10.5.5 on the Dell Inspiron/mini 9

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[edit] Installation using an official Leopard install DVD

NOTE: There is a new method which not only is much easier, but also gives you 10.6.2. Check it out at another OSx86 site MyMacNetbook.com.

It is highly recommended you do a Retail Vanilla install, rather than a hacked slipstreamed distro install. This section outlines how to do this. This way, you can avoid downloading a slipstreamed version, an action which is of questionable legality. The slipstreamed installs are also highly difficult to update, just using Apple Software Update is very likely to brick your install. Please purchase a copy of Leopard for your installation, it's cheaper than the inferior Microsoft alternative.

Users darkten and Type11 have discovered ways to use a retail Leopard install DVD. Both methods involve booting the Mini 9 with a customized booter that contains drivers for the Mini 9 necessary for OS X installation. Both methods result in the same working Mac OS X environment on the Dell mini with the exception of the location of the Dell-specific drivers. The Type11 method creates an EFI partition where the drivers reside. With darkten's method, drivers are placed in a folder called Extras. Unfortunately, Darkten no longer maintains his version, so only the Type11 method works properly at this point in time.

[edit] DellMiniBoot132 method

Type11 and bmaltais posted this how to over at MyDellMini - HowTo: Install OS X the Mini9 (you might want to check there for the latest up to date instructions). The original text has been edited for readability.

The following are known not to work using this method (or any other):

  • Media other than SD or SDHC in the card slot

Here is the method:

  1. Boot from [1] burned to a disc (v8.0 Updated 2/02/09). This is a modified version of Boot-132. By default, an external DVD drive can be selected by pressing Esc and choosing device 9f at the boot menu.
  2. Once booted, switch the disc to the Leopard retail DVD. If you have problems, try switching the external drive off and on.
  3. During installation, use Disk Utility to format the target drive as GUID.
  4. Install will fail at the end, but this is OK. Reboot.
  5. Upon reboot, boot from the ISO above again. This time, choose device 80 for internal drive (or other device ID if you didn't install to the internal drive). Enter -f at the "boot:" prompt when booting. This forces the OS to reload all kexts. If it freezes, restart and try this step again.
  6. Hopefully, at this point you will boot into Leopard! Use Software Update to apply the latest updates from Apple. Reboot (you will need to use your boot CD made from the ISO image above to return to Leopard). You MUST update to 10.5.6 or later before running the DellEFI app.
  7. On the boot CD, there is a Folder called DellMini9Utils, inside that folder, run the DellEFI application.
  8. Leave it on Easy Install and click install
  9. Reboot (the script takes a bit to run, so don't panic).
  10. After updates, if something doesn't work, you just boot off the DellMini132 CD again and re-run the DellEFI program.

At this point you should have a fully working system that loads the necessary kext modules from the EFI partition. If you have issues after updating to 10.5.5, the first thing to try is to rerun MiniScript. .

[edit] Using USB flash drives to install

It is possible to use two USB flash drives to install Leopard, eliminating the need for an external DVD drive. One drive is used for booting and the other is used to store the Leopard installation DVD contents.

To make a bootable USB stick on a Windows machine:

  • Format the USB stick in the FAT32 format. For this you can use the HP USB stick formatter. Use the magical Google to find it.
  • Download Syslinux 3.63. Newer versions probably work too.
  • Expand that zipfile. In the win32 subdirectory there is an executable called syslinux.exe. At the command line, run syslinux -ma f: (assuming F: is the drive letter referring to your freshly formatted USB stick; replace with the correct one if necessary)
  • Copy the contents of your desired ISO image (not the image itself) to the USB stick, taking care not to overwrite anything that syslinux put on the USB stick (namely, ldlinux.sys).
  • On the USB stick, you may now have to copy the file ISOLINUX/ISOLINUX.CFG to its parent directory and rename it SYSLINUX.CFG. Or you'll get a weird error about not being able to find linux.
  • You now have a bootable USB stick.

To make a Leopard install USB stick, you will need a working Mac:

  • The USB stick will need to be large enough to contain everything on the retail DVD (or ISO image).
  • Use Disk Utility's Restore function to "restore" the DVD (or ISO) to the USB stick. Make sure you check the "erase destination" box.

Now you can boot from the bootable USB stick. Make sure to insert it into one of the USB ports on the left side of your Mini 9, and insert the Leopard USB stick in the right-side USB port. From here on out you can pretty much follow the above instructions. The USB sticks will have a different device ID in the bootloader (e.g. not 9f) but this is easy enough to figure out through experimentation. . . . . . . .

You also can follow this video tutorial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akc1Db2KXwo .

[edit] Further tweaks

To make About This Mac show the correct information: Run file AboutThisMac.zip.

You can disable hibernate and remove its file (which stores the contents of your RAM) to save space on your SSD. Do this in Terminal:

sudo pmset hibernatemode 0
sudo rm /var/vm/sleepimage

Or use this GUI utility and set to RAM only.

These space-recovering utilities should be run only after installation is complete:

[edit] What does not work

  • 3-in-1 Card Reader with anything other than SD or SDHC (MMC for example) . . .

This page was last modified on 10 June 2011, at 21:35.
This page has been accessed 319,367 times.
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