Hackingtosh

July 28th, 2015 | Posted by Kevin Wright in Features

As a few of you will know, I wasted spent over £1000 last year building my own PC, but other than play some games (awesome in its own right BTW) I was not really pushing it.

Several times, I looked into making it run OSX, instead of Windows, and finally today, I decided to give it a go, with the added twist of making it dual boot, into Windows or OSX on startup. Although I am putting this up, its really all on tonymacx86.com (you have to register) and Youtube, and I will reference and credit the ones I used as I go.

I was pretty amazed how easy it was. You will need a few things to get started, first of all, you need (or at least access to) a real Mac of some sort, as you need to grab a copy of OSX to put on the new machine. I chose Yosemite. So, download that on your Mac, and get a fresh 8GB thumb drive ready, and erase it in OSX disk utility, making sure you format it as Mac OS (Journaled). Now, before I even did any of this, I watched a couple of video’s on Youtube at least twice each, just to get a feel for the process. In the end it did not exactly go like the video as there are a huge number of variables, but the result is working well on my initial testing, so the result is the same. The video’s that helped me were this one and this one.

You also want to make sure your PC hardware will work OK with the OSX side of this, so take a look here for a superb guide to what will and won’t work. I already knew my PC build was pretty much OK from past dabbling. I think the key is to read and watch videos for a while before attempting anything, and remember if you do it the way I did, you wipe the PC you currently have, so make sure you have a product key and install media for your Windows PC. I was using a trial version of Windows 8.1 which is not upgradeable to Windows 10 tomorrow, so I went in hunt of a cheap key. There were loads of obvious dodgy deals, with links to god knows where, in the end I settled on a key from a site which looked at least semi legal, and had some decent feedback. I am not linking to them here but email me and I will tell you who it is. Was £20 for instant delivery of an 8.1 Pro key which has activated fine for now and confirmed it will upgrade to 10.

So, here is roughly how it went.

Already had Yosemite on my MBA, so I made the Unibeast thumb drive as per the video instructions, took about 30 mins. I then put this in my PC and had the fun of trying to get into the bios before Windows 8.1 (trial) booted up, its almost impossible to time it right on a UEFI bios like mine, but if you hold SHIFT and then Restart the PC it gives an option to boot from different drives. I booted from the thumb drive and (using OSX Disk Utility) formatted my Samsung 256GB SSD , and then split into 2 partitions, one Mac OS (Journaled) and one MS DOS (FAT). Remember, I had nothing to lose, my system had nothing important on, yours might so BACK IT ALL UP.

At first, the SSD would not partition, coming up with some error. I did what every good geek does, and just hit Partition a second time, and it worked fine. When I exited Disk Utility, the screen only showed my Mac partition, not the two as soon in the video, but I decided to just carry on as I knew I had created both of them OK. So you just install OSX as normal, and after about 11 mins, it started up just like a new Mac would.  I decided to just create a local account rather than setup my Apple ID, in case it all went crazy…..the first time the account locked up mid creation, so I zapped the power and turned it back on, and it just went back to the start of the install. Once finished I put another local account it only to find it has created both of them, although it is easy enough to zap them later.

So, I had OSX on the PC now, and according to the video you are supposed to then run Multibeast to configure it all to your hardware, but as I had left the Windows 8.1 DVD in the drive, on a reboot it decided it wanted to start installing this next. I got this media from this page by the way, very handy site from Microsoft.

I thought about quitting, but decided to let it run. It asked for my key I got for £20 as above, and accepted this and carried on with a normal Windows setup. When I got to the bit on where to install it, I had to format it of course, this was the 2nd partition I knew I had already created (but which had not shown up) and this formatted fine. It did give another error as the video said it might, but unlike the chap in the video, I did not have to reboot, just hit next twice and it all started to install.

I left Windows install to its devices, and it took about 30 mins I would say. Once Windows was running, I checked it was activated, and did a reboot using the original thumb drive with Unibeast and Multibeast on it. You need to access the boot order part of the bios again to do this, and I could get SHIFT-Restart to work this time, so ended up switching off, and mashing the F12 key while booting, and this got me to my bios select screen. Booted into the thumb drive and copied the Mutlibeast folder to the desktop on the new Hackingtosh, and ran the setup recommended for my motherboard.

This includes a bootloader so you can choose which OS you run at startup. For some reason mine boots directly to OSX if I don’t touch anything, but if I hit a key during load, I can choose OSX or Windows. I also have two icons for Windows for some reason, but both of them launch it OK.

I also had to use Multibeast to get the Ethernet connection working, but that was easy enough. All in all, am a happy bunny.

 

 

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