Sunday, May 22, 2011

Hackintosh Blues

Now that the large hardware assembly was completed I was able to move onto the small hardware components and software.  As I have said before I myself don't love hackintoshes, but I did want to give it a shot with this computer to make it as close to the original as possible.

Courtesy of Logic Supply
I was worried about using a compact flash as my primary hdd and  it turned out to be justified as no matter what bootloader I used or how I formated the partition, I could not get the snow leopard DVD to recognize the drive.  The KEEX motherboard does have 2 sata ports, but only one sata power connector which is an a single connector tied to the first sata port.  However, with a SSD power use would be minimal so splitting the sata power should not be a problem.  Although it is a tight fit in the dome, I am able to fit probably a 2.5" ssd, but to play it safe I was looking into 1.8" drives.  However, before I payed for the drive I wanted to make sure there would  not be any problems with the hackintosh build but very quickly I learned that the onboard graphics is likely to be a major problem.

As you can see the board uses GMA 4500MHD graphics (Intel GM45 chipset).  I believe this is intels equivalent to the ion 2 platform.  Now with significant hacks it appears people have been able to force resolution in snow leopard to get above the default resolution, but there are still major problems and to my knowledge no one has been able to enable Quartz Extreme/Core Image with this chipset.  So, I could either 1) Buy the SSD  and install snow leopard the best that I can.  2) Use the PCI-express x 4 with an ion graphics card (this will likely requiring removing the hard drive as it is unlikely to fit as is.  3) Hold off for now - formally install windows or linux and wait to see if a solution presents itself.  As I've already spent FAR too much money on this mod, I've decided to hold off and work with Windows or Linux for now.

But, please if anyone has any knowledge about either the issue of booting snow leopard from a compact flash drive or the Intel GMA4500HD graphics problem help would be appreciated.  Thanks.


  1. Have you tried iBoot - it's really simple to use, but if it's a problem with your flash drive it might not help at all - and you've probably already tried it. The guy who made it has given really clear instructions on how to do it.

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  2. Hey Bibby, thanks for the suggestion, unfortunately I've tried many boot loaders and nothing recognizes the compact flash drive. I have decided to try to solve the problem with a small fanless graphics card and riser which I will put below the ECX board and adding the 1.8" hard drive which should be small enough to fit somewhere.