Installing OSX 10.6 (Snow Leopard) Retail with a Gigabyte GA G31M ES2L motherboard. Guide + Drivers.

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This guide will explain how to cram your Snow Leopard disk onto a USB drive, patch it, and boot from USB. Also provided is a custom driver\patch set for the ES2L motherboard.


I know you’re desperate to get cracking, but please at least give the whole guide a skim through as it’s going to be unusually detailed! Failing that, just the partitioning section, and downloads at the bottom.

If you’ve built yourself a hackintosh before, then you’ll already know that it’s generally not a case of “Insert Disk, Repeatedly Press Enter, Reboot”; but the good news is that this mobo is fairly well supported, and you should even be able to run software update to update to 10.6.8 without issue. (Required to run xCode for example)

Now, I have a legit copy of Snow Leopard kicking about in the cupboard, but no CD\DVD drive, so I grabbed a torrent. In any case my internet connection is faster and more reliable than the drive, so to hell with optical media. If you’re doing the same, remember to grab a NON-PATCHED retail copy.

Where I refer to drivers, I’m talking about Kexts, i.e. Kernel Extensions. You’ll find them in the .zip, along with a bunch of tools to install them. It’s best not to install or fiddle with them until prompted.

This guide refers to OSX 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and should be very similar to 10.7 (Lion).
Chances are 10.5 (Leopard) will work, but for patching, you’ll have to use an older version of the patcher,and slightly different install method. (included in the .ZIP anyway).

Before we run through the steps, it’s worth pointing a few things out.

Supported Motherboard components:

NVidia\ATI cards Tested to work perfectly with GT210 and GT610
Intel GMA3100 inbuilt graphics *Not supported*  (The X3100 is, but is a very different chipset)
Onboard sound Has been reported to work. (Though I’m not using it)
Onboard LAN Mixed results according to the wiki, works flawlessly for me.
PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Works fine with PS/2 drivers, but I’m using USB anyway.
Sleep Mode Should also work with the right drivers, but i’m not using.

A note on the graphics:
While it’s possible to use the inbuilt graphics at low resolution without acceleration, enabling your PCI-E card will disable the inbuilt one completely. So unlike Windows7, where I run 2 monitors from the GeForce, and a third from the inbuilt card, you’ll just be using the one card.


While partitioning for windows\linux installs is childs play, OSX has a few well known quirks that can require some fairly easy, but annoying workarounds.

Extra hardware:
Having a ton of unnecessary stuff plugged in is not going to help your case here. I.e. USB Hubs, your phone, a wireless dongle, USB toys, etc.
(You can of course start plugging them back in when your hackintosh is up and running)

“Writing for root device” Error:
1- Unplug any drives other than the CDROM drive and target (OSX) hard drive.
2- Make sure you have 1 IDE drive connected, regardless of whether you install onto it.
(Sometimes this works with an IDE CDROM drive, sometimes, it has to be a Hard Disk)

Partition Layout:
-OSX likes to be installed within the first 8GB of the physical disk:
-Windows likes there to be a DOS partition within the first 2 gigs..

Again, there are two solutions here:

If you intend to install Win + OSX on a single physical drive…

1- Partition your drive with a dummy 200mb bootable DOS partition, then OSX (HFS+), then Windows (FAT/NTFS):
Yeah, this works, you install the bootloader in the first DOS partition, and can even make windows
recognise this drive as something other than C: (Vista\7 – so windows is C, and the 200mb boot one is E: or something)

If you intend to install OSX to a separate physical drive…

2- Buy a 20gig IDE drive for about 10 quid, and install on that with your other IDE\SATA drives unplugged, including CD/DVD drives. (Note: 20gb is tiny for a bloated os like OSX).

Since we’ll be installing from USB anyway, it makes sense just to use option 2, and have only the one drive plugged in. It’s bunches faster…

My Final setup:

Though you will actually be able to use the inbuilt LAN\Audio\Graphics, I’m currently using:

-Line6 Tone Port GX (Has mac drivers, works perfectly)
-Hercules 6 channel USB Audio. (Costs like 20 pounds, works out of the box with no drivers)

-GeForce 210, 384mb onboard ram.
-GeForce610, 1024mb onboard ram.

