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Install guide for Acer Aspire One D255E, using retail 10.6.0 DVD


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#1
theducks

theducks

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Hi folks!

I'm going on holidays through Central America in a few weeks, and my wife and I didn't want to take our MacBook Pros, so I thought I'd take a huge leap and build a Hackbook / Hackintosh. We live in Canada, so we had a look at Best Buy and Future Shop's offerings of netbooks, and whittled it down the subset that people had proved or thought would work with OSX, then bought the cheapest one. We got an ex-demo Acer Aspide D255E for $237. They tried to sell me the protection plan for $79.99. I pointed out that it was over 25% of the price of the laptop and said no...

Using a netbook for your first hackintosh is specifically not recommended for a good reason. I've done lots of Mac sysadmin in the past, and know my way around computer hardware fairly well, so I thought I'd give it a go. I originally posted a guide for doing this with iAtkos S3 v2, but I wasn't happy with the way that it ran, I couldn't get it sleep, it went downhill, etc. So I did it from scratch, using known-original media, and a "simple" set of modifications.

Prepare Acer Aspire One D255E, Intel Atom N455 based system
- Set BIOS boot order to boot from USB key first
- Use SysRescueCD, plugged into external monitor, boot in high-res framebuffer console mode
- Run wizard to start X, Framebuffer
- Run gparted to resize Windows partition down to 128GB, so there's 128GB empty for OSX

- The built in wireless card doesn't work with OSX at this time
- Swap Intel Wireless 1000N Micro PCI-E WLAN card for Dell 1505 MiniPCI-E (Atheros 4321) This card sucked - see my reply below - I've since replaced it with a HP 504593-001 BCM94312HMG based card, which is working really well
-- This card can be found cheap on eBay
-- Or, sitting unused in a PCI-E to mini-PCI-E carrier inside your wife's desktop Dell (Thanks dear! <3 )

- Remove battery
- Push in small clips around top and right edge of the keyboard
- The similar bumps on the left and top left do not push in
- Push keyboard up through square holes at top of battery bay
- Remove screws marked "Door"
- Push screwdriver down through hole in metal hard drive shield to pop bottom door off
- Turn laptop upside down
- Swap PCI-E card on right hand side
- While I was there, I swapped the 1GB of DDR3 SODIMM RAM for a 2GB SODIMM I had spare from upgrading my Macbook Pro from 4GB to 8GB, but I had to swap it back as the laptop stopped booting some time later (it worked initially though.. grr)
- Reassemble in reverse order

Installing OSX:
- Using real Mac, Image 10.6.0 Retail DVD to MBR formatted USB drive with two 8GB partitions
- Using real Mac, Install MyHack to USB drive partition
- Using real Mac, Manually update OSInstall.pkg and OSInstall framework - MyHack installer didn't work, installer still complained about being an MBR partitioned disk
- Install from USB key
- Install progresses almost to end
- Install fails - couldn't bless drive/ make drive bootable, a known issue
- Reboot, use USB boot loader and manually boot OS from HD
- Install NBI 0.8.5pre
- Reboot

At this point:
USBMS, USBHID, USBVID work
No sound
Resolution correct
Sleep.. well, goes to sleep (suspend to disk), then wakes up immediately

- Installed VoodooHDA 2.7.2 - sound works
- Reboot for good measure
- Extract DSDT
- Edit as per https://apocolipse.com/?p=14
- Compile, install, reboot
Works!

So where am I now?

-- Boots - Yes
-- Keyboard - Yes
-- Trackpad - Yes, but no scrolling (yet..)
-- Battery Management - Yes
-- Screen resolution - Yes
-- Sound out - Yes
-- Sound in (built in mic) - Yes, somewhat quiet though
-- Sleep - Yes, with edited DSDT.aml file

-- Webcam - Yes, though it sucks, but that's not OSX's fault
-- Wireless - Yes, once I replaced the card with compatible one
-- Ethernet - No - but not a problem, I almost never use wired on my real Mac laptops. If it becomes a problem, the recommendation is to use an Apple USB wired ethernet adaptor for a Macbook Air
-- Video - Only kind of. Playing videos from the web doesn't work - there's only 8MB of VRAM. There's no Quartz Extreme support either. With acceleration I might one day have a hope..
-- Bluetooth - Since this is asked about, I'll review it - not present, so it doesn't work.

- SD Card reader is probably never going to work. It's a really cheapo one that requires the firmware loaded into it by the driver to run. There's some support for it in Linux, by loading binary firmware blobs into it. I have a small USB to SD card reader I will be using with it instead

Longer term
- It would be really good to get accelerated graphics..
- I'd prefer to be using GPT instead of MBR disk layout, but I don't want to make the system non-windows restorable yet. I'd need to backup and restore to make the change.
- Not running 10.6.8 yet, I'm a bit worried by that, but I'll give it a go soon.
- I'm slightly worried mechanically by the mini-PCI-E card instead of micro-PCI-E card for the wireless, I can't screw it in securely. Some people are suggesting an AR5B93 card to replace it, and I've got one of those and a non-canadian franglais keyboard, but I don't think those will be shipped here before we leave

Hope this helps!

#2
theducks

theducks

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As a follow up - the Dell 1505 wireless was REALLY unreliable on the trip - kept cutting out after 12-30 minutes (though one time it lasted for an hour), after which I needed to shut down and restart (not just restart).

Thankfully an eBay purchase arrived while I was away, and I've swapped it out for a HP 504593-001 BCM94312HMG card I got for $11.99 on eBay. Worked without any driver mods or any monkeying around, and it's half-mini-PCI-e, so I was able to screw it into the mount from the original card, so it's more secure.

Now I'm just waiting on an english keyboard (instead of a hybrid Canadian french one), and it'll be great.

I'm pondering a 6 or 7 cell battery and an SSD now :(





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