Archive for January 2013

iATKOS ML2 on HP Pavilion DV6 [video]



Steve Jobs introduces Macintosh (1984) [video]

iATKOS ML2: Simple Troubleshooting guide

Simple Troubleshooting guide:

At times after installation, your system may not work properly as in > it may restart, not boot at all or hang at a certain point. These are quite normal and there are some steps to be taken in these cases. It varies from one case to another. This basic troubleshooting guide may help you to solve most of the common problems.

- If you're facing hangs, freezes or kernel panics (which is present as a shutdown symbol on the grey screen just after boot) type "-v" (without quotes) at the boot promt and press enter. This would give you verbose output which is useful for the solution.
You can take a photo of the verbose screen at the point of freeze and post it on our forum or on other OSX86 development platforms to get help.

- To pass the freeze/hang or kernel panic, you may try boot with "-x -v" (without quotes) which boots the computer in safe mode. Then you may have the chance to reach up to OS X GUI to solve your problem.

- White, black or blue screen freezes mostly mean that your graphics card(s) isn't functioning correctly at that time.
You can try to boot with "-x -v" command which mostly to takes you successfully to OS X GUI in safe mode. Then you can search the internet for the solution for your graphics hardware. 
Re-installing iATKOS ML2 by re-arranging your install selection list should be the first choice.
You may try with selecting none of the graphics related packages or the appropriate graphics disabler packages for your setup under VGA drivers section during install to make sure that it is a graphics related issue.
Then after a little more reading and search (if needed) you can install iATKOS ML2 with the right settings for your computer and solve the problem.

- You can also try these commands (without quotes) for freezes:
You can try combinations by adding a space between them, i.e. "-x -v cpus=1".
Also there might be some commands that you need to enter just because of your faulty bootloader options selections.

- "Waiting for root device" - It means that OS X doesn't see your hard disk or boot device for some reason. You can face with this during dvd/blu-ray boot or after system install during hdd boot.
*DVD/Blu-Ray Boot:
-Change your SATA mode from IDE/RAID to ACHI by your BIOS setup.
-You may need to check other BIOS settings that might be the problem.
-You can try the other SATA ports for your DVD/Blu-Ray drive.
-You can try updating your BIOS version.
These steps usually fix the problem. If not, then you can try to install using a USB media. If still no light, then your hardware is not compatible with OS X at that point.
*USB boot:
-You can try to boot with "USBBusFix=Yes" command
If it does not help, it can still be solved by dsdt edits for some cases, which needs knowledge and additional operations to iATKOS ML2 restored USB media.
*HDD Boot after installation:
-Apply the same steps with DVD boot above
-Re-install iATKOS ML2 with re-arranging your install selection list.

iATKOS ML2: Multiboot


iATKOS ML2 has no integrated procedure for multibooting but preparing a multiboot GPT or MBR system with this release is easy.

Here is a ''How To'' for GPT and MBR triple boot including Mac-Win-Linux. iATKOS ML2, Debian GNU/Linux DVD and Windows7 DVD installers are used in this example.

- MBR (Master Boot Record) triple boot -

- Nearly all PC's work on MBR partitioned harddisks. Check it with Disk Utility and if so do no touch it.
If it is GPT then you need to repartition your harddisk that will cause to loose all the data in it. Click to partitioning options, select MBR and do the partitioning.

- Create 3 or more partitions by using iATKOS Disk Utility or Parted Magic Live CD. Mac OS Extended Journaled (HFS+) format for OS X target, MS-DOS (Fat32) for the others. OS targets must be one of the first 3 partitions creating with Disk Utility.

- Add boot flag to Windows or Linux target and install the operating systems in any order you like.
For windows, make sure the windows target disk is the first preceding disk by your BIOS, or unplug the other harddisks. This is a general windows issue.
For linux, do not install linux bootloader to MBR, install it to linux root.

- Boot iATKOS ML2 and install OS X to target as usual.

- If Windows fails to load then you may need to repair Windows (win7 or vista):
Add boot flag to Windows partition, boot Windows DVD, select repair, add boot flag to OS X partition.

- You can also add boot flag to Linux partition to use Linux bootloader for booting the operating systems if you want to.

Now you have triple boot on MBR.

Note: Adding boot flag to MBR partitions: Boot Parted Magic Live CD, right click to partition, select flags and click to boot.

- GPT (Guid Partition Table) triple boot -

- Check the partition table type with Disk Utility.
If it is not GPT, then repartition the drive and change the partition map scheme to GPT by pressing partition options. You will loose all the data on target disk by repartitioning.

- Create 3 or more partitions by using iATKOS Disk Utility. Mac OS Extended Journaled (HFS+) format for OS X target, MS-DOS (Fat32) for the others. Windows and Linux targets should be of the first 3 partitions.

