Installing Mac OS X on the HP Mini 2140

This page was a work-in-progress when I wrote it, and I haven't had a chance since writing to improve it, so information here is probably out of date (this page was written around April 2009). The content here owes a lot to a number of other websites where many people have worked very hard to hack OS X onto various non-Apple hardware. I have added links to as many sites as I can, and will be happy to add more if you have a useful link which isn't listed below.

Contents

What's this then?

My new HP Mini 2140 arrived a couple of days ago. They're almost certainly the best-built and nicest-looking netbooks around, and resemble a mini Macbook. Looks aside, they're based on the very common Intel Atom platform, and most of the key components - wireless card, hard disk, audio controller, etc - are based on chipsets which have already been made to work with the various [ OSX86] flavours of Apple's OS X Leopard operating system.

Please read the disclaimer, below, before starting anything!

Comments, questions, corrections, random abuse, etc? Send them to me here.

Within two days, I have

  • OS X iDeneb 10.5.6 (other distros are available ;o) booting and running quickly from the HP Mini's hard drive (and dual-booting with Windows 7)
  • Working:
    • Wireless
    • Built-in audio
    • Display at 1024x576
    • External displays via the VGA port
    • USB (and mounting disk images, etc)
  • Not working:
    • Keyboard and trackpad - pretty major showstoppers, but a USB keyboard and mouse work fine. Please see below for more information about this problem - it seems to be a known and intermittent issue on the HP Mini 1000/Compaq Mini 700s, too
    • Ethernet port
    • Webcam? I need to check this one
    • Microphone
    • Headphone and mic/line in jacks

Little tip

To speed up the reinstall process, you might want to put the OS X installer on a USB key.

You will need

  • An HP Mini 2140 (obviously) - other guides are available for other HP Minis, including a guide to install OS X iDeneb on the HP Mini 1000
  • An OS X installation image on a USB flash drive or a copy of the OS X installer DVD
  • A few utilities and kexts which you'll have to track down:
    • Apps, essential:
    • Apps, others:
      • SwitchResX
      • DisplayConfigX
      • Trackpad - MSI Wind 2 finger driver app (not working?)
    • Kexts, essential:
      • AppleAzaliaAudio (audio)
      • AppleHDA (audio)
      • AppleIntelGMA950 (display)
      • AppleIntegratedFrameBuffer (display)
      • ApplePS2kexts_10.5.6.ready (keyboard)
      • AppleYukon (ethernet)
      • ClamShellDisplay
      • EHCISleepEnabler (sleep)
      • HDAEnabler (audio)
      • MACam
      • Natit
      • OpenHaltRestart
    • Kexts, others:
      • AppleHDA for HP Mini 1035NR
      • IO80211Family
      • IOUSBFamily
      • LAN9500
      • VoodooBattery
      • VoodooPower

HP Mini 2140 hardware information

These HP Mini device specs might come in useful when you're looking for kexts (drivers):

  • Processor: Intel Atom N270 (single core - use CPUS=1 fix in OS X installers)
  • Wireless card: Broadcom 4322AG 802.11a/b/g/draft n (works straight away with iDeneb 10.5.6)
  • Ethernet: Marvell-Yukon 88E8072 PCI-E (use AppleYukon kext)
  • Graphics: Intel GMA950 (use AppleIntelGMA950 and AppleIntelIntegratedFramebuffer kexts)
  • Audio: Intel High Def Audio (use AppleHDA kext)

How to install OS X Leopard on an HP Mini 2140

The information below will be split into guides covering the various different flavours of OS X as I try them. At the moment, I've only had any luck with iDeneb, so that's where I'll start... ;o)

Preparing your computer, dual boot, etc

At the time of writing, OS X doesn't work well enough on the HP Mini 2140 to be able to use it as your day-to-day computer so, if you would like to continue using your HP Mini while you're experimenting with OS X, you should consider either repartitioning your hard disk (so you can dual-boot OS X and another OS, e.g. Windows, Linux, etc), or install OS X on an external USB hard disk or flash drive.

Repartition or external USB drive?

Note that external USB devices might cause their own issues with your OS X installation, so it's best to repartition your hard disk if you can.

How to...

Since there's plenty of information available on repartitioning, I won't cover it again here, but to get you started, I used PartitionMagic to preserve my existing Windows install, and installed EasyBCD bootloader (free) to let me switch between operating systems on boot.

iDeneb 10.5.6

This guide is based on iDeneb 10.5.6. There is a good guide to installing iDeneb 10.5.5 on the HP Mini 1000 here, most of which applies to the HP Mini 2140, too.

You will need...

  • iDeneb installer on USB key, USB hard drive, or DVD with USB DVD drive
  • USB keyboard and mouse
  • External monitor
  • The ZIP file, above, with utilities and kexts, on a USB thumb drive

Install OS X

  1. With the Mini 2140 turned off/about to restart...
  2. Connect your USB keyboard and mouse
  3. Connect your monitor
  4. Insert your USB flash drive/USB hard disk/USB DVD drive with your iDeneb OS X installer
  5. (Re)start the Mini and press F9 to select the boot options menu
  6. Choose the USB device with your installer and press enter
  7. As soon as the OS X Darwin loader "press any key to enter boot options" prompt appears, press Fn+F2 until the external display is active and the internal display is turned OFF
    1. You should do this display switch each time OS X starts until you have installed the kexts which give the correct 1024x576 display resolution
  8. Start the installer app without any options selected
  9. Once the installer starts up, accept the license (which contains notes and instructions in the iDeneb distro)
  10. Do any partitioning/formatting you need to using Utilities > Disk Utility as required
  11. Select your install partition
  12. Select "customize" to change your installation options. The options below worked for me:
    1. ICH fix
    2. ACPI fix
    3. CPUS=1 fix
    4. Remove Firewire fix
    5. Kext helper application
    6. OSX86 Tools application
  13. Install OS X. Go make a cuppa tea/coffee/grab a beer/etc
  14. Once OS X has installed and restarted, feel free to hit Win+Q (Cmd+Q) to skip the registration process
  15. Use Kexthelper to install the kexts in the "Kexts - essential" folder in the useful apps ZIP
    1. Tip: install the kexts one at a time and reboot after each installation - this will allow you to identify which kext, if any, cause problems with OS X. This method isn't foolproof and won't save your installation from going wrong if your system disagrees with a kext, but it does mean you can avoid installing it the next time you install OS X

This is about as far as I've got so far - with all the essential kexts installed, the keyboard and mouse aren't working, which is a pretty major issue.

Disclaimer

The information above can seriously damage your computer. Don't carry out these steps if you don't know or are not sure what you're doing. If in doubt, seek advice. If you're still in doubt after that, better to not do it than to risk breaking your computer, an expensive flash drive, etc.

Also, some of the instructions above may reference software or practises which may invalidate your warranty or infringe copyright. Please take care to ensure you are acting on the right side of the law where you are.

Finally, all trademarks and copyrights are owned by their respective owners. No endorsements of any kind, implicit or explicit, are given for software and, likewise, I'm not approved or authorised to do this by anyone. Please bear in mind that this information is provided for people curious to get their computers doing unusual or unheard-of things.

Or, to put it another way, don't sue me if it all goes wrong. Please :o)