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Hackintosh/Osx86: How to Install Snow Leopard 10.6.8 on Dell XPS M1330

Hackintosh/Osx86: How to Install Snow Leopard 10.6.8 on Dell XPS M1330

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// August 15th, 2011 // Posted in Hackintosh/Osx86, OS X // Tagged as


My "About This Mac"About This Mac

If you are looking for tutorial on how to install Lion instead of Snow Leopard then you should read my other journal.

I’ve been using a dual boot configuration between Mac OS X Snow Leopard (vanilla kernel) and Linux Mint 9 KDE for more than a year, and always want to write down and share the steps that I’ve taken to successfully install OS X 10.6 on my Dell XPS M1330 but I never got the time. As time goes by I forgot all the details and steps. Few weeks ago I tried to update my OS X to 10.6.8 which completely nukes the OS. As I reinstalled and started from scratch again, this time around I make sure that I’ve written down all the steps as I’m going to share it here. This journal will be focusing on how to install Mac OS X Snow Leopard only and will not talk about multi boot configuration.

The Machine

My old Dell XPS M1330 still has more than adequate processing power to do programming and compiling. I can even do Rigging and Modeling just fine in Maya.

The specs are:
– Intel Core 2 Duo T7250 2.0GHz, 800MHz FSB, 2MB L2 cache
– NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS 128MB GDDR3
– 4GB (2 x 2GB) SDRAM DDR2 667MHz
– Broadcom NetLink BCM5906M Ethernet 10/100 Mbps
– Intel PRO/Wireless 4965 AGN
– Intel 82801H ICH8 onboard HD Audio
– 200GB SATA 7200 RPM HDD
– 13.3 TFT active matrix, 1280 x 800 (WXGA)
– Ricoh Memory Card Reader
– Integrated DVD±RW
– 6-cell Lithium Ion Battery

What You Can Expect

Things That Should Works:
– NVIDIA GPU in the Accelerated mode
– Intel onboard Audio
– Built-in Broadcom Ethernet
– Trackpad
– Bluetooth
– Webcam
– Restart

Things That Will Not Work:
– Shutdown
– Intel 4965 AGN Wifi

Things That I Haven’t Tested:
– HDMI (will not work according to this post by immo.)
– Card Reader (according to the same post it works unreliably using VoodooSDHC.kext)

One thing I want to point out is the shutdown issue. It never works in XPS M1330. Previously I had MacOS X 10.5 Leopard Kalyway-build successfully installed on my machine. Back then if I have the 3D acceleration active using an Nvidia kext inject the machine won’t shutdown properly. The issue still remains with Snow Leopard using the vanilla kernel. I have to press the power button long enough which will switch off the machine, then after a moment switch it back. There’s no workaround with this. According to some posts in many hackintosh forums this is caused by the USB frequency in XPS M1330.

About The Installation

This journal is about installing Snow Leopard using vanilla kernel on XPS M1330. Since it can run vanilla build just fine I would suggest you use this method instead of using custom hack builds like iATKOS, iDeneb, Kaliway, etc. My Snow Leopard DVD is version 10.6.3. We will start by that version, and later on will update the installed OS X to 10.6.8 (or latest).

When I revisited the install method by doing a lot of research I’ve found out that many things has change regarding the kexts and DSDT for XPS M1330. What I will show you here is the latest method based on what people put on the Internet and has been tested and confirmed to be working fine. I’m not claiming that I invented these methods nor I wrote these custom kexts and DSDT. Everything is based on what people put on forums.

What You Need

  • An original Snow Leopard DVD. Mine is version 10.6.3 but I guess 10.6.0 will do just fine.
  • Superhai’s boot CD for Snow Leopard. The file can be downloaded from rapidshare. The original Superhai’s page is here. Burn the ISO to a disc.
  • combo update. I would suggest you download it as an offline update instead of using the live online update so you can reapply it if you have to reinstall everything again.
  • fakesmc.kext, slice’s version.
  • VoodooHDA.kext for Snow Leopard.
  • VoodooSDHC.kext, you might have to register to the forum to see the attachments.
  • VoodooBattery.kext, from the Superhai’s boot CD.
  • BCM5722D.kext by adlan, for the Broadcom Ethernet.
  • VoodooPS2Controller.kext by Andy Vandijck patched by Brett Whinnen
  • DSDT.aml and smbios.plist, from the post by immo that I mentioned earlier.
  • MultiBeast 3.x.x for Snow Leopard from tonymacx86. We’re going to use it to install the bootloader.
  • Kext Utility, for fixing kext caches and repair permissions.

