30 April 2010

Total Finder

If like me, you end up having an infinite number of open Finder windows in your desktop, you've probably scratched your head or sigh or even curse because all the clutter is just killing you, then you need this app.
Total Finder

Who said tabs are only good for browsing?

29 April 2010

Graphical Boot (Non Verbose Mode)

The HP Mini 311 Darwin Releases, HF5 included, configure your system for verbose mode by default. That decision is driven by the fact that, for some reason that still remains unbeknownst (only to me perhaps), verbose boot makes for a more stable HP Mini MacBook311 than graphical boot. By stable, I refer particularly to resume after sleep.

With the current HF5, based on my own experience, if I boot graphically and attempt to resume from sleep, I get a blank screen...

But then, what I do is create a rather cheeky kextcache, combination of both /Extra/Extensions and /System/Library/Extensions. It does help in my resume after sleep issue but it's not taking me there yet, not quite. Sometimes I don't get a blank screen - perfect scenario. But sometimes, I get a kernel panic minutes after resuming from sleep.

But that's beside the point. Apparently there will always be people who would still wanna ditch verbose mode in favor of the graphical boot because, well, who doesn't wanna see that gorgeous grey Apple complete with spinning wheel just like in real Macs on their little Mini MacBook?

So here's what you do to get that: edit your com.apple.Boot.plist and, for the "Kernel flag" key, delete the "-v" string. Should be blank.

Now where do you get that com.apple.Boot.plist or more relevantly; how do you get to that plist anyway?

Well, normally that would require some Terminal sudo-ing and such. But, thanks to Kappy who lifted the veil off of that enigmatic UpdateEFI app (which is a fantastic little app by the way), we have our own HP Mini 311 version, aptly called "Alter EFI".

I've been privileged to be the first privy to the code behind that and allowed to modify a bit and so we have: Alter EFI v1.2
Here's what it looks like:
Use "Edit Others" to access /EFI/Extra/ folder, inside of which you have that com.apple.Boot.plist you're aiming for.

Oh and one more thing: anyone here who's kind enough to donate/make/suggest an icon for this little applet? Thanks very much in advance!

27 April 2010

HP Mini 311 HF5

NOTE: HPM311DP_HF5 is now available  Please go back to using HF5RC3 - it's the same as HF5 but without the option to install Boot Camp Assistant (hacked for OSx86). If you want Boot Camp Assistant, you can download it separately and replace the one in your /Applications/Utilities folder.
This is the official HF5 GA release.
  • VoodooPowerMini - for power management with readily available speedstepping functionality which then implies use of SleepEnabler - 10.6.3 version by meklort for sleep/resume and NullCPUPowerManagement from previous HP Mini 311 Darwin Project releases.
  • ApplePS2Controller  - VoodooPSController has been reported to be buggy (slow and freezes at times during use)
  • Everything else - CPUInjectorAppleACPIBatteryManager, and fakesmc
New stuff:
  • VoodooHDA v2.6.1
  • DSDT.aml updated compatible with latest Bios F.14 with HPET and P-state/dsdt incorporated speedstep (for possible future transition to stock AppleIntelCPUPowerManagement)
So far, on my Mini. I can even boot non-verbose and resume from sleep is stable.**
*credit is given to the hacker who patched Boot Camp Assistant.
**That is, using a kextcache made from /Extra/Extensions and /System/Library/Extensions on non verbose mode

26 April 2010

HP Mini 311 HF5 RC2 Available for Testing

The team has decided that RC2 will not be for GA release.

HP Mini 311 Darwin Project Hot Fix Release Candidate 2 Please Use HF5RC3
Major Update 10.6.3 Ready
*Member names citation here does not mean ownership of kexts mentioned; ONLY work based on modification or patching efforts on already existing kexts are assumed as priority in this thread and SOLELY for reference related to project maintenance.

