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Dell XPS 420 OSX86 Snow Leopard 10.6.0 Installation Guide inc. Windows 7 Dual Boot, Full guide with files for an XPS 420 Hackintosh


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#1
StringsOnFire

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How To: Dell XPS 420 as a Hackintosh, 10.6.0 Snow Leopard, including Windows 7 Dual Boot
By StringsOnFire (Previously makeluv247)


Update: If you already have Windows 7 installed, and have ben using the computer with the BIOS set to RAID OFF, then you will need to install RAIDfix before continuing. Get it HERE.

Note: This guide is also included as a docx within the zip file detailed below. I suggest printing it before trying to install!

Introduction
Previously, I was using 10.5.8 flawlessly (that is to say I was using a sound card and Ethernet card instead of the internal ones) on my XPS 420. However, we always want what we can’t have, so I gave it a go. I am now running Snow Leopard 10.6, and the only fault is the USB ports are recognised as external, so I haven’t been able to use anything with drivers that don’t allow USB hubs. I can only detail my own experiences, and my methods weren’t the most orthodox. PLEASE READ THE ENTIRE GUIDE THROUGH BEFORE ATTEMPTING!

A note on Dual-Booting with Windows 7
Installing a fresh copy:
I understand that Windows 7 will only install to the first Hard Drive, i.e. the one on SATA0. I have Windows 7 and OSX86 on 2 separate hard drives. Install Windows 7 first to your Windows 7 hard drive, plugged into SATA0. Ensure that RAID is turned on in the BIOS settings (F2 during boot to access BIOS). Once you’ve set it up, carry out his guide to install OSX. However, after the initial install of OSX, the system will reboot into Windows 7. Shut down, unplug from the mains, and switch the Windows 7 and OSX hard drives around, so OSX is on SATA0. Plug back in and turn on. You should now continue with OSX. Windows 7 uses a separate partition to boot. So when you have installed Chameleon, upon the Chameleon boot screen, press the right arrow key and select “System Reserved”, the Windows 7 Boot Partition, to boot Windows 7. If it shows no other hard drives but the OSX drive, just press F12 at boot before chameleon and select the correct hard drive.

My Specifications
This guide is based on my own XPS 420, and so your own installation may vary slightly. This is my setup:
• CPU: 2.4GHz Intel Core2 Quad Q6600
• RAM: 8GB (4 x 2GB 800MHz modules)
• HDD: 3 500GB SATAII Hard Drives
• GFX: nVidia GeForce 8800GT 512MB
• SOUND: Creative Audigy 2 Platinum EX
• LAN: Edimax EN-9230TX-32 Gigabit PCI

Downloads
Here are the bits you’ll need to get to carry out my method. I don’t take credit for any of them. Thank xenophex for giving me some kexts and pointers.
• SnowOSX 3.5 install DVD. You can find this in the usual places
• Dell BIOS update A07. Get it from http://support.euro.dell.com/ and install it prior to OSX86 installation via Windows if you don’t have it
• Copy this folder to a USB drive before the install: http://rapidshare.co..._Files.zip.html

BIOS Update
At the time of writing this guide, the most up-to-date version of the Dell XPS 420 BIOS is version A07. You’ll see the BIOS version on the boot screen every time you turn on the computer. If you do not have the A07 BIOS, go to the dell website as above, download the BIOS update, and run it. I believe you’ll need a Windows installation to install the BIOS update. I don’t remember there being a bootable version.

BIOS Settings
To enter the BIOS setup, press F2 while booting at the Dell loading screen.
• Under “Drives -> SATA Operation”, set the SATA mode to “RAID Autodetect / ATA”. Note that the eSATA port will not work in this mode, but I’m not sure how to get the installation running with the SATA controllers set to RAID mode.
• Under “Onboard Devices -> Integrated NIC”, select “Off” (Unless you want to try with the onboard LAN).
• Under “Onboard Devices -> Integrated Audio”, select “Off” (Unless you want to try with the onboard Audio).
• Both Windows SideShow, i.e. the small screen on the case, and the Dell Media Accelerator, will not work with OSX. Therefore, unless you will also be booting Windows, you may set both “Miniview Display” and “Media Accelerator” to “Off”.
• Under “Video -> Primary Video”, select “PEG”.
• Under “Performance”, both “Multiple CPU Core” and “Virtualization” should be “On”, and “SpeedStep” should be “Off”.

