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Yet another MacOSX EEEPC installation

Tuesday 11 August 2009, by Phi, 3488 Views

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I bought an Asus EEEPC 900HA and tried to install MacOSX Leopard on it (one of my favorite computer hobby).


TO BE COMPLETED

Web Camera

The webcam shipped with my EEEPC 900HA doesn’t work under MacOSX (Genesys model).

Only solution was to salvage an EMPIA 0.3 mpix webcam from a EEEPC 701 and replace the original Webcam.

Other 0.3 mpix or 1.3 mpix from other laptops might fit but they are from so different shapes and sizes that’s it’s really a bet if you cannot try before buying (ex: buying spare parts from Ebay).

Original Wifi Card

Couldn’t make it work even with Kismet method (at least found some networks).

Had to replace it with a Dell Broadcom 1394 one, and void the warranty as you must dissassemble the whole laptop to do this.

I tried a Dell 9324 Wifi n card also, didn’t work under MacOSX or Windows (before I put some tape on it to avoid shortcut the 900HA would not even start).

VGA Mirror

VGA output works under MacOSX but not under mirror mode.

Don’t check System Preferences/Display/Arrangements Mirror Displays checkbox or both screens will become garbled when you plug-in an external monitor.

I did it by mistake, and the only way I could correct it is blindly uncheck back Mirror Displays which means:
- unplug external monitor and open System Preferences / Display
- plug and unplug the external monitor, display will be garbled but you’ll have a peek of the position of Arrangement tab on which you have to blindly click
- move cursor to Arrangement tab, then click with external monitor plugged in, if it’s ok display should sort of change
- click blindly at the area where the Mirror Displays checkbox should be, if you click on it the screen will restore automatically (phew!)

When you use an external display, it might not show anything because the selected resolution is too high for the GMA950 (ex: 1920x1080). Just click on Gather Windows or add Monitors on task bar and choose another resolution for the second screen.

It is possible to use an applescript to uncheck the Mirror Display, unfortunately, the Arrangement tab only appears when the VGA output is plugged - you need to run the program without seeing anything.

Low battery

The problem on my hackintosh is that it would turn off, after low battery warning and not go into sleep (not enough power left).

I used a sleep program to shut the computer to sleep at 4% of battery which gives you a maximum of 4 hours to find a power supply (battery loses around 1% per hour under sleep versus 1% per two minutes under normal usage).

Sound output

Even with VoodooHDA, I couldn’t get automatic sound output switching when I plugged headphones.

AppleScript is very powerful and with the following script you can toggle the sound output:

tell application "System Preferences"
activate
set current pane to pane id "com.apple.preference.sound"
tell application "System Events"
tell process "System Preferences"
tell window 1
tell tab group 1
click radio button "Output"
if (selected of row 1 of table 1 of scroll area 1)
then
set selected of row 2 of table 1 of scroll area 1 to true
else
set selected of row 1 of table 1 of scroll area 1 to true
end if
end tell
end tell
end tell
end tell
quit
end tell

Unfortunately, AppleScript is language dependent so you must change the paramaters to your language translation if it’s not english.

The AppleScript can be saved after as an Application (check only Run Only) and then run with a keyboard shortcut with Spark (for example Alt F6).

3 3G internet dongle

I was in London and rented a 3G internet dongle from 3 internet provider. The drivers supplied with the dongle didn’t work on my hackintosh: the device was not detected.

It was a Huawei E220 dongle so I used the drivers at their site.

How did I get the drivers on the internet when my dongle for connection on internet didn’t work ? Well, I just booted under Windows XP which I kept, the Windows XP drivers were already embedded on the dongle. To add insult to injury, I couldn’t download the drivers with Firefox as some side panel hid precisely the download links - I had to use internet explorer.

The right drivers are E220 Client Software MACHOSTB023D01SP00C03, on iso format, you have to double click on them to open the CD and install the drivers.

After that configuration was easy, just launch MobileConnect and put 3internet as Access Point Name and *99# as phone number. The driver is nice because it gives you information on total traffic (3 internet offers have a ceiling of 1 Gb or 15 Gb). Each time it connects it will ask you for administrative password, even modifying the applications rights and ownerships won’t change it.

DSDT

I had a hard time cracking DSDT on my Asus EEEPC 900HA. I couldn’t do it in all my trial installation, and had pretty much given up on it.