- Boot Windows Media and install it to its FAT32 target.

- Boot iATKOS ML2 and install OS X to target as usual. You have dual-boot with OS X and windows right now.

- Boot Linux media and install the operating system (OS) to its FAT32 target.
Do not install the linux bootloader to MBR, install it linux root.
Do not change the boot flags using Linux media.
Do not modify the partition table, it can be risky for some distros, just erase the target and do the install.

- Now you can boot to OS X and Linux using OSX86 bootloader which boots by default, but windows fails at this stage because Linux installation broke the hybrid GPT, so we will bring it back on this step.
>>Boot from Parted Magic CD and execute "sudo gptsync /dev/sdX" command on terminal without quotes (X is the BSD letter. Open the partition manager and you can easily see the BSD letter of your target disk).

Now you have triple boot on GPT. By default, OS X bootloader will take the control by these steps. It can boot all of them by just selecting. If you want linux or windows to take the control of multibooting then go on reading..

All the OS' are independent by this way, you can re-install each of them one by one. You just need to care about 2 things:
- gptsync will be needed after Linux re-install
- you need to re-install OS X bootloader after Windows re-install. Boot iATKOS ML2, open terminal by the utilities menu, install the bootloader using terminal (Search on Google). If you use linux for multibooting then this step is not necessary.

There are more combinations to make multiboot work on especially on GPT. If you know the procedures as well, there is no thing like an unrecoverable multiboot error.
i.e. Keep in mind that hybrid GPT may fail when dealing with linux stuff, then windows will not boot. Do not use Linux media for partitioning operations on Hybrid GPT, it breaks Hybrid GPT causing an unbootable windows. There comes the gptsync terminal program, it creates a fake MBR code on GPT drives that make Windows think it works on MBR partitioned hdd.
You can always apply gpysync if hybrid GPT is broken somehow. After bringing back the hybrid GPT partition, windows will work again.

After gptsync, you can add boot flag to other partitions by using OS X or Linux fdisk if you like to boot from another OS. i.e. >> booting from linux and using grub for multiboot manipulation instead of chameleon.
For OS X fdisk, boot iATKOS ML2 and open terminal:

fdisk -e /dev/diskX # X is the BSD number of your target disk
p # p is the fake MBR partition list
f Y # f for adding boot flag to the target partition, Y is the partition number you want to boot from
w # w to write changes
q # q for quit.

In this multiboot example I created 4 volumes, 3 for OS' and 1 for storage. OS volumes are first 3 ones. As you see on this fdisk print out and disk utility screen below, fdisk lists the 4 partitions of fake MBR of my hybrid GPT. You can not see the "Data 2" partition (disk0s5) there because it is the 5th one. 1st partition is the hidden efi, for this reason the OS' are to be installed to first 3 volumes.

Enter 'help' for information
fdisk: 1> p
Disk: /dev/disk0 geometry: 30401/255/63 [488395055 sectors]
Offset: 0 Signature: 0xAA55
#: id cyl hd sec - cyl hd sec [ start - size]
1: EE 1023 254 63 - 1023 254 63 [ 1 - 409639] <Unknown ID>
2: AF 1023 254 63 - 1023 254 63 [ 409640 - 97656256] HFS+
3: 07 1023 254 63 - 1023 254 63 [ 98328576 - 97654784] HPFS/QNX/AUX
*4: 83 1023 254 63 - 1023 254 63 [ 195983360 - 97654784] Linux files*
fdisk: 1> _

disk utility layout:
250.06GB WDC WD250…
-Data 2

Unmounted disk0s4 volume is ext4 linux partition (hd0,4) in this example. I added the boot flag to Linux partition using OS X fdisk and modified the grub.cfg file to boot all of them via grub2.

### here is the grub.cfg lines of this example for multibooting
menuentry "OS X" {
insmod hfsplus
set root=(hd0,2)
multiboot /boot
menuentry "Windows 7" {
set root=(hd0,3)
chainloader +1
menuentry "Debian GNU/Linux……

iATKOS ML2: Software RAID

Software RAID:


- Software RAID combines two or more physical harddisks or their partitions (RAID slices) into a single logical unit. RAID's various designs involve two key design goals: increase data reliability and/or increase input/output performance.

- You can create RAID volumes and install Lion on RAID using iATKOS ML2.

