Tips And Tricks

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(Install the system on a bootable USB key)
(removed "Improve iTunes skipping on SSE2 machines " cause its obsolete)
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== Improve iTunes skipping on SSE2 machines==
For most of us, using the Rosetta'd version of iTunes gives us a lot of skipping.  You can lessen the pain by turning off the "Sound Enhancer" and "Crossfade Playback" options in your preferences.  You can also turn off the E.Q. for a bit more improvement.  The effects of this trick are hit or miss.  My desktop is now totally skip-free, but a few others I've tried this trick on didn't change at all.  Take it for what it's worth and give it a shot. The best place to obtain the maxxuss patch is the Maxxuss Homepage.
Fortunately, Apple is now shipping iTunes 6.0.5 Universal, which solves the problem
== Use any USB printer driver ==
== Use any USB printer driver ==
This fix is very simple. OSx86 has universal binaries for all its pre-installed printer drivers. However, if your model doesn't have a pre-installed driver, you might be in a bit of a sticky situation. The problem is, even if you download your printers driver, it won't be listed in the driver list! That's because chances are the newly added driver is in PowerPC architecture. To fix this, right click "Printer Setup Utility" in Utilities, select "Get Info" and click "Open using Rosetta." Now, when you restart the setup utility, it will load PowerPC drivers in the driver list, and your newly added printer driver should now be visibly listed! Enjoy!
This fix is very simple. OSx86 has universal binaries for all its pre-installed printer drivers. However, if your model doesn't have a pre-installed driver, you might be in a bit of a sticky situation. The problem is, even if you download your printers driver, it won't be listed in the driver list! That's because chances are the newly added driver is in PowerPC architecture. To fix this, right click "Printer Setup Utility" in Utilities, select "Get Info" and click "Open using Rosetta." Now, when you restart the setup utility, it will load PowerPC drivers in the driver list, and your newly added printer driver should now be visibly listed! Enjoy!

Revision as of 19:46, 9 March 2007


Use any USB printer driver

This fix is very simple. OSx86 has universal binaries for all its pre-installed printer drivers. However, if your model doesn't have a pre-installed driver, you might be in a bit of a sticky situation. The problem is, even if you download your printers driver, it won't be listed in the driver list! That's because chances are the newly added driver is in PowerPC architecture. To fix this, right click "Printer Setup Utility" in Utilities, select "Get Info" and click "Open using Rosetta." Now, when you restart the setup utility, it will load PowerPC drivers in the driver list, and your newly added printer driver should now be visibly listed! Enjoy! - By Takuro

For HP printers, follow above and just pick any HP printer even if yours is not listed. All of them use the same driver. HP has a unified deskjet driver for Linux, BSD and OS/2 so it is reasonable to try this with any HP deskjet. Specifically tried and worked with HP PSC 1610.

Warning! Using any application to be ran as Rosetta will probably cause it to be slower. (Example, running Calculator normal is instant, running it with Rosetta takes longer because your Intel/AMD CPU isn't used to rosetta)

EDIT: Since the time of this entry, Apple has released an extensive driver pack for many printer models, including HP. Chances are that your printer is already supported, but if not, you can still try this trick.

Get disk burning to work with non-Apple drives

There is a quick patch to make iDVD, iTunes, and any other application with disk-burning features to utilize a non-Apple DVD or CD writer. In fact, iDVD refuses to run unless it finds an Apple cd burner. A patch has been around for a while now. It was originally created by Mac owners who had purchased non-Apple cd burners and wished to use them. The site for the patch is When installing, make sure you click the expert/advanced properties and click the button that says patch "idvd 4." In addition, select all the other checkboxes for the heck of it. If your drive is not listed during installation, it is not supported. Good luck! (Note: this will not fix "DVD Player" application.)

Note that this is not needed in iDVD 6, as Apple removed this limitation; Steve Jobs announced it at MacWorld San Francisco 2006. The Apple-only limitation may also have been removed in other iLife '06 applications, but iDVD was the only one publicly announced.

Replace SSE3 with SSE2 Patch (In other words stop Safari from crashing and make iTunes work along with other apps)

This will allow systems only capable of SSE2 to run SSE3 based code. This allows Rosetta to work and fixes some glitches on SSE3 based machines that do not work properly.

Download Maxxuss's patch, and then:

1. Burn CD or simply mount it in your Mac OS X system
2. Open
3. Use "cd" command to get into the CD, e.g. "cd /Volumes/MAXXUSS0.5/"
4. Type "sudo ./"
5. Follow the instructions
6. Restart Mac OS X
7. Enjoy.

This fixes iTunes as well as Safari, it also fixes the fade out graphics glitch.

