[Tutorial] Run OS X Mountain Lion 10.8 on a PC (Hackintosh/OSx86)

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Note 1/3/2013: While this method is perfectly usable  a much simpler OSx86 solution has been made, dubbed iATKOS ML2. View our tutorial here.

With general computer hardware getting faster and cheaper than ever, the want of having a Mac computer seems to decreasing. Nevertheless, hackintoshing is still a fun thing to do, as one can learn a lot about both Mac OS X and Windows throughout the process. The below post is a complete tutorial on how to get a hackintosh going. Please be sure to read through the entire thing, perhaps twice, before attempting anything.

My Desktop

My 10.8.0 desktop.

My 10.8.0 desktop.

In the screenshot above, you’re looking at the default Mac OS X 10.8.0 desktop, with the System Information application open. Just about everything is working without a flaw in Mac OS X, minus the support for Wi-Fi. Fortunately, this is a desktop, and it’s typically hard-wired via gigabit Ethernet, which works fine.

My Specs

My test installation was successfully done on a custom-built gaming PC with the following specs:

  • Intel Core i7-2600K @ 4.5GHz
  • 8GB DDR3 1600 RAM
  • MSI Z68A-GD80 motherboard
  • Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB SATA3 SSD (60GB for 10.8, everything else for Windows 8)
  • Seagate Barracuda 1TB SATA3 HDD
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX560 1GB (works OOTB via GraphicsEnabler=yes)
  • Intel Wi-Fi of some sort; not OS X compatible at all (Ethernet works fine)
  • ALC892 audio (drivers are available)
  • 1920×1080 Acer monitor (DVI)

Credits/Sources

Everything OSx86-related is a collaborative effort amongst people who enjoy doing these things, as well as those of us who enjoy tweaking and experimenting with things. Below are a list of sources used to compile this guide:

  1. http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=275957&st=0
  2. http://www.osx86.net/view/2415-chameleon_2.1svn_r1820_with_smbios_amp;_10.8_support.html
  3. http://www.osx86.net/view/2902-os_x_mountain_lion_gm_mbr_patch.html
  4. http://thetecherra.com/2011/09/05/how-to-create-a-bootable-hackintosh-ready-mac-os-x-lion-usb-flash-drive/
  5. http://thetecherra.com/2012/02/17/tutorial-run-os-x-mountain-lion-10-8-on-a-pc-hackintoshosx86-from-start-to-finish-2/

Requirements

Here are the requirements:

  1. A copy of Mac OS X - This can be in the form of an existing hackintosh, a virtual machine within Windows or Linux, or even a regular Mac. If you don’t have any of these things, then find someone who can help you out for a while. I prefer using a virtual machine (I prepared my USB drive with VMware Workstation under Windows 7). Using an already working copy of Mac OS X either in a VM or a native hackintosh install is HIGHLY recommended, and you’ll see why in part 6.
  2. A 8GB USB flash drive (or larger) - We’ll be copying the files to the drive appropriately, so make sure that you have a flash drive with enough storage space (8GB or larger).
  3. A copy of Mountain Lion 10.8 GM - If you don’t have a Mac Developer Account, then you’ll find torrents of 10.8 around the web.
  4. 30-60 minutes of time - Depending on how tech-savvy you are, this may be quick, or it may take a while.
  5. An SSD or HDD to install 10.8 to - For me, I used a 20GB partition on a 64GB SSD to install 10.8 to.
  6. THIS file - This ZIP file contains everything that you need to get your flash drive properly prepared.

Note: The file for number 6 contains the following:

  • FakeSMC.kext
  • NullCPUPowerManagement.kext
  • OSInstall
  • OSInstall.mpkg
  • Chameleon_2.1svn_r1820_trunk_10.8.pkg

The first 2 .kext files will fix most kernel panics that you might experience while booting. The 2 OSInstall files will allow you to install 10.8 onto an MBR-partitioned drive. OSInstall came from 10.7.3, and OSInstall.mpkg was modified by me to work properly. Lastly, the Chameleon package is the bootloader that we’ll be using, and has been specifically compiled for use with 10.8.

Part 1 – Preparing your SSD or HDD

If you’re in Windows 7, you can easily make a new partition on an SSD or HDD via the Disk Management program.

  1. Start>Run (or Windows key on your keyboard plus R).
  2. diskmgmt.msc (press enter after typing that)
  3. Find your drive, right-click on it, and go to Shrink Volume.
  4. Wait for it to calculate the amount of space you can make your partition, and enter in your amount (for an exact GB amount, multiple your desired amount of GB times 1024, so a 20GB partition would be 20480MB).
  5. Let it make your partition. It will show up as unallocated space.
  6. Format the new unallocated space as NTFS and give it a label (mine was ML).
  7. Done!