SnowOSX 3.5 Installation
1. READ TUNING FIRST!
2. Press F12 at boot to select a boot device, and insert the SnowOSX 3.5 install DVD. Select “Onboard or USB CD-ROM Drive”. Proceed with booting from the DVD.
3. Under “Utilities”, select “Disk Utility”. Choose the hard drive you wish to install OSX on and click on the “Partition” tab.
4. Click “Options”, and choose “GUID Partition Table”. Click OK.
5. Enter a name for your OSX partition, and select “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” as format. Apply. Exit the Disk Utility.
6. Continue with the installation until you may select to “Customise” on the bottom left. Click “Customise” and select all except “PS2”.
7. Install and reboot.
8. If you also have Windows 7, you will now boot into it. Shutdown and switch hard drives as explained (far) above, then turn on.

Tuning
1. You may not experience this issue, but OSX will probably crash in a minute or so. So the first time it boots after install, set up the account AS FAST AS POSSIBLE! If it then crashes restart. Plug in the USB drive before OSX loads.
2. As soon as you’re in OSX, open up the USB drive, and install chameleon (Open up terminal and “HOW TO INSTALL.txt, and do as it says). Do this QUICKLY, you want it to crash afterwards, believe me. Reboot.
3. Crash issue is now sorted. Once you’re back in, copy “DSDT.aml over to the root (your OSX hard drive). Restart.
4. Open EFI Studio and install your graphics card.
5. Use “Kext Helper” to install the kexts I have included.
6. Run “OSX86 Tools”, and click on “Enable/Disable Quartz GL”. Enable it and reboot.
7. Install your sound and Ethernet drivers. (If you are using the onboard LAN, use “kext Utility” to install Intel 82566MM.kext.) Reboot.
8. Don’t try updating to 10.6.1 etc unless you’ve backed up, or face doing all of this again!
9. Install any extra drivers you may need, such as printer drivers.
10. I suggest you start backing up using “Time Machine” or “Carbon Copy Cloner” from http://www.bombich.com/ to save you from having to install again should something go wrong in future.

#2
kylegypo

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Hey, wondering if you can help me here. I've followed your tutorial but I am getting "Unable to find driver for this platform: "ACPI" kernel panic whilst trying to boot the installation disc. I've looked everywhere.
Thanks in advance.

#3
StringsOnFire

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not really sure, all I can recommend is removing any hardware that's not essential, anything that wasn't in my box when I did the install could do it...

#4
kylegypo

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Got the installer to load but it couldn't see my internal drives, presume this is to do with the AHCI? Mines intel ich9r.
Had to install to usb drive and can boot but still no internal drives. Cloned over to an internal drive using my 10.5.8 install and get still waiting for route device. Any ideas on either?

#5
StringsOnFire

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well its a hdd problem methinks. this is a 420 right? is RAID on in the bios?

#6
kylegypo

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Hey, fixed the waiting for route device problem by putting snow leopard on sata0 and installing "most comprehensive waiting for route device fix" which I found in easy efi's chameleon RC5 but the kext can be found elsewhere.

Now my problem is blank screen after grey apple startup screen. I have a 9800 gt 1gb with dvi/dvi . and on second dvi i have a dvi to hdmi cable. Read alot on this problem and think an its the hdmi cable causing blank screen but can't test until I get home.

I have no experience with DSDT.aml files, what does the one you included in your tutorial contain?

#7
StringsOnFire

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well if it might be the hdmi, unplug it :D I'm not too up on DSDT files, but it includes data that a normal computer knows about in the bios, such as where internal parts are and what they do, like USB and firewire, storage controllers, stuff like that. i think. more info on google. The one included is the best premade one suited to the XPS 420. Only problem is the USB devices are recognised as hubs, not as internal. If you figure out how to make them internal, post it here! some usb devices, such as some audio interfaces, only work if the port is 'internal' to reduce latency issues.

