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After my kernel panic with NetbookInstaller, I pretty much gave up trying to install OS X on my HP Mini 110. I let the netbook sit idle for at least a week. Finally I found some spare time and motivation for this sad project, and I decided to install Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR). This is a lite Linux distro which is supposed to work great on most netbooks with an Atom processor.
The official Ubuntu download page was so badly made that when I tried to download the 1GB (!) "lite" install, the bytes started spilling down my web page as text. This is 2009, not 1999. Really sad. So I managed to use web-page trickery to get the download link and even download it to a file.
The installation image is a file of type ".img". My Mac really didn't know what to do with it. It would open the image as a virtual volume, but not copy it to my SDHC card. I had to (eventually) go to the Darwin/Linux command line and pretty much force it to copy the image to the card. I got several "file name too long" errors using normal volume copying methods. The problem file name was definitely not too long, but it did have a very weird suffix which used characters I have never seen before.
So I finally made what should have been a bootable SDHC card with the UNR installation files on it. And it wouldn't boot.
I tried a couple of different formats for the SDHC card, no dice. You can imagine my frustration.
So I decided I would try to repair the 640x480 resolution Mac OS 10.5.5 which was currently and badly installed on my HP Mini 110. I booted up without the SDHC card to see where I was with Mac OS, and Lo and Behold! It booted up with no issues into the correct resolution (1024 x 576)! I really have no explanation for this. I can't remember adding any kernel extensions after my initial failures, but maybe I did? I really don't know. The GMA950 graphics extension doesn't seem to be present, which is weird because that is my graphics chip for this computer.
Anyway, I am now consistently and smoothly booting into Mac OS 10.5.5. The latest version is 6.1, and 10.5.8 is the final release of the previous version. So I still have some upgrades to do.
My microphone is not working, even though it looks like it should. My ethernet jack is not working. Everything else is working at some level. My speakers work but I don't have any way to control the volume that I can find. Likewise with my screen brightness.
I think there are solutions to these problems, but I will have to go carefully.
Supposedly I can upgrade right to 10.5.8 using a standard Apple upgrade package (which I already downloaded). Before I do that, I want to make sure I copy this version of my OS onto the bootable SDHC card so I can get back to this if the upgrade fails/train wrecks/etc.
I posted this from my HP Mini 110! I'm running Mac OS 10.5.5 and it's really a pleasure. It should only get better from here.
I just stuck the following line in my cron.d directory.
What this does is to restart the Linux driver for my Atheros PCI card every night. I'm trying this because the driver seems only able to stay up for about 36 hours. This is my latest and most desperate attempt to date to actually have this card act as a working Linux AP…
The alternative guide which I followed most recently has ended in a kernel panic. It has something to do with a power-management kernel extension.
I previously wrote that I would give up and go to Ubuntu if anything went wrong. Now that I have taken a short vacation from this project, I am reconsidering. I have three choices.
1) EASIEST: Install Ubuntu Netbook Remix. 2) HARDER: Repair the Mac OS X 10.5.5 which is now installed on my HP Mini 110. It needs proper screen resolution. 3) HARDEST: Repair the Mac OS X 10.5.6 which is now installed on my SDHC card.
All of these are unsavory for different reasons. I don't want to give up on OS X when I might be close to a working installation. I also don't want to waste even more time if I am not close.
Bart set me up with a new SDHC card, and I returned to the fray.
My guide was not working so well. The guide predicted results which did not occur. I studied further, did more digging, and found that the guide was actually for an HP Mini 1000, not an HP Mini 110. Some dunderhead had plagiarized the guide, and then another dunderhead rewrote it very slightly.
A third dunderhead posted it elsewhere. That's a lot of people posting a guide which doesn't work - and never should have. It's for a different computer model than the one they labelled it with.
I expressed my displeasure on the message board for one of the guides, and then moved on to Plan G. This is a different approach to installing OS X on the HP Mini 110. It starts with a retail OS X DVD.
If this method fails, I will install Ubuntu Netbook Remix. If it succeeds, I will link the guide.
More as I move sideways...
Everything was going swimmingly. I was booting OS X from my HP MIni's SSD. True, the screen was displaying at 640 x 480 resolution, and there was no sound. But it was working.
The next step was to install some kernel extensions to bring in the needed video, wifi, and audio functionality. Apparently I added one that was a problem, because the Mini suddenly stopped booting.
No problem! I could simply start the process over, reinstalling OS X from my 16GB SDHC card. Except that the card suddenly stopped working. Note to the world: Do not buy A-Data products. They are cheap, falsely advertised, and wholly unreliable.
I've since tried reformatting the card and I get a "read/write" error. It's toast after maybe one week and perhaps 5 major writes. Pure trash.