Part 2 – Formatting your USB drive

Make sure to backup the files that are already on your USB flash drive via Disk Utility in Mac OS X:

  1. Open up Disk Utility.
  2. Click on your USB drive in the left sidebar.
  3. Click on the Erase tab in the middle.
  4. Choose “Mac OS X Extended (Journaled)” as the format, and give your drive a label (like “ML USB”).
  5. Click on the Erase… button.
  6. Done!
  7. Leave Disk Utility open, as you’ll need it later.

Part 3 – Preparing your USB drive with 10.8

This part is the most time consuming. Using a USB 3.0 flash drive will help things out quite a bit.

  1. Mount the DMG for Mountain Lion (will be called Mac OS X Install ESD on your desktop).
  2. Show hidden files in Finder by running the following command in Terminal: defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
  3. Reload Finder by running the following command in Terminal: killall Finder
  4. Run the following command in Terminal to mount “BaseSystem.dmg” within the 10.8 DMG: open /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ ESD/BaseSystem.dmg
  5. Switch back to Disk Utility.
  6. Click on your flash drive in the left sidebar.
  7. Click on the Restore button in the middle area.
  8. For the source, drag “Mac OS X Base System” from your desktop into the empty Source box.
  9. For the destination, drag your USB drive from your desktop into the empty Destination box.
  10. Make sure that “Erase destination” is checked.
  11. Click on “Restore”. This process will take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes depending on the speed of your flash drive.
  12. When it’s finished, you’ll end up with 2 “Mac OS X Base System” drives on your desktop. Figure out which one is your USB copy (you can right-click > Get Info and use the capacity as an indicator), and open it up.
  13. Once you’ve opened up Mac OS X Base System (the one that’s your flash drive), go to /System/Installation.
  14. You’ll see a symlink for Packages. Remove it.
  15. Create a folder called Packages.
  16. Open up a window of the original Mac OS X Install ESD drive and copy everything within Packages to the empty Packages folder on your USB drive.
  17. Done! 10.8 is now installed onto your USB drive. Now, we need to modify some of the files on it so that it will properly bootup on a PC.

Part 4 – Adding the fixed 10.8 files to the USB drive

Now, we need to modify some of the files on your USB drive so that it will properly bootup on your PC.

  1. Extract the contents of “ML_GM_OSx86_Files.zip” to your Mac OS X desktop.
  2. Copy the 2 .kext files to /System/Library/Extensions on your flash drive.
  3. Copy the OSInstall file to /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Install.framework/Frameworks/OSInstall.framework/Versions/A/, overwriting the file that’s already there.
  4. Copy the OSInstall.mpkg file to /System/Installation/Packages/, overwriting the file that’s already there.
  5. Run the Chameleon installation package. Make sure to install this package to your flash drive, and customize the installation so that you have an SMBIOS that best relates to the CPU that’s on your computer (leave the default options checked; just check your SMBIOS).
  6. Copy mach_kernel from the root of the Mac OS X Install ESD volume and paste it into the root of your flash drive.
  7. Lastly, copy the Chameleon installation package to the root of your flash drive. You’ll need this in part 8.
  8. Done!

Part 5 – Installing 10.8 from your USB drive

Time for the fun stuff! We’ll now boot from your USB drive and install 10.8 onto the partition that you made in part 1.

  1. Boot from your USB drive.
  2. Once in Chameleon, highlight your flash drive and add -v to the end, then push enter. You’ll see a lot of text fly by.
  3. Once you get into the installer (assuming your computer didn’t freeze, restart itself, or get a kernel panic, in which case you’ll take a picture of the lines on your screenshot and leave it in the comments below), choose your partition to install 10.8 to. Please note that you’ll need to go to Utilities > Disk Utility and format your partition to HFS+ (Mac OS Extended (Journaled)).
  4. The installation process will take about 5 to 15 minutes, depending on the speed of both your USB drive and your SSD or HDD.
  5. When finished, boot back into your already working copy of Mac OS X.

Part 6 – Preparing the installed copy of 10.8

Now, we’ll have to add a couple of files to your fresh install of 10.8. You can use some Terminal commands to copy the files over, which I’ll cover now.

  1. Boot from your USB installation drive.
  2. In the Utilities menu, go to Terminal.
  3. Run the following command: cp -R /System/Library/Extensions/NullCPUPowerManagement.kext /Volumes/NAME_OF_10.8_INSTALLATION_DRIVE/System/Library/Extensions/
  4. Run the following command: cp -R /System/Library/Extensions/FakeSMC.kext /Volumes/NAME_OF_10.8_INSTALLATION_DRIVE/System/Library/Extensions/
  5. Run the following command: reboot
  6. You should now be able to boot back into your install copy of 10.8. Now, install Chameleon as in part 4. As the destination drive, choose your 10.8 installation drive.
  7. Done!

