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Work in Progress: Google (Inventec) Cr-48


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#1
damis648

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Yes, it's possible to get Mac OS X on an Cr-48.
This guide was posted at 7:22PM EST (GMT-5). My system clock was five hours off because one OS uses UTC and another uses localtime.

I'd like to make it clear that I didn't make this guide for the purpose of helping people get a free laptop without helping Google. I do not condone that. I, myself, will go back to Chrome OS in the near future to continue my commitment of helping Google to test Chrome OS, which is what I agreed to. I suggest you do the same.


Mac OS X
Windows 7
This is going to be somewhat of a pseudo-guide on how to:
1) Flash the InsydeH2O BIOS
2) Install Mac OS X.

This guide will be also useful for anyone that wants to install Windows or linux distributions easily. For anyone wanting to install Windows or something, just follow the BIOS guide.
(I'm not going to go into detail on the installation of Snow Leo... hopefully that should be pretty easy.)

Requirements:
1) You have already installed another Linux distro on your Cr-48 (such as Ubuntu). If you haven't, do that first: GUIDE
2) You have sufficient Linux experience. I don't know what that level is, but if you've already installed Ubuntu on your Cr-48, you're probably doing fine.
3) Electrical tape and a screwdriver (or a few). You will need to crack open your Cr-48 to do the BIOS flash. If you don't want to do that, this is not for you.

I am not responsible for any damage this may cause to you, your laptop, your dog, etc. It works fine for me.

Flashing the BIOS

The stock BIOS that comes with the Cr-48 is a modified EFI BIOS which works differently than both legacy BIOS and standard EFI. You probably already know this by now if you've gotten this far. Some reading material: Firmware Boot and Recovery
I'd like to thank Brent, who was accidentally sent the wrong Cr-48 with the wrong BIOS. He has provided the image we will flash onto our own devices. I'd also like to thank Stepan, who told me how to get around the BIOS write protection.

Here is another upload of the BIOS file (and the Stock one, in case you forget to make your own backup), in case you don't want to register on this site.

Step 1) Take the bottom panel off of the device. To do this, remove the battery, then remove the seven silver screws from the battery compartment. Also remove the three black screws. There are two more screws underneath the two feet on the device (you'll have to super-glue the feet back later). Take out the plastic sd-card insert (it gets annoying). Pry off the bottom cover, starting at the LCD hinge and working your way around with your nail, a knife, a case opening tool, etc.
2) Locate the SIM card slot on the bottom piece that you just removed. Immediately towards the hinge is a floppy strip of metal. That metal piece usually contacts the pad above the SIM slot, which write-protects the BIOS. To prevent that from happening, you need to block that contact. I took some electrical tape and taped the strip of metal to prevent contact. I recommend that.
3) Put it back together. Everything should snap together easily enough.
Your BIOS is no longer write-protected.
4) Boot into your linux distribution of choice and install flashrom. I recommend the SVN latest; that's what I used.
5) Download the ZIP attached at the bottom of this post. It contains two files: Cr48-StockFW.bin, the stock firmware; and Cr48-ModFW.bin, the one we will be flashing.
6) Make a backup of your BIOS (as root):
flashrom -r backup.bin
7) Flash the new BIOS (as root):
flashrom -w Cr48-ModFW.bin
8) If everything went OK, it should say it verified and that life is good. If not, DO NOT POWER OFF OR REBOOT. Either try flashing the backup back, or post here if that doesn't work.
9) Reboot ONLY IF YOU ARE SURE IT WAS SUCCESSFUL. Be greeted by InsydeH2O. Press F2 (the "forward" key) and "Load Optimal Defaults" once in the settings. Save and exit.

You can now boot anything just like a standard PC.

Installing Mac OS X

There's really not much to put here. I've uploaded the bootloader and extensions needed, as well as a com.apple.Boot.plist and an smbios.plist if you need it. I might make this guide more detailed in the future, but I don't know how much longer I will keep my notebook in this state.

Not Working:
Sleep
QE/CI
Trackpad is Wonky

Kexts Used:
fakesmc.kext
VoodooHDA.kext
VoodooPS2Controller.kext
AppleACPIPS2Nub.kext
VoodooBattery.kext

No DSDT modifications.