Note: In the newer editions of Mac OS X (the Install DVDS), this is no longer necessary. Maxxuss's patch is provided on the DVDs - just make sure you keep it selected when installing Mac OS X from the boot DVD. If you do have some issues with this using any of the Install DVDs, and you are sure that you had installed Maxxuss's patch, you may need to enable rosetta emulation for that program. Do this by going into finder and right clicking the program's icon in finder (its original location), and select get info. In the menu that pops up, select Open with Rosetta. The program will open a bit slower (because it will be emulating the program as intel architecture), however, it will be more stable, which means less crashes.

Fixing Browser Plug-in Issues

Some Intel-based browsers, including Safari, have plug-in conflicts. Java and flash are among the plug-ins that seem to refuse to load. This is because all current browser plugins are designed for PowerPC-based browsers. Luckily, Safari has universal binaries to load with a PowerPC architecture rather than the default Intel architecture. Right click Safari's icon and choose "Get Info." Under the "General" pane, check "Open using Rosetta." As an alternative, you can use Firefox, which is still currently PowerPC-based, and it will load plug-ins fine. Note: There is a version of Deer Park that is not a universal binary, and is purely Intel in architecture, thus it will have plug-in issues until Mac Intel plug-ins are released.

- By Takuro

Note: the plugin finder service within Safari takes the user to a download page for Flash Player 8. Installing Flashplayer 7 (not 8) instead may improve stability on some systems (in combination with the Rosetta checkbox).

Here you can find old Macromedia Flash players - By Cele_82

Deadmoo's password

The password on the "Deadmoo" and "Curtis" account (they're the same, but called different things in different places) is " bovinity ". Once you log in as him you can go to the users panel and setup an account for you to use, change his password, etc.

Deadmoo's root password

The correct root password is "bovinity"!

But you don't need to remember it -- log in as deadmoo (password above), open a Terminal (Finder -> Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal), type:

sudo passwd root

.. and enter/confirm a new root password. You can now run su in the Terminal using the new password.

Console Login from within OSX

This isn't so well known, but it's possible to 'leave' Aqua (The GUI) and drop back into pure Darwin. Handy when there's a need to do some low-level system hacking or testing out drivers. First you need a little tweak to your Login Panel:

System Preferences -> Accounts -> Login Options -> Display Login windows as: "Name and Password"

Now when the Login Panel appears, enter >console for the username and a blank password... Welcome to Darwin! You'll have a text-based prompt for a login and password. Once logged in you can type exit to get returned to Aqua's Login Panel.

Or, you can use NetInfo Manager under Utilities, you can change the /users/root password to blank, ad so you can suid.

Getting Safari to work

If Safari crashes when you go to certain websites ( - for example), here's a quick fix to get it running. In your dock, right click the Safari icon, and click "Show in Finder". Finder will now popup with the Safari icon highlighted. Right click the Safari icon in finder, and click "Get Info". On the pane that opens up on the right, check the box that says "Open using Rosetta". Close the dialog, and run your Safari free of crashes!

Note: In order for this work you must either have a SSE3 chip or you must apply the mach_kernel and CoreGraphics patches located at SSE2 patches.

Note: With maxxus' new patches... this fix is pointless, since the patches will fix this in x86 mode

Recover from application crashes

This may be common knowlege for Unix geeks, but for average Joes this may be lifesaving information.

If a program crashes, you can kill it by right clicking it's dock icon and hitting "Force Quit". If that doesn't work, you can launch "Activity Monitor" and kill a crashing program from there. Just highlight the program that's going down and hit the quit icon, then hit "Force Quit". You can also press Ctrl+Alt+Escape (Command+Option+Escape on a Mac keyboard), choose the application you want to quit and then press the button "Force Quit".

Very good for stopping a runaway Deer Park from taking the system with it as it spirals down...

Messing with the boot options

Tired of typing '-x "Graphics Mode"="[email protected]" platform=ACPI or platform=X86PC' every time you boot? This is for you!

NOTE: It is best to test out your commands before editing the Boot file. By testing, we mean typing your command during boot (Darwin). If it works, then proceed. Why? Because your changes to the boot file is used EVERY time you boot into Mac OS. Typing out the commands during the boot only affects the OS during that current boot. Rebooting clears it.

Browse to
and open it up in your text editor- You can add some switches in here to make your life a little bit sweeter...
HINT: If you are having difficulty saving changes to; Open Terminal and type

sudo nano /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/

just copy and paste the text) and press enter. Use the arrow keys to move the cursor. Ctrl+O to save and Ctrl+X to close.

TIP: If you've installed the Developer Tools (free for download with an Apple Developer Connection membership, or on a Mac OS X DVD), you'll get the program Property List Editor, which will make editing .plist files a tad easier. To run it as root, type in sudo open /Developer/Applications/Utilities/Property\ List\ path-to-a-plist-file, or sudo open path-to-a-plist-file if .plist files are already associated with Property List Editor. As of version 2.1, this is a Universal application.

