If you’re interested in running Mac OS X, but you don’t want to pay ridiculous prices for a normal Mac, then a Hackintosh just might be for you. Right now, the newest iteration of OS X is 10.8, known as Mountain Lion. In this guide, we’ll show you how to install Mountain Lion on your PC with the newly released Hackintosh Mountain Lion Installer.
- Hackintosh Mountain Lion Installer works with regular DVD:. Hackintosh Mountain Lion Installer fits into a 4.7GB DVD.
- Hackintosh Lion Installer is distributed as an “ISO” file. The ISO format is a standard DVD image format that works on just about everything.
- Hackintosh Lion Installer supports AMD and Intel Atom. Normally, computers that use AMD or Intel Atom processors are unsupported by Mac OS X. However, Hackintosh Lion Installer includes experimental patched kernels that may allow Mac OS X to work with these processors regardless.
Interested? Here are the Requirements
- An existing Windows computer/Mac/Hackintosh: This is the computer where you will download and set up Mountain Lion Installer. Either Windows or Mac OS X will work. Make sure your computer has a DVD/Bluray burner (just about every DVD/Bluray drive nowadays can act as a burner, too).
- A Hackintosh-compatible computer with an empty hard drive: This is the computer where you will install OS X Mountain Lion. It can be the same computer as the one mentioned in the previous point. If your computer already has Mac OS X Lion installed, Mountain Lion will just update Lion to Mountain Lion normally, without deleting any of your apps or files.
However, not every computer will work with Mac OS X. Be sure to read the Hackintosh compatibility guide very carefully, to check whether or not your computer qualifies. Also, Mac OS X needs its own hard drive– a minimum of 10 GB of space is required, but at least 50 GB of space is recommended. As far as we know, Mountain Lion Installer will not work on a hard drive where Windows is already installed.
- Hackintosh Mountain Lion Installer: is a distribution of OS X Mountain Lion that has been modified to work with PCs. You will need to use a BitTorrent client to download the file, which is a little less than 5 GB in size.
- A Blank DVD:In this guide, you will write Mountain Lion Installer onto a DVD, and boot your computer from DVD to install Mac OS X. Any empty DVD will work.
Create your Bootable Mountain Lion DVD
Burn ISO onto a DVD disc. You will be booting your Hackintosh from this Mountain Lion Installer DVD, in order to install OS X Mountain Lion. On Mac OS X, burning capabilities are built-in to the operating system– just insert an empty DVD into your DVD/Bluray drive, right-click on the downloaded ISO file, and burn it.
However, if you’re using Windows, you will need to use a program such as ImgBurn. While Windows 7 and 8 include built-in DVD burning software, ImgBurn tends to be far more reliable than built-in software.
Depending on the speed of your DVD burner, this can take up to few hours. Wait until the DVD has been successfully burned, and then proceed to the next step.
Set up the parts of your PC
- Unplug all USB-connected devices from your computer before you begin the setup (except your keyboard and mouse). A faulty external USB hard drive can cause your Hackintosh bootloader to give you EBIOS errors on startup.
- Open up your computer and unplug any extra internal hard drives that your computer has, besides the hard drive that you’re installing OS X on. (Just unplug the hard drive SATA cables from your motherboard.)
- If possible, connect your monitor to the DVI port of your computer’s graphics. The Mac OS X installer sometimes has problems with HDMI and VGA.
Set up your motherboard’s BIOS
If your Hackintosh already has Mac OS X Snow Leopard or Lion installed, the only thing you’ll need to change in the BIOS is the “Boot Device”, so that your Mountain Lion Installer DVD has highest priority.
If your Hackintosh doesn’t have Snow Leopard or Lion installed yet, you have to change a few extra BIOS settings. Before starting, reset all of your BIOS settings to their factory defaults. On Gigabyte motherboards, you can reset your BIOS settings to their default by selecting “Load Optimized Defaults” on the main page of the BIOS. Once your BIOS is running on its defaults, you need to change these three settings:
- Boot Device – Change the boot device of your computer so that CDROM is first. You need to do this for Hackintosh to work. After you finish installing Mac OS X, you should change this setting back to default, so that Hard Disk is the first boot device (this optional, but it will speed up your boot times).
- HPET – Change this to 64-bit.
