OS X on an Eee PC

I recently purchased another Eee PC, this time around I got the 1000H model, which has quite a bit more power than the 2G Surf which I started with.

Now it comes with Windows XP Home, but leaving it with its stock configuration is just plain boring, so I’m setting out to install OS X on it. Granted it has been done before with varying amounts of success, but taking someone’s word for it isn’t half as fun as doing it yourself.

First Step: Download iDeneb 10.5.4.

iDeneb is a modified (read: illegal) version of the OS X Installer, which basically allows installation on unsupported hardware. Which is exactly what we need.

Second Step: Update the BIOS.

I read on a few other websites that it’s recommended that you update your BIOS before proceeding, especially if you purchased the 901 model of the Eee.

Download BIOS update for 1000H
Download BIOS update for 901

Once you grab the correct BIOS file, you can use the ASUS update utility that came installed on your Eee.

Third Step: Configure Your BIOS.

First you’ll need to change a few BIOS level settings, to access the BIOS quickly tap the F2 key after you first power the system on. Once the BIOS menu appears, go to Advanced > CPU Configuration. On my 1000H there was only one option and it was already disabled, apparently some people have three options, and you need to disable all three. Press Esc. Next, go to Onboard Devices in the BIOS and disable all but the first two items (first two items are USB related). Finally, Save and Exit.

Fourth Step: Installing OS X.

Of course this step requires a copy of iDeneb burned to a DVD and a USB 2.0 DVD-ROM drive.

When the computer first starts up, quickly Escape key until the Boot Menu loads. Select the DVD drive from the menu, then hit any key to boot from it.

After the Installer loads, select your preferred language. Next, go to Utilites > Disk Utility.

Select the drive you want to format. Go to the Partition tab that appears. Select Mac OS Extended (Journaled) as the partitioning.

Click Options. Select GUID Partition Table and click OK. Then click Apply to format the drive.

Follow the onscreen prompts. When you reach the drive selection, chose the drive you just formatted. Then press Continue.

Now comes the fun part, on the next screen, chose Customize to select the correct packages.

Expand the list of patches.
Expand the options for Chipsets and check ICHx Fixed.
Expand the options for Kernel and check Kernel 9.4.0 Vanilla.
Expand the options for Network -> Wireless and check Broadcom.
Expand the options for Fix and check both FireWire Remove and ApplePS2Controller
Expand the options for Video, then the options for Intel. Check the box for GMA950.

Click Done.

Click Install. Cross your fingers.

Complete the Setup Wizard after the install finishes.

Step Five: Make Stuff Work.

You might notice that audio, graphics acceleration, and Wi-Fi all are not working. Whoops. We can fix most of this, though audio and built-in ethernet support aren’t possible as of writing this.

Download this ZIP of patches. Extract the contents.

Next, restart your computer and boot back into the BIOS (tap F2 repeatedly). Under Onboard Devices re-enable everything. Save and Exit.

Now run the AboutThisMac tool inside the folder you just extracted. This will fix the processor identification on your regular About This Mac window.

Copy the Kext Installer utility from the folder you just created to the Applications folder. Run it. Now drag all the files from the Drivers folder into the Kext Installer window. Enter your password. Let it finish. Restart.

Lastly, install the Wi-Fi driver. You can download a copy of it from Ralink. Mount the disc image, then install the OS X 10.5 version of the driver. Restart.

To configure your newly installed Wi-Fi, open System Preference > Network. It will notify you that a new Ethernet connector has been located. This is your Wi-Fi card. Click OK, and close the System Preferences window.

Connecting to a Wi-Fi network is a little trickier now. You’ll notice there’s no AirPort menu, so instead you need to go to your Applications folder. Launch WirelessUtilityCardbusPCI. Open the Site Survey tab, click Rescan. Double click on your network to connect to it.

My experience with the wireless is anything but reliably, but it’s still awesome to have OS X on an Eee.