Acer Aspire One & Snow Leopard problems

On Friday I used the .dmg from Apple to upgrade my Mac Os X to 10.6.3.   This left me with a none booting computer.  To be honest, I was aware that this would happen (probably), since Intel Atom support for Mac OS X is broken in the upgrades.  So I hunted around for the patched kernel on the web. I used the USB drive that has the installation disc on it to boot into the Mac OS installer.  In the utilities menu there is a Terminal, and I could use this to copy the new patched ‘mach_kernel’ (10.3.0) over the top of the Apple kernel 10.6.3 in /Volumes/<volumename>/.

Great – reboot and we were back to normal.

Second thing I tried to do was patch my video drivers so that I could have something other than 800×600 resolution screen.  I did this on the original 10.6.0 Snow Leopard but the same patch doesn’t work with the new OS.  I managed to cause my machine to freeze up by using the ‘gma_patch’ in ‘aa1.zip’ .  Again, I used the Terminal via my Installation USB to delete the two kext files that begin ‘ea27’ from /Volumes/<volumename>/System/Library/Extensions.

rm -r /Volumes/<volumename>/System/Library/Extensions/27aeAppleIntelIntegratedFramebuffer.kext
rm -r /Volumes/<volumename>/System/Library/Extensions/27aeAppleIntelGMA950.kext
I still need to work out how to get the patch to fix my screen resolution but that’ll come.
Sleep isn’t fixed but it is disabled with this kernel, it appears. I’ve not tried the SD card slots but
I guess they don’t work, nor the internal microphone but everything else appears to work.

UPDATE: just spotted this sleep enabler but not had chance to try it out.

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Snow Leopard Pt 3

So, here I am writing this from my Acer Aspire Laptop using Safari on Mac OS 10.6. The wireless doesn’t work but I’ve hooked the netbook up to my ethernet.

The installation took roughly 1h 30m from my slow USB and then failed because it couldn’t set the Startup Disc. I just restarted and used Chameleon on the USB to startup the HD and that worked. I followed the instructions for making the netbook boot without the USB and this is working fine.

Too late to play now but I will continue tomorrow and also order a replacement wifi card.

All in all; 8.15pm to 12.30am to install 1GB RAM, reformat my hard drive, install Mac OS X and fixup for my acer; while reading documents, watching David Cameron take over at No.10 and then watching comedy on Dave for a bit.

UPDATE: also installed a DW1390 wireless network card (£9.99 delivered from eBay) to replace the standard Acer Aspire One card.  Works better than trying to find a dodgy software solution.

Acer Aspire One memory upgrade and Snow Leopard pt 2.

The memory upgrade was actually simple. Scary but simple. Basically remove all the screws, disconnect a couple of ribbon cables. Slide out the mother board, insert RAM, put it all together again and job done. I had all the screwdrivers I needed and a bit of plasticine rest my screws on!

The harder task was (still is) installing the OS. It hasn’t finished yet so I’m writing this while waiting. Booting Snow Leopard from my USB drive took about 4 minutes, then I had to completely reformat my hard drive (I was hoping to keep some old partitions) so that it could use a GUID partition scheme. I set it up with 4 partitions for future expansion, one MacHD, one Windows, one Linux and one Linux Swap. The last three were all MS-DOS formatted but it won’t matter in the long run.

Then I clicked on install and I’m still waiting. It has said 29 minutes remaining for just over an hour now. It is copying stuff because I can watch the log messages but I think the USB drive is really, ‘really’, slow. It has gone down to 18 minutes in the last 10 minutes or so.

While reading up on the installation, I’ve realised my Acer Aspire One doesn’t have a compatible WiFi card. There appears to be 2 options. Firstly, replace the wi-fi card with a Broadcom Mini PCI-E card (BCM4311KFBG) used in Dell DW1390. This isn’t too hard since I now know how the innards of the machine are organised. Second, install KisMac which is normally for discovering wifi access (sniffing) but it has drivers for the Athelon WiFi card.  Other options include rebranding the Athelon card to think it is an Apple card but these are getting much riskier options.

Mac OS X (that’s 10) on the Acer Aspire One

Mac OS X Snow Leopard Box

I’m going to try out Mac OS X (The world’s most advanced OS) on my Acer Aspire One (A150). I’ve been trying to get hold of a DVD with the OS for a few weeks but now I have it. Over the weekend I followed these steps to make a USB stick. This took about an hour to create the image and then transfer that image to the USB. It took about 5-10 minutes to put Chameleon onto it along with the other files from aa1.zip

After inserting the USB I rediscovered that my Acer only has 512Mb RAM. Mac OS X requires 1Gb minimum.

So, I’ve got some more memory today and that will be installed tonight and I’ll try again.  Installing memory to an Acer Aspire One is not trivial unfortunately.

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