- RAID levels or types for OS X:
Striped RAID (RAID-0): A RAID-0 set splits data evenly across multiple disks with no parity information for redundancy. RAID0 is normally used to increase performance for both read and write. It can also be used as a way to create a small number of large virtual disks out of a large number of small physical ones. Simply it is a way to use the disks like using the dual or more channel RAMs, so it increases the read and write performance more than a bit. RAID0 sets are advised for the main system volumes to increase the performance of the OS.
Mirrored RAID (RAID-1): A RAID-1 set creates an exact copy of a set of data on two or more disks. This is mostly for data safety and also an increase of performance for read operations is expected. The RAID array can only be as big as the smallest member of the slices. RAID1 sets are used for security and advised for data storage volumes.
Concatenated Disk set: Which is not exactly a RAID level. The slices are merely concatenated together, end to beginning, so they appear to be a single large disk. It provides no data redundancy. This may be thought of as the inverse of partitioning. Whereas partitioning takes one physical drive and creates two or many more logical volumes, concatenation uses two or more slices to create one logical volume. No increase in performance is possible and neither increased data reliability is possible.

- Boot helper partition: OS X Software RAID systems boot using boot helper partitions and so the bootloader will be installed to boot helper partition instead of the RAID slice. If one of the RAID slices of your target RAID volume is disk0s2, then its hidden boot helper partition named as "Boot OS X" is disk0s3. Do the math for the others.

- Create RAID volumes: You can easily create RAID volumes using OS X Disk Utility. Do the partitioning if you need to, click on the target disk and then click on RAID tab, choose RAID type, name it and by pressing "+" create a new RAID set. Add the target partitions or disks to RAID set by dragging them and when you are done, click to "Create" button. The added partitions or disks will be the slices of your RAID set, in a few seconds your RAID volume will be mounted and ready for installation.

- iATKOS ML2 RAID operations:
- For RAID target, ML2 installs the bootloader to the boot helper partition of the preceding disk of the RAID set, so the first disk by your bios will be the Mac OS X boot disk.
You can install any foreign bootloaders to other harddisks of your RAID set, there will be no harm for your RAID set. On my test 3x RAID0 system, second HDD has Grub bootloader and the third one has Windows bootloader, all of them are installed seperately and running fine. Grub and Chameleon can easily boot all of the 3 OS' and also windows can be manipulated to boot them.

RAID Install Steps:

1- Create RAID volume as described above

2- Select it as destination for install

3- Click Customize and select what you need

4- Click Install

iATKOS ML2: Before Installation

Before Installation:

- BIOS settings:
- Set your BIOS to its default settings.
- Execute Disable bit: Enabled
- XD (if exists): Enabled
- Limit CPUID Max: Disabled
- Set all cores of the CPU active/enabled.
- Virtualization (if exists): Enabled or Disabled, try it.
- Hyper-threading: Enabled or Disabled, try it.
- HPET (High Precision Event Timer/PCH): Enabled
- Set all the Overclock/Performance/Turbo etc. values to Auto.
- Set the UEFI mode settings (if exists) to compatible mode

- Preparing a Target for installation:

- A target partition or disk will be needed for installation.

If you are not an advanced user, I advice you to use a clean harddisk with no personal data/OS as for target and unplug all the other harddisk drives connected to your motherboard just to be safe.

If you are not an advanced user and if your target disk includes personal data and/or any OS, I advice you to backup your data before anything.

Parted Magic or OS X Disk Utility can be used for partitioning and such operations for preparing a target.

Use Parted Magic if you are not an advanced user.

-Parted Magic: Parted Magic is a Linux Live OS project for harddrive operations. Download the iso image from >> << Burn it to a CD/DVD with any suitable application and boot your computer with it. Run the partition editor application and create your target.

-OS X Disk Utility: Boot iATKOS ML2, choose the language, run Disk Utility via Utilities menu and create your target.

Create your target partition formatted as HFS+ (Mac OS Extended (Journaled)).

-Partition Type: You can choose MBR (Master Boot Record/msdos) or GPT (Guid Partition Table) for your target harddisk via partitioning options.
If you don't need/want to change your existing partition table type, just do not touch it. If you want to change it, note that all your existing data on target harddisk will be gone.
-You can add/remove partitions and change the size of them on a GPT partitioned drive without repartitioning and you can even do it on-the-fly on a running OS X system partition.
-You can create up to 128 bootable partitions on a GPT partitioned drive.
-You can use Software RAID only on GPT partitioned drives for OS X.
-Multiboot is not so easy to manipulate for newbies.
-Pretty easy to manipulate multiboot
-Partitioning operations with OS X Disk Utility need recreationing of the whole partition table.
-No Software RAID for OS X
-2TB partition size limit
-You can have max 4 bootable partitions (4 primary partitions) for OS X. You can only boot the OS X installations on the rest of the partitions (logical partitions when more than 5) over first 3 primary partitions.

- I advice MBR for your target harddisk if your are not an advanced user.
The target should be a Primary Partition for MBR partitioned harddisks.

iATKOS ML2 - How to make a bootable USB Drive [Mac only]