#8
kylegypo

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It was the HDMI :thumbsup_anim: which is good that it works but i'm a bit annoyed I cant use my 32" samsung to watch movies whilst I browse the web etc :blink:

Also does your DSDT allow you to press power button and power menu comes up on the mac? I've heard its meant to do stuff like that but at the moment I don't see any evidence of the dsdt doing anything.

#9
kylegypo

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Managed to install 10.6.0 but its buggy and i'm not happy. Have you managed to update?

#10
loqshio

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Thanks StringsOnFire! This worked for me to get to 10.6.0 (except Chameleon 2 RC3 kept hosing my wireless card for some reason). Then i started tinkering and have upgraded to 10.6.4 using TonyMac's #####.

-Don't try to install OS X and Windows 7 on the same HDD. keep them separate. In fact, when installing OS X, put the OSX HDD in SATA0 and unplug your windows HDD. When installing windows, put your windows HDD in SATA0 and unplug your OSX HDD.

**For you upgraders out there, I have my Users folder on a separate partition. During the initial install, I created a "temporary" user to do all of the installs/upgrades. After I was done, I created a new user, with the same user name I had used in 10.5.8. In advanced user options, I selected the correct user folder in my Users partition. Voila! Seamless upgrade!
-Make sure your application versions in 10.6.4 match the versions you used in 10.5.8 before relinking your user folder.

XPS420
Q6600
8GB RAM
4 HDDs (1TB, 1TB, 320GB, 300GB)
GeForce 8600GTS 256 MB
DLink Wireless N PCI Card (forget which model though...)
USB sound card (behringer u-control uca202)
2 monitors connected via DVI

Here are some modifications to StringsOnFire's settings that I needed to do to make this work:

BIOS Settings:
-Raid ON (NOT AUTODETECT!)
-ESATA OFF (This is required in my setup, otherwise i cant boot)
**everything else is the same as StringsOnFire**

Files to download:


SnowOSX 3.5 (per StringsOnFire's instructions - snowosx 3.6 didn't work for me. retail os x install with ##### didn't work for me either)

#####:
-Use this instead of StringsOnFire's files
http://tonymacx86.bl...stallation.html

DSDT.aml:
-Instead of the DSDT.AML provided by StringsOnFire, use this one (otherwise parallels and vmware dont work right):
http://www.insanelym...t=#entry1494309

SleepEnabler.Kext
-This will replace the SleepEnabler.kext that was installed with SnowOSX 3.5
http://www.insanelym...howtopic=196466


Steps to install:


0.1 Put the downloaded #####, sleepenabler.kext and DSDT.aml on a USB flash drive, or burn to a CD. Set these aside - don't plug in the USB key until AFTER you get to the initial "Welcome to Mac OS X" setup process (if the flash drive is plugged when powering on, my computer keeps trying to boot to the USB key and gets all screwed up)

0.5 Before starting the OS X install, unplug your windows HDD (if applicable. be sure your computer is off, of course)

1. Install with SnowOSX 3.5 per stringsonfire's suggestion (copied here for your convenience):
SnowOSX 3.5 Installation
A. Press F12 at boot to select a boot device, and insert the SnowOSX 3.5 install DVD. Select “Onboard or USB CD-ROM Drive”. Proceed with booting from the DVD.
B. Under “Utilities”, select “Disk Utility”. Choose the hard drive you wish to install OSX on and click on the “Partition” tab.
C. Click “Options”, and choose “GUID Partition Table”. Click OK. (my HDD is MBR, but either should be fine)
D. Enter a name for your OSX partition, and select “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” as format. Apply. Exit the Disk Utility.
E. Continue with the installation until you may select to “Customise” on the bottom left. Click “Customise” and select all except “PS2”.
F. Install and reboot.