A. CPUIDOverride.kext and CPUIDSymbols.kext (current OSx86; from meklort)
- enable use of vanilla AppleIntelCPUPowerManagement.kext which eliminates need for Disabler.kext or NullCPUPowerManagement.kext and SleepEnabler.kext

B. VoodooPS2Controller.kext (poofyhairguy)
- installed in /System/Library/Extensions with additional component AppleACPIPS2Nub.kext installed in /EFI/Extra/Extensions. More stable than previous ApplePS2Controller.kext/AppleACPIPS2Nub.kext combo.

C. VoodooHDA v2.6 (aikidoka25)
- offers better support for 3.5 jack: both Line-In and Headphone

D. DSDT.aml (MowgliBook)
- Updated for current Bios F.14 version. Device HPET fixed to enable use of vanilla AppleIntelCPUPowerManagement.kext (see A. above)

As you can see, this is a rather on the avant-garde side with integration of native Apple Power Management through the use of meklort's CPUIDOverride and CPUIDSymbols kexts that fools OS X into thinking we've got a valid MacBook "penryn" Intel CPU.

AppleIntelCPUPowerManagement.kext, which is this Power Management kext, is no longer disabled; we've chucked out Disabler or NullCPUPowerManagement in turn. Also, SleepEnabler.kext is also not needed as the aforementioned power management kext takes care of sleep.

New keyboard and trackpad VoodooPS2Controller for less Kernel Panics and VoodooHDA v2.6 in lieu of downgrading to 10.6.2 AppleHDA since 10.6.3 AppleHDA dropped support for the Mini 311's audio hardware.

It's a promising setup alright BUT NOT UNTIL speedstepping and overall stability are sorted out. Thus for the HF5GA release, we've opted to go back to, HF4 stock:
  • VoodooPowerMini - for power management with readily available speedstepping functionality which then implies use of SleepEnabler - 10.6.3 version by meklort for sleep/resume and NullCPUPowerManagement from previous HP Mini 311 Darwin Project releases.
  • ApplePS2Controller  - VoodooPSController has been reported to be buggy (slow and freezes at times during use)
  • Everything else - CPUInjector, AppleACPIBatteryManager, and fakesmc
New stuff retained from HF5RC2:
  • VoodooHDA v2.6
  • DSDT.aml updated compatible with latest Bios F.14 with HPET and P-state/dsdt incorporated speedstep (for possible future transition to stock AppleIntelCPUPowerManagement)
HP Mini 311 Darwin Project HF5RC3 for tentative release tomorrow is now available and if favored as positive, will become the HF5GA release.

23 April 2010

Friday Round Up - Updates on 10.6.3 Update

It's Friday and the mundane work-centric week is about to end at last! It's time for OSx86 again, yay!*

The main problem with 10.6.3 is that it screws up sleep; blank screen on resume or a kernel panic. Either way, you're obliged to cold restart/reboot your machine to continue using it.

Simply not good.

It's one of the reasons why HF5 is still RC1. I'm staying optimistic that we'd get this sorted out rather than wait for 10.6.4 which could potentially add more issues in the already imbalanced equation.

So what do we do?

Good thing there are still people like aikidoka25, alabamas, mosslack, mowglibook, poofyhairguy and the rest of the brilliant gang at InsanelyMac who never tire of working on the 311 and churning out these custom-modded kexts. So:

1) Test, test and test - various kexts and kext location configuration etc.**
2) Package HF5 RC2 - hopefully I can get my own Mini 311 with stable sleep/resume preferrably with non verbose boot mode
3) Write a new guide - once 10.6.3 is finally figured out from no. 2, to record my "journey"

*I should really do a rain check - oh make that a double rain check. Friends my age are looking forward to partying on a Friday night, either checking out boys or being checked out by them.
Me I look forward to OSx86.

**I've been experimenting with VoodooHDA in /System/Library/Extensions and what I call a "Super kextcache" in EFI/Extra composed of /EFI/Extra/Extensions and /System/Libray/Extensions. I'll try the other combinations. It does seem that the old ApplePS2Controller kexts are causing the kernel panics. Time to try VoodooPS2Controller in /S/L/E.

22 April 2010

Having A Bad Day

Being human, I do get in a foul mood at times like the rest of the world.
To all the people at work, at home, or in cyberspace affected; my sincerest apologies.

