Install Snow Leopard On Your Hackintosh PC, No Hacking Required

Two weeks ago I detailed how to build a Hackintosh with Snow Leopard, start to finish, with a little Terminal work. If you're not comfortable with command-line hacking, now you can install Snow Leopard on your Hackintosh with just a few point-and-clicks.

So what's changed between my last guide and this one? In short, one of the incredibly helpful and generous people who helped walk me through the installation process last time was kind enough to wrap all the tedious Terminal work into one dead simple installer. Where two weeks ago I showed you how to prepare your thumb drive (and after that, hard drive) with a custom bootloader that allows you to boot into OS X on regular old PC hardware, now all you have to do is run a package, point it at the drive you want to prepare, and then let it take care of all the nitty gritty. It could not be more simple.

Now onto the revised process!

NOTE: Just like the last post, this guide is focused specifically on the hardware I suggested in the previous guide—specifically the motherboard. If you try following this guide on other hardware, there's a very good chance it won't work as advertised.

What You'll Need

  • Supported hardware. I laid out my list of supported hardware in my previous post here. It's not the only hardware that will work with OS X, but it's the only hardware that's guaranteed to work with this guide.
  • A USB thumb drive that's at least 8GB in size.
  • A copy of the Mac Box Set-though, honestly, Apple's practically made it hard *not* to buy the fully functional install disc.
  • Another Mac to prepare your thumb drive. (You'll only need this other Mac for a few steps. I used my MacBook Pro, but you could also borrow a friends for an hour or so, too.)
  • The EP45UD3P Snow Leopard install package. This package allows you to skip all the command line work in my last guide, and you can download it here.

Step One: Prepare Your Thumb Drive

In this step, you're going to format your thumb drive and then restore the Snow Leopard DVD image to the thumb drive because later we'll be installing Snow Leopard to your hard drive using this thumb drive rather than the DVD. Why? Because in order to boot the installer, we need to customise the disk image with some special helper files of our own.

I went into great detail on this process last time, so this time I'm just going to include the step-by-step video below (made by the same generous man who created the EP45UD3P Snow Leopard installer package). If you want to read the very detailed version for a detailed explanation of how to rip the Snow Leopard install DVD to a disk image and then restore that image to your thumb drive, go here. (Come back when you get to the "Semi-heavy Terminal work" warning. That's when you're ready for the new and improved easy part.)

Note: Watch the video in HD and fullscreen to get a closer look at everything that's happening.

As you can see in the video, after you restore the Snow Leopard install DVD to your thumb drive, all you've got to do is fire up the EP45UD3P Snow Leopard.pkg file (if you haven't already downloaded and unzipped it, you can grab it here), select your thumb drive, and, let the installer take care of all the dirty work that you previously had to do one line at a time in Terminal.

Once you've finished there, you're ready to set your BIOS and install Snow Leopard.

Step 2: Set Your BIOS

Before you can boot into or install OS X on your Hackintosh, you've got to make some small adjustments to your system BIOS (press Delete at system startup to tweak your BIOS settings). Rather than taking you step by step through every change you need to make, I've simply snapped a picture of the relevant BIOS screens and added some notes. Just go to Step 2 here and make sure your BIOS settings match up.

Step 3: Install Snow Leopard

If you've made it this far, the hard part is over. Now it's time to install Snow Leopard, which—unlike what we've done so far—is extremely easy.

Make sure you've set the boot priority in your BIOS to boot from your thumb drive (you can see how in Step 2: Set Your Hard Disk Boot Priority), then simply plug your prepared thumb drive into your Hackintosh and power it up. Since screenshots aren't really an option—and since it's a fairly easy process—my install instructions come in video format:

The quick version goes like this: Boot into the Snow Leopard installer, format the hard drive you want to install Snow Leopard to (go to Utilities -> Disk Utility, then click on the drive, select 1 Partition, Mac OS X Journaled (Case-Sensitive Update: Several readers have suggested that case-sensitive formatting can cause problems with some applications, like Adobe's Creative Suite, so you may be better off sticking with plain old Mac OS X Journaled.), give it a name, and make sure GUID Partition Table is set in the Options. After you Apply the new partition, go back to the installer and install like normal to that drive. When you reboot after the install completes, press the arrow keys at the graphical boot menu and select the drive you just installed Snow Leopard to.

