Installing Leopard on x86 PC – Dell Dimension 4500

Monday, December 8th, 2008 | Technology, Tutorials

It took me roughly 12 hours and 20 installations before I stabilized my installation of Leopard on an old Dell Dimension 4500. Along the way I read a ton of guides and references that helped me finally install Leopard 10.5.4 on my x86 desktop. I figured I’d centralize them all as well as offer my experience in hopes of making it a little easier for the next person.

Guides:

Resources:

  • OSX86Project – Solid reference for all things related to getting OSX on your PC
  • InsanelyMac – First hand problems and solutions. Great place for dynamic help. Having a problem with the OSX installation? Post a question here for help.

Installing Leopard on a Dell Dimension 4500:

  1. Get DVD image JaS 10.5.4
    • If you happen to have lost your legitimate copy you might be able to find a replacement at “thePirateBay.org” by typing “JaS 10.5.4
  2. Burn the image
  3. Boot the PC and insert the DVD
  4. Enter bios (delete key as soon as computer powers on)
  5. BOOT > Boot Device Priority – you want CD/DVD 1st and hard drive 2nd
  6. Save and exit
  7. After POST you’ll see “push any key to boot from CD or push f8 to boot from cd with options” – guess what?  push a key…
  8. It should pop up to a gray screen with an apple logo and a circle animation rotating underneath
  9. Select your language
  10. OSX Installer app should pop up with a welcome screen – this overall looks a lot like OSX.
  11. On the bar at the top of the screen click “Utilities” > “Disk Utility”.
  12. When it opens you should see your hard drive on the left at the top (It may have some partitions under it).
  13. Select the hard drive and then click the erase tab then click erase.  ( dont worry about “Volume Format” or “Name” as these will be taken care of in the next step)
  14. It Should only take a moment, then click on the only partition under the hard drive and then back to the erase tab.
  15. Change the “Volume Format:” to “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” and rename the partition to something pretty like “Leopard” or “BlueBird”.
  16. Click erase and wait for the progress bar to fill.
  17. Close the Disk utility app and the installer should pop back up.
  18. Click continue then agree then select the newly erased partition and continue.
  19. Click “Customize” and select packages:
    • Kernal package: Intel SSE2 SSE3 9.2.0 Sleep
    • Driver Package: Intel-ICHx
    • Device Identification: NVIDIA GeForce nForce Chipset Fix
    • uncheck clean
  20. Click Done, then install
  21. You can wait for the “disk check” just to be sure, but after I verfied the disk was fine once, i skipped it every time after that to save about 20 minutes.
  22. Wait for the install to complete
  23. Restart the computer
  24. Pop out the DVD
  25. During the next boot hit any key to add options to the HDD boot.
  26. At “boot: ” enter “cpus=1″ and hit enter
  27. Enjoy booting into Leopard

Additional useful information:

  • If your system dosen’t boot up try “-x” at the same place you enterd “cpus=1″ above.  This will boot the system into safe mode.
  • If for some reason that still doesnt work… Try using “-v” which displays the boot messages while starting rather then the apple graphic.  These messages help with debugging.

Once you get the system booting add the parameters to “com.apple.Boot.plist”:

  1. Open Finder
  2. Go to your partition
  3. Then go to Library > Preferences > SystemConfiguration
  4. Open com.apple.Boot.plist with “Property List Editor”
  5. Add parameters to “Kernel Flags” (I added “cpus=1 -x”)

Additonal things you can add:

  • “Boot Graphics”=Yes|No    see graphics mode or text mode when starting.
  • “Quiet Boot”=Yes|No       Use quiet boot mode (no messages or prompt).
  • “Graphics Mode”=”WIDTHxHEIGHTxDEPTH”  such as “1024x768x32″ wher depth is the color in millions

Update:

So i was inconsistantly recieving a kernal panic during boot.  It was caused by my PCI Ethernet card that just happens to be a RealTek 8139 chipset card.  So by checking my Console.app under “Utitilities” I was easily able to narrow down what was causing the kernal panic by seeing:

