A couple of weeks ago, I detailed how I built a Hackintosh Mac on the cheap from start to finish. The build benchmarked incredibly well, and I've been using it as my main PC every day since. A few days ago, I decided it was time to upgrade my Hackintosh to Mac OS X 10.5.1, the first update for Leopard. Here's how it works.
First... Did It Work?
Yes, updating to 10.5.1 worked (and continues to work) very well, and if you're installing Leopard with my previous guide, it only adds a couple of extra steps. However, I did run into a snag which I'll detail later.
Upgrade Your Hackintosh
Assuming you've just installed Leopard on your own Hackintosh using our guide, you've built your PC, installed and patched Leopard, and it's running like a gem. To upgrade, here's what you'll need to do:
- Install the 10.5.1 Update: Open Software Update, download, and install 10.5.1 just as you normally would on any other Mac.
- Fire up your Leopard install DVD and Patch: After you apply the update, your Hackintosh won't initially boot—instead it will probably continually restart after your BIOS load. That's okay—you just need to re-patch your system the same way you did the first time you installed. So drop the Leopard install DVD in your Hackintosh and boot into the installer (remember, when you're prompted to press any key to start the installation or press F8 for options, hit F8, enter
-v -xat the prompt and hit Enter. Then wait (the DVD boot up takes at least 5-10 minutes).
Once it boots up, open Terminal from the Utilities menu in the menu bar. Hopefully you've still got your trusty USB stick on hand with your Leopard patch files (the one you used in the original install). If you don't, just grab the files and follow the instructions in the original guide to prepare the patch files on your USB stick. Assuming your USB stick is prepared and you've named it LeopardPatch (the name isn't required, you'll just need to adjust the directions appropriately to the name of your USB stick), just run the following two commands:
cd /Volumes/LeopardPatch ./9a581PostPatch.sh
- Restart and Enjoy: Once the patch completes, answer 'yes' to reboot your computer. When it restarts, you should boot right back into Leopard with 10.5.1 running.
So What's the Snag?
I tried this method in two different fashions. First I installed Leopard from scratch using my previous guide and then I immediately upgraded and applied the patch. Worked as smooth as butter.
After verifying that that method worked, I applied the update and patch to the installation I'd been running for the previous couple of weeks. For some reason, when I did, the patch didn't seem to take. The workaround: I just booted up my working 10.5.1 (the one that I updated and patched immediately) and used OS X's Migration Assistant utility to migrate all of the user data from my non-booting drive to my new installation, which meant I didn't have to go through any of the rigmarole of a fresh install. However, it does mean that I needed two hard drives so I could install and update the fresh Leoopard separately, which may be much more of a pain than you're willing to face.
Isn't There a Better Way?
Honestly, yes, there is. It's called PC EFI, a patch that emulates the boot process of a "real" Mac so that the operating system can actually use the unmodified (i.e., unpatched), stock versions of the kernel. What does that mean to Hackintosh users?
Basically it means that you should generally be able to upgrade your system with impunity and never have to go through this sort of patching process when you upgrade. The problem: Despite several efforts, I wasn't apple to get PC EFI running successfully on my Hackintosh. That doesn't mean it can't be done—it just means I haven't been able to figure it out yet. When I do, you can be sure I'll post an update for how to do it.
If you're interested in looking into PC EFI, you can keep track of the latest developments here.