1.5 When the computer starts up again, be sure to press F12 to select your startup disk.
-At the Startup Disk selection screen, eject the SnowOSX3.5 disk. you won't need it again.
-Select the OS X HDD (should be the first HDD on the list)

2. After first boot, do NOT install Chameleon 2 RC3 and do not follow StringsOnFire's "Tuning" instructions. Instead, install TonyMac's "#####" with UserDSDT option and system utilities option.
-be sure to place DSDT.aml on the desktop before starting the ##### install
-when choosing ##### install settings, i added "Advanced Settings | Kexts | Graphics | NVInjector" to enable my video card
**do this install quickly, because the system will kernel panic after a few minutes!

3. Reboot (remember to remove your USB flash drive, if it's still plugged in)
-after installing #####, take your time. No more kernel panics to worry about!

4. Install MacOSX10.6.4ComboUpdate. DO NOT RESTART

5. Delete the following from /System/Library/Extensions (and also delete from /Extras/Extensions if they are there)
-Sleepenabler.Kext
-DSMOS.Kext

6. Copy the downloaded Sleepenabler.kext to /System/Library/Extensions

7. Install ##### again with UserDSDT option and system utilities option.

8. Reboot, then install Apple Software Updates
-I installed all security updates, graphics updates, etc with no problems (as of Oct. 30, 2010)

9. Enable Quartz GL
-run /Applications/ATools/OSX86Tools
-click the button to Enable Quartz GL


That's it. Sleep works. Wireless works. USB sound works. Parallels and VMWare work. The system is rock solid right now.
-haven't bothered with onboard ethernet, so don't know if it works. also haven't tried onboard sound.


also, i hosed my win7 drive. probably an easy fix. probably. i am almost always in os x anyways, and with parallels/vmware fusion, no big loss.
-If i really need it, i'll pull all of my hard drives, then do a win7 install with only my DVDROM in SATA1 and a single win7 HDD attached to SATA0. after im done with the install, i'll plug all the HDDs back in, being sure that the OSX drive is in SATA0. From there i can multi-boot with Chameleon.

#11
skidmcmarx

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I used loqshio's method above.

It worked great until i realised i cant install my 8800gt with efi strings. i dont know why its not working.

Also osx wont recognise any of my other HDDs.

Any suggestions??

#12
Zanozza

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Hi!

Can you advise me please the best way to solve my problem?

I use ##### loader with Retail Snow Leopard DVD on mine XPS 420.

But after changing ##### CD to SL DVD and continue I got this:

Posted Image

Help me please!

Thank you in advance!

#13
riogrande100

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Zanozza did you get the ##### method workign as from yuo sig it looks that way

#14
john defrancesco

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Steps to install:


0.1 Put the downloaded #####, sleepenabler.kext and DSDT.aml on a USB flash drive, or burn to a CD. Set these aside - don't plug in the USB key until AFTER you get to the initial "Welcome to Mac OS X" setup process (if the flash drive is plugged when powering on, my computer keeps trying to boot to the USB key and gets all screwed up)

0.5 Before starting the OS X install, unplug your windows HDD (if applicable. be sure your computer is off, of course)

1. Install with SnowOSX 3.5 per stringsonfire's suggestion (copied here for your convenience):
SnowOSX 3.5 Installation
A. Press F12 at boot to select a boot device, and insert the SnowOSX 3.5 install DVD. Select “Onboard or USB CD-ROM Drive”. Proceed with booting from the DVD.
B. Under “Utilities”, select “Disk Utility”. Choose the hard drive you wish to install OSX on and click on the “Partition” tab.
C. Click “Options”, and choose “GUID Partition Table”. Click OK. (my HDD is MBR, but either should be fine)
D. Enter a name for your OSX partition, and select “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” as format. Apply. Exit the Disk Utility.
E. Continue with the installation until you may select to “Customise” on the bottom left. Click “Customise” and select all except “PS2”.
F. Install and reboot.

1.5 When the computer starts up again, be sure to press F12 to select your startup disk.
-At the Startup Disk selection screen, eject the SnowOSX3.5 disk. you won't need it again.
-Select the OS X HDD (should be the first HDD on the list)

2. After first boot, do NOT install Chameleon 2 RC3 and do not follow StringsOnFire's "Tuning" instructions. Instead, install TonyMac's "#####" with UserDSDT option and system utilities option.
-be sure to place DSDT.aml on the desktop before starting the ##### install
-when choosing ##### install settings, i added "Advanced Settings | Kexts | Graphics | NVInjector" to enable my video card
**do this install quickly, because the system will kernel panic after a few minutes!

