How to install OSX Lion on Alienware m11x
Hello everyone. This is my first time writing a guide to do anything. My current Laptop is an Alienware m11x R1 and it makes a great laptop as a college student, but there were certain things that were limiting me while only using Windows 7. There is also a reason why I chose Lion over Snow Leopard too, despite myself liking Snow Leopard more. That is because it's actually easier to install, and you'll see why below
I hit up the internet one night and found a nice little Lion installer helper by nawcom made specifically for the m11x. It literally does everything so I'm going to summarize it and tell you how to do a couple things.
Oh, and I take no credit for any of this, I'm simply relaying the facts. The people you should be thanking are the developers on insanelymac and other sites, especially nawcom - without him this wouldn't be nearly as easy! Please consider donating to him if you find his work as helpful and amazing as I did!
First there are a few things you need to know before you try all this.
1) This is only for the m11x R1 (Sorry R2/R3 users).
2) The stock wireless card (Dell 1520) doesn't work, buy a 1510 for $20 (It works out of the box)
3) SD Card reader doesn't work.
4) Firewire doesn't work.
5) You will need a 8GB or larger Flash Drive/External Hard Drive.
6) You will need access to a friend's Mac or run a VM of OSX SL (there are several guides on how to do this) to create the customized Install USB Stick.
Now, lets get on with the guide.
If you want to Dual/Tripple boot, install those OS's (Windows/Linux) first on separate partitions. My personal setup is a 500GB HDD split into 2 250GB partitions (one for Lion, one for Windows 7). We're going to start fresh so backup all important data. If you don't want to dual/tripple boot, go right to the "Preparing Lion Install Stick" section.
1) Partition the HDD (2 Partitions for Dual, 3 for Tripple) via either a Windows Installer or Disk Utility. I recommend the Windows Installer.
2) Install Operating Systems (Windows/Linux) on their respective partitions.
3) Ensure you leave 2nd (Dual Boot) or 3rd (Tripple Boot) partitions blank for the Lion Install.
4) After you've confirmed your current OS's are booting fine, it's time to move on to the actual Lion Installation.
Preparing Lion Install Stick:
1) Download nawcom's Lion Installer for Alienware m11x (mirror here) and extract the .app to the desktop.
2) Locate the OSX Lion Install dmg that you bought on your friends mac/your vm and put it on the desktop for simplicity.
3) Run the Lion Installer app.
4) Click Ok.
5) Locate your Lion dmg and click Ok.
6) Choose your Flash Drive/External Hard Drive and click Ok.
7) Wait until the Lion Installer says "All Done" in the console and click Quit.
8) Your install stick is now ready. Plug it into your m11x and reboot.
1) Turn the laptop on with the install stick in a usb slot and press F2 to enter the BIOS.
2) Ensure that boot priority is set to removable devices/usb devices before the internal hdd.
3) Leave all other bios settings to default, except for:
- Graphics needs to be set to Discrete instead of Switchable
- Overclock enabled (optional)
- AHCI instead of IDE (It should already be AHCI but if not, ensure it is)
4) Press F10 to save and exit the BIOS.
5) The Lion Installer should boot automatically if you have the correct Boot Sequence.
6) Go to Disk Utility and format the Lion Partition to your preferred Mac OS type (Journaled/Journaled Case Sensitive, etc.), I just chose the default choice.
7) Exit Disk Utility and go through the several Lion Installer screens until you get to a drive to install to, pick the newly formatted Lion partition.
8) Wait for the Installer to finish (should take about 20 minutes)
9) Wait for your system to restart and unplug your install stick.
10) You should see Chameleon and it should have all 2 or 3 of your operating systems showing.
11) Boot to Lion
Setting up Lion:
1) On the first boot you will get a message about plugging in a keyboard. Plug in a USB Keyboard and press any key. From now on the internal keyboard will work. Odd issue, but it only happens on the first boot.
2) Choose your region settings, set up your account, get to the desktop.
3) Once Lion is all setup, go to System Preferences.
4) If you have a keen eye you will have noticed that Audio doesn't currently work, its a simple fix. In System Preferences, go to Sounds and change the Output from Headphones to IntSpeaker. That's it.
5) Go back to System Preferences and go to Bluetooth (if you had it enabled in the BIOS, I personally don't as I never use it) and go to Advanced and uncheck Open Bluetooth Setup Assistant at startup if no mouse or trackpad is detected.
6) ...and you're done. Everything else works out of the box (except for the things I listed at the start of the guide. Now you can move onto installing your personal apps and using your new Mac (that is actually better than a lot of real mac laptops in several ways)
After all of this, you should have something like this:
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