Part 7 – Booting 10.8!

Now that everything is finally prepared, you can go ahead and boot into Mountain Lion.

  1. Boot from your USB drive again.
  2. Once in Chameleon, highlight your partition that has 10.8 installed. Add -v to it and push enter. You’ll see a lot of text fly by.
  3. You’ll eventually get to the setup screens for 10.8. Go through that process to setup 10.8.
  4. Done!

Finished!

You’ve successfully prepared a 10.8 flash drive and have installed 10.8 onto your computer. Depending on your hardware configuration, you’ll most likely need to hunt down various drivers to get different components to work the way they should, such as your audio card, video card, and more. tonymacx86′s MultiBeast software contains a lot of common drivers for most machines and is worth a look at.

If you’re experiencing any trouble, leave your comment below and I’ll try and help you out.

Feel free to follow Brian and Gadget Unit on Twitter!



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  • Mod10

    nice post
    but i think it could be easier if you use Unibeast 1.5-3

  • Justinchasez04121990

    It looks like I cant use the keyboard in installation screens. I’m installing it to my laptop. Am I missed somethings?

    • besweeet

      The internal keyboard? You’ll likely need a USB keyboard for now.

  • sal c

    looking at the specs, seems this just might work on my Asus G74SX ROG laptop :)

  • Thincamel

    tks for help, my laptop HP 6540b  , everything if find ,except wifi  & Graphic Card

    • besweeet

      I don’t believe that your GPU is supported, unfortunately. Mobile AMD cards give the most problems.

  • sepsep96

    Hi everything works great until i get to the very first installation screen, the part where i choose the language. At that point, both the mouse and keyboard stop working but the computer still is. I can’t seem to figure out why it is doing this as it was working before. Any help would be wonderful!

    • besweeet

      Are you using a laptop or desktop? Some info about your system would help…

      • sepsep96

        I have an i7 3770k with an asus P8Z68 M-Pro. Integrated hd4000 graphics, the hard drive for the hackintosh is a 300gb Maxtor hdd. Im using an ocz 700W and LG blu-ray dvd drive. anything else? you need

        • besweeet

          Try booting the installer with -v -x.

          • sepsep96

            I plugged in the keyboard and did -v -x and still the mouse and keyboard won’t respond for the installation. I think that USB ports stop working or something because the mouse does work at the bios and at chameleon start, but once it gets to the install it stops working…. ideas?

          • besweeet

            Try using ? to view some of the various commands while at the bootloader. There might be something there that could get it to work.

          • sepsep96

            when i did that some things i found as possible solutions would USBBusFix=Yes and USBLegacyOff=Yes. Could those work? also would i input those into the part where i would put -v?

          • besweeet

            It never hurts to try :).

          • sepsep96

            Ugh so i did those commands and it still isnt working. do you think maybe there may be something in the bios? its becoming very frustrating. Also if i wait like 15 or 20 minutes it leaves and goes to something else where i restart the computer. at that point the mouse is working again. :/ it seems to only be the installation. Edit- idk if it matter but its also 10.8.2

          • besweeet

            Possible. Find various USB settings in the BIOS and report back your findings.

      • sepsep96

        could it be the reason that it wont work is because im using a wireless keyboard and mouse? it has a usb wireless bluetooth. (logitech mk700) would a PS/2 keyboard work instead for the installation?

        • besweeet

          And yes, using a regular PS/2 or USB keyboard should work fine.

  • sepsep96

    I couldnt really comment anymore on the other so i started again sry :P. anyway in the BIOS i saw the option for legacy USB support which was on auto, then legacy USB3.0 Support which was enabled, EHCI Hand-off which was disabled (idk what that is). And under those are the mass storage devices and it says that the USB Disk with ML on it is on auto. instead of auto there is the choice of also Floppy, Forced FDD, Hard Disk, and CD-Rom. Should i change it or not? what do you think?

    • besweeet

      I’d try turning EHCI hand-off to disabled.

      • sepsep96

        So i turned it on and turned it back off and tried different commands in the boot to try and make it work and nothing happened :/ Now what?

      • sepsep96

        do you have any suggestions?

        • besweeet

          No, sorry.

          • sepsep96

            could it just be that one of my pieces of hardware just cant support it a hackintosh?

          • besweeet

            It’s obviously the video card. If booting with -x or removing the NVIDIA kext files didn’t work, then I don’t know.