-Internal card working after applying drivers.
-Also using an 8 pound generic card that worked out of the box to save time.

-Using USB

Disk Drives:
-1x 20gb IDE hard drive.
-1x USB drive.
– After installation,it’s fine to plug in your other drives. I.e. SATA, IDE, USB, etc.

Creating the bootable USB installer:

Here’s the part that I think puts most people off. The tools required to make the patched install disk must be run… on OSX. I’ve done this twice – once on my girlfriend’s Macbook (10.5 Leopard) , and in a pre-made VMWare virtual machine (10.7 Tiger).
Just to be clear here. You need something already running OSX at this point. It doesn’t matter which version specifically, but you will need at least a mac or a copy running in VMWare.
Why?  There’s a program that reads the original OSX install disk, and turns it into a bootable copy on your USB stick. It happens to be written for mac.
Why? Trust me, it just makes perfect sense given the nature of the POSIX environment.

If you have a mac or VMachine to hand then skip to myHack section.
Otherwise, grab yourself a copy of “VMWARE_Mac OS X Leopard” and VMWare Workstation 6.5.1.

Note: VMWare 8.whatever has no processor Paravirtualisation option and plain doesn’t work for me.
(I won’t say where, but you know… I’ve found this exact combo to work.).

Setting this up is fairly easy… install VMWare, stick the files in a folder, import the machine and go.
Might be worth adding your C: drive as an extra drive too to grab any files you might need transferred between the machines.

Just remember to hammer F8 as you boot the virtual machine, and type ‘-v’ at the bootloader, so you can see the output instead of the apple logo. Get into the habit of doing this on every boot.
You Might have to use “-v –F” but –v has been fine for me.

Once installed, you can click the CD icon (bottom of the vmware window – in the status bar) and connect the CD Drive to your OSX iso.
(Or if you have a DMG file, copy it into OSX, and double click to mount).
That’s all the support I can really give here, as setting up the machine is well beyond the scope of this article. Suffice to say that you should enable Paravirtualisation in the processor options.

IIRC the root password for the suggested virtual machine is “password”

myHack section!

Right… myHack!
(We’re in OSX here people)

In older versions of myHack, you’d have to use the Disk Utility to format your USB stick, and copy the install DVD across. Now you just need to format it. Instead of choosing “Erase”:

-click on your USB stick’s hardware name, and choose the “Partition” tab.
-In “Volume Scheme” select “1 Partition”
-Below that, hit Options, and select “GUID Partition Table”
-Select “Mac OS Extended (journaled)” as the format.
-Give it a name you’ll remember!

Now, let it format.

Open the provided zip file, and locate myHack-2.0-RC4.1.dmg. Double click it to mount the drive.
Open it and drag the cutesy icon into your Applications folder. Why am I explaining installation of apps in OSX? Not sure. But that’s how it works.
-Run myHack
-Enter your password
-Select “Create OSX 10.6 Install Disk” (that’s snowy)
-Select your memory stick for “target volume” or you’ll fuck up your mac.
-Hit okay.
-Sit back for about 30 mins while it copies and patches.

If it asks you to install any extras, don’t right now.
If for any reason the setup fails to run completely (I.e. you chose to install\locate extras, and hit cancel) then close, and start over.

Seeing as you’ve got VM OSX open, why not pre-format the partition you want to install your hackintosh to? Do I have to say be careful?

Once that’s done, copy the kit .zip file containing all of your tools\drivers onto the USB stick… it’ll save time later. Eject your USB stick properly to ensure it’s finished writing cached data, and we’re good to go!


As mentioned in the setup notes, you’ll need to remove a bunch of extra hardware, but we’re good to go.

BIOS Setup:
You should only have the one HDD plugged in at the moment.
If you’ve chosen to go SATA, then turning Enhanced support off from the BIOS might help a little.
Also make sure your USB stick is before the HDD in the boot order.

Note: while you can chose the order of device *types* i.e. CDROM, USB, then Hard disk, there is another menu where you can choose which of the actual hard drives. There’s a good chance your USB Stick will appear in this list as a Hard Disk. In that case, place it ahead of the actual disks. (Or just, hit F12 immediately after boot)

Save setup and restart.

