Yesterday I decided to try to install MACOSX on the old little PC tower I’ve picked up from my mother in laws. The unit is no screaming beast – a “Stone computers” unit. It’s an Intel Core 2 Duo E7300, running at 2.66Ghz. 3GB of Ram upgraded from 2 (don’t remember the speeds), Intel GMA 3100 GPU (I am guessing it’s a part of the CPU). It has a 250GB HDD on it. As of my experience trying to put OSX on it, it achieved another 1TB drive.
So the problem to be solved, and why would I do this? Well, I still think that windows is not as great as MACOSX for what I need the OS for. Yes, it’s running my Plex Server, and OSX won’t do that much better you’d say. But I foolishly believe it does. And it’s just another interesting thing to try to achieve. I’ve tried it in the past, installed it on a Sony VAIO laptop – it worked, but I had issues with drivers… Now I’ve gone through the KnowHow Guide and expected the situation with the drivers should be resolve-able. Apart from the know how guide, I found a pre-installed image that people were advised to just restore to the HDD.
First obstacle – the PCs BIOS has no ability to boot from USB… This is just a recipe for insanity nowadays. It does have a DVD drive, but not that I have any blank DVDs to burn + the software that is used to create the flash drive doesn’t know how to burn to a disk. Well, what I had to do was shuffle the data around HDDs, I used a 2.5inch 250GB drive that would act as my “flash drive”, or the bootable drive. After waiting for over an hour while the data was moving off that disk to another one, I went down the first route of the two that I picked.
This first route was to use the pre-installed system, you’d think that’s just easier! Well, the image that I downloaded was an .arc, it had all the instructions, you’d need to use R-Drive to restore it to a drive. When trying to do that, all I kept on getting is a message that would say “Image media removed”. That just didn’t make any sense to me. I thought it’d be windows permissions issue, so I moved it to a folder out of the ISO that all the goodness was provided in – still no joy. I tried opening the program as administrator – no difference… I just ended up banning this idea assuming the image file was bogus.
The second route I took was the one that came from Twit and the KnowHow Guide. This guide pretty much is a good explanation how to use the tools at tonymacx86. I used the Unibeast tool to create the flash drive out of my 250GB drive using my sata to usb board that I took out of an enclosure a while ago. It implied downloading mountain lion from the mac app store, which I’ve done, and just going through a process they said would take 30 minutes, but on the Retina Display Macbook Pro I now have it funnily only took about 3 minutes. Away I went to plug my massive flash drive into the sata port of the Stone Desktop, and rebooted. When booting from the “flash drive” it greeted me with a boot loader that allowed me to pick the OSX install, or boot into windows. I picked the OSX install and yes (!) the apple logo has appeared. It followed by the spinning pizza ball, which was all looking good. However soon a crossed circle icon had appeared… Oh another round of troubleshooting. I went through every single available step that was there on the website, I tried all sorts of different modes, but nothing was changing.
At that point I have spent about 5 hours with moving data backwards and forwards, trying not to screw up partitioning, and lose any data. The point was reached – I gave up. Some might say that I just got used to the Apple way of using and doing things (“it just works”), got lazy, and my brain just doesn’t want to think any more. Maybe it’s the Stone Desktop, god knows. But it didn’t work, and the day was coming to an end.
If somebody had better experience with Hackintosh, let me know. I am just disappointed, and unsure if I want to try it again.