Saturday, August 27, 2011

Installing Mac OSX Snow Leopard in Virtual Box

Before we begin, I am using Virtual Box 3.2.12 on Windows 7 and have installed Mac OS X Snow Leopard version 10.6.3. The laptop that I have installed this on is an HP dv6t with an Intel Core i5 and 6 GB of RAM. Your mileage may vary significantly. For example, I attempted to first install OS X in VMWare, but after attempting every option and change I could find online, I decided to attempt it with Virtual Box. Also, there are a number of options that may not work if your installation does manage to complete. Regardless, here we go.

  1. An Intel-based CPU that supports virtualization (most Core i5 and Core i7 machines do, but check this site for a full list:
  2. A copy of iBoot - it can be downloaded from tonymacx86's site here: (note: free registration required)
  3. Virtual Box software from Oracle (free):
  4. A full retail version of Mac OS X. Yes, you will have to purchase this. Obviously you could probably locate an ISO online, but this guide assumes you have the disc (it's only $35 here:
  5. Patience
  1. Enable virtualization through your BIOS. Reboot your computer, press F12, F11, DEL, ESC, or whatever key gets you into your BIOS setup. Look for an entry called "Enable Virtualization" and enable it. If you cannot find the setting in your BIOS, you may need to locate your computer's user guide or Google it.
  2. Start Virtual Box and create a new virtual machine.
    1. Press Next, enter a name for your VM, select "Mac OS X" as the Operating System and "Mac OS X Server" as the Version.
    2. Give the VM 1024 MB of RAM
    3. Check "Boot Hard Disk" and select "Create a new hard disk"
    4. In the New Virtual Disk screen, click Next and then select "Dynamically expanding storage."
    5. Click Next and set a location for the VM. Set the disk size at 20 GB.
    6. Press Finish and Finish again
  3. Click on the VM name on the left side and click Settings
  4. Under the System tab, uncheck "Enable EFI (special OSes only)
  5. Click the "Acceleration" tab at the top, and ensure that both "Enable VT-x/AMD-v" and "Enable Nested Paging" are checked.
  6. Click the Storage tab on the left and click the disk under "IDE Controller."
  7. On the right, under Attributes, click the folder icon next to "CD/DVD Device: Empty"
  8. In the Virtual Media Manager window that appears, click "Add" and add the iBoot.iso file that you downloaded earlier.
  9. Click "Select" and click OK in the Settings window
  10. Start your virtual machine by clicking the Start button at the top
  11. iBoot will begin to load. When it loads and then pauses, insert your Mac OS X Snow Leopard DVD into your computer's disc drive.
  12. Now, right click on the CD icon at the bottom right of the VM window and change the source to your computer's disc drive.
  13. Now, click inside the VM window and press F5.
  14. iBoot will refresh, and now you will see an OS X install entry on the screen.
  15. Hit enter to begin the installation process
  16. Mac OS X will boot and you will be presented with the installation screen. If you do not see a disk in the window that asks which disk to install the OS on, then follow these steps:
    1. Click Utilities at the top window
    2. Click Disk Utility
    3. On the left, click the only disk that should be listed (probably "VIRTUALDISK" or something similar
    4. On the right, click the "Erase" tab
    5. Enter a name for your disk volume such as "VOL1."
    6. Leave the format as "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)"
    7. Click "Erase."
    8. Now, you will have a sub-disk entry on the left.
    9. Click close on the disk utility.
  17. Select the disk in the "Install to Disk" window
  18. Allow OS X to install now. It may take an hour or so, depending on your hardware.
  19. When it is finished, it may say "Installation Failed." That's OK, it didn't really fail.
  20. Turn off your VM by clicking the X in the VM window and selecting "Power Off."
  21. Once it is turned off, click "Settings" again
  22. Click the Storage tab and click the disk under IDE Controller
  23. In the drop down menu next to "CD/DVD Device" change it to the iBoot ISO from earlier
  24. Click OK and restart your VM
  25. Now, when iBoot starts, it will have an option for "OS X Snow Leopard" or "VOL1" (your disk's name)
  26. Right arrow click to highlight your disk and hit enter
  27. OS X will now boot and walk through the initial setup.
You will need to keep the CD ISO pointed at your iBoot file unless you want to make things complicated and install more third party utilities. So just remember to tab over and hit enter on each boot.

Issues: The resolution is stuck at 1024x768. The USB devices may not work. Shared folders may not function. Most of these issues can be resolved with additional hacks and software. 


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