Your hardware may not be exactly like mine, but it should be somewhat close. Of course, I'm not going to post the entire list, just what's mainly essential.
AMD A6 quad-core APU with ATI Radeon HD 6520G
Realtek HD Audio (ID: 780D)
Realtek RTL8101E PCIe Ethernet
Atheros AR9285 WLAN
The only things I've really come to find that work out of the box with this machine are the keyboard function keys, USB ports, and the internal webcam. Bluetooth worked once for me, then never came back. I haven't tested the card reader yet.
Installing Snow Leopard
Installing Snow Leopard on these machines is fairly easy. I suggest obtaining a retail DVD (or image) of Snow Leopard 10.6.3 and using Nawcom's ModUSB. This of course requires you to have an up and running OS X or Linux install. Go with Linux (Ubuntu is easy enough to install/can be booted into a Live session). If you have a DMG image, use dmg2img. The second line is needed for formatting your USB drive for OS X. For some reason, the binaries that Nawcom provides don't seem to work on newer Linux kernels.
sudo apt-get install dmg2img sudo apt-get install hfsplus hfsutils hfsprogs
I'm not going to walk you through the process of creating a ModUSB installer. But, since Nawcom's blog is no longer online, I'll provide the documentation for the process. Now, if you already have all of this done, feel free to skip on down.
ModUSB Linux Download
ModUSB Guide.rtf 14.93KB 62 downloads
I know that the guide is shoddy since I just copy pasta'd it, but whatever. Once you have your ModUSB created, boot it up. When you come to the Chameleon loader screen, use these as your bootflags.
rd(0,0)/Extra/modbin_kernel arch=i386 -force64 busratio=20 -v
Go through the installation process by opening Disk Utility, formatting a partition (WARNING: Linux partitions will cause a POSIX error and you will lose all data on the drive you are formatting if a Linux partition is present on it), and going through the rest of the steps. Also, not sure if this is needed or not, but I unchecked the VoodooHDA installer (old revision that only detects HDMI). Be sure to customize everything to your needs before beginning the installation. After 30 minutes or so, the installation should finish, and you'll be asked to reboot your machine. Do so, and be prepared to be welcomed by the Chameleon screen again. Before booting into your nice and fresh Snow Leopard install, you're gonna want to use those boot flags I mentioned earlier again.
legacy_kernel arch=i386 -force64 busratio=20 -v
If you don't do this, your system will automatically shutdown without warning. If all goes well, you should eventually pop up at the GUI. Drudge through the account creation steps, then open up a Terminal, and run this.
sudo nano /Extra/com.apple.Boot.plist
This isn't necessary, but handy if you don't wanna enter those boot flags each you turn your computer on. Also, this file will be converted to "org.chameleon.Boot.plist" once you update Chameleon. Here's my boot file which you can feel free to use.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd"> <plist version="1.0"> <dict> <key>GraphicsEnabler</key> <string>No</string> <key>Kernel</key> <string>legacy_kernel</string> <key>Kernel Flags</key> <string>arch=i386 busratio=20 -force64</string> <key>Timeout</key> <string>5</string> </dict> </plist>
Note that disabling GraphicsEnabler is absolutely necessary until someone figures out how to make the 6520 work. If you don't disable it, Chameleon will give you a nice "0xdeadbeef" error. Save the file (ctrl+O), and close your Terminal. Oh, as a side note, you don't need to do this with nano. It's just a habit of mine and makes things simpler.
Now, you need to download the 10.6.8 Combo Update from Apple (which you'll probably need to do on a separate machine).
Mirror For When the Apple Servers are Being Dumb
Also, grab MB for SL. Link
Finally, download a 10.6.8 legacy kernel. Here's the one I'm using. Link
If you'd like Nawcom's kernel, here it is. Link
Once you've got all this of this crap downloaded, run the combo update. DO NOT reboot when asked. Run MB and select these.
- System Utilities -> Both
- Drivers & Bootloaders -> Kexts & Enablers -> Miscellaneous -> ElliottForceLegacyRTC, EvOreboot, NullCPUPowerManagement, PS/2 drivers
- Drivers & Bootloaders -> Kexts & Enablers -> Network -> Lnx2Mac's driver
- [Optional] OSx86 Software
Resolving Other Hardware Issues
WiFi: The Atheros AR9285 card likes to be difficult. It's easily fixable, but it took me some time to find a working kernel extension. Download this pack (thanks go out to yonsje) and open up the Terminal again.
sudo mv /System/Library/SystemConfiguration/Apple80211Monitor.bundle /Backup\ Extensions/ cd to wherever you extracted the pack sudo mv Apple80211Monitor.bundle /System/Library/SystemConfiguration/
Use any KEXT utility to install "IO80211Family.kext". Also make sure to update your caches and whatnot (KEXT Utility that comes with MB can do this for you).
Audio: This is an incredibly easy fix. Just download the VoodooHDA installer here and run it. I got a kernel panic after installing this and rebooting, but fixing my cache seems to have resolved that. Also, you'll notice that there might be some white noise/static coming from your speakers (especially if you have headphones). Just open up System Preferences, then VoodooHDA, and turn down "Input Gain".
You should now have a somewhat usable system. I apologize for the lack of accelerated graphics, but there's not much on the 6520 card out in the wild. Also, it seems that MB is a no no here, so a mod can remove that bit from this post if need be. I'll just post the files separately.
OSx86 is still a huge learning process for me, so when I come across something for this system, I'll add it to this thread (Bluetooth is next on my list, I think...) If you have anything at all to contribute, please do so. Oh, another thing. I was getting random kernel panics every five to ten minutes, but they seem to have stopped. I don't know what I did to resolve this, but if you experience the same issue, see if you can find what causes them and post back.