Today I'm off to Wal-Mart to get a working Sandisk replacement. With any luck, I will be able to report complete success with installing Leopard on my HP MIni in a few days.
After that, I'll put up a comprehensive guide, complete with links and warnings.
I loaded up my SDHC card with OS X 10.5.8, the iDeneb version which is all set up to run on computers with BIOS instead of EFI. Wouldn't even boot up, much less install.
Now I am going to try iDeneb v1.3, which is widely noted to work on the HP Mini 110. I will then have OS X 10.5.5 (i.e. OLD) working. Then I can download the iDeneb Combo Updater, which will upgrade to 10.5.7. Then I can grub around with several fiddly patches to upgrade to 10.5.8.
This is the method I was hoping desperately to avoid.
I tried to install a very late version of Mac OS X, version 10.6.0. I was hopeful that this would be easy. It wasn't. The guide I followed was for the HP Mini 1000, and apparently it does not apply to my HP Mini 110. I was able to fill the SDHC card with the installer DVD image, and run the patching program on the image, but it causes a kernel panic in the HP Mini when it tries to boot from the (patched) SDHC card. I can't find anything online which even points at a possible cause or solution.
Now I'm going to try version 10.5.8, but I have some doubts about this. More as I explore...
Before I selected this particular netbook, I did quite a bit of online research about installing Mac OS X. i eventually bookmarked a beautiful and comprehensive step-by-step guide which seemed foolproof.
This wiki was accompanied by two ten-minute Youtube videos which demonstrated the installation process. They were very well-produced and helpful.
Naturally, when I started my Mac OS X installation yesterday, I went straight to the bookmarked wiki guide... which no longer existed. In the 10 days since I last viewed it, the entire thing has been taken down. I rushed over to the YouTube videos, which have also disappeared.
I could only assume that the guide and videos were causing problems to users, so I am grateful. But I was also at sea. I was planning on using that guide and those videos for my new HP Mini!
I found what appears to be the second-best step-by-step guide. I am working my way through this guide now. It looks like everything will be relatively painless and logical. Just to make sure, I downloaded the HTML for this second guide. Even if it disappears from netspace, I will retain the secrets.
I decided to install the latest OS X version, which is 10.6 and called "Snow Leopard". One reason is that Apple has finally removed all the legacy code for the PowerPC processors in their older models. This should make my installation smaller and cleaner. The other reason is that I don't want to go through this process twice. I want to start with the latest major version and and not have to repeat this installation in six months or a year.
More as things develop...
For my birthday this year, I was presented, at my own request, with an HP Mini Mii 110 netbook. The basic specs are:
• 1024 x 576 screen
The cost for this was machine was $349, including shipping. My hot blonde friend bought me a 2G RAM module to replace (not augment) the 1GB I paid for. It ran about $30 at newegg.com. My brother (who is the "B" in "FOB") bought me a 16GB SDHC card, which doubled my storage to 32GB of solid-state goodness.
The computer is 10,25 x 6.76 x 1.00 inches in size. this is not quite as small as I would have preferred, but it nicely accommodates the freaking huge keyboard, which is a delight a pleasure to use, despite very limited key travel.
I upgraded to the N280 Atom because it handles streaming video better than the N270. I could have added a very serious GPU and a 1280 x 726 screen. It was hard to see the benefit of getting great video on a 10" diagonal, and the price would not have been competitive with a full-size laptop.
The 5+ hours of battery life come at the expense of a an odd battery protrusion at the back, bottom edge. This serves as a kind of tilt-stand, elevating the back of the keyboard for more comfortable typing. It also makes it easy to carry the netbook, because it's perpendicular to the pull of gravity when the netbook is parallel to the pull of gravity.
I could have saved money by purchasing the standard three-cell battery, but that only provides 2+ hours of computing time. This half-size battery doesn't protrude at all. That would make it a lot more convenient for sticking in backpacks and book bags.
HP ships the computer with their own, stripped-down version of Linux. To be fair, there is quite a bit of utility in the included software. But the whole thing feels like a PDA on steroids (can I still type "PDA" in 2009?). The wireless connection is solid when established, but my Mac Mini with Airport is not-so-easily configured as a wireless router. It can be done, just not very intuitively.
Today's project is to install Macintosh OS X on the computer. There are step-by-step online guides, and even YouTube videos, which will show me how to do this. The performance reports are mostly favorable. If there are any significant problems, I will install Ubuntu Netbook Remix.
More as I proceed...
I switched my home desktop from KDE to Gnome today. I guess I should have done it many months ago, but it took me this long to reach the necessary pain threshold. I had been a KDE user for many years. (Prior to that I was a twm user, which should give you some idea.) Thus, I had set up a bit of infrastructure around KDE and gotten used to working with it. This switch was a big deal to me, and not in a good way…