Before we move on it would be a great idea to save those downloaded kexts and the rest of the files into a usb stick so we can quickly applying them after the main OS installation.

The Installation

The whole idea of using a custom boot CD is to setup the necessary environment for the OS X installer. It fools the installer to make it think that it runs on a Mac hardware. To boot the Superhai boot CD on XPS M1330 during the Dell logo display you just have to press the F12 key and later on select the “CD/DVD/CD-RW Drive” option from the menu. Booting the CD will shows you the Chameleon boot menu. Do not select anything. While you still in that menu, eject the Superhai CD and replace it with the original Snow Leopard DVD. Wait for a moment, and the Chameleon should picks up the DVD and display it in the menu as an option. If not then try to refresh the menu with F5.

Snow Leopard Install - Select Language01. Select Language
Snow Leopard Install - Preparing02. Preparing
Snow Leopard Install - Utilities Menu03. Utilities Menu

Proceed with the usual Snow Leopard installation. Select your installation language (image 01) then click the “next arrow”. It will load the installer and says “Preparing Installation …” (image 02). After a short while you’ll be in the “Install Mac OS X” stage (image 09). We need to partition the hard drive to install the OS. You can skip these steps and press the “Continue” button if you already have it formatted. If not then go to the “Utilities” menu and select “Disk Utilities …” (image 03) which will open the OS X Disk Utility (image 04).

Partitioning and Formatting

Snow Leopard Install - Disk Utility04. Disk Utility
Snow Leopard Install - Partition Edit05. Partition Edit
Snow Leopard Install - GUID06. GUID
Snow Leopard Install - Partitioning07. Partitioning
Snow Leopard Install - Partition Done08. Partition Done

We need to format your hard disk using the GUID partition table and since we’re not dual booting then the whole space will be used for OS X. In the Disk Utility on the left column select the hard drive. On the right side select the “Partition” tab. In the “Volume Scheme” pull-down menu choose the “1 Partition” option. Under the “Volume Information” area fill-in the “Name” field. This is the partition name. In my case I just put “Snow”. In the “Format” field I chose the “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” option. Leave the “Size” field be as we’re going to use the whole space. Take a look at image 05 as a reference. Before you go any further we need to set the partition table type as GUID. Click the “Options …” button and make sure you choose the “GUID Partition Table” (image 06). Click “OK” to change the partition table type, then in the Disk Utility click the “Apply” button and it starts formatting the hard drive (image 07). Wait for a moment then after it’s done (image 08) close the Disk Utility. We’re back at the “Install Mac OS X” stage (image 09).

Installing OS X Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard Install - Continue09. Install OS X
Snow Leopard Install - EULA10. EULA
Snow Leopard Install - Select Partition11. Choose Partition

Click the “Continue” button and it will spawn the EULA. You have to click the “Agree” button to move forward (image 10). Select the partition that you wish to install OS X into (image 11). You can click the “Customize” button if you want to remove some stuff that you think unnecessary like language components and all. After you’re done customizing it click the “Install” button to install the OS. This time it’s going to take sometime to finish.

After it’s done you need to reboot the machine. If it won’t reboot then simply press the power button long enough to switch off the machine, wait for a moment, then switch it on again. Later on we will apply custom kext that will make reboot works (but shutdown remains an issue).

In this stage if you boot directly from the hard disk it will throws an Error about bootloader. The boot error happened because we haven’t install a bootloader. In our case the bootloader is necessary to boot the OS and to load custom kexts. Since the CD already has a bootloader along with the required custom kexts you can use it to load the newly installed OS X, and that’s what we’re going to do.

Boot from the CD again using F12. This time you should see a new option in the menu which is the newly installed OS X. The display name depends on the name of your OS X partition. Boot into it as we are going to install the Chameleon/Chimera bootloader from there.