- SATA Control Mode (your BIOS might call this a different name) – This will probably already be set to SATA, IDE, or RAID. Change it to AHCI. Mac OS X only works with AHCI.
Keep in mind that the BIOS on most motherboards do not support using a mouse, so you’ll probably have to navigate through the BIOS with the arrow keys on your keyboard. Press Enter to change a selected option in the BIOS.
Boot into Hackintosh Mountain Lion Installer
If you do not manage to reach the Boot menu, check your motherboard’s BIOS settings to make sure that the changes you made in Set up your motherboard’s BIOS were properly applied. If they were, but you still cannot boot from Mountain Lion Installer, go back to Create your Bootable Mountain Lion DVD of this guide and try again with a DVD (preferably using ImgBurn).
At the Boot menu, press the enter key (or return key) to start the OS X Mountain Lion installer. If you are trying to install OS X Mountain Lion on a computer using an AMD or Intel Atom processor, you’ll have to type the boot flag amd (for AMD processor) or atom (for Atom processor).
In the worst case scenarios, instead of loading the Mac OS X installer, you may end up at a dark gray screen that tells you to restart your computer (a kernel panic), or you may end up with a small crossed-out sign (a loading error). If you get a kernel panic/loading error (or if the Mac OS X installer simply won’t start within 10 minutes), you’ll need to enter some boot flags. To enter boot flags, manually restart your computer by pressing your computer’s power button.
Then, once you’ve booted back into the Boot menu, try typing any necessary boot flags before pressing the enter/return key. Check out this list of common boot flags for reference ( PCIRootUID=0 and -x are two popular boot flags).
Install OS X Mountain Lion
Once you’ve entered the OS X Mountain Lion installer, you will come up to a page that asks you for a destination for your Mountain Lion installation.
If you’re installing Mountain Lion on a computer that has never been turned into a Hackintosh before (i.e. doesn’t already have Snow Leopard or Lion installed), the hard drive selection box will be blank. We’ll have to fix that. To do this, start up Disk Utility, which is located under the Utilities menu in the top bar.
You need to use Disk Utility to erase a hard drive partition so that OS X Mountain Lion can install itself on it. In the sidebar of Disk Utility, choose the hard drive where you want Mountain Lion installed, and erase it by using the “Erase” tab. In the screenshot below, my hard drive is called “21.47 GB VBOX HARDDRIVE”.
When erasing, the format should be set to “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)”. You can also partition the hard disk by using Disk Utility’s Partition tab. Mac OS X cannot boot from a partition that’s larger than 1 TB in size, so if you have a 2 TB hard drive, you will have to partition it.
On the installation page for Mac OSX, the hard disk/disk partition should now be showing up. Select it, and then click the “Customize” button on the bottom left. This is where using a distro becomes really useful: Mountain Lion Installer allows you to install extra Hackintosh drivers and kexts, straight from the OS X installer.
However, choosing the right options from this page can be really tricky, so unless you’re absolutely certain about which drivers and kexts you need to install for your computer, I don’t recommend installing too much stuff from here. The default selection will enable Mac OS X to boot from the hard drive without any assistance. For most computers, that will be enough (at least for the initial installation).
After you’re done with the Customize page, install Mountain Lion. This will take at least 30 minutes.
Once the installation finishes, remove your Mountain Lion Installer DVD, and restart. At the boot screen, you’ll see an icon for the hard drive where you installed Mountain Lion. Select it (use the arrow keys on your computer) and press Enter. Mountain Lion will boot.
Once again, if you get a kernel panic/loading error when you try to boot your new Mountain Lion installation (or if the installation simply won’t start within 10 minutes), you’ll need to enter some boot flags. To enter boot flags, manually restart your computer by pressing your computer’s power button. Then, once you’ve booted back into the Boot menu, try type any necessary boot flags before pressing the enter/return key. Check out this list of common boot flags for reference ( PCIRootUID=0 and -x are two popular boot flags).
Another common issue with Mountain Lion Installer is that it tends to lag out of the account creation process, and skip straight to the Mac OS X login screen before you can make your own account. If this happens, simply log into Mac OS X with the following credentials:
Username: root Password: niresh
This will log you into the root account of Mac OS X. From here, open the System Preferences app, go to Users & Groups, and create your own account. (We don’t recommend that you use the root account permanently, because it is insecure.)