Download the required files here.
(The mach_kernel_atom found in the zip is for 10.6.5. Replace with your own.)
The bootloader was found here.

1) Use Disk Utility to make a DMG of your Snow Leopard install DVD.
2) Restore that image to a GPT-Partitioned flash drive.
3) Install Chameleon there, and copy the Extra folder and "boot" file to the root of the flash drive.
3.5) If your installation DVD is with 10.6.3, download the teateam kernel for that from here and place it on the root of the flash drive, and modify com.apple.Boot.plist accordingly.
4) Install Mac OS X to the SSD.
5) Reboot from the flash drive to get into the new installation. Install chameleon to the SSD and copy the needed files (boot, kernel, Extra).
5) Combo update to 10.6.5, and delete AppleHDA.kext before you reboot. Place in VoodooHDA.kext, and use Kext Utility to fix things up.

That's all there is to it. I was pretty vague, but if you've gotten that far, I assume you know what you are doing. Let me know if you get anything else working/fixed (I've posted the dsdt I extracted with Linux, also).

This is a pretty barebones guide, but it's just to prove a concept really. I wish everyone who tried this some good luck. I can try to help if anything goes wrong.

MD5SUM OF Cr48-Firmwares.zip: a1567abbce7b27bc4dbeb06574cae6d7

Attached Files



#2
ronnsprocket

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What's the over/under for getting the 3g working? I assume low, But it would be amazing to have a 3G equipped OS X to carry around.


EDIT: Great Job btw!

#3
damis648

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What's the over/under for getting the 3g working? I assume low, But it would be amazing to have a 3G equipped OS X to carry around.


EDIT: Great Job btw!

I honestly have no idea. I haven't tried. If anyone else wants to, be my guest.

Saw this post on Engadget. Good job man. The only thing I'm wondering at the moment is whether or not I can reflash the stock BIOS that came with the CR-48, say, if I don't want Windows anymore. Thanks for the BIOS flash guide!

You can certainly flash back. Just keep the write protection removed, and flash back your backup.bin or the Cr48-StockFW.bin that I've attached using flashrom -w.

#4
madwh

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Hey damis648 you know you can ctrl+alt+del in chameleon, right? :( Saw this on engadget too, nice job. I just finished hackintoshing my new asus laptop like 2 days ago. (posted the way I did it too in osx86/snow leopard)

edit: nvm, just realized it doesn't have a del button haha.

#5
MarkZinger

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I've just successfully installed Windows 7 on my CR-48. Thanks again for the BIOS flash. I'll go ahead and try out OS X once it gets more support (touchpad, etc.)

#6
animekun

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Hmm if both of those run I wonder how Windows XP would run on this thing :(

#7
mayank.1love

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windows xp will be killer on the CR-48 :)
Does anyone have any idea about the total RAM and total HDD in CR-48?
Do installing a different OS in CR-48 enables the usb port in it?

#8
MarkZinger

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windows xp will be killer on the CR-48 :)
Does anyone have any idea about the total RAM and total HDD in CR-48?
Do installing a different OS in CR-48 enables the usb port in it?


It has 2 GB of RAM, and a 16 GB SSD, which formats to 14.8 GB. And yes, the USB port works as an add-on port, I can connect a flash drive and Windows 7 reads it flawlessly.

#9
jigar mehta

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windows xp will be killer on the CR-48 :)
Does anyone have any idea about the total RAM and total HDD in CR-48?
Do installing a different OS in CR-48 enables the usb port in it?


Chrome Cr48 hardware specification : http://goo.gl/ZOJRG

#10
mayank.1love

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@MarkZinger @jigar mehta
Thanks for the info

Do anyone tried installing separate sd card in the ssd card slot on the right side of CR-48?

#11
gateway500

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to the guy asking about the 3g chipset,it should be pretty easy to get working in mac os. It will definitely work in windows xp and 7,its the Qualcomm Gobi 2000,both hp and sony use it in their netbooks,just google gobi 2000 drivers and you'll find it.

