MacOS - the adventure continues

Its been an interesting couple of days.  As previously reported, I received my Mac OS X Lion thumb drive.  Unfortunately, it appears that one has to start with a Snow Leopard DVD install.  Did that.

First thing I wanted to try was getting Snow Leopard to run in a Microsoft Virtual PC.  That was fun, but unsuccessful.  I could get Iboot to load, and the Snow Leopard DVD would start to boot, but it rapidly crashed.

Going back to the Hackintosh pages (I rather like: http://lifehacker.com/321913/build-a-hackintosh-mac-for-under-800 ) it seemed like I could set myself up to dual boot.  I had plenty of disk space, so shrunk my Windows C drive by 128GB and started down the path.  This page http://tonymacx86.blogspot.com/2010/04/iboot-multibeast-install-mac-os-x-on.html seems to be the definitive reference.

Apparently the Mac install disk is pretty picky, and Apple of course does not support using just any old PC, but still, it seemed doable.  I yanked out half my memory (4GB max for Iboot), and started the process.  Iboot came up fine, but died when I selected it from the GUI.  Good reason:  your suppose to boot from the Iboot CD, then remove it, install the Mac installation disk, and hit F5.  Did that (after finding that little hint on page 3 of some post) and the Mac installation started!  Alas, it would only run for a few minutes before the screen went blank and the machine hung up.  Oddly, I would see a bit more DVD activity a few minutes after it went blank, but it never recovered.

Spent a morning learning about boot flags like “-v -x”, but never managed to get much past Mac OS loading its ram drives and network.  I did, however, find a reference to running Mac OS under VirtualBox.  There are several, but I’m currently comparing and contrasting http://lifehacker.com/5583650/run-mac-os-x-in-virtualbox-on-windows with others I have found.

VirtualBox is free.  Originally from Sun Microsystems and now offered free from Oracle.  It appears MUCH more advanced than Microsoft Virtual PC and in fact recognizes Mac OS and pre-configures a VM to be compatible.  Still playing with this, but I have high hopes.

Update:  Making good progress.  Going the IBoot route in a VirtualBox environment seems to be pretty clean.  Note you will need to register on TonyMacs site before that IBoot link works.  Its just a username/password thing, no commitment.  Using Tony’s Multibeast toolkit eliminates the need to boot from Iboot after the install, which is a good thing, since Iboot doesn’t support Lion yet (or so I’m told).  Anyhow, following the instruction at http://www.sysprobs.com/iboot-loader-virtualbox-install-snow-leopard (which also has links back to Tony’s site).  Make sure you continue reading after you get Snow Leopard to boot, there are more steps!

Three side notes: 1) If you appear to have lost your mouse control when running VirtualBox, just tap the RIGHT Ctrl key – it should appear.  2) If you happen to be playing with an old Windows XP license under VirtualBox, make sure you install the Guest Additions under the VirtualBox Devices tab for Windows XP.  Do it as soon as Windows XP finishes loading.  It will save you a LOT of mouse problems.  Mind you, this is a great use for an otherwise obsolete license. 3) If after Iboot sees your install disk, the install hangs, try typing “-x” before you select the install disk.  That will cause the boot to proceed in “safe mode”, which seems to often help.

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