Or is this PMS? Geesh.

21 April 2010

Hackintosh Hybrids : No and No (I repeat: NO)

Participating in the OSx86 community (yes, I'd like to think/fool myself that what I'm doing and at the level of experience I have, can be classified as "participating") means providing support free technical support for the general unknown masses who are in the same boat as you are: you have the same PC model and Mac OS X version installed.

That "technical support" is not really comprehensive for you yourself may have been just reporting on what works for you and what doesn't, hence the limit. This is what I do. I tinker with my system in the hopes of improving my own user experience and when I get to what works, I post it on this blog. For now, I prefer EFI boot setups. It's a personal preference really and it works for me and so that's what I write about. That's what readers get on this blog.

But then given that the OSx86 is a very very very vast parallel universe of sorts, EFI boot is not the only way to hackintosh.

Then there comes the tragedy: people have a tendency to just slop this and that on their systems to get something working without so much as a thought.

And I know that because I acted exactly that way once upon a time in my early noob days. It's a painful experience and I've learned from it. Mixing boot methods, specifically EFI and NetbookBootmaker, etc. is not a good thing.

Apart from the fact that it could screw my setup pretty bad, I was left unable to determine what exactly went wrong because of the spaghetti mess that resulted - I didn't know precisely what that "ramdisk" or "untitled" does or what it loads, or when it loads or where it loads. I wasn't willing to be my own personal tech support provider at that time but I had to have a functional machine so in the end, I had to wipe-out, reinstall just to get to the root of that "toothache".

Hackintosh lesson: Hybrid cars are cool, yes, but hackintosh hybrids are a BIG NO NO.

If you choose a specific boot method, then go with that method all the way and save yourself from trouble. :)

18 April 2010

Running Dry

Lately I haven't been as active with the hackintosh community and this blog of mine hasn't been updated as often as it used to (see how 2009 monthly posts compare with 2010's).

Our MSI Wind hackintosh that I turned into a nettop at home running Mac OS X Snow Leopard via EFI boot has suddenly refused to boot again. I've tried various external booters, some of which worked fine but nothing could make my MSI Wind boot OS X on its own like it used to.

So I thought it was time for a reinstall. Actually not a real reinstall - what I wanted to do was restore a 10.6.2 Vanilla system onto my MSI Wind's hard drive. I got my trusty old 20 GB external USB hard drive and used Carbon Copy Cloner to clone a working 10.6.2 system on it. Afterwards, I wanted to make it bootable. But given that doing an EFI boot on that external hard drive wouldn't still boot my suddenly misbehaving MSI Wind, I decided to try NetbookInstaller 0.8.4 RC1. I was halfway along with the installation on my external hard drive and then boom! Kernel panic! Right there on my 311's desktop.

I just don't know what it is between NetbookInstaller and NetbookBootMaker and me but one thing I'm sure of: we don't rock.

So I figured out I was gonna just revert to good old Leopard on my MSI Wind + Windows XP dual boot setup.

And that's that on my MSI Wind. Now on to my Mini 1000.

Sad to say but the poor little guy probably would have to revert to 10.6.2 cause I just can't make it sleep properly in 10.6.3. Now that might be due to fact that I'm guilty of putting too much of what little time I get left for hackintoshing to the HP Mini 311. At least I should get a 10.6.2 package installer for the Mini 1000 to make up for my negligence.

And then the all consuming HP Mini 311. 10.6.3 is still muddy waters - we don't know for sure how to go from HF4 10.6.2 to 10.6.3 moving forward. EFI boot or NetbookBootMaker/NetbookInstaller? And then there's AppleHDA and VoodooHDA. Then there's also ApplePS2 and VoodooPS2.

I sorely miss my carefree HP Mini 311 Snow Leopard 10.6.2 days.

So much for staying bleeding edge these past couple of years.

How I Created the "HPM311DP_0410HF5RC1" Installer

As promised, here's how I made the current HPM311DP_0410HF5RC1.pkg installer that automatically configures EFI boot on your Mini 311's internal hard drive, ready for that 10.6.3 Update. But I'm still not feeling so well so I'm afraid you'll have to read up on the Apple Developer site for more details. What you'll see here is a rough narration of how I got the sources and tweaked and repackaged it again.

