31 March 2010

Perfect Mini MacBook

As promised, here's the post where I'll tell everyone who cares to read how finally I transformed my HP Mini 311 in the perfect "Mini MacBook", or in more general terms perfect "Mac Netbook".

Earlier I ordered a true blue Apple AirPort Broadcom 4328 wireless N card off of e-bay, but which didn't work with my Mini 311 when I first tried. Something about a "ParallelsConnectUSB(0x4c6af80): :start() Control service not started!" getting me stuck at boot. But that's all in the past.

My recently resurrected HP Mini 1000 prompted me to try again. I wasn't really hopeful but, unlike the Mini 1000 which didn't quite miraculously resurrect, my "stuck at boot" issue with the Mini 311 being suddenly resolved fit the bill of what I call a miracle.

There was still that nasty "ParallelsConnectUSB(0x4c6af80): :start() Control service not started!" but I could very well get into my Desktop instead of making do with the command line - single-user mode with the Apple AirPort plugged into the Mini 311's PCI guts had been the only feasible way I could interact with my hackintosh.

There I was, beside myself, as I stared into that familiar wallpaper comprised of a train silhouette in dark grey against a lighter shade of grey background which I'd gotten from a link in Minimal Mac. And even my abdominal cramps wouldn't dampen that little bauble of joy I felt in that instant!~

Now this AirPort card was a full-height card and therefore I could only put it into the extra full-height PCI slot of the 311. However, the stock antenna, whose receptors were neatly tucked inside the 311's lid around the screen, could only reach the half-height PCI slot. Since I already had my U.fl antennas handy, I tried to fit it on. But wireless signal was very weak and almost after 2 hours of trying different arrangements, I knew I had to use the stock 311 antennas.

Here's a pic to illustrate what happened.
Apparently, the wires for the antenna are long enough, one just has to re-route it to reach that full-height PCI slot. How I did it? No price for guessing but use your imagination. And yes, I did use screw drivers.

So here's the final setup:
I used one U.fl antenna for bluetooth courtesy of the stock Broadcom 4312 BT/WiFi card which is now back in its PCI cradle. Remember to connect to "J2" on the card because I recently discovered that that's the port for bluetooth, with "J1" being for the WiFi chip.

There's a noticeable change in how much the hard drive can sink inside its comfy slot now but nothing to worry to about cause the cover flap would still nicely match up with the rest of the chassis once put on and screwed.

Also be sure to install Apple AirPort Client Update 2009-02 to fix any connection dropping issues that may occur.

A perfect Mini MacBook alright!

Or not. At least until I sort out 10.6.3 on this little baby. ;)

7 comments:

Hari said...

Hiya,

I am getting an hp mini 311 soon (hopefully)

I plan to buy this wlan card. http://www.trademe.co.nz/Computers/Apple/Components/auction-280902833.htm

Do you think it will work, will this method you did help me install my card?

Thanks

ps I am a filipino moved to new zealand last yeat :)

LeMaurien19 said...

It would Snow Leopard compatible alright but you'll be installing it on the full-height PCI slot which means you'll need to use U.fl antennas cause the stock ones (whose receptors are located well at the screen border inside the lid) won't be able to reach the card in that slot - unless you crack open your Mini 311 and re-route those antenna wires inside...

Better yet just get a Broadcom 4312 HMG card which works well with Snow Leopard - get the exact part no. that's used on HP Mini 1000's which fit perfectly in the half-height card. Then you can rebrand it to make it an "Apple AirPort Extreme".

Hari said...

XD please disregard above..

Description - Broadcom 4312 802.11b/g (Demi-2) WLAN adapter - Half-size form factor (Rest-of-World)

I think i found it :) thats for the hp 1000 mini and its cheap too!!!

You reckon this will work , if it will id buy it now haha

thanks for all the help

Hari said...

Hi Lemaurien

sorry to bother you yet again, but i stumbled upon this site selling a variety for cards. I just cant seem to get the hp mini 1000s wifi card. It is either not available or to expensive.

Could you if you have time look at this site and advise
me on what card to buy?

http://www.gigacomputers.co.nz/index.php?cPath=36_895&GigaComp=be6a0e85a859a1af8f64f50e67e11e92

LeMaurien19 said...

All I know is that it's a Broadcom 4312 chip, BCM94312HMG (half-height/demi pci) with HP spare part no. 504593-002 to be exact.

Search in ebay and ask seller for those details.

J Dizzle said...

Your guide was great! I have followed your blog to install on my mini 1000 and when I upgraded to the 311 this site helped me get it running, until the wifi issue came into play. I actually have the mini 311-1047NR which includes the Verizon Wireless embedded card, and the antennae wires are already run to where they need to be. All I had to do was pull out my embedded modem, which I wasn't using, and replace it with the apple airport card, reboot and had instant wifi. Thanks so much for the wonderful guides

LeMaurien19 said...

@J Dizzle
Lucky for you that you have that antenna wires already in good place for your AirPort card!

Thanks for reading :)