Over the past three weeks, I have spent considerable time trying to get Apple’s latest Mac OS X offering (Mavericks) working on non-apple hardware. Mainly because Apple had released it for free (are you coming to the show, Microsoft?) and my old Snow Leopard OS X computer was starting to get… well, long in the tooth 😉

As I said, three weeks. Obviously I wasn’t working on it for three weeks night and day, but I did spend a fair amount of time to get to the configuration I am using to write this very post. Not much of this post actually pertains to the fact that I installed Mac OS X Mavericks on a Toshiba Laptop, it’s more that I couldn’t find many posts that mentioned any type of PC or laptop, so I figured there had to be others like me out there, possibly with a Toshiba laptop, trying to install Mac OS X Mavericks on it.

Warning!

The following is my journey. It comes with absolutely no warranty of any kind and I do not accept any responsibility at all, regardless of you following my instructions to the letter or not, if this results negatively for you in some way. Back up all data and proceed at your own risk.

Installation Media

To get the installation media from Apple, you need an existing Mac with at least Mac OS X 10.6 and AppStore installed. My 10.3 SL, was not going to cut it. Why couldn’t I update? My 10.3 SL machine, has an Intel atom processor that is no longer supported in newer releases of Mac OS X. I tried anyway, it failed. Thankfully, I was able to restore from a Time Machine backup. Use Time Machine! It’s awesome!

I ended up a little off course, but to get Apple OS X Mavericks, I downloaded a VMWare Virtual Machine image with Mac OS X Mavericks already installed. Your adventure with VMWare Workstation and OSX Mavericks, starts here: http://www.souldevteam.net/blog/2013/10/06/os-x-mavericks-10-9-retail-vmware-image-release-notes-links/. There is a video on the blog post, Watch It And Pay Attention!

You will also need VMWare Workstation. The 30 day trial is completely unrestricted and works perfectly fine. I am running VMWare Workstation 10.0.1 at the time of writing. You’ll see in the video (and downloaded files) that earlier versions of VMWare Workstation are also supported. Your adventure with VMWare Workstation, starts here: https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/info/slug/desktop_end_user_computing/vmware_workstation/10_0.

Note: You must use VMWare Workstation for Windows, on Windows. VMware Workstation will need to be patched (unlocked), to be able to run Mac OS X Mavericks. The patch that accompanies the VMWare Workstation image is designed for Windows, not for Linux. Sorry, Linux users. If you’re clever enough, you might be able to get it to work on Linux. I haven’t look into this at all. Let me know if you are successful.

Once you have VMWare Workstation installed with your Mac OS X Mavericks virtual machine running, use the AppStore to download Mac OS X Mavericks 10.9, for free!

Of course, if  you have access to an actual Mac or a Hackintosh with Mac OS X 10.6 or higher, you are home free. Install the AppStore if you haven’t done so already and download Mac OS X Mavericks, for free!

Note: To download Mac OS X Mavericks, you will need to be signed into an Apple account. Just an FYI. It’s no big deal. An account is free and you don’t need to have a credit card or any payment options set up to download Mac OS X Mavericks. It’s free, really!

Once you have Mac OS X Mavericks downloaded, don’t install it. It looks like an App, and may try to install itself (even though you may be on Mac OS X Mavericks already). If it does, just cancel the install.

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Recently I mucked up my primary partition containing MacOSX. Thankfully I had a system backup of it stored on another partition on the same disk (thanks Time Machine!). I was able to successfully restore the partition by booting with my installation disc (iAtkos S3 V2 10.6.3, but you could use any), but I could not start the operating system. I kept getting a ‘boot0: error’ message. After some searching, I discovered the possible reason for the error was due to my MacOSX partition no longer being marked ‘active’ or ‘bootable’.

I tried using various tools like gparted (which actually caused me more troubled than it was worth) and diskutil from the MacOSX terminal available via the installation disk. Nothing seemed to work.

For what it’s worth at this point, if you used gparted to try to set the boot flag, or modify the partition in anyway, you may have to give up and re-install. I did this, and was not only unable to see my partition with the disk utility (it showed up as empty space) I could not do anything with it either. It just showed up empty and neither diskutil (via terminal) or Disk Utility were able to use it. I eventually had to delete all partitions except for my data partition (leaving the rest as empty space) and go back to Disk Utility again. I was then able to create a new partition using Disk Utility and restore my Time Machine backup to it.

You can read more about ‘gparted troubles‘ here for a better understanding.

In the end, the following steps solved my problem. I restored my MacOSX partition one last time and rebooted. Same error. I than booted from my MacOSX installation disc and used the ‘repair disk’ option in the Disk Utility. I noticed in the Disk Utility that it actually noted that it corrected my MacOSX boot issue. When complete, I rebooted my system one last time and was finally greeted with my MacOSX login screen. Success!

I caused myself this problem by installing the latest version of MyHack, without really knowing was I was doing. After installing it and rebooting, my system was far worse off than just ‘boot0: error’. Use MyHack if you know what you are doing.

It happens to all us would be system admins at one stage or another. You install Windows 2000 or Windows XP on a machine, and for some reason (you didn’t check the BIOS, or you have some strange device like a ZIP drive connected), the Windows boot drive, is not C: It’s something else, like D: or E: even. How can you rectify this problem?

  1. Disconnect any strange devices, check your BIOS settings, and reformat.
  2. Do a little registry editing. See the link below (both of them):
    1. http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=223188
    2. 2b. http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=249321

Within the second link, be sure to follow section 3, under the Resolution section. Your values might be slightly different (especially if you are using Windows XP or Windows 2003), but the idea is the same, correct the drive letter.

Once you have made your changes, reboot, and voila! You can log on to your system, and your Windows drive, is now called C:

NOTE: You will more then likely need to re-install any programs you already had installed. In fact, performing a Windows Repair may very well be in order.

Most people would probably just format and start over, but there are plenty of people who have reasons to use the steps above. There are many things and reasons for the driver letter allocated to your Windows drive or partition, to be something other then C:, and if you really need your system working again, ASAP, and if you don’t have the time to reformat, re-install your software, re-install your drivers, configure your PC to your liking and then finally get back to work, perhaps this is just the guide for you!

If this gets more then 10 diggs, I’ll create a full blown fail safe and fool proof guide. I might even make it a PDF!

Are you Diggin‘ it?