xnu-1486.1.1-1/RELEASE_I386
System model name: MacBokAir1,1 (361A)


I think there is some problems. Anyone can help?

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for this tutorial.
Actually a friend of mine owns an HP mini 311 netbook but she is more impressed with macs. Would it be possible for someone to make or direct me to a site where I can download a disk image (dmg, iso or else) of snow leopard that has already been customised and is ready to install on her netbook with everything working (including graphic card, webcam, sound, mic, sleep and shutdown). She is not a computer wizz and it would be a show stopper for her if she was to be confronted with too many instructions to get SL working on her HP mini 311 hence the request. Would be grateful for your help with this. P.S. I will of course offer it with a purchased copy of SL.

LeMaurien19 said...

^You know what, you can use this guide to make an installer and then when that's done, use it to install Snow Leo on your friend's Mini.

Also use the installer to boot into the internal hard drive.

Once in the desktop, just install the HF4 package installer. It's a one click process and should be all you need, if you don't need to dual-boot with Windows.

There's an existing guide for the post install config but given that the file sources are now gone (originaly project at insanelymac has been closed), you'd have to fiddle your own way I'm afraid. At least until my report in my MA class tomorrow and I've free time again to gather resources and build a new guide.

Gary said...

I have skimmed several blogs about Hackintoshing the HP Mini. Since I've been a PC guy since 1984, I don't know if you can create a (Symantec) Ghosted image of an Apple hard drive installation, but it would seem much easier of those of you that have successfully completed this huge laundry list of instructions, and have a working HP Mini 1000, that you would be just benevolent enough to create a Ghosted image of your working hard drive...with none of your personal information of course, and post it for those of us who get totally frustrated at instructions that go on more than one screen. I'm sure most of us would even be willing to send the 'author' some money via paypal to save us the hassles and headaches involved to get a model specific disk image (ghost) for our HP Mini. Mine is an HP1035NR. If anyone has an image available that I can use/buy/barter for I'd be most appreciative.

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fuyichin said...

Is 5 months after I leave a comment on my problem install Snow Leopard on my HP mini 1000. This time I have successful installed with another SL DVD Installer image. This is a good installation guide,thanks.

After patch EFI (following the guide), all major function working, except mic, camera, but not really big deal.

Update to 10.6.1 has no problem.

I follow snow-leopard-1063-on-hp-mini-1000, successful, but with a few things not working.

Now still trying to get Sleep function working properly...

LeMaurien19 said...

It's the same problem I'm having with my HP Mini 1000 with 10.6.3. Sleep functionality is important for me but I haven't much time now to figure that out - I've tried a couple of new SleepEnabler.kexts. But finally, I think it's inevitable that the DSDT for the Mini 1000 and 110 alike to under a major update - the one that will allow it to use vanilla AppleIntelCPUPowerManagement which then will take care of sleep functionality, voiding the need for SleepEnabler.kexts.

I'm already planning to sell my Mini 1000 when I finally the perfect WiFI replacement card for my Mini 311.

For what it's worth, 10.6.2 is the most stable I could get my HP Mini 1000 in the past. If your main concern is a rock-solid dependable machine for your daily mobile computing, staying with 10.6.2 is my recommended option.

Anonymous said...

I have tried to create the USB boot device with 10.6.3 as described but when booting I get a panic crash "Version mis-match between kernel and CPU..."

I have tried the disk on mini 1000, mini 110, HP 2140 and Mini 311 all showing the same results. Any suggestions on what is wrong?

LeMaurien19 said...

See fuyichin's comment above.

PassingBy said...


I'm a 25 year Mac-er, intending to Hackintosh my gorgeous Mini 1036VU, so these notes are invaluable. But your comment re 10.6.2 being a good point to stick on is absolutely spot on. It's the same on real Mac. I've back-installed down to 10.6.2 due to the probs on later versions of SL.

Normally by point.3 of an Apple OS the rough edges are knocked off, and it's 'safe' to install, but not this time.

Maybe it's because so many ex-M$ coders are now working for Apple?

Wash my mouth out! :D

p.s. Friend has just bought a new MacBook, the all-white all-plastic all-cheap bottom of the range Mac - and it knocks the socks of my 2-year old MacBook Pro for speed & the size of external screen it can drive. Still 4x the price of a Mini, but it's worth a look.

LeMaurien19 said...

New way of creating a USB installer available. See link in the updated post above.

I too am wanting to buy a MacBook Pro (13") :D

rax said...

hi,thanx for providing this useful information.usb boot drive

Hot Tubs said...

Hackintosh is such a clever name!