07 November 2009

Chameleon On A Stick

Note: This guide was created with the HP Mini 1000 in mind.
I mean this kind of stick:
Actually it doesn't matter what the capacity is, even as little as 256 MB would do the job wonderfully. If you're like me who's accumulated USB flash drives in all sizes and capacities* over the years, you're bound to look at those old ones with storage capacity mentioned above and sigh - you can't use them to restore a Mac OS X retail DVD. Nope, they can't be made into installers.

*the biggest I have are 2 gig sticks.
However, aside from putting your fave mp3's in there to stick into those audio players equipped with usb readers, you can also make use of them as "booters". Not exactly eloquent that name there but it's what it should do after you do the steps below:
This assumes that you're running Vanilla Snow Leopard, specifically on an HP Mini 1000 but then as usual you can use this on other models just as long as you know your kexts.
Download >> SnowBoot.zip and Chameleon V2 RC3 installer
What you need: a Mac or a functional hackintosh
1) With your usb flash drive plugged in, launch Disk Utility app.
Most probably, if you unearthed this usb stick from the depths of your office table drawers, it must be using MBR as its partition table, so we're converting it to GUID first. If you're sure yours is already GUID, then you can just erase the volume (format as HFS+) and jump to step no. 6.
2) On the left pane of Disk Utility, click once to highlight the usb drive (the "main" entry; there may be a volume listed under the main name)
3) Click on Partition tab (this tab won't show up if you're clicking the "wrong" entry for the usb drive. Change from Current Scheme to 1 partition. And then below, click on Options.
4) A dialogue sheet will appear where you will select GUID. Click on OK.
5) Back on the main window of Disk Utility, select HFS+ / Mac OS Extended (Journaled) as format and give the  flash drive a new name. "OSXBooter", perhaps? Click on Apply. Exit Disk Utility once done.
6) Launch the Chameleon installer and point the installation to "OSXBooter" volume. Install and wait for it to finish.
7) Copy Extra folder (from SnowBoot.zip) to OSXBooter.
Now you have another rescue device to use for times when after trying out new kexts, etc. and you've rendered your internal hard drive non bootable. It's easier to tote around than the bulkier external hard drive.
You can customize your usb flash drive OS X booter by putting in a different set of kexts in /Extra/Extensions. Of you have to change Extensions.mkext accordingly. For that use Mkext Tool;
a) Fire up Mkext Tool, you'll have by default the "Pack" tab opened.
b) Drag your new set of kexts from /Extra/Extensions and drop them to window under "Pack"
c) In "Select path to save Extensions.mkext in", click on the "..." to navigate to your USB's /Extra/ folder.
d) Click on "Build". You should specify i386 as architecture to make it work on the HP Mini, but as you can see, it's already selected as default so there's no need to change it anymore.

Also I reckon you can just use a higher capacity usb stick - 8 gigs up, restore Snow Leopard retail DVD on it (GUID, HFS+ of course) and then finish off with steps 6 and 7 and you've also got a handy dandy Snow Leo installer on a usb stick.


Now I wanna go out grab an 8 gig stick.

Crap, I should get my hair done first.



fuyichin said...

If I need to make a boot disk for hp mini 1001TU (now running 10.6.3), do I need to copy the Extra folders from the system EFI to the OSXBoot thumb drive?

LeMaurien19 said...

Yep. So the OSXBoot is compatible with 10.6.3

Charlotte said...

Nice information, really useful for me. There is nothing to argue about. Keep posting stuff like this i really like it. Thanks.