How to install 10.4.8 on Dell Dimension 8250

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[edit] Background Information

This guide outlines how to create an almost perfect install of Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.8 onto your Dell Dimension 8250. I have tried to write this guide as simply as possible. The fixes listed below may look like a lot of work but in actuality only take me around 10-15 minutes to do each time I reinstall. If this is your first time setting up an OSX86 machine, expect it to take you a little longer. Almost all of the hardware is stock configured from Dell. The only item on the hardware list that was installed after purchase, was the LG DVD-ROM but any DVD-ROM will do for this guide. After installing and applying the fixes outlined below (you may not need to apply all, depending on your setup) all components should work properly. Overall, the stability of this build has been excellent in my opinion and I have yet to experience any system crashes. While the install and setup process may seem daunting for some, it really is very easy once you get the hang of things. Don't give up and within a few hours you will have a brand new, almost perfect hackingtosh of your own.

[edit] Software (Operating System):

One important note: for those considering which OS Version to download, I would like to explain that I was unable to get the Kalyway Leopard 10.5.1 intel SSE2 and SSE3 DVD working with the Dell Dimension 8250 as the installer would begin the boot up for cd and eventually crash before reaching the installer. I was unable to find a solution to this problem so I have, in the end, opted for a working 10.4.8 install. While you may be loosing some of the nice extras provided with Leopard such as Time Machine and Cover Flow... The system requirements of Tiger and the hardware inside the Dell Dimension 8250 are much more inline with each other, making for a far more responsive and stable machine. I am not discouraging you from experimenting with Leopard installs, merely giving a word of caution.

Therefore this guide chooses to use the OSX86 Version: JaS 10.4.8 Intel/AMD combo SSE2/SSE3" DVD

[edit] Hardware:

Components Operational or Unoperational Details
2.4 GHz Pentium 4 CPU (SSE2 Processor) Icon check.PNG Fully Operational No Fix Required
512 MB RDRAM Icon check.PNG Fully Operational No Fix Required
ATI Radeon 9700TX Icon check.PNG Works After Fix Core Image And Quartz Extreme Fully Functional
Intel Pro/100 M (Wired Ethernet) Icon check.PNG Works After Fix Fix Applies to Both the Pro/100M & Pro/100VE Models
LG 20X Super Multi Internal DVD Rewriter Icon check.PNG Fully Operational No Fix Required
IEEE1394a (Firewire) port (1x) Icon check.PNG Fully Operational No Fix Required
Analoge Devices ADI 198 (Integrated Sound) Icon check.PNG Fully Operational No Fix Required
Serial, Parallel, VGA connectors Icon check.PNG Fully Operational No Fix Required
PS2 Keyboard and Mouse Icon check.PNG Works After Fix Use USB Mouse and Keyboard to finish install then apple PS2 Fix

[edit] Installation

  1. Begin by downloading and burning the JaS 10.4.8 Intel/AMD combo SSE2/SSE3 DVD.
  2. Insert the DVD and wait for the installer to load... it can take some time.
  3. Select English as the language to install with.
  4. Now Very Important Click on Utilities and then Disk Utility.
  5. Select the drive or partition you want to install to.
  6. Choose erase and select Mac OS Extended (Journaled), Choose a name for your install and the erase button.
  7. Close out of the Disk Utility and continue with the install, selecting your new drive.
  8. You will then be presented with a screen called installer options.
  9. Choose the 10.4.8 Intel SSE2 SSE3 option. Make sure you have selected the Intel version and not the AMD version.
  10. Also install the Fix for the About This Mac under Support for the most common hardware.
  11. Don't bother installing ATI Drivers from here unless your card is explicitly mentioned.
  12. Continue the Installer and let it's do its thing.
  13. Reboot and follow the instructions to create user accounts etc.

[edit] Post Installation Fixes

Follow the instructions below to create a rock-solid, completely working Install.

[edit] Fix the Network Card (Intel Pro/100 M):

After you have completed your OSX install, likely the first thing you will want to do is connect to the internet. Unfortunately OSX doesn't recognize your ethernet adapter out-of-the-box, but don't worry as this is easy to fix by following a few short steps. All you need to do is replace the file AppleIntel8255x.kext with this one You can locate the original file on your hard-drive by opening the finder and navigating to /System/Library/Extensions/. Now simply drag the file you downloaded to your desktop and drop it into that folder overwriting the original file. OSX will ask you for your username and password. Enter in both and click Authenticate. Now that you have switched the files, all you have to do is change the permissions on it. To do this, click Go on the Apple menu-bar at the top of your screen and select Utilities from the drop-down menu.