Dec 14 10:53:13 mad-cloudss-mac-pro kernel[0]: {      144 680a0066} RTL8139::receiverInterrupt – not OK
Dec 14 10:53:13 mad-cloudss-mac-pro kernel[0]: {      1b0 48115104} RTL8139::receiverInterrupt
Everywhere….  After doing some research, I found the solution to be quite simple.  It turns out, the kext i was using (that came with Leopard) was incompatiable with this chipset.  By replacing it with a working version of the kext it resolved the problem.
  1. Download this zip and extract the contents:   pcgenrtl8139ethernet_120
  2. Open the Termianl.app in “Utitilties” and type these commands:
  3. sudo su

    rm -R /System/Library/Extensions/IONetworkingFamily.kext/Contents/Plugins/AppleRTL8139Ethernet.kext

    cp -R <path to>/PCGenRTL8139Ethernet.kext /System/Library/Extensions/IONetworkingFamily.kext/Contents/Plugins/

    chown -R root:wheel /System/Library/Extensions/IONetworkingFamily.kext/Contents/Plugins/PCGenRTL8139Ethernet.kext

    chmod -R 755 /System/Library/Extensions/IONetworkingFamily.kext/Contents/Plugins/PCGenRTL8139Ethernet.kext

    touch /System/Library/Extensions

    shutdown -r now

  4. Enjoy a panic free boot!

Please feel free to post comments/questions!

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22 Comments to Installing Leopard on x86 PC – Dell Dimension 4500

Eric
March 9, 2009

I have a 9800 pro 128mb installed as of now on my 4500. Can i take it out and boot off my chipset?, leave it unchecked in the customize screen(since there is no option) . Im thinking about replacing the 9800 pro with something that is compatible like an AGP radeon 2400 512mb.

thoughts?

Madclouds
March 9, 2009

Hi Eric,

My dell 4500 does not have onboard video, so in your question:

“Can i take it out and boot off my chipset?”

I’m pretty sure you’re referring to the chipset as the AGP x4 card provided by the manufacturer. In which case, yes I believe you can remove your 9800 and use the default AGP card to install OSX. Then once installed, you can independently install the drivers necessary to use the 9800.

Check out http://www.osx86project.org for compatible drivers for that 9800.

Thanks,
Erik

szeria23@hotmail.com
March 22, 2009

Hey I have the DELL 4500s an old pc I was trying to turn into a hackintosh and I am having a little trouble with quite a bit of things and I’m not sure really what to do. When the OS screen first comes up I get the select language screen but the entire screen is grey and VERY blurry to the point I cant even read the text at all I can BARELY see anything. I can try to follow the guide but get stuck up on step 19 because I see 3 options. Essential System stuff, x12, and the JAS system. I can open the JAS system and see things that are similiar but not the exact same. Anyway you could help me or not what the problem may be

szeria23@hotmail.com
March 22, 2009

I managed to install it based on the preferences but I still get flow control is disabled and “localhost kextd[47]: can’t add repository (not a directory) Resetting IOCatalogue. then localthost kextd[47] root filesystem is read only skipping kernel link data generation. When I try to boot up after the install I get Mac OS Version not yet set and a window in middle that says You need to restart your computer. Hold do the Power button for several seconds or press the Restart Button. This is said in 4 different languages

MadClouds
March 22, 2009

Can you boot into safe mode?

szeria23@hotmail.com
March 22, 2009

how would I boot it into safe mode? I can only boot it from the disc because when it tries to boot from HD after the install it just resets.

szeria23@hotmail.com
March 22, 2009

The BIOS is very limited on the Dell Diminsion 4500s so I’m not sure what I am doing wrong and why when I original run it it’s blurry and barely readable =/ if you would like to msn me szeria23@hotmail.com is my msn it may be easier I really appreciate your help this is turning out to be harder than I thought and frustrating :(

MadClouds
March 22, 2009

Sorry I do not have MSN. I’d like to keep our trouble shooting documented, so please keep posting your problems. Getting a hackintosh running is no easy task. It’s not a beginner project.

So, it sounds like you’re having video problems, I’d narrow that down to the video card, or the monitor. First try re-seating the video card, by pulling it out, dusting it down, and re-installing it. I suggest you keep reading the available resources until you’re familiar with the entire process. Having someone else solve your problem will take twice as long as solving it yourself :)

Make sure you read through my guide which explains the booting process as well as how to boot into safe mode. The better the information that you can provide, the better i can help.