Two Last Tweaks

You could just stop there and be pretty happy at your new Hackintosh, but there are two little, easily performed tweaks you'll want to tackle to get everything in tip top shape: The first will get your sound fully working, and the second will allow you to boot into Snow Leopard without your thumb drive.

Tweak One: Snow Leopard should be up and running on your Hackintosh like a dream—with one exception: Sound isn't entirely working yet. You may notice that sound actually does work in some instances, but not all. In the old guide, you needed to install a custom audio kext (your Mac's equivalent to a driver); the setup has been slightly tweaked in this new method, so all you should actually need to do is open up the Sound preference pane in System Preferences (/Applications/System Preferences), click the Output tab, and change the output device to Built-in Line output (I haven't tested with digital out, but it should in theory work fine).

Tweak Two: At this point, in order to boot to your newly installed Snow Leopard installation, you need to have your thumb drive plugged in so it loads the custom bootloader, from which you can select your new Snow Leopard hard drive. To install the custom bootloader to your hard drive (so you no longer need the thumb drive to boot), again download the EP45UD3P Snow Leopard.pkg zip file and run it, but this time, instead of choosing to install the package to your thumb drive, select the hard drive you've installed Snow Leopard to. Once the installer completes, you'll no longer need your thumb drive plugged in to boot into Snow Leopard.

Congratulations! You've Got a Fully Functional Hackintosh—the Easy Way

Where the method I covered previously required a good amount of time and care in Terminal, this new and improved method is a breeze, and it works even better. (Sound works out of the box without any custom kexts, for example.)

It's also worth noting that you can go ahead an upgrade to OS X 10.6.1 without any problems.

If you've given the Hackintosh route a try since my first post, let's hear how it's been working out for you in the comments. If this extra ease-of-installation was just what the doctor ordered, go grab the parts listed in the last post and get ready for a fun weekend.


Comments

    Curious if anyone has tried this with a netbook such as an eeepc? I have an eeepc 1000HD and would love to set it up as mac.

    Hey Adam,
    I have tried to install mac osx on my pc for serveral times, and could never get it to boot properly. Btw, I have successfully installed it on my HP lappy.
    your fetaure gave me some hope as i can see you have used a Gigabyte Mobo.
    But I have a Gigabyte 965p-ds3(rev 2.0) Mobo.
    Will it work?

      hey..hiee
      i need help...
      i want to install fresh copy of mac os snow leopard on my compaq laptop (intel c2d,2.1ghz)
      can u give me the intructions which i should follow.
      i dont have any mac os .so i have to download it also.give me the proper download options of mac os.
      ur help would be highly appriciated.
      do reply me plz.

    Is there any particular reason you didn't use the build in NICs on the motherboard?

    I would love to see someone on the osx86 crowd make this sort of installer standard for all models. Maybe a seperate one for each model pc/laptop and make it the standard going forward.

    I know it sounds like a lot of work.

    Adam,

    I put together a system identical to yours. How is your video performance? If I play a 1080p HD trailer from Apple, my hackintosh drops frames and uses quite a bit of cpu power. That same video played on my MacBook Pro w/ the 9600m plays flawlessly with very little cpu usage. I'm stuck as to how this can be resolved.

    Great article. Would the process work with a Toshiba Portege?

      no Tom, it doesn't. i have 10.5.8 running on a portege and it's sweeeeeeeeeeet, but 10.6 failed... the additional "magic" used here is specifically for the motherboard above... :(

        Thanks for that advice - I guess that I could use Leopard, perhaps, rather than SL?

    Will the UD3L motherboard from gigabyte work just as well? they share the same chipsets but the UD3L is cheaper and easier to get a hold of, though it is minus sli and crossfire support as well as raid etc

    Hi all. I have a compaq presario C700 laptop. I have kalyway leopard 5.2 installed with the 5.3 update working like a dream. However, I have follows both your guides including a few others and every time I reboot it gives me a few seconds of the Darwin white screen and the nasty kernel panic and shutdown instruction box. I would love to know how to run Snow L. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
    Simon

    I just wanted to comment and let you know that the following hardware worked out of box with the method described above:

    Mobo - Gigabyte EP54T-DS3R (Onboard NIC, Audio, FW, USB, everything)
    Video Card - GTX9800
    Processor - Core 2 Quad 2.33

    I was just wondering if anyone could please alter the dmg file the way it says to on this page and make a torrent for it AFTER it has been altered to run on a PC, as I don't own a mac, and the macs that they have at my library run XP only. It would be MUCH appreciated, as there is no way I could do so myself. Oh, and then could you post a link on this page to that torrent. Thanks.