As it’s about to boot, be sure to hammer F8 a bunch of times to interrupt the bootloader.
To disable the graphical booting (and view all the log messages), type -v and hit enter.
It’s good practice to do this during setups so we can google error codes!
Eventually (i mean eventually, it can be slow), you should see the installer, and all’s well.
If you get “Waiting for root device” or mount errors, then re-read the guide or google them.


I ran into a little error with this the second time around whereby OSX would fail to boot the first time, then work perfectly after I hit reset. Didn’t make any sense, or any difference if I’d been in Windows first or not. The solution?

From the bootloader, start with “-s” parameters one time, then at the prompt where it explains how to mount, fsck and exit, just type ‘reboot’. Then as usual, the second time, start with -v. I cannot find any further information on this error, so if you can suggest a fix, I’m all ears!

The part you’ve been waiting for:

Install stuff!

This will take between 30 mins and an hour. After about 10 attempts I got into the habit of sleeping it off to avoid boredom, so I can’t be that precise about time, hopefully this guide will save your sleeping routine. When it’s done, be sure you’ve still got the USB stick in place, as your new install doesn’t have a boot loader yet!

You know the score, hammer F8 again then wait!

Select your OSX installation with the arrow keys, but this time, type -F -v.
This tells the setup to ignore kernel extensions.
You only need the -F option once, though I tend to get a bit paranoid and use the -v every time.

With any luck, you’re in OSX, and greeted by an annoying video. Not sure if you can skip it, but it encourages multilingualism, so it’s not a bad thing. Enter your infos, and you’re almost done!

Bootloader and DSDT patch:
Now there are a lot of tools and drivers kicking about in the provided .zip, some of which will make a right mess of your installation, so please pay attention here!
As improperly installed kexts will do a good job of crashing your boot sequence, we’ll install the DSDT patch and apply the bootloader in one step.

Go back to the extracted .zip of the kit file on your USB Stick. (You did remember to copy it over, right?)

Locate the dsdt.aml file from the DSDT Patch folder and put it on your desktop.
When I say desktop, I mean actual desktop. Not just some folder you’ll remember. Just put it on the desktop for now.

Unzip MultiBeast from the Tools folder, and pop it in your Applications folder.

-Run MultiBeast and hit continue 3 times.
-Agree to the license.
-Select “UserDSDT Install”.
Don’t select anything else right now, as the UserDSDT install will locate the dsdt.aml file on your desktop, install the bootloader, and run a graphics enabler.

Let it do its thing, and remove the USB stick.
Reboot and marvel at your new bootloader!

If it boots too fast, do your F8 thing, and use the -v option just incase.

And lastly:

Now we’ll install any remaining drivers you need.
Once OSX has finished booting, plug your USB stick in again, and locate the drivers folder.

For heaven’s sake don’t just install everything you see. Install only what you need!
Google will provide much more information than I can cram in here or claim to understand.

The easiest way is to use Kext Helper b7 from the Tools folder (kit .zip).
-Drop the files onto the application
-Enter pass
-Hit install.
-Wait .
(Lifted from’s handy guide)

After each kext, reboot to make sure nothing’s broken. If the system refuses to boot for whatever reason, boot with -F -v as before to ignore the kept cache. Remove the file from your /System/Library/Extensions/ folder or run Kext Helper b7 again.

Hopefully that’s us done!
The guide took quite a while and many attempts to get working, so I’d love to hear how you got on with it!

Feel free to make copies of this guide, amend them and alter them as you please.
A credit to sicklebrick would be nice, and I’d be interested to hear what you’ve done differently.
SB –

Additional notes and stuff.

Sharing files with windows?
OSX doesn’t support writing to NTFS partitions as standard, but does support FAT32 ( like memory sticks and such). Likewise windows doesn’t support mac’s HFS+ partitions. So I’ve been using Mediafour’s MacDrive. 
It basically lets you mount and explore your Mac drive from windows – even edit the contents and fix errors, etc.

Software suggestions?
-winrar: UnRARX (
-video: VLC (
-torrent: Transmission (
-browser: SRWare Iron ( It’s chrome without all the tracking stuff.
-FTP: Filezilla (

Want to skip the filesystem check on boot?
-boot with -s
-type /sbin/mount -uw /
-type exit
(That’s it, you can start the GUI fine from a safe boot this way)

Download the driver kit:

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