Thanks,
Erik

szeria23@hotmail.com
March 22, 2009

Hmm, I can take it out and put it back in and see if that helps but the cursor is crystal clear and I can’t reinstall it with software because I can no longer load XP since that is no longer on the pc :P But I will try putting it in and taking it out. That still wouldn’t explain why it prompts me to reset after installing it correctly. I can’t see the last line of the error message because the You need to restart window covers it but what I can see is

Kernel Version:
Darwin Kernel Version 9.2.0: Tue Fe(window starts cuts off text and then after window I just see) EASE_I386

szeria23@hotmail.com
March 22, 2009

I can’t boot in safe mode because it won’t boot at all after installing. I dont have options for typing after it’s on the Hdrive. I can just type when originally booting from disc. I can boot it originally in safe mode.

szeria23@hotmail.com
March 22, 2009

“During the next boot hit any key to add options to the HDD boot.”

I can’t add options to the HDD boot I think that is why I can’t boot it in safe mode.

MadClouds
July 16, 2009

For more information you can check out the Console.app. To access it, just boot to the DVD, then in the top bar select Utilities > Console.

Inside the Console log you should see a much better explanation as to why you are receiving a Kernal Panic. Keep fight! haha

Liquidmetaphysics
November 17, 2009

I’m trying to run this same setup on my old 4500, but I’ve gotten to a bit of a snag. The progress bar has frozen once the time remaining reached “About 15 minutes”. I can still hear some grunting from my computer, so I feel like it’s still trying, but otherwise I’ve got no idea what the deal is, any thoughts?

kenshinsh
December 7, 2009

I was able to get mine up and running using the instruction provided without QE/CI support for my graphic card (I upgraded mine to ATI x850PRO at some point). In case you are interested in knowing which agp card would work, I highly recommend the nvidia fx5200 agp (works after installing NVKush). Also, you might want to make sure you have 1 gig of ram installed on your system for it to be at least usable (imo). I also used a USB WIFI dongle with Zydas chipset and that worked without a sweat.

Thank you for sharing the instruction.

kenshinsh
May 6, 2010

Just to add more info regarding my experience over the last few months… Running 10.5 on dimension 4500 is not a pleasant experience in my mind. Things crash left and right due to the lack of SSE3 support for the processor. I would recommend 10.4.11 over 10.5 on this hardware running a SSE2 only kernel, it uses up less ram and has QI support for more AGP cards.

MadClouds
May 6, 2010

@kenshinsh – Thanks for the useful feedback!

Tmorr83
February 25, 2011

My Dell 4500 with Vista will not boot the JaS 10.5.4 disk. It goes straight to a boot error and asks how I want to boot Vista. (Safe Mode, Normal, Etc.) I know the ISO is good as well as the DVD is good. I have had no issues with other DVD installs so I know the drive is good. Any suggestions?

Tmorr83
February 25, 2011

Ok I think I figured out my own issue. I burned the iso as a standard file and did not use disk utility to make it bootable. I’m going to retry with a new DVD.

Tmorr83
March 1, 2011

After reburning my disk with DU everything installed well. However, my original ATI Rage Ultra 128 video card was causing a panic and would not let the system boot without -x. After installing an ATI Radeon HD 3650 and the appropriate kext from the JaS distro, all is fixed. So far my boots are error free. Now it just tells me to install a keyboard even though I have the PS2 keyboard and mouse installed. I guess I’ll need to use my old Mac USB devices.

[...] but JaS got me in. You can even find a step by step guide for the 4500 (Should be similar) at… Installing Leopard on x86 PC – Dell Dimension 4500 | MadClouds This should help. Also, when booting try using -v and -x at boot. They should get you in. If you [...]

Darrious
August 18, 2011

I am trying to get Jas 10.5.4 to even boot into the installer from the DVD. It hangs and says still waiting for root device. I’m not too sure what needs to be set to Primary Slave and Primary Master in my jumper settings on my IDE drives for my hard drive and DVD drive. Please let me know how yours was set up. That might help me in my quest to get this working :).

kin
August 28, 2011

Im having a problem at the start ,it doesnt even get to the grey screen it fails in the beginning dont know why please can you help me please and i got a dell dimension 4500 aswell

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