To automatically use a certain graphics mode
<key>Graphics Mode</key>
<string>[email protected]</string>
Note: If your video card is using VESA 2.0 drivers, leave out the '@85' part as it only works on VESA 3.0 will cause the system to reset before getting anywhere.
If you need to specify a platform
<key>Kernel Flags</key>
<string>platform=X86PC</string> or <string>platform=ACPI</string>
If you experience stutter like (shutter) syndrome; usualy on dual core processors
<key>Kernel Flags</key>
<string>idlehalt=0</string> or disable one core <string>cpus=1</string>
If you don't want to see the Darwin text on boot - HINT: You can get the prompt back by holding "ctrl" at boot.
<key>Quiet Boot</key>
If you want to show the Logo with spinning Boot Graphics
<key>Boot Graphics</key>
To put in switches (-v, -x, -s, etc)
<key>Kernel Flags</key>
Speed up Darwin's timeout count-down
Replace 8 (default seconds) to a new value.
To set Darwin to boot from a particular partition:
<key>Kernel Flags</key>

Where X is your hard drive number and Y is the partition number (BSD naming scheme)
if you are unsure about the rd value open Aplications>Utilities>Disk Utiliy, click on the partition with OSX installed and click on info, the right "rd" value is the value from "Disk Identifier"

EDIT: I've tested this a few times, doesn't seem to want to work for me. Anyone got any ideas? T

This page has some info:
work fine for me, I use <string>rd=disk1s3</string> to boot from the 3rd primary partition of my second disk.
NOTE: The kernel flags option has made some computers unbootable. </br> Type "-F mach_kernel -v" at the boot prompt if your computer fails to boot after messing around with this.
NOTE 2: **ONLY IF YOU HAVE PARTITIONMAGIC** In the event you are not provided with a boot prompt, just boot to Windows normally. In command prompt, use diskpart to set the second partition active. This will boot the computer directly to OS X 86. Once booted, delete the changes made to the file, save, and reboot. Use PartitionMagic( There may be another way?) to boot the computer, then reset the Windows partition back to active. Reboot again and you're back to your OS Selection menu.

Xcode and developer tools 2.2 preview 1

You can get Apple's Xcode and developer tools v2.2 preview 1 from Apple states that these will install on the developer transition kits (osx86). (Xcode 2.1 also works fine)

Don't install the CHUD tools package, not even on OSX 10.4.5. It seems to install a kernel extention that causes a panic or silent crashes on startup. If you do install it by mistake you can boot up in safe mode and run the Utilities/ script on the dev tools image or simply rename CHUD*.kext to badCHUD*.kext in the /System/Library/Extentions directory.

Make the CTRL Key the COMMAND key

I found that the Command key on my keyboard works much like the CTRL key in windows. Pressing Command-C and Command-V was doing copy and paste commands, and Command-F would do a search in Firefox. I found that swapping the Mac's Command key with the Control key made life much easier.

Open the System Preferences and select Keyboard & Mouse under the hardware section. Click on Keyboard tab. Next press the Modifier Keys button located at the bottom left. Now swap the Control and Commands keys.

By default, the Command key is Alt, and is useful for such things as Alt+Tab (or in Macland, Command+Tab)

  • It would also be interesting to do this with the Windows menu key on keyboards that have them

Hard Drive Configuration

Tiger can read and write to a FAT32 partition with no problems and only read from NTFS partitions. Tiger can write to shared NTFS network folders - The NTFS share must be on the network rather than attached directly to the OSx86 machine (dual boot). Writing directly to the XP partition or USB attached NTFS disk is not possible. On your other machine, right click on the folder you want to write to and change the permissions within XP to allow network users to update, and then Tiger can write files.

---This only applies to the 1st release of OSX86, Deadmoo's image, later version up to 10.4.5 needn't such techniques--- You Can Actually Increase the size of Mac OS X's Partition in a number of ways:

Method 1: If you install following xplode guide at the letter, you will end up having a full HD for your MAC OSX86.

Method 2: Instructions are also on the forums under Technical Work > Successes on the "HOW TO: Expand the 6 GB image to any size!, It has been a problem...." topic (here:

Method 3:

Method 4: If you have access to a real Mac or another OS X PC with iPartition (runs in Rosetta, or natively on a PPC Mac) installed, and if your hard drive is solely for OS X, you can expand the HFS+ partition that way, plug it back into the PC and see the results. iPartition is similar to Partition Magic for Windows. It will not work if ANY partitions on the disk are in use, so you MUST boot from a different hard drive and you CANNOT do it on your PC unless you have two hard drives to do this with.