Since this is the first boot the OS will shows you the “Welcome” sign with many different languages and after that it will ask you to create a user account. Go through all those steps and you’ll be landed at the Snow Leopard desktop. Congratulations you just went through the first step!

Updating The OS

Remember the USB stick that contains our kexts and some extra files? it’s time to plug it back and extract those stuff to the desktop. Make sure these following stuffs are in your desktop:
– MultiBeast 3.x.
– DSDT.aml and smbios.plist.
– FakeSMC.kext.
– VoodooSDHC.kext.
– VoodooPS2Controller.kext.
– VoodooBattery.kext (from superhai’s boot CD).
– VoodooHDA.kext.
– BCM5722D.kext.

Take a look at image 14 as reference. Also mount the MacOSXUpdCombo10.6.8.dmg because we’re going to update the OS first before applying custom kexts.

Snow Leopard Offline Updating12. Updating 10.6
Snow Leopard Update Restart13. Updated – Restart
DO NOT restart14. DO NOT restart

Let’s update the OS to the latest and as of this writing it’s 10.6.8. Run the installer package and wait (image 12) until it’s done and it will says that you need to restart the machine (image 13). DO NOT do it yet. We’re going to patch the system to make it works with our machine. Take a look at image 14 and how I prepared all the kexts and the MultiBeast on my desktop.

Installing Bootloader & Kexts

Snow Leopard Updater Crashed15. Updater Crashed
MultiBeat 3 UserDSDT16. MultiBeast UserDSDT

We’re going to use MultiBeast to install the bootloader. MultiBeast installs Chimera as a bootloader which is a branched development trunk of Chameleon 2.0 RC5. Make sure that the file DSDT.aml is already on your desktop and launch MultiBeast. During this time sometimes the updater is crashed (image 15). That’s okay, just ignore it. On MultiBeast click “Continue”, then “Continue”, then “Continue” then Agree to the license and you’ll see options for MultiBeast. Select the “UserDSDT install” ONLY (image 16) then click “Continue” and choose your Snow Leopard partition then click “Install”. After you’re done close the MultiBeast window.

/Extra/Extensions17. /Extra/Extensions
/System/Library/Extensions18. /System/Library/Extensions
/Extra19. /Extra

Let’s customize the kexts now. On your Snow Leopard partition go to the “/Extra/Extensions/” folder. Delete everything in there because none of them will work properly with XPS M1330 especially the NullCPUPowerManagement.kext. Leave the finder window open and drag & drop these following kexts from your desktop into it:
– FakeSMC.kext
– VoodooBattery.kext
– VoodooPS2Controller.kext
– VoodooSDHC.kext

Take a look at image 17 to give you an idea. During this process the OS might ask for your password for writing into the folder. Also go to the “/System/Library/Extensions/” and copy these two kexts from your desktop into it:
– VoodooHDA.kext
– BCM5722D.kext

VoodooHDA is not compatible with the stock AppleHDA hence we need to get rid of it. Find AppleHDA.kext in that folder and delete it. Take a look at image 18. After you’re done go to the “/Extra/” folder and drag & drop smbios.plist from your desktop into it (image 19). We are going to customize some boot parameters as the final step.

Customizing the Bootloader

smbios.plist20. smbios.plist
org.Chameleon.Boot.plist21. org.Chameleon.Boot.plist
Kext Utility22. Kext Utility

Let’s make some changes to the smbios.plist. You need to know your CPU clock speed as well as the Front-side Bus. The CPU speed is easy to find out. Simply go to your BIOS and the information is in there. As for the FSB with Dell XPS M1330 you can customize the CPU option during the purchase but all options are using the same CPU family which is Intel Core 2 Duo with 200 MHz Front-Side Bus. Let’s put those information into smbios.plist. From your Terminal type:

pietra@unix$ sudo nano /Extra/smbios.plist

Put your CPU MHz speed in the “SMmaximalclock” and your FSB speed in the “SMexternalclock”. Take a look at image 20 to give you more idea. Save the changes by pressing Ctrl-O then exit by pressing Ctrl-X.

