Friday, March 14, 2008

Gather Hardware Data

this is a continue post to the first post of "how to install hackintosh"

in this post i explain all there is to know about gathering the hardware information from the windows already installed on the PC, if this is not the case, you can skip this post or install windows and gather the info, it sounds crazy i know, but worth it, it will allow you to setup the correct drivers and avoid incompatibility issues.

the gathering data starts with checking that your computer is "hackintosh ready",
this is done by executing the CPU-z app that you downloaded in the previous section,
there you will see several tabs each elaborating on the hardware you own.
tabs include: CPU, Cache, Mainboard, Memory, SPD, About.

the most important tab we will use is the CPU, what you need to check is that your CPU support the feature SSE3,

although today you can download "iatkos v1.0iR2" leopard 10.5.2 image that supports SSE2 for older PCs or AMD based PC, non the less i urge you to gather all the info you can and save it, you never know what application/driver/hardware you will install/custom/buy in the future that will require this info, and if you are like me, removed your windows partition (since loosing 40-50G just for the need of 3-7 apps is not justifiable) then you will need this info stashed.

after saving all the tabs in the CPU-z (probably as jpg on a remote computer or disk on key), next we will head on to the Device Manager.
on XP right-click the "My Computer" icon on the desktop and choose "Properties"

on vista open the start menu and right-click "Computer"

on XP after that you see the "System Properties" dialog, choose the "Hardware" tab and click the "Device Manager"

on vista you see this next screen (the new System Properties), and on the left side bar you click on "Device Manager"

from this point both XP and Vista look the same (beside look and feel) so next we go through major hardware components that usually needs drivers, for instance Display Adapter, Network Card, Sound blaster, if you have some special mouse or keyboard, Bluetooth, Power Management, etc. and then we right click these icons and save the info as much as we can.

what we need to save is: irq, memory range, the exact name and model of the component, in several i would suggest saving the device id and vendor id, these parameters can be found at the "details" tab under the first drop-down item "Device Instance ID",

the line that appear includes the Vendor ID next to the VEN_ string in this example it is: "10DE", also next to it you find the Device ID next to the string DEV_ in this case it is: "00C0".

next we will collect the EDID information of the "Display Adapter", you do that using the previously downloaded "softMCCS" app.
  1. run the application and you will see this next screen
  2. open the EDID Identification section
  3. go to "Raw Data" and copy the content, save it as text
next step is to clear HD space or decide on what disk/partition the Hackintosh will reside on.
in order to do that we need to take two steps: 
  1. learn/save your hard drive/partition data 
  2. take action such as delete partition or shrink a partition.
first step:
open command box (A.K.A DOS Box) from run write CMD

next write (XP or VISTA) DiskPart, it will enter the windows "Disk Partition management" CLI (Command Line Interface).

if you write ? and press enter you get a help screen that display the available commands and a short explanation next to them.

now use the command "list" in order to see all the available hard disk, partitions, and if needed volumes
in order to see all the hard drive installed on your system use: "list disk"

after displaying all the HD you need to choose the hard disk you want to work on / see further details on. you do that using the command: "select disk X" where X stands for the hard drive number.

after selecting the drive you can see all the partition on the selected disk write: "list part"

now that you know your hard drives and installed partitions (especially size and their number) write it down, you will need it in the install stage.

you can select the partition (in case you need it) using "select part X" where X stands for the desired partition number.

and you can display the list of volumes on your PC (volume can be a single hard drive, CD, DVD, several Hard Drives combined together into a single volume etc.) using the command: "list vol"

Note: the bootable Hard Disk is marked with an astrik (*) sign next to it.
you may change it using the "Active" command but we will do it after the install stage so there is no need to do it here.

you can also ask for details at any stage on a specific object (disk,part,vol) using the Details command.

in order to exit the DiskPart utility simply write "Exit"

next we need to prepare the disk space needed for the leopard and/or tiger install goto the post: "Prepare the disk partitions"


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