First off, I didn't exactly start from scratch. The HF4 release contained the sources, well, that is, some of it. The folder structure that should be used was explicitly shown:
So this was the file structure I should implement. I swapped out kexts, boot files, themes, etc. inside that folder that I copied locally to my drive. And working with Package Maker, here's what I had:
I gave the package a name: "HP Mini 311 HF5 RC1". 
I set "User Sees" to "Easy Install Only" to keep it really simple.
And the for "Install Destination", I set it to "System Volume".
Installation of this package was meant to be fool-proof and as straightforward as possible. The user won't be given the chance to stray from what I wanted to happen.
Now for the package content itself. I had created a folder "EFI_Files" and put there everything I got from the HF4 source. The file structure is important, so I had to bear in mind that this EFI_Files folder was to be my project's "root" folder.
I dragged the whole folder in the "Contents" column.
Made sure 'Destination" is set to "/". 
Put a Packager Identifier just for the sake of having one - Package Maker wants this filled up.
I couldn't really care less for Package Version and Restart Action but I did want to have the user authenticate first, hence I enabled "Require admin authentication"
Now looking at the screenshot above, you'll have a better understanding of this "EFI_Files" folder as "root" project folder. At this point, we've made a parallelism between the Install Destination "/" and "EFI_Folder":
"EFI_Folder/Volumes/EFI/Extra/Extensions" becomes "/Volumes/EFI/Extra/Extensions" later on in the actual installation process when the built package is run.
These are the kexts that are gonna be installed.

Now the most important part: Scripts.
Without them, you'll end up building a package that when installed only copies the contents of EFI_Files onto your main "/" directory. Not exactly what we wanted to happen.
This is also why I said earlier that HF4 contained some but not all source. The all important scripts weren't as explicitly indicated as the folder structure for the project. Actually I bet that they were NOT at all meant to available to the general public - keeping code secret is part of human nature. But then HP Mini 311 Darwin Project must be kept alive and so we use Pacifist to extract those scripts.

Of course I exerted effort myself and edited the post install script to implement the changes I wanted to happen during installation. And then I mapped their location - preinstall script goes to "Preinstall" and postinstall script goes to "Postinstall". 
Here are the scripts. You can edit them with a text editor to incorporate the changes you'd like for your own package.

You can edit the interface and include custom background and texts that will be displayed on specific frames as the install process unfolds and the user clicks on buttons on the dialog box.
For detailed instructions to this, please consult the Apple Package Maker documentation.
To end my little narrative, I finished by saving changes to the package, closing the interface editor window.
Once I was back to the main Package Maker window, I clicked on the "Build" icon to create a .pkg file that can be distributed and run.
You'll be asked for the location where to save the resulting .pkg file.
And you're done.

04 April 2010

Update Your HP Mini MacBook 311 to Mac OS X 10.6.3

06 July 2010 UPDATE: This guide is deprecated as we are now in 10.6.4. This post still exists only for archiving purposes. Please use the updated 
Please use HF5RC3 in the mean time.
So scratch everything we did before (to those of you who updated fine like I did, you may forget this post - well maybe except for the new package installer that takes care of VoodooHDA installation as well).

What you need: (A working Mac OS X 10.6.2 install on an HP Mini 311 is assumed - mais ouais, bien sûr!)
1) Mac OS X 10.6.3 Combo Updater from Apple's site.
2) HPM311DP_HF5RC3.pkg - I renamed this installer repacked by me to continue (and NOT undermine) the legacy that is left of the HP Mini 311 Darwin Project.

In case things don't go well after the reboot - that said, you create this tool BEFORE running the 10.6.3 Update, or if went ahead already, at least before restarting your machine.

