Commotosh Part 7: It Lives!
Looking at the picture you might conclude that C3PO exploded on the desk. Yes, I realize that it looks like a mess, but the Commotosh has finally roared to life. My friend Jonathan Payne drove down from Columbus (Georgia, not Ohio) to give me an experienced hand with jumping through the various hoops required to get OSX installed. Being a Saturday morning I decided to lug the whole thing up to the school to work on it so I could let the family sleep in. Jonathan met me at 7:30 AM and we got right to work. The fact is I don’t know that I could have pulled it off without his help. At least not in the short amount of time it took for us to do it. I was prepared to go through several unnecessary steps that Jonathan poo-pooed, making the process much less difficult than I was prepared for.
This is basically the way it went down: The first celebration came when I plugged everything in, mashed the power button and no sparks, smoke, or unnatural sounds came from the case.
I easily navigated to the BIOS settings, made the necessary changes, then proceeded to run UniBeast with Chimera from the usb drive. (If you have any questions about what any of that is, I would again direct you to tonymacx86.com) That being completed we installed Lion on the SSD by booting from the thumb drive and installing Lion on the SSD. After the Lion install was complete we rebooted from the USB drive once again, connected to the internet and downloaded and installed MultiBeast, which is a post-installation tool from TonyMac that enables you to boot from the hard drive and get all the important little details like audio, graphics, networks, drivers, bootloaders, config files, and System Utilities files to make everything run like a real Mac. After that, we went to Gigabyte’s website to identify the motherboard version, then back to TonyMac to download the DSDT for the mobo. Lots of additional box-checking and un-checking took place at this point, all of which is outlined on TonyMac.
After all that was done it was time to restart and boot from the hard drive. If all went well, the computer should start right up and be running OSX Lion like a champ. Lots of finger-crossing happened at that time. “Please work, please work, please work…”
The whole thing froze up.
Booting from the thumb drive was no problem, but we ran into trouble when we tried to boot normally from the SSD. The light grey screen would come up, the beautiful white apple would appear, and the OS would get about 15 seconds into booting up and just freeze. Jonathan somehow concluded that it was an issue with loading graphics and we spent the next two hours troubleshooting, scouring the internet for solutions, and retrying. After messing around with various BIOS settings, and even rewriting root directory commands, we decided to wipe everything out and start afresh. We repeated the whole process again, went to crossing fingers and…
Froze up again.
We took a break and headed to Jersey Mike’s for a sandwich, then came back for another shot at it. At just about the time I was getting discouraged, JP got the notion to try an HDMI cable instead of the VGA cable we were using. Unplug the VGA, plug in the HDMI and… (please work, please work, please work)…
…it booted up just like magic! Had we done that to begin with, the whole process would have probably taken less that 30 minutes.
Another celebration! Next we went through a series of software updates, rebooted, and everything ran just like a real Mac. A real mac with a quad core 3.3 GHZ processor, 8 GB of RAM, 2 TB of hard drive space, and a 120 GB solid state drive, that is.
The next step will be to button everything up, ditch the old Dell wired keyboard and mouse (needed initially to get the system going), enable bluetooth, set up the wireless keyboard and mouse, get the Commodore 1541 floppy case set up as a CD/DVD drive and system backup, and migrate Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, Microsoft Office 11, and other essentials from my MacBook Pro. Stay tuned and I’ll let you know how all that goes.