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[GUIDE] OS X Lion 10.7.0 on a Dell Dimension e520

28 July 2011 - 09:22 PM

Hello all! This is v0.9 of my Dell Dimension e520 guide to installing OS X 10.7.0 Lion. It's also possible that a lot of this stuff will work on other P965/G965 boards (XPS 400 and Dimension 9100 will probably work)
A quick note: most of techniques available here have been harvested and Frankenstein'd from other guides on this forum and beyond. I've compiled them up to make it easy for Dimension e520 users to get Lion running on their system - Please see the end of the guide for the credits!

OK, let's get started!

Things you need:
  • An e520 (not e521) with a Core 2 Duo / Core 2 Quad processor (Pentium Ds don't work, sorry :( ) with latest BIOS
  • My e520 goodie bag attached here Attached File  e520_Lion_Bundle.zip   4.43MB   989 downloads. This contains everything you need, and is heavily referenced by the guide
  • Using the integrated graphics, audio and ethernet
  • ATI Radeon HD4850 512mb (optional)
  • An 8GB< USB drive or External Hard drive, formatted Mac OS X Extended Journaled and called USBINSTALLER (the script you'll be running will automatically call it "Mac OS X Base System")
  • A free, blank hard drive titled Lion and formatted Mac OS X Extended Journaled. Feel free to use a dual boot partition, but you'll need to install Windows first and mess about with fdisk afterwards (guides on this forum)
  • A copy of Install Mac OS X Lion.app
  • A friend's Mac or another Hackintosh install, Leopard or Snow Leopard

One last thing - you may want to print this guide before you start! You've been warned...

Preparing the USB drive

Place Install Mac OS X Lion.app in /Applications.
In Terminal, navigate to this folder ("Preparing the Lion Disk/install", a quick way of doing this is to highlight the install folder and drag it onto the terminal window, or:
cd "/path/to/Preparing the Lion Disk/install"
Then, type:
sudo mkboot "/Volumes/USBINSTALLER/"
(this will create the bootable USB, complete with Chameleon et al. It'll take a few minutes. USBINSTALLER will now be called "Mac OS X Base System"!)


Copy the Extensions folder in Preparing the Lion Disk to /Volumes/Mac OS X Base System/Extra. This will ensure SATA detection, network detection and audio while installing.
Boot the installer (F12 at BIOS, then select "USB Device") and install like normal.
Reboot BACK INTO THE INSTALLER PARTITION and copy /Volumes/Mac OS X Base System/Extra to /Volumes/Lion/ through Terminal with the following command:
cp "/Volumes/Mac OS X Base System/Extra" /Volumes/Lion
Without this step, you'll get a "Waiting for root device" error.

Boot off the USB drive again, and this time select the newly installed Lion disk. The graphics injector in the USB drive's Chameleon will give basic gfx.


Welcome to Lion! Run through the set-up (Internet should be fully working at this stage, meaning date, time, and AppleID will be working. This should be really streamlined. Make an account (Create a password to prevent any sudo troubles later on) and you'll be at the desktop.

Run "Install Chameleon.mpkg" from the Post-Install folder and select Lion (or equivalent) as your target drive. Remember to tick "Theme" in addition to the main bootloader!

(we're nearly done!)

Delete the /Extra folder that you copied over from the original USB drive and then copy/move Post-Install/Extra to the Lion root directory. This contains the e520's DSDT, an smbios.plist to spoof an Xserve (my preference, this can be changed very easily later) and a collection of kexts that will make everything work. ---It's highly probable that not ALL these kexts are necessary if you're into barebones installs and like keeping everything clean - however they haven't really impacted my boot times, so i left things like OpenHaltRestart in.

Run Kext Utility (included in the download).

Finally, reboot.
What should now be working…
  • SATA drives
  • No CMOS reset when rebooting
  • X3000 SHOULD have full resolution and maybe GFX (somebody else please confirm, I have no QE/CI on mine) thanks to theStevo's X3000 kexts
  • Internal Audio (Sigmatel STAC9227) works thanks to VoodooHDA.kext
  • Internal Ethernet (Intel 82566MM) works thanks to Intel82566MM.kext

Optional Step for Radeon HD4850 Users

This step is obviously only necessary if you have an HD4850... I believe old Nvidia cards (9xxx and lower) will work OOB using GraphicsEnabler (my 8600gt and 8800gs cards do) but with later Nvidia cards I can't help. Netkas has guides for other ATI cards on his website.

At this point, following my guide, you should have QE/CI working with resolution change on your first screen ONLY. A second monitor can be seen in Display Settings, but it is actually non-existent and OS X is creating a virtual 800x600 second screen to the right of your main monitor.

Ensure GraphicsEnabler is enabled in Chameleon's plist (if you've been following my guide, it will be).
Apple's ATI4800Controller.kext needs to be modified in order for the 4850 to work. It's actually really easy! (NOTE: If you're running 10.7.0 you can just use the Kext I've included in the download)
Go to /System/Library/Extensions/ and copy ATI4800Controller.kext to your desktop.
Right-Click on it and select Show Package Contents. You want to be editing the file Contents/Info.plist with TextEdit.
Cmd-F the following text:
<string>0x94401002 0x944a1002</string>
All you have to do is replace the line with:
<string>0x94401002 0x944a1002 0x94421002</string>

That's it! Save the file, and then drag it onto Kext Utility to install it. Then, install EVOenabler.kext from "Post-Install/HD4850 Graphics" in the same way.

Reboot… Done!

Thanks to...

tseug's Lion tutorial. His awesome scripts are responsible for most of the USB preparation section!
scorcho's HD4850 tutorial. Pointed me in the direction of evoEnabler!
thestevo for his X3000 kexts!
the Hazard 10.6.2 team, for I extracted some of the SATA kexts and stuff from their Snow disc!
Kexts.com for all the other kexts!
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