Open up the program Terminal and type (or copy and paste) the following commands, line by line.

 sudo chmod -R 755  /System/Library/Extensions/AppleIntel8255x.kext 

You will be asked for your password; type it in and hit enter. Then Type:

 sudo chown -R root:wheel /System/Library/Extensions/AppleIntel8255x.kext
 sudo kextload -v /System/Library/Extensions/AppleIntel8255x.kext

If you have typed everything correctly, Terminal will spit out some text after this command. Finish off by typing:

 sudo rm /System/Library/Extensions.mkext
 sudo reboot

After following all of these steps successfully, your system should reboot and you should now have a fully functional network card. Once you have rebooted, go to System Preferences => Network => Built-In Ethernet [This may differ] => Configure. Now Configure the Built-In Ethernet and you are now Fully Networked!

[edit] Fix the Video Card (ATI Radeon 9700TX):

System Profiler.png
Using OSX without a working video card is like sitting down to eat pasta without any sauce. Fortunately, while your video card isn't supported directly out of the box there are a few work arounds you can use to get everything working nicely. Probably the first thing you will want to do is change the screen resolution. Unfortunately going to System Preferences and clicking on Displays only show your current resolution so you are going to have to change things manually. What you're going to do is tell Tiger each time you boot up your computer what resolution to default to. Open up the Finder again and navigate to /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/ Once there drag the file '' to your desktop and open the file in TextEdit.

Simply copy and paste the below text into your '' that you copied to your desktop. Notice the only change is the addition of <key>Graphics Mode</key><string>[email protected]</string>. This is where you input your own values for screen resolution. The first two numbers e.g 1024x768 are the resolution. For example, if you wanted to change your resolution to 1280x960 you would simply change those values and your string would change to [email protected]. The x32 value stands for 32 bit color, which we don't need to change. The @75 stands for your refresh rate (which will only work with VESA 3.0 capable video cards). The ATI Radeon 9700TX is not VESA 3.0 Capable, so I have decided to leave that value out. Leaving it in won't hurt my card or computer, it just wont change the refresh rate.

 <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
 <!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple Computer//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "">
 <plist version="1.0">
 <key>Quiet Boot</key>
 <key>Kernel Flags</key>
 <key>Boot Graphics</key>
 <key>Graphics Mode</key>

After editing the file to suit your needs drag the file back to the Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/ folder and overwrite the old file. You will be asked for your username and password, enter those and reboot your computer. OSx should now automatically boot into the resolution you want to use.

This fixes your resolution problem but what about getting your card to support 'Core-Image' and 'Quartz Extreme'. Both technologies allow for the 3d effects found in OSX such as the 3D cube transition in fast user switching or the beautiful ripple effect when dragging a new widget to the dashboard. Luckily, while your card can't do this out of the box, with a few simple tweaks you can get both fully supported. Start by navigating to /System/Library/Extensions/ATIRadeon9700.kext. Right click on the file and select Show Package Contents from the popup menu. A new folder will open with another folder inside called Contents, Open that folder and you should see a file inside named Info.plist Drag it to the desktop. Open the file in TextEdit and scroll down until you see something like this:

 <string>0x4E441002 0x41441002 0x4E481002 0x41481002 0x41501002 0x4E501002 0x41521002 
0x4E541002 0x4A481002 0x4A491002 0x4A4A1002 0x4A4B1002 0x4A4C1002 0x4A4D1002 0x4A4E1002
0x5B601002 0x5B621002 0x3E501002 0x4E561002 0x5B641002 0x3E541002</string>

All you need to do now is add a value for your own video card. If your video card is an ATI Radeon 9700TX like mine then all you need to do is add this value to the end of the list 0x4e451002.

For any ATI card other than the ATI Radeon 9700TX If you are using a different ATI Radeon card you will need to find out the Device ID and Vendor ID from the System Profiler. Once you have those two numbers (only the last 4 digits) you can create your own value to work with your card. The number is formed like this 0x[Device ID][Vendor ID]. So in my example above, in System Profiler states that my Device ID: 0x4e45 and my Vendor ID: ATI (0x1002) therefor my device id works out to be 0x4e451002.

