Netbook undergoes a OSX change

Mac-pc My girlfriend got a shiny white MacBook several months ago and I’ve been seriously sweating it. (I’m borrowing it right now) For one, it turns on in the time it take my crappy laptop to inform me that its from Dell. Don’t get me started on trying to get XP to hibernate/sleep. I just leave it on 24/7 to save myself 30 minutes of “Loading…” hell each morning.

So when she decided to get a Netbook for her monthlong stay in South Africa, I jumped at the chance to make a mini mac clone. So I ‘persuaded’ her to buy a MSI Wind 120 after doing some Google research which cited that as one of the models well-suited for ‘hack-a-mac’.

Working in the SAaS sphere for a few years now, I haven’t done the whole fdisk, bios, etc thing in a while. Luckily there were a lot of posts on the MSI Forums to help.

I started by purchasing a 4GB USB drive, downloaded MSIWindOSX86.iso from the Pirate Bay, and started following the instructions at

  1. Using the MacBook, popped in the USB key
  2. Open Disk Utility app
  3. Click on destination USB
  4. Click on Partition
  5. In Volume Scheme pull down menu select 1 Partition
  6. Click on Options
  7. Radio Button Master Boot Record, click ok
  8. Format Mac OS Extended Journaled
  9. Apply
  10. When the formatting is complete, click Restore
  11. Mount the WindMSIOSX86.iso image (that means double click on it for us less Mac-literate) it will appear on the left sidebar of the Disk Utility now
  12. Drag the mounted WindMSIOSX86.iso to the ‘ SOURCE ‘ section
  13. Drag the usb drive partition to the ‘ Destination ‘ section
  14. Check ‘ erase destination ‘ click ok. Restore to USB will take about 10 minutes or so…
  15. Download the latest Chameleon EFI

OK the last step took me quite a while. Most forums mentioned the Chameleon DMG and direct you to the Developers site. But all I could find was the source code for the latest stable version 1.0.11 not the compiled package. I tried the 2.0 RC1 package but it kept stalling at the message “Writing Package Receipt. It took some searching to finally find a copy at FilesTube; Chameleon-1.0.11-installer.dmg.

  1. Double click the chameleon dmg to mount it, run through its
    prompts and install it to your flash / usb key – this makes it
    bootable.Make sure to change the target because it will default to your Mac’s harddrive.

Now you need to prep the MSI Wind. I didn’t want to delete the recovery or windows partitions in case things went south. Luckily the Wind came with three partitions, recovery, OS_Install, and a third empty partition. I ended up creating a Ubuntu live bootable from a spare 1GB drive following the suggestion on this post; and then deleting the third partition. I tried going through the next step leaving the space unpartitioned, but I couldn’t get past the select a destination step in the Mac OS installer. So I went back and created and unformatted primary partition.

  1. Plug Flash / USB key into msi wind, boot from it (either change in bios or hit f11 for boot menu)
  2. Run through the installer till you get to the select a partition screen. You’ll see the recovery partition and windows partition with red exclamation marks on them meaning you can’t use those. Open the Utilities menu and open Disk Utility. From here you can erase the unformatted partition and format it as  Mac OS Extended Journaled. (You may in fact have been able to delete and format the partition in one step saving yourself the previous boot from Ubuntu.)
  3. Close the disk utility. You should now have a new partition without the red mark and that you can select.
  4. Click next till you get to the install button. Before clicking that click the Customize button. Expand the options until you see Kernel. Uncheck that option. (I don’t now why but a bunch of post mentioned this. I think it has to do with making your os able to handle updates)
  5. Run the install. It should take a few minutes and reboot your Wind automatically.

Now when my machine rebooted, I got a HFS+ error. Now the last post I cited suggested using Ubuntu to fix the boot flags. That didn’t work for me. I ended up using the suggestion here

  1. Boot from bootable flash drive back into macosx installer
  2. Open Terminal from the Utilities menu
  3. At the command prompt type
fdsk -e /dev/rdisk0
flag 3
  1. All 3 partitions will show in darwin bootloader, with osx the default.

Success!! My wind booted to Mac OSX with the gloriously satisfying intro movie. The next steps are to make sure everything works. Already I’m seeing some issues with the wi-fi. I’ll post more as I figure it all out.

One thought on “Netbook undergoes a OSX change

  1. Whew, changing a netbook’s OS to Mac requires patience and a bit of hard work to do. I haven’t tried using Mac OSX, ‘coz I’ve been a loyal Windows user. 😛 Though I might change my mind if someone convince me of its greatness. 🙂
    Keep updating. TIA.
    Movie Downloads


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