For the NVIDIA acceleration you no longer have to use a kext inject. You can simply enable them from the org.Chameleon.Boot.plist. Let’s modify the file. From your Terminal app type:

pietra@unix$ sudo nano /Extra/org.Chameleon.Boot.plist

Find the <key> “Kernel Flags” and delete whatever in the <string> value. Put “DropSSDT=y” in there. Also make sure that it has the “GraphicsEnabler” <key> with the <string> value “Yes”. Take a look at image 21 for reference. Press Ctrl-O to save and Ctrl-X to exit. Since we’ve made some modifications into the “/Extra/Extensions/” and the “/System/Library/Extensions/” then we need to run the Kext Utility for fixing permissions on those folders and rebuilding the kext cache (image 22). That’s all and we’re done! You can restart your machine now.

Additional Extra Stuff

These stuff are not really required for your machine but might be nice to have them.

  • NVClockX by slice. A FakeSMC plugin for monitoring NVIDIA graphics hardware.
  • IntelCPUMonitor also by slice. Another FakeSMC plugin for monitoring Intel CPU.


Installing a hackintosh is always been a long and tedious process but a rewarding one. Congratulations for those of you who use this journal as a guide and made it. I hope you enjoy your new shiny Snow Leopard hackintosh! For those who not feel free to ask me your questions.

Please share this journal with others:

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15 Responses to “Hackintosh/Osx86: How to Install Snow Leopard 10.6.8 on Dell XPS M1330”

  1. Fernando says:


    I’ve a XPS M1330 and I’m trying to install Lion with Unibeast but it’s not impossible,…i can’t :(

    Did you install Lion OS X in your Laptop??. Can you help me?


    • pietra says:


      Yes i’m using Lion. Tutorial on how to install Lion is coming. It’s still in the draft stage. Basically you need to use unibeast + Lion downloaded from app store + custom smbios.plist. The rest of kexts are basically the same as Snow.

      Update: The tutorial for installing Lion has been published.

  2. B.I. says:

    Thank you for such a great guide! I’m having an issue where after I successfully install the SL OS it automatically reboots so I can’t install the update or custom kexts. When I try to reboot into the hard drive using the boot cd my screen goes black after the silver apple boot screen. Do you have any suggestions how I can fix this? I really appreciate it, thanks!!

  3. Ben says:

    Hi Pietra,

    great job on the guide here. I was trying to use your guide for my XPS M1530, the installer boots up fine. But when i want to start installing i get the message: OSX cannot be installed on this mashine. Do in need to use a special superhai cd for my 1530?


    • pietra says:

      Yes, you need to boot using superhai boot cd first before booting the snow leopard dvd.

      • Ben says:

        Hi Pietra,

        thanks for the reply. I used the superhai cd, as you wrote in your guide. It boots into chameleon, than i switch the cds and boot the Snow Leopard install DVD. It works like a charm, but when it comes to installing it still says cannot be installed on this maschine. I am using windows 7, could this be the issue? I had a 10.5.8 osx up and running, multiboot with windows 7. But my maschine crashed so i set up the system again, starting with the windows 7 installation. Do i need to start with installing snow leopard and after that windows 7?

        Thanks for your help!

  4. lulighttec says:

    Hi guys, I tried installing the 10.6.8 combo update on my snow leopard and I get a kernel panic now; I have to boot in safe mode to get to the desktop. I took a picture of it, and was hoping someone could help me interpret it. Any takers? Also, can’t get the Bluetooth working. Finally, this is a longshot, but if anyone knows how to get the Intel Wifi 5100/5300 working, that would be great. Here’s a link to the screenshot:

  5. lulighttec says:

    ok so that didn’t work very well….. let’s try again.


  6. Aryan says:

    Is it possible to do it with a USB. MY CD drive doesn’t work and incase I use the lion guide my OS X DVD will go waste.

    • Jabbas says:

      Yes, it works with USB created from Snow Leopard image on Mac, just connect USB, insert CD and you will have an option in Chameleon.

  7. stefan says:

    Hi guys,

    I installed Snow Leopard on my XPS M1330 and it works smooth. Thanks for the documentation.
    I am wondering if I could update my system to Mountain Lion by just downloading ML from the Appstore and select update.
    Anyone tried this out?

  8. Cybersnake says:

    I am trying to use this as a guide for getting my hackintosh to work but it seems most of the links are broken. I only have Snow Leopard to install and I was going to upgrade after getting everything working. Is there a way to update the post so the links are not broken?

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