          • sepsep96

            its the intel hd 4000 graphics. what are the nvidia kext files? i never removed those.

          • besweeet

            Then that’s why… You didn’t read the tutorial that you linked to?

          • sepsep96

            uhh… i dont think i ever linked a tuturial to you

  • http://twitter.com/olsanikin Martin Olšanský

    Hello, I’m getting this ”error”. It loads everything, but once the installer should show up, it does [ https://dl.dropbox.com/u/14326365/macinstallererror.jpg ]. I think the files in Extra folder are loaded. Also, the notebook is Asus N53SV. I was following this [ http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/topic/283739-guide-install-os-x-mountain-lion-1082-on-asus-n53snn53svn53sm-notebooks ] tutorial.

    I’ve tried: -x, -v, cpus=1

  • Alin Ilie

    I succeeded to get my ThinkPad W520 working… What does NOT work:
    - battery indicator
    - brightness adjustment (I have to do it during boot)
    - some times it crashes during boot
    - some times it is stuck during restart or shutdown
    - I am not sure how to wake it up from sleep

    • besweeet

      Most (if not all) of those things should be able to be fixed with various tweaks and drivers.

  • Alin Ilie

    iATKOS did not worked for me. This tutorial worked (I repeated it a few times), even today I found 2 more issue, probably related to the others… (This was on a new clean reinstall done today)
    1) When I plugged in/plugged out some USB devices (headset, mouse) I got a freeze of the system. Not crash with a stack trace dump, but a complete freeze.
    2) The Jabra Link 280 USB headset adapter does not work, even I bet I’ve seen it working a few days ago using this tutorial for installation, MultiBeast 5.2.1

  • Ymurawski

    hi, i have a Problem, everytime when i try to install osx, the Installation hangs on:

    [IOBluetoothHCIController][Start] — completed

    i started with verbose mode.

    thanks all

  • Rosalindapangyarihan

    Hi.. Will this work on an amd based pc?

    • besweeet

      No.

  • Sharathkxxx

    eror….. when i choose my HDD where i want to install ML & then i click install and i get this error.

    • besweeet

      Save a copy of the installer log to your flash drive and paste it into Pastebin.com.

    • Carlos Raul

      do not copy OSinstall file and OSinstall.mpkg to your flash drive and you have to use guid partition table on the flash drive

  • daniele

    Which Motherboard are using on your gaming/iOS machine?

    • besweeet

      MSI Z68A-GD80.

  • aminonyc

    Hi I’m on part 5, step 3.  After selecting the proper OS X installer and typing -v I watch everything load w/ out any errors but then the screen goes blank.  Any thoughts?  I have a i7 960 3.2Ghz cpu, EVGA X58 Mobo w/ latest BIOS.

    • besweeet

      Which video card?

  • M Roberts

    Hi!  I’m attempting to make a USB installer for Mountain Lion, and I’m doing so from Linux.

    I’ve almost got it working, (boots to Chameleon, shows me the ‘Install’ partition as a selectable option…)  but it’s not quite there.

    I’m thinking the “Part 4 – Adding the fixed 10.8 files to the USB drive” is what’s throwing me for a loop.

    I need to do the final correction/modification parts “by hand”, what should I do?

    (Please and thank you!)

    • besweeet

      What’s the issue with part 4? It’s only simple file copy operations.

  • Ombut

    Im stuck at this screen please help

    • besweeet

      What screen?

    • Carlos Raul

      use GraphicsEnabler=Yes
      or change your output to dvi or HDMI

  • http://www.facebook.com/1ndex.htm1 Obet Hutagalung

    hi ,, i got stuck in “The IOUSBFamily was not able to enumerate a device” and after that the screen looping the “Still waiting for root device” text

  • S Giannakis M

    Booted on chameleon
    It starts the black screen with the white letter and stuck on “PCI configuration begins”
    Screen goes off but laptop still works.I have already managed to install this on my desktop pc.On the laptop i have tried.
    -PCIRootUID= 1 and 0
    GraphicsEnaber=yes
    -x
    but nothing.Pease help.

  • moumax

    Hi everyone, i encounter a problem at the step 6 of the 6th part, i cant boot on the 10.8 installation and on the flash drive it only propose me to install once again… What do i have to do?

  • Dave

    Hey.
    I did everything and all went good (10.8.5) but when I need to write down cp -R it says there’s so such command.
    What to do??
    Yes I have change the name to my hdd which is “Mac”
    Please help me.
    What do I need to write??

  • kino_n0

    Need help cant detect partition while install mountain lion

    i finished install snow leopard on my AMD

    also seperate 3 partitions i try to install mountain lion but cant detect partition on disk utility while install ML

    any way to solve it?