Method 5: Haven't tested this, but the method described on this guide seems very efective: [1]

Method 6: If you have Mac OS X 10.4.6, diskutil has a resize option for Journaled HFS+ volumes, but it only works on disks with GPT (GUID Partition Table) disks, not the older APM (Apple Partition Map) disks used on PowerPC Macs. For more information, go into Terminal and type in diskutil resizeVolume.

DANGER: method 4 will not work you can not edit it with ipartition beacause the image doesnt use the apple partition map and stuff.... hopefully some one will explain this better you cant even veiw the partition layout with ipartition'

DANGER: Using any partition program that was designed to be run on a real Mac to alter your disk will likely make your harddisk unbootable and data irrecoverable. They setup their paritions in a way that a REAL Mac's OpenFirmware wants them to be, not the way your PC needs them to be. If you use a partition program made for real Macs you run the risk of requiring total hard disk reformatting. (Your HDD won't be "broken", you'll just need to reformat, with not much chance of data recovery )

iPartition does recognize the HFS+ Partition BUT does not let it be resized..

Messing With Drivers

Are you having trouble getting a kext (kernel extension) to load?

  • Here is the command to make them load:
     sudo kextload /System/Library/Extensions/SomeDriver.kext   
  • To unload, use:
     sudo kextunload /System/Library/Extensions/SomeDriver.kext   
  • For more information about the loaded kext's, use:
     sudo kextstat

Copy a Mac OS X partition

     dd if=/dev/source_partition of=/dev/destination_partition bs=512

to copy a partition. Note the missing skip option. "skip=63" is only needed when you copy from a hard drive, not a partition, to skip the MBR. The destination partition must be bigger or equal size than the source partition.

You can also use Disk Utility's Restore tab to copy disks and partitions, which is easier than using the Terminal. In the RARE case this does not work at first try, boot up with your Install CD and do a Repair Disk and Repair Permissions, and voila!

Run Flip4Mac on Intel Architechture

Flip4Mac is a "plugin" for Quicktime that allows it to play windows media files, such as WMV and others. The installer will not allow Mactels to put it on their system. However, there is a way to fool it into installing! First of all, you must go to the "Utilities" folder under "Applications." When there, "get info" on the app "Installer." Tell it to run under rosetta. Next, under "Applications," "get info" again on Quicktime Player. Then, tell it to run under rosetta. Finally, you can begin your install. Flip4Mac should install without a hitch! THE CATCH: Quicktime player must always be running under rosetta for it to recognize the WMV you open.

UPDATE(June 2006): Now there is a Universal beta of Flip4Mac out! (The beta is NOT public - Update July '06) -DaxTsurugi

UPDATE(August 2006): Now the final release is out. It's Universal, so have fun!

British keyboards

See Using a British/UK Windows keyboard with an Apple Mac in OS X

Fixing the restart function

Download a hex editor. Open /mach_kernel (make a backup!) and go to offset 0x8D2BB. Change EB FE 90 90 to B0 FE E6 64. source

open a terminal and type cd / ls sudo chmod 666 mach_kernel

now Open With a HexEditor change the value en save as new name like as mach_kernel1

open a terminal

cd / ls sudo mv mach_kernel mach_kernelOLD

sudo mv mach_kernel1 mach_kernel

Alternatively, if you don't have a hexeditor handy you can use dd from the command line:

cd /
sudo -s
cp mach_kernel mach_kernel.backup
printf '\260\376\346\144' | dd if=/dev/stdin of=mach_kernel bs=1 count=4 oseek=578235 conv=notrunc

Use Localtime instead of Universal for RTC

Use this little trick to change the clock between local & universal every boot. A couple lines need to be added to the initialization sequence, you'll need root privleges to do this. These files probably don't already exist on your system, so take that under advisement.

First you'll need to add a line to /etc/rc.local:

date `date -u +%m%d%H%M%Y`

Note the use of backticks to tell sh to pass the output from the enclosed command to the outer one.

And to /etc/rc.shutdown.local you'll need to add this:

date -u `date +%m%d%H%M%Y`

This changes it back again.

Be sure your clock is set correctly before your next reboot. Otherwise your clock will be messed up till you correct the time (either on macos or windows). This should keep your windows and macosx clocks in sync from now on.

Much Easier Alternative

  • Create a file in Notepad with the following contents:
     Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

Save it as "Timefix.reg", then double-click on the file to merge it with the registry. Windows will now calculate hardware time based on GMT. Mac OS X does this by default, so your clocks will stay in synch.

Install the system on a bootable USB key

Of course is also possible to install the system on a USB key.

I've successfully used a 4Gb Flash memory for a "customized" 3.6 GB system. for the install simply insert the usb key during the install and select it for destination disk maybe necessary to inizialise the disk with disk utility ( in the finder menu ). work fine for me.

note : experience say that not all the usb keys are bootable.

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