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DELL M6300 LION USB Package 1.0

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About This File

This is a guide for how I installed OS X LION onto a Dell Precision M6300 - There is no way to know if this will work for you and if you decide to try it you do so at your own risk

That said lets begin. I picked this M6300 Core 2 extreme x9000 up about a year and a half ago with the intention of installing OS X on it. It turned out to be quite the challenge. No method of installing Snow Leopard worked at all (not even iB{censored}+SL retail DVD) and the only way I found that would work was to use an older 10.6.3 Distro (I wanted it to be a Vanilla install but it just would not cooperate with me at all and as such I will not mention the name of this release) It easily upgraded via the online update all the way to 10.6.7 but totally refused 10.6.8. I did many web searches all the way from start to finish and was only able to find small clues about this machine and OS X. It seems everyone has had the troubles I have had but no one has documented any real procedure to get where I have reached. The install I used was a recommendation of a few posts I found by people with the m6300, and just last week I finally found a post that shed light on the way to get 10.6.8 running which ended up quite simple (though was a battle to get my BCM94321MC woking again and I am not sure exactly how I did it for 10.6.8) I then found a post via another post about the m6400 model as well explaining how to make a custom bootable USB for other Dell models (I will try to add as many links as I can) This led me to experiment and come up with a LION USB stick that finally booted on my m6300 !!! I am hoping someone here with real skills can help figure out a way to make this USB boot on an m6300 using just the right files from U{censored} (I tried a few ways and got very close - the spinning beach ball for a curser at the pre login white screen after the apple logo) and I've had no luck whatsoever making a bootable Mountain Lion USB that boots on an M6300

First:

Make sure you have backed up and made image files of any partition you wish to work with. I found what was best for me was 3 partitions, 2 at 50 gigs each and 1 large one to store image files. You will also need a USB drive 6g +

and a copy of LION bought from the app store. Last you will need "some files* (I hate to suggest this but until someone can figure out why this works and an alternate way to make it happen this is all I can suggest) oh yes and a ton of patience?

First Link to get the power reboot working and a big clue on two important kext files you need to hang on to before Upgrading:

http://www.{censored}.com/snow-leopard-laptop-support/18015-dell-precision-m6300-working-mostly.html

(post #8 by sling00 is what you want to read)

This 2nd link has some good info that will help you understand what to do:

http://www.{censored}.com/lion-laptop-support/23514-installing-lion-dell-inspiron-1720-1520-version-2-a.html

(post #1 is what you want to read)

This link led me to the previous link and is the one that gave me my final Idea:

http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/topic/258845-dell-precision-m6400-osx-lion/

(post #4 is the one to read)

My Final solution was to make a standard LION U{censored} drive and modify it just ever so slightly (with a few files from the original installer that was the only one that ever made it all the way through the boot sequence) and a few older kext files. Here is how I did it:

My machine needed the power reboot fix and this I did first (in 10.6.8) by extracting my DSDT and adding the small edit to it from the first post I linked above, I also had to at times use various boot flags to get back on during the whole process and needed to use MB{censored} a bit to fine tune and to get my DSDT edit to work again - This is where the patience comes in - Research Chimera commands

--> Follow the method for making a U{censored} USB drive. Then open it and go to the Extra folder at root and delete the contents and replace them with the contents of the Extra folder I am providing. Then navigate to /usr/standalone/ and delete the file "boot caches.plist" and the folder "i386" also replace these items (this step may be able to be fine tuned and or changed to use less or different files as well). The 3 kexts I am including came from SL 10.6.7/8 Two are described in that first post I linked and the 3rd is just in case your WiFi is troubling you. Replace these into /S/L/E/ folder and for good measure drop the extensions folder on "kext utility" and let it do it's thing and will make a file in /S/L/ called "Extensions.mkext" - also do this with the /E/E/ folder <--

I've added a picture from the original install disk to illustrate the path to locate and replace the key files for the folders "extra" and "standalone" just in case it is not clear, as to the kexts to put in s/l/e I think you will know where that is and if not maybe should not attempt this

This was all I had to do and then reboot, *presto* very quickly to the installer (you can select to boot from the stick or let your HD boot it's loader and select the stick there). I used disk utilities to erase my first disk to install on and continued with a fresh install. I used a couple boot flags after this to get to the desktop (think it was just arch=i386 -f -v) and checked everything - USB,Audio,Graphics etc and fixed as needed with MB{censored}, then made sure I could get it to reboot without flags and then made the first image of the 10.7 install. I repeated this procedure multiple times to test it, made an image of the USB stick and restored it to a different stick and it all worked well for me again.

I was able to update to 10.7.4 but needed a spare USB keyboard to get to the desktop the first time (good to have and a USB mouse) I use one partition as a sort of base station to do any repairs or rescues from and when I have finally gotten it all working make my image file (I make one every step of the way too in case I mess up and need to go back a step or so) There was multiple times it seemed messed up, but one or two boots with some flags / then w/o and it was working again - or I would need to boot the other partition and do a little disk utility repairs then boot with and or w/o flags. I wish I understood more and could better explain the process but I am just learning as I go so best of luck to you all.