After you have found the correct value for your card, add it to the info.plist file if you haven't done so, save the file and drag it back into the folder it came from. Finally go into Terminal and type the following:

 sudo -s

You will be asked for your password; type it in and hit enter. Then Type:

 chmod -R 755 /System/Library/Extensions/ATIRadeon9700.kext
 chown -R root:wheel /System/Library/Extensions/ATIRadeon9700.kext
 kextload /System/Library/Extensions/ATIRadeon9700.kext
 sudo reboot

After you restart, you can check to see if your new card is being detected properly and whether it can run 'Core-Image' and 'Quartz-Extreme' by opening System Profiler and selecting Graphics/Displays. You may notice some mouse tearing after getting your card working.

Mouse Tearing or Visual Artifacts Near or Around Mouse After activating your ATI video card in Tiger, you may notice a large amount of mouse tearing. The easiest and by far the best solution to this problem (eliminating 95% of the tearing) was developed by InsanelyMac user L_X (all thanks go to him). All you need to do is download and install Mighty Mouse and this After you have both files downloaded and unzipped, install Mighty Mouse and restart your computer. Then drag the AntiTear2.MightyMouse file you downloaded to your desktop to System Preferences => Mighty Mouse => Cursors and click apply. If you are planning on using Safari to browse the web you also need to do one more fix. Download and unzip and copy it to /System/Library/Frameworks/WebKit.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/WebCore.framework/Versions/A/Resources/. You may or may not need to authenticate with you username and password. You should now have very little mouse tearing or artifacts.

If you are using a CRT monitor and wish to change the refresh rate please go here. for more information. This process involves flashing your ATI Card with a new BIOS, where you hard code the minimum refresh rates. I did this without any problems but flashing your card from within windows can be dangerous, so it is better to do it within DOS. (You will need to have windows installed either in dual boot with OSX to perform this, or you need to do this before you install OSX). Please be particularly aware that ATI considers any attempt to flash the BIOS as a direct violation of warranty terms and will withdraw support of your card if your card is still in warranty. .

[edit] Other Fixes

PS2 Keyboard and Mouse not working: If you are having trouble getting your Dell PS2 Mouse and Keyboard working, you can simply switch them for USB peripherals until you can apply this tweak to get PS2 Peripherals working. Okay, you probably have everything else working by now so lets get started fixing your PS2 Keyboard and Mouse. To begin (you may want to print off these instructions) reboot your system, but as soon as your system begins to boot up again, start to tap the f8key; this will bring you to a boot menu. You want to boot up in safe mode, so to do that type -s -x -v, then press enter. Soon after you do this you will be presented with a prompt; just follow the instructions You will need to type exactly this, including spaces:

 /sbin/fsck -fy
 mount -uw /

After that type nano /etc/rc This will bring you into a text editor filled with a whole load of text. We're not interested in any of this text near to top of the document, you want to edit the text towards the end. So to scroll down hold down Ctrl+V until you reach almost the end of the document. You will see two lines, the first with the letters fi and on the second line the word exit 0. Add the two lines below in between the fi and exit 0 lines.

 kextunload /System/Library/Extensions/ApplePS2Controller.kext/Contents/PlugIns/ApplePS2Keyboard.kext
 kextload /System/Library/Extensions/ApplePS2Controller.kext/Contents/PlugIns/ApplePS2Keyboard.kext

All we need to do now is write out (or save) by pressing Ctrl+O and pressing enter. To exit you just need to press Ctrl+X and you can restart the machine by typing sudo reboot. You should now have both a fully working mouse and keyboard.

Change Version of operating system Why would you want to do that you may ask? Well some programs won't let you install them unless you are up to date with the latest patches for your operating system e.g. Itunes. Simply use this program here to trick your system into thinking it is up to date.

[edit] Conclusion

Software Update.png
If you follow all of the fixes outlined above you should have a fully functional Mac. Almost everything should work like it would on a real mac. Just a caution: downloading and installing updates for programs is fine, but never download and install any System Updates or Security Updates, as they will destroy your nice new system . . .

This page was last modified on 8 February 2009, at 22:42.
This page has been accessed 45,007 times.
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