    If Is There A way to duel boot both a windows and mac partition?

    Hey guys,

    For anyone running Gigabyte GAEP35C-DS3R board and a 1GB GeForce 9600GT video card (must be the single core model), I put together a modified version of this guide (with credit where credit is due) specifically for that board here.

    It includes full instructions, working ALC889a audio and processor recognition :)

    Hope you guys enjoy it.

    hi can these specs run Snow Leopard ??

    cpu : intel core 2 quad q6600 2.4
    gpu : ati hd 4830 1gb
    motherboard : ga-P35-DS3L i dont know which version with (Onboard NIC, Audio)

    i have only 1 hard disk with windows 7 installed
    in partition .... can i install Snow Leopard
    in other partition ... and how much size i must have for it ??

    can i use 4 gb Thumb Drive ... for installtion ??

    will the audio and Onboard NIC work ... ??

    thanks ....

    Adam,

    i have a homebuilt computer running a ASUS P5QC motherboard, a intel quad core processor, a LG cd/dvd drive 4GB OCX memory. will this work with this setup? and do i need the ultimate box or can i just buy the $30 snow leopard disk? will snow leopard support all the mothorboad programs like drive xpert, basicly time capsule. and EPU6 wich allows me to tweak my mothorboard, or will i be able to do this all with the snow leopard programs?

    Hey,

    love the guide - easily one of the most referenced on the net from what i can see. Now can we have a guide for an i7 Hackintosh ? pretty please?

    I followed this guide, but it doesn't work... I have i ASUS Maximus Formula mb, please help me!

    I Have the same mobo..Asus Formaula..it doesnt work for mine either..all that happens..is that a balck screen comes up with a blinking dash

    I've got a bit of a problem, I followed this guide and everything worked apart from my internet and firewire, I downloaded the recommended kexts and installed them. When I restarted my computer got stuck on the splash screen, the new kexts must be conflicting with some that were already on there. Tried using a Mac and a Windows boot DVD to format the drive but it doesn't read either disc, even after setting the primary boot device as my optical disk drive, it just loads the bootloader for snow leopard and still hangs on the splash page. How can I resolve this any ideas would be great. Cheers

    Please help, I built it to exact specs, but my video card only recognizes 32mb memory (512-P3-N871-AR GeForce 9800 GTX)

    is there a setting in the bios I'm overlooking?

    Hey adam
    I'm looking at using this setup to build a Hackintosh for the . You mention above how it can be upgraded to 10.6.1
    can it be upgraded to 10.6.2?

    Thank you so much for making all this possible , There is no way i would spend 3500 for Mac pro. I justify building this mac because I spent a lot of money on my powermac and Apple Stopped support for my machine. I purchased a SNow Leopard Disk as should everyone ! Thank you for the App. that preps the disk, terminal work is a pain in the ass.

    Hackintosh Community Thank you for everything you guys have contributed. Without your hard work and will to learn we wouldn't have come so far!

    Will this work on a sony Vaio FW(590)? If not, is there somewhere that would show me how to do this?
    Thanx.

    Hi,

    I have made a Hackintosh with a Gigabyte EP45-UD3LR motherboard. Everything went smoothly and works fine EXCEPT on-boad sound and some parts of on-board LAN.

    As far as sound is concerned, this motherboard has the Realtec ALC888 chip. I have searched and tried just about EVERYTHING but nothing works. It is also very confusing as there seem to be so many different possible solutions. Has anyone had the same problem and found a solution? If so, can you please post it? Which (combination of) kexts are required?

    As far as on-board LAN, I have full Internet connectivity (so no problem there) but my Hack will not see my Macbook or the Time Capsule attached to the network. Any ideas?

    thanks, Jorgos

    What is the best motherboard that ill work with this package?

    hi i've got a problem when i load it up it runs fine untill the apple logo comes up and it says please hold down your power button your computer needs to be restarted please help

      Im having the same problem too, please help, send me an e-mail plz!!!! :(
      [email protected]

      try deleting dsdt.aml as it won't match your hardware requirements. i think there is also a tool to make a new one. this worked for me

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