3. Reboot (remember to remove your USB flash drive, if it's still plugged in)
-after installing #####, take your time. No more kernel panics to worry about!

4. Install MacOSX10.6.4ComboUpdate. DO NOT RESTART

5. Delete the following from /System/Library/Extensions (and also delete from /Extras/Extensions if they are there)
-Sleepenabler.Kext
-DSMOS.Kext

6. Copy the downloaded Sleepenabler.kext to /System/Library/Extensions

7. Install ##### again with UserDSDT option and system utilities option.

8. Reboot, then install Apple Software Updates
-I installed all security updates, graphics updates, etc with no problems (as of Oct. 30, 2010)

9. Enable Quartz GL
-run /Applications/ATools/OSX86Tools
-click the button to Enable Quartz GL



i used this, on my xps 420, works like a charm, i did find something else out that may help others, after installation, when it went in for its first boot, if you boot into safe mode and enter your info to finish the installation and you then reboot, you will not have any kernal panics, i tried this on 3 seperate ocassion and it worked. this will allow you to run ##### and isntall any drivers without being a in rush.

#15
ElShotte

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i used this, on my xps 420, works like a charm, i did find something else out that may help others, after installation, when it went in for its first boot, if you boot into safe mode and enter your info to finish the installation and you then reboot, you will not have any kernal panics, i tried this on 3 seperate ocassion and it worked. this will allow you to run ##### and isntall any drivers without being a in rush.


Indeed. I was having problems with my monitor turning off after booting into Snow Leo, an issue I was already familiar with since Leo, I had to move the nVidia kext's out of the Extensions directory, so I did so in S.U. mode, deleted the kext cache, then I was able to boot and get video. I booted with the -f -x flags, and didn't get any KP's at all, and I was in there for a while modifying the nVidia drivers to get my GTX 260 to work properly. Anyway, has anyone tried updating to 10.6.6? Will the 10.6.5 Sleepenabler.kext work for 10.6.6? Thanks.

#16
Zanozza

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Anyway, has anyone tried updating to 10.6.6? Will the 10.6.5 Sleepenabler.kext work for 10.6.6? Thanks.

I am updated to 10.6.6 by combo update. Everything works except onboard Audio. So, need to use USB ones...
Posted Image

#17
menno79

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Hi all,

I've tried a lot of different ways to install Snow Leopard on my XPS420 (BIOS A07) but it seems impossible to install it. I'm almost at that point where I start pulling my hair, so maybe someone here can help me.

The current situation:
Disk id 0 is my only disk and SATA is set to AHCI (if that indeed is enabled when BIOS is set to RAID ON)
Drive id 3 is my optical (SATA) drive

I've used (for as far as I know) all different combinations (a few mentioned down here; can't remember them all, sorry) of possible solutions to the problem that comes with the message "waiting for boot device" (There, I said it!)

PCIRootUID=1
PCIRootUID=1 -x -v
-x -v
platform=X86PC (correct me when wrong)

I'm using SnowOSX 3.6. Have downloaded 3.5, but haven't tried that one yet...

Any thoughts on this?

All help is appreciated. Thanks already...

#18
RaMDaY

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Does anyone have a method of installing Lion on the Dell XPS420? I've tried using the iAtkos L2 distro disc but get the "waiting for root device" error when booting the disc.

#19
salado

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RaMday, I've got the same problem with iATKOS L2. Have you found the solution yet?

Maybe, the right DSDT.aml?
I used the DSDT.aml from 10.6.7 machine which works great but no luck on 10.7.2.



Does anyone have a method of installing Lion on the Dell XPS420? I've tried using the iAtkos L2 distro disc but get the "waiting for root device" error when booting the disc.



#20
RaMDaY

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Nope. I haven't had any luck with 10.7.2.





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