ThinkBook? MacPad?

This content is 17 years old. I don't routinely update old blog posts as they are only intended to represent a view at a particular point in time. Please be warned that the information here may be out of date.

Firstly, let me point out that I am not publicly condoning software piracy. To run Apple Mac OS X 10.4 on anything other than a properly licensed Macintosh computer would be very, very naughty.

If, however, you did have a spare copy of OS X and you wanted to install it on a well-built black notebook PC (say, for example, an IBM ThinkPad T40) without shelling out extra cash for a black MacBook, this is how you might do it. I’m not sure if the end result should be known as a ThinkBook or a MacPad…

Following Profit42’s advice for installing OS X 10.4.x on a “normal” PC (and assuming that all data on the target computer’s hard disk can be wiped):

  1. Make sure that the target computer supports at least the SSE2 instruction set (if you are running Windows then CPU-Z will help).
  2. Obtain a pre-patched OS X install DVD image (available to Apple developers… although I understand that googling for JaS OSx86 may help out a little…).
  3. Burn the OS X install image (e.g. 10.4.6.install.dvd.iso) to DVD.
  4. Boot the target computer from the DVD and press a key when prompted to install OS X.
  5. After the grey screen with the Apple logo, follow the installer prompts until there is a blue screen and a menu bar at the top. At this point select Disk Utility from the Utilities menu.
  6. Create a single partition on the disk formatted as Mac OS X extended (journaled). Then close Disk Utility.
  7. Continue with the installer prompts, customising the installation after selecting the target hard disk and ensuring that all appropriate patches are selected (e.g. 10.4.6.Combo.Update, Intel.SSE2 and 10.4.6.Radeon.Mobility.Support).
  8. Continue until the installation is complete and reboot into OS X.

If presented with a b0 error message, then there are a couple of methods to work around this. The basic problem is that the partition has not been set active (bootable). Live CDs such as GParted (or even an MS-DOS boot disk with FDISK) may help but one method is to boot from the install DVD again but this time don’t press a key. OS X should boot and once set up it should be possible to launch Terminal (from the Utilities folder, under Applications) and set the appropriate partition to be active, following the advice from Rammjet at Insanely Mac:

  1. Type diskutil list and verify which disk holds the OS X partition.
  2. Assuming that the disk is disk0, enter the command sudo fdisk -e /dev/rdisk0 (note the r in rdisk) and enter your password when prompted.
  3. Ignore the fdisk: could not open MBR file /usr/standalone/i386/boot0: No such file or directory error.
  4. At the fdisk: 1> prompt, type p and verify which partition holds OS X.
  5. Assuming that it is partition 1, type f 1 – the response should be Partition 1 marked active and the prompt should change to fdisk:*1>.
  6. Save the changes with write then enter y to confirm that a restart will be required, followed by exit.
  7. Remove the install DVD and reboot.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.