DIY Hackintosh: Dell Mini 10v

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This is just a quick project I had some time to check out over the weekend, so with some people asking for some hackintosh info I figured we’d put up a quick blog post about it. With Apple making moves to block Intel’s Atom processor with the upcoming updates to both Leopard and Snow Leopard, it seems that now is the ideal time for anyone using a netbook to get in on Apple’s Mac OS.

Dell Mini 10

Dell's Mini 10v has kind of become the perfect Snow Leopard machine

Before we start this guide, we should probably point out that the whole “Hackintosh” setup is both pretty illegal and a little awkward to get running, since it depends on running some of Apple’s proprietary code on hardware that it was never meant to run on. That said, it’s very rewarding as a project and a great OS for anyone with an interest in checking it out without the investment price of a Mac.

Proceed at your own risk.

Dell Mini 10:

For a long time, Dell’s Mini 9 netbook was considered to be pretty much the perfect storm for getting together your own hackintosh system; pretty much all of the hardware in it had at some stage shown up in one or other of Apple’s own machines in the course of time.

Of course, while making a hackintoshed machine from a netbook has gotten a lot easier, you will have to get your hands dirty. The guys over at Gizmodo have perhaps hit the nail on the head when they point out at the very start of their own hackintosh piece that you really will need to make sure you BIOS version is lower that A06. That could well prove a major stumbling block later on (it certainly did for me), so it’s best to boot your netbook and hit F2 when it’s on the way up to see what BIOS version you’re running. You can roll it back, but it’s a bit tricky.

ipod video

I installed off this bad boy... which lends the whole thing a kind of Frankenstein's monster feel 😉

You’ll also need a Dell Mini 10, as well you might have guessed, a retail Mac OS X disc (most likely Snow Leopard, though older versions can be made to work). You can just as easily use an ISO/DMG of a Mac OS install disc, in fact, it will make the whole process a bit easier, since you’ll have to make an image of the disc anyway to get the whole thing working. In this guide I’ve worked under the assumption that you’ll have access to a working Mac to add the disc image to your removable storage.

If you don’t have access to a Mac you can do the same thing from Nero by telling it to restore your bootable disc image to the drive and adding the image to your removable storage. It’s not so very different.

The last thing you’ll need is a piece of software called Netbook BootMaker, but we’ll deal with that in a bit. For this bit you will need access to a working Mac, though not for very long.

OSX Disc Image:

When you’re installing, you’ll want to install from a piece of removable storage, since the Mini 10 has no disc drive. This isn’t as hard as you might imagine, but it’s easiest if you already have access to a Mac to do it with.

If you have a Mac nearby all you need to do is open up Disk Utility and click on your drive, then set it to be “1 parition.” From there, click the options section below the partitioning options and set it as a “Master Boot Record.” Let it do its thing and then select the Restore tab at the top right; restore from the ISO/DMG you’ve got of your Snow Leopard disc and it’ll sit there and chug away quietly for a few minutes adding the image to your removable storage.

Disk Utility

This is the disk utility window, the Restore tab is highlighted in blue 🙂

I used an old iPod Video for this, so y’know, pretty much any extra storage you have lying around that you don’t mind wiping will do, though flash memory will make the process a fair bit faster.

Once you’ve got all that done, you’ll need to run the Netbook BootMaker, which you can find here. Tell it to run on your newly finished removable storage version of Mac OS and it’ll sit there chugging away to itself. This is the reason you’ll need to have a bit of access to a Mac.

That should be all the preparation you need, so from there we’re ready to get moving on actually installing it.

Installation:

For the most part, you’ll be walked through the installation by the Mac OS installer itself. Before you get to that stage though, you’ll want to hit up your Mini 10’s BIOS and make sure that USB legacy support and Bluetooth are both enabled. Then all you’ll have to do is actually tell it to boot from your removable storage and you’ll be ready to start.

snow leopard install

Once you get to the Snow Leopard install you're pretty much home free 🙂

Then all you have to do is plug in your USB stick and let your Mini 10 boot from it. It’ll take a little while to get its head around the fact that it’s doing a Mac OS thing, but once it does you’ll be all good to go.

The OS X install process itself is simple enough that we don’t think anyone who’s made it this far will need to actually… y’know, be instructed beyond what their installer tells them to do.

Closing:

Alright, that’s about the size of it, you should have pretty much everything you need, though I have to admit after I’d done it my own Mini 10 hackintosh effort I was left without proper touchpad support. I managed to use an external mouse to get myself a Safari tab open and Google until I found this Gizmodo step-by-step guide that’s probably better than this one for total beginners looking to install Mac OS on their Mini 10…

I also don’t like to admit it, but if you find yourself in the same position that I did then you’d do well to check out their “Odds & Ends” section, where it has details on how to get your touchpad working as it should properly. Without that I’d have been fairly lost 😉

Anyway, that’s it for this blog post, hopefully this has been, if not useful, a bit entertaining for you guys. It’s a fun project, and one that’ll take up the better part of an afternoon (a little longer if you don’t decide ahead of time to get yourself an image of a Mac OS disc). It’s relatively easy, though I should probably admit this is something I didn’t do with my own netbook so it was a little more stressful… I used my dad’s, but he’s most pleased with the result, so all’s well that ends well.

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6 Responses to “DIY Hackintosh: Dell Mini 10v”

  1. anon Says:

    Or you could just use Windows 7… which “Just works” and is actually useful…

  2. Apple to Keep Intel Atom Support « Komplett Ireland Says:

    […] Apple to Keep Intel Atom Support By komplettie Reports earlier in the week that Apple had made moves to cull support for Intel’s Atom line of netbook processors, some felt in an attempt to kill off the rampant “hackintoshing” of netbooks like Dell’s Mini 10. […]

  3. Tablets aren’t the end of netbooks Says:

    […] with whatever operating system came installed on it. Dell Mini 10V‘s are notoriously perfect for being “Hackintoshed” to run Snow Leopard. My personal Dell Mini 10V runs Ubuntu. And although you can hack an iPad to run Windows 7, […]

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