Thursday, 25 May 2017

How to Install Mac OS 10.10 Yosemite on a VirtualBox

If you want the look and feel of a Mac without paying premium for essentially a "normal" PC, then the word on the street is "Hackintosh". If you're prepared to do some research, you can find quite detailed instructions on the web (and in particular on YouTube) that show you how it's done. I suppose many people were lucky, but if you check the various fora (that you'll inevitably run into sooner or later), you'll see that they're littered with failed attempts and obstacles that were impossible to overcome.

In my attempt to install Yosemite-Zone, I ran into the following two problems well known in the art:

  • BIOS disk read error at sector: 00000011
  • "2 minutes remaining" problem.
They -- for me, at least -- proved mutually unsolvable: the solution for the first problem, renders the second unsolvable. I got as far as a boot screen, but was unable to proceed any further.

Here's what works: If you want an install that is painless, proceed as follows. Farther below, I'll explain what problems you can avoid by following this guide.
  1. Install VirtualBox 4.3.40. Don't forget the extension pack.
    4.3 is an outdated and hence unsupported version of the virtual machine. That would be the drawback of this solution then. It is counterbalanced by the non-negligible fact that it'll work.
  2. Download Yosemite-Zone.iso (google)
  3. Follow this guide on YouTube. You'll run into the "2 minutes remaining" problem, but if you follow the simple instructions, you'll end up with a bootable install.
  4. Celebrayshun!
If you install a newer version of the VirtualBox (what you would normally do), you might find that the installation fails early with a BIOS disk read error at sector: 00000011. The proposed solution to that problem is to enable "EFI" in the VM settings. If you do that, the boot process described in the guides (those you find on the intertubes) is bypassed and the system boots via UEFI instead (an updated BIOS).

You'll have to press the F8-key immediately after reset/start (hit it several time in rapid pace) to find the BIOS screen. Select Boot Maintainance Setup, then Boot from File, then the second entry (the one that ends in CDROM).

While booting (a lot of stuff races across the screen), you may or may not run into the Missing Bluetooth controller transport problem (which disappeared after I had increased the display memory in the VM setup to the maximum 128Mbytes). If you don't, after a few long seconds (a minute or two) you're presented with the Mac OS installation screen. You can now proceed according to the guides.

However, if you happen to run into the "2 minutes remaining" problem now, you're essentially doomed. The problem is that you can't get at the command line anymore, in order to to follow the proposed solution of the "2 minutes" problem. UEFI takes that away from you. If you reset your VM and boot from the disk you get the Clover screen, a colorful display with a big (X) in the center. You can set boot options, but even after what felt like a million attempts, I was unable to get at the command line allowing me to complete the manual post-install process (what the solution to the 2-minutes problem essentially boils down to). It'll just stall permanently after a few dozen lines. If, on the other hand, you uncheck "EFI" in the VM settings, you're back at the BIOS disk read error.

Finally, I gave up, uninstalled the new version of VirtualBox (make sure to uninstall the extensions first!), and then downloaded and installed the old, unsupported version. After that, installation was a breeze. Save yourself a lot of troubles, and follow the easy guide above.

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