#12
gateway500

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@MarkZinger @jigar mehta
Thanks for the info

Do anyone tried installing separate sd card in the ssd card slot on the right side of CR-48?

the sd card slot works fine in ubuntu,so it should work in Mac OS. I'm in the middle of a windows xp install now so I'll post how the hardware is working in a few hours (it is copying files extremely slow,i had to set sata to ide mode instead of AHCI or whatever it was because it kept getting BSOD when booting from the xp cd in a usb cd drive) It's at 36% in the first copying files step and its been going for about 25 minutes,so it'll be awhile.

#13
formerglory

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Nice work here, really hoping I get one of these machines to play around with.

Regarding the 3150 Intel chipset, have you taken a look at Meklort's Blog? He's the guy that makes NetbookInstaller & NetbookBootMaker for the Dell Mini series of netbooks, with great success. His latest work has been focused around the Dell Mini 1012/1018, which has a N450/455 processor and the GMA 3150 graphics chipset, just like in the Cr-48.

Don't believe it's fully working yet, but he's made a lot of progress. And since the Cr-48 shares a lot of hardware with the Mini 1012, it might be a good idea to try NBI on it.

(I'm not Meklort, just a happy Mini owner/NBI user with good experience)

(Also, this is merely a suggestion. Please don't break your system with my advice ;)!)

#14
damis648

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I am actually using Meklort's Chameleon in the OP. It works just fine, except that there's still no QE/CI.

#15
Dr. Hurt

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Is the modified BIOS/EFI based on the original google one? If so what are the modifications you've done?

#16
gateway500

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Well, windows xp was failtastic. I can't find any drivers that will install. the intel graphics drivers keep telling me that it needs .net framework even though I installed 1.1,2.0,3.5,4.0. I tried like 5 different drivers for the Gobi2000,wifi does work,trackpad works like it does in ubuntu,camera works,sd works,no bluetooth and a few unknown devices are showing up.I'm installing windows 7 now.

Is the modified BIOS/EFI based on the original google one? If so what are the modifications you've done?

I'm pretty sure its a rom dump from a guy that got a laptop "accidentally" running a japanese version of windows 7 and a normal bios.

Well, windows xp was failtastic. I can't find any drivers that will install. the intel graphics drivers keep telling me that it needs .net framework even though I installed 1.1,2.0,3.5,4.0. I tried like 5 different drivers for the Gobi2000,wifi does work,trackpad works like it does in ubuntu,camera works,sd works,no bluetooth and a few unknown devices are showing up.I'm installing windows 7 now.

I'm pretty sure its a rom dump from a guy that got a laptop "accidentally" running a japanese version of windows 7 and a normal bios.


Windows 7 runs AMAZINGLY on this thing,its faster than my dell laptop which is a 2.2ghz athlon 64 x2 with 3 gb ram and a 320gb hard drive. I downloaded the video drivers from intel and now the only things missing are "unknown device" and Gobi 2000. if it helps anyone figure out what it is,the device id of the unknown device is "USB\VID_0CF3&PID_3000&REV_0200"

#17
sdtransier

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After installing another OS on the Cr-48, does it automatically dual-boot with Chrome OS, or would you need to reflash the BIOS again to get back to Chrome OS.

#18
MarkZinger

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After installing another OS on the Cr-48, does it automatically dual-boot with Chrome OS, or would you need to reflash the BIOS again to get back to Chrome OS.

No, you want to erase everything on the SSD because Windows 7 itself takes up around 10GB of space, leaving you around 5GB to work with.

#19
pheonix7117

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No, you want to erase everything on the SSD because Windows 7 itself takes up around 10GB of space, leaving you around 5GB to work with.


Yes, but if you install a smaller OS such as Ubuntu, would you lose the default Chrome OS and have to reflash to restore/recover it, or would you still be able to boot it? Or would you just have to install Chromium as another OS?

#20
damis648

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Yes, but if you install a smaller OS such as Ubuntu, would you lose the default Chrome OS and have to reflash to restore/recover it, or would you still be able to boot it? Or would you just have to install Chromium as another OS?


That would depend on how you install it, I guess. If you don't overwrite the bootloader, and don't mess with the locations of the Chrome OS's partitions (KERN, ROOT, and STATE partitions), it should still be there.

Worst case scenario: You flash back your old BIOS, and make a Chrome OS recovery flash drive.





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