IMPORTANT NOTES UPDATE:

I just repeated this to recreate this process as I wanted to get a fresh partition to 10.7.5 booting in 64bit (already achieved, want to recreate)

1st - You must have an external usb keyboard handy (I used my LION 10.7 image to create my boot sticks, I am not sure what will happen with an updated version of the LION installer say 10.7.2 etc)

2nd - You must have at least one of the following conditions:

a) 2 partitions, one with a working Snow Leopard install to work from on reboots

B) a working OS X computer and a way to mount extra hard drives, so you can remove your HD from the m6300 and do the install and initial setup there

c) possibly a working windows machine with a virtual machine running OS X to do initial setup from

d) a good understanding of basic unix commands to work from the terminal

THE INITIAL SETUP IS EVERYTHING & AS FOLLOWS:

You have 2 choices when making a USB LION installer to use on the M6300 - both require the replacement of the content in the 2 folders "extra" & "standalone" for them to boot

CHOICE 1)

If you choose to go with the non-U{censored} USB stick that has a boot partition and an install partition this USB stick should boot and let you install quite easily

CHOICE 2)

If you use the U{censored} USB method and try to reboot from the stick you may encounter an error when you get past the "choose a language" screen - it may tell you that you can not install OS X on this machine but can restore an image or restart - you can however get to Disk Utilities and take advantage of that while you are there, if you get this error you will need to not boot from the stick but instead boot your HD with the working Snow Leopard install and use that Chimera boot loader screen to select your USB LION installer, this is how it was for me (make sure you have a working Snow Leopard install with an updated Chimera Bootloader)

Either Way:

When I got done installing 10.7 LION I had to reboot my working partition of Snow Leopard and run the LION MB{censored} from there where I selected "EasyBeast" only then "Continue" then "Change Location" (which is sort of goofy with MB{censored} that it does not let you select location first) which takes you back a screen where you have to select "EasyBeast" again so you can continue and install on the correct partition where your new LION install is.

This is followed by the first boot attempt to get to the LION setup screens - I use --> arch=i386 -f -v <-- as my 3 boot flags and I was taken to the set up screens, and this is where I had to have a USB keyboard plugged in because if I did not then the first screen says I "do not have a keyboard" (no amount of monkeying around with MB{censored} and or kexts was able to get around this for me, though maybe you can) you can easily set up lion after this and get to the desktop (or at least I did)

If you have a 10.7 only installer like me and have to use the update combos you will have to be prepared to replace certain kexts again as well as use boot flags to get back to the desktop. I can not stress how very important a separate working partition with SL in advance is, unless you are able to figure out other ways. In the end when I got 10.7.5 up and going in 32 bit the hardest thing after that was getting the right combo of boot flags together to allow me a stable 64 bit boot (I also ended up using an iMac 7.1 smbios definition since I have the core 2 extreme CPU though the Mac Pro 3.1 was working, it just seemed to run a little cooler idle with the iMac)

I also found that Chameleon Wizard was a very handy tool for me since I am not very skilled at this whole process, very quick and easy to use with lots of tools all in one spot

If you want to use the Non-U{censored} method I have uploaded a separate file called "2 Partition USB method" inside is the instructions and everything you need to make the USB boot drive except the LION Install App from the app store (you must provide this yourself for either method described) I also had to use the kexts from my s:l:e.zip after the install to make my LION partition boot for either method.

This should be enough to get you going and hopefully someone can come up with a way to install ML on the M6300 next! Good luck!




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Just wanted to check in and say I just picked up another M6300 and was able to get it running 10.7.5 Using the 2 partition USB stick (non U{censored} method) it was not easy again but for sure works. I installed 10.7.0 then rebooted to the installer and went to the console and replaced the 3 kexts from my s/l/e pack, rebooted to the USB stick and selected my fresh install this time (arch=i386 -f -v) and got to the desktop on the first try (needed my external keyboard to start the first time setup screens) At the desktop I ejected my USB stick and did an easybeast install. From there it is a little harder but you can do it, keep rolling back those kexts, in fact I made a copy of my extensions folder on the desktop and had it open as well as the original extensions folder. Both were set to sort by "Date Modified" and then I ran the 10.7.4 updater and then I could see the (I think 4) new kexts installed by the update - that I deleted and rolled back, along with PCIFamily & AppleACPIPlatform (those 2 are the real buggers) Getting Sound to Voodoo 2.7.3 and using the old VoodooBattery after was a little tricky and getting 10.7.5 is some work as well. Just stick with it keep trying, best bet is to have a 2nd partition with a working Snow Leopard install to go back to and do repairs & images from as needed (at one point it was all messed up so I restored the 10.7.4 image I made after getting that far and kept at it and got it right). Good Luck!

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