The Hackintosh Project (osx86)

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In which I chronicle the installation of Mac OS X 10.4.8 on a Dell.

I purchased a Dell Dimension 3000 Pentium 4 (3GHz prescott) system in April 2005 for $379 after rebate. It came with a 17″ LCD and a printer, and I couldn’t pass up a good deal. I figured it was cheap, and I might need a Windows box for something one day. Apparently linux is sufficient for my needs, because it ended up pretty much unused and exiled to the corner of my office until today.

Which is the day I installed OS X on it.


Running a hacked up version of OS X is sort of a legal gray area for me. Technically I own a copy of OS X for Intel which came with my mac mini, which now runs linux, so it seems I ought to have an extra license to use however I see fit. The law of course, might not exactly work that way. Anyways, I got a copy of a JaS 10.4.8 Os X iso and started chugging away.

I have a bit of a disclaimer to put forth here. I’m no hackintosh guru. I’m a linux guy, and I just went into this thing gung ho with some googlefu and irc. The main places for discussion on this are on the forums at insanelymac, the wiki at or chatting with the guys at #JaS.dvd or #osx86 on The following is probably the wrong way of doing this, but it’s the way that worked for me.

After multiple failed installs, I figured out I had to burn the iso at 1.0x, as for some reason, it’s a bit finicky otherwise. I installed about 6 times, booting my system in verbose mode (hit f8 then type -v on boot). I kept getting a failure loading the kext. It took me that many tries to figure out you have to customize the install in order to get a successful boot. If you click the customize button when installing, there’s a whole “JaS” section.

I selected the semethex kernel, since it’s safe, and some other fixes, and eventually got my system to boot. From reading the HCL on the wiki, I knew the 865G integrated video wouldn’t work with Quartz Express and Core Image acceleration, so I had purchased a PCI nvidia 5500fx card with 256 megs of ram for about $50 on ebay. This motherboard didn’t have any agp or pci-e slots, or else I would have gone for something nicer. A recent development of macvidia drivers, has allowed almost all nvidia cards to work with full accelleration in osx86! It’s a kernel extension called Titan.kext, and it does the bios’ job of initializing the video cards the way they want.

Installing Titan

To install titan, I downloaded the kext from omni’s blog, and unzipped it onto my Desktop. Then I opened up a terminal and did the following:

sudo -s
mv ~/Desktop/Titan.kext /System/Library/Extensions
chmod -R 755 /System/Library/Extensions/Titan.kext
chown -R root:wheel /System/Library/Extensions/Titan.kext
rm /System/Library/Extensions.kextcache /System/Library/Extensions.mkext

Then the machine rebooted into the glory of a fully accelerated high resolution desktop. To check if graphics acceleration was working, I simply opened a terminal and typed:
system_profiler SPDisplaysDataType
which spat out:


NVIDIA GeForce FX 5500:

Chipset Model: NVIDIA GeForce FX 5500
Type: Display
Bus: PCI
VRAM (Total): 256 MB
Vendor: NVIDIA (0x10de)
Device ID: 0x0326
Revision ID: 0x00a1
Resolution: 1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz
Depth: 32-bit Color
Core Image: Supported
Main Display: Yes
Mirror: Off
Online: Yes
Quartz Extreme: Supported
Status: No display connected

(emphasis mine)
Showing Core Image and Quartz Extreme as functioning.

The key thing to get usb working on this device, was to download the USB Developer Kit for 10.4.8 and then install it. You mount the dmg and somewhere along the line you find a driver that doesn’t have “log” in it and install it. After that I could use my usb m-audio transit as well as an usb dvd+/-r.

Looking at the devices I had in my computer, I took inventory to see what I would have to get working. Network: check, video: check, usb: check, sound: check. Pretty much ready to go.

6 Responses to “The Hackintosh Project (osx86)”

  1. David Berk Says:


    I just loaded OSX86 Version 10.5.5 on a Dell Dimension 3000 like yours. I have everything working except for the Quartz Extreme functionality. Therefore I cannot do certain things like browsing albums covers in itunes.

    I am contemplating buying the PCI nvidia 5500fx card. Have you upgraded from 10.4.8. Are things still working ?

    Thank You,

    Dave Berk

  2. Daneil Brooks Says:

    would this work for 10.5.7

  3. shaun Says:

    what install did you use to load on dell dimension.. everytime i try with Iatkos i get to the leopard apple screen.. it stays there for like 3 min.. and then get the ( / ) over the apple.. and stays there. i have a p4 2.8ghz 80 gig 2 partition drive.. and dvd burner.. all ide. just curious what you all used to load it cuz i can’t get it to go

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