More specifically: the windows utility which extracts dsdt.aml from bios had lots of errors, even on the modded bios. And dsdt.aml made from the Mac side never worked, and of course none of the dsdt.aml files downloadables from the internet, mostly for other EEEPC models.

I learned so much on dsdt:
- the dsdt file is specific on the model and won’t work on another
- moreover, the dsdt file is specific on the version of the bios, a dsdt file made under 0803 bios would only work under 0803 bios, not on another version. Lastly, it is specific to your machine, as same EEEPC can have different manufacturer parts, especially true for Asus computers.

So what I did is:
- use the modded bios 0803 from OSX cores
- boot under MacOSX, use DSDT GUI Patcher to produce a dsdt.aml (I checked the new HPET option, but I think it’s not necessary)
- reboot with dsdt.aml on root partition (I use PCI V9 Chameleon 1.0.12 with DSDT patch). You should have roughly the same machine (brightness buttons work).
- reflash with non modded 0803 bios.

Now your computer should work OK under MacOSX with the added benefit of not crashing under sleep under Windows XP or Windows Seven if you have changed your Wifi card.

I provide here my dsdt.aml, but it will only work if you have a 900HA with 0803 bios built with the same parts as my 900HA ...

Zip - 789.5 kb
Pack DSDT 900HA

Syslogd running amok

On my 900HA, shortly after I fixed the DSDT, the CPU usage shot to 100%. At first I thought it was something related to ACPI, and VoodooPower.kext, but it was still 100% after going back to the old modded bios.

Somehow syslogd was running amok and console was very slow because of it, the 900HA was slow and more importantly was eating the battery very quickly.

After many trials and errors, I managed to fix it. First turn syslogd off with:

sudo launchctl unload /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.syslogd.plist

(killing it under System monitor and it will just respawn)

Then delete the asl.db and system.log which have become very large

sudo rm -R /var/log/asl.db
sudo rm -R /var/log/system.log

Optimal Distribution

Optimal distribution is iAtkos 1.0ir2 Intel only which is based on 10.5.1.

Conclusion

What works:
- video with Quartz Extreme and Core Image and brightness shortcut control
- ethernet
- sleep
- full keyboard including foreign keylayout
- trackpad with multitouch
- USB
- wifi with installation of a new Broadcom Wifi card (Dell 1394)
- camera with installation of a new EMPIA camera (from EEE PC 701)
- power button
- SDHC card reader
- extremely stable (never has a kernel panic)

What doesn’t work:
- disabling of touchpad when typing (disabling click only would be a huge improvement)*
- deep sleep (except under 10.5.6)*
- 10.5.6 or later with sufficient stability (prevents using Safari 4 or iLife 09)
- third button mouse configuration for right click instead of second button
- automatic switch of audio when headphones are plugged
- VGA mirror mode

I only really miss the two first *.

TO BE COMPLETED

Useful links

Macosxhints thread on Syslogd

AppleScript Audio Output Switcher from Oreilly


1 Message

  • Not sure if you’re still interested, but I’m typing this on a 900ha that I just updated with the 10.6.4 update released today.

    I used Meklort’s netbook installer starting with the retail 10.6.0 imstaller on one machine and running it pointing to the drive after removing it from the 900ha and attaching it to a usb enclosure. Netbookinstaller has been great, because once it’s on there you can run the incremental updates and it applies the appropriate patches to the kernal and kexts even though technically the 900ha is not supported by the app.

    Even crazier is it’s actually installed on an MBR based disk by tweaking the install package with the one from kexts.com. This drive started as a clone of my original smaller XP MCE 2005, Windows 7 RC, and iDeneb 10.5.5. Now it’s got XP MCE (just for old times sake) Windows 7 has been upgraded to RTM Ultimate, 10.5.5 partition is now 10.6.4, and I also just installed Ubuntu 10.04 as well to try that out.

    The hardware upgrades I’ve done to the 900ha is swapped out the drive with a 500gb Seagate momentus (same one that came with the enclosure I used for the osx install), 2gb or ram, and a 1395 wireless card.

    Hope it helps somebody to know that it’s definitely possible and pretty much everything works out of the box except sound and the volume fn keys. The volume itself is an easy fix using the latest Voodoo HDA kext dropped in the Extra/AdditionalExtensions folder and then running the NetbookInstaller update extensions app in the extras folder.

    Happy hackintoshing ;)

    repondre message

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