3) HF4 USB Booter - which you make by installing *HP Mini 311 USB Install Package w/ HF4 on to a USB flashdrive that you know and have tested to boot your 311 fine.
NOTE! Make sure you install the package onto the USB flashdrive and NOT your internal hard drive. The pkg defaults to your current OS X install (internal) disk which you would want to change very much.
I hope these screenshots are self-explanatory:
In short, don't just click absentmindedly as you, I, we all normally would but please do read this time, paying attention to details - specially that pertaining to the install location.

What to do:
1) Run the Mac OS X 10.6.3 Combo Update. DO NOT RESTART yet.
2) Install the HPM311DP_HF5.pkg. DO NOT RESTART yet.
3) Check that you have prepared the "HF4 USB Booter" as designated above. And YES, I'm including this in the "What to do" list of steps just so we get the point nice and clear. :D
4) Restart your machine with -f flag. (Press F8 as Chameleon loads and then use arrow down key to choose "-f Ignore boot caches" in the drop down menu or just enter -f. And then press Enter to proceed)

What was your result?
One of the ff. may have happened to you:
A) Your Mini 311 restarted just fine but your trackpad isn't working. => No worries, it's just that ApplePS2Controller doesn't really load in -f mode. Also beats the hell out of me why it behaves likes that. Just restart your machine, but this time, just let it do it's own thing and you should be fine.

B) Your Mini 311 is experiencing a "boot loop" problem. => You created that "HF4 USB Booter" right? Right??
If you didn't against all my insistence for you to do so, but you can get to another hackintosh or Mac and create one, now, while it isn't too late and proceed to B.1.
Or if you can't get to another hackintosh or Mac (nope, a PC won't do cause I don't want us to go as far as there), please jump to C.
B.1) Use "HF4 USB Booter" to boot your Mini 31. => Press F9 as you turn on the machine, choose your flashdrive, press Enter, and choose your internal hard drive, press Enter.
B.2) Reinstall Chameleon (Cham2NBI - by Meklort).
=> For those of you who hate Terminal commands:
(1) Unzip "Cham2NBI" to your main "/" directory, authorize as needed
(If Cham2NBI is not where it should be, the applet won't proceed with reinstalling Cham)
and then
(2) run this applet I created for you "Reinstall Cham".
(this installs the same Cham as in HF4 - the one that auto-patches the mach_kernel)
=> For those who want to reinstall manually, I assume you know what to do :D
C) Until such time that you can get to working hackintosh or Mac and create that "HF4 USB Booter" I was telling you to make, then goodbye; we part ways here. I hope you enjoy a good life :D

*I think this was created by Mosslack? Or was it Mowglibook? Or I don't remember anymore - one of the greatest human beings who walked this earth, at least for us HP Mini 311 hackintoshers ;) )

01 April 2010

Stock F.14 BIOS, HP Mini 311, Apple AirPort Broadcom 4328 N

So there was absolutely something going on that I didn't quite understand the first time I attempted to install my Apple AirPort card on my HP Mini 311. Somehow, it would get stuck at boot up. I even thought at one point that it was VMWare wreaking havoc on my system that I immediately uninstalled it.

The "ParallelsUSBController" blah blah was NOT related to virtual machines at all - nope, not Parallels Deskstop. I got the idea of virtual machines being the root of my WiFi misery from a hackintosh forum - and reputable hackintosh forum at that but I won't name names since I wanna live peacefully and I've also forgotten the name and I'm too lazy to dig into my browsing history.

If you've installed a new bios and happen to have also installed a new card onto the 311's PCI slot, there's huge chance of you forgetting that you're running the machine directly plugged into electrical source - i.e. no battery installed (cause that's how we flash the bios, right? some "haduken" Win + B keys + Power switch with the netbook sans la batterie).

The fix? Put the battery back before you turn on your machine again.

Easy peasy, eh? Actually, not for me. I had to resort back to F.04 (cracked by icelord) thinking that F.14 was just plain impossible for my Mini 311. And all that was because I didn't put the battery pack back in first.

Now I'm happy that I now have a blue wireless switch led light instead of the perpetual red-orange glow which didn't match my svelte little machine at all. Profound reason, huh? I can't even toggle anything.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Written on my resurrected HP Mini 1001TU.