Hackintoshing can be both fun and incredibly frustrating. Depending on your hardware setup, installing Mac OS X can be either a walk in the park, or a living nightmare. In some rare cases, it might not work at all. Hackintoshing is all about research, trial and error, patience, and experimentation. The end result could potentially be something that’s extremely stable and usable, if not perfect. This guide is here to help you get up and running, but keep in mind that all of this may or may not take quite some time and some knowledge beforehand.
First, you’ll need to grab yourself a copy of “iATKOS ML2,” which is a pre-made PC-ready copy of Mac OS X 10.8.2 with a number of fixes already included. If you don’t already own a copy of Mountain Lion, it’d be recommended for you to simply buy a copy from Apple, as it’s only $19.99 here. Why? By not already owning a copy, simply downloading iATKOS ML2 would be considered piracy, which is a no-no. Download iATKOS ML2 here.
You’ll also need either a dual-layer DVD, a Blu-ray disc, or a USB flash drive. The copy of iATKOS ML2 comes in the form of a .DMG file, which is a Mac thing. More is explained below.
If your computer uses an AMD processor, then you’re out of luck, as no AMD-compatible kernels are available. Because of this, Mac OS X can’t run on your machine. Intel machines, however, will work just fine, assuming you at least have a Core 2 Duo.
Lastly, you’ll need at least 20GB of free disk space, whether it be on your SSD, HDD, or an external drive.
Part 0 – BACKUP!
When dealing with anything on your computer, it’s common practice to back your data up. For me, I backup my Windows computer using EaseUS Todo Backup Free, a 100% free piece of software that makes backing up and restoring your machine a breeze.
Part 1 – Partitioning Your Drive
You’ll need a place to install Mac OS X to, right? For most people, they simple want to allocate some space on their existing SSD or HDD to be used with Mac OS X.
If you’re on Windows, hit WinKey+R, type in “diskmgmt.msc” into the box, and hit Enter. Right click on your existing drive/partition, and go to Shrink Volume. After a moment, it should give you the amount of space that can be used for shrinkage. If it isn’t showing very much, then I recommend using Easeus Partition Master Home Edition. It’s pretty self-explanatory to use.
Part 2 – Creating Your Installation Media
You’ll need to “burn” the .DMG file to an external storage medium of your choice, which can be, as mentioned above, a dual-layer DVD, Blu-ray disc, or even a USB flash drive.
If you’re on Windows, you can use a copy of Transmac, but this will only work with a DVD or a Blu-ray disc. USB drive? Sorry. You can, however, get a copy of Mac OS X inside of a virtual machine and then follow the Mac OS X method below. Many pre-made VMware images can be found online.
If you’re on Mac OS X, you can simply use Disk Utility to restore the DMG file to your flash drive or blank disc. If you went the USB route, you’ll need to download and install this package, using the flash drive as the destination.
Part 3 – Booting the Mac OS X Installer
Now comes the fun part! Insert your installation media, and reboot your computer. Usually, your computer will boot from external sources automatically, but if it doesn’t, you’ll need to figure out which keyboard button brings up your BIOS’s boot selection menu. Some of the most common keys are F10, F11 (for me, using an MSI motherboard), and F12.
You should now be at the iATKOS boot screen, with iATKOS ML2 being selected for you already. Type in “-v” and hit enter. You should see a lot of text going on on your display. This is good. It’s basically a text-only version of the Apple boot screen. This is neat, because you’ll be able to visually see the boot process. Verbose mode is also used for troubleshooting issues when booting.
If you’re at the Mac OS X Installer, then proceed to Part 4. If the boot process froze somewhere, try booting with “-v -x” which boots into safe mode while still showing the text. If something else happened, take a picture of where the boot process froze, and post it below. If you had to boot with safe mode, then the automatic audio installer won’t work, so you won’t have sound when you boot Mac OS X after the installation. You can try and install it later by going to your installation media from with Mac OS X /System/Installation/Packages/audio.pkg.
Part 4 – Installing Mac OS X
Now that you’re at the Mac OS X installer, hit Continue. In the menubar, go to Utilities, and then Disk Utility.
In the left sidebar, click on the partition/drive that you plan on installing Mac OS X to. In the middle area, click on the Erase tab. Give the partition a name (for me, I chose “ML”), and choose Mac OS X Extended (Journaled) as the filesystem. Click on the Erase button to format the partition. Lastly, close out of Disk Utility.
Proceed through the next screens from the installer. When you get to where you can click on the Customize button, click on it. From here, you have a number of different installation options to choose from to make things more compatible. Each item comes with a description, so read it to determine whether or not you’ll need to select it. Once you’ve selected your options, you can now begin the installation.
To troubleshoot any potential installation problems, you’ll want to bring up the installation log by going to the Window menu and choosing Installation Log. Next, choose Show All Logs in the drop-down menu in the upper-left corner.
At the end of the installation process, you should be presented with an option to restart your computer. Go ahead and do that.
Part 5 – Booting Mac OS X
Now that it’s installed, you should be able to boot from the drive/partition that you installed Mac OS X to. Hopefully, everything would’ve worked out just fine, and you’re at the Mac OS X setup assistant. Now comes the process of making sure that all of your hardware is working properly, which typically includes audio, video, USB, Ethernet, and wireless. A lot of these things should work post-installation, but if it doesn’t, you’ll have to do some research to find out if your hardware is supported or not. For most people, drivers are available.
If something happened during the boot process, take a picture of where you might think that the issue happens, and post it down below.
Your preliminary OSx86 journey has now come to an end, and you should now be able to enjoy using Mac OS X on your PC. Even if you installed it as a little project only, I hope that you learned something from it, as it may help you in further projects later down the line.
If you need any help, feel free to post a comment down below, and I’ll try to answer it.
I was thinking about making a video tutorial for this, but my system is UEFI-based, which makes things a lot more complicated. Most people use a basic MBR setup, in which case things should work out smoothly. If you’re using EFI, then chances are that you already know what you’re doing.