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  • Part 2: Where’d my IO go?

    Posted on March 31st, 2009 ashinn No comments

    Shortly after upgrading my Hackintosh to 10.5.6 it occured to me that the machine was NOTABLY slower. Digging into it a little bit more I discovered it was all IO wait issues (read: poor disk performance). We’re talking like 5 minute boots and fun stuff like that.

    I opened up System Profiler, and to my surprise there were no longer any SATA devices (T43 is a SATA based machine, at least mine is). The hard drive was now nested in the ATA section with the DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo drive. At this point I suspected driver schnanigans so I then dumped dmesg to a text file and put it on a usb keychain for some comparisons.

    Once again I imaged the machine and then restored the old 10.5.3 image and compared dmesg. The old 10.5.3 (which FLEW compared to my 10.5.6 image) was using AppleIntelPIIXATA.kext and the 10.5.6 image had switched to AppleVIAATA.kext. As I said in part 1, I had to select VIA-SB to even get OSX to install on this machine… so I guess this makes sense. I haven’t had time to boot the install DVD again to see if PIIXATA is an option to choose.

    ANYWAY, I found this thread on InsanelyMac which includes the PIIXATA drivers for various OSX builds: AppleIntelPIIXATA kext fully working for all ICHx Mobo (All Sata Channels working), Fully working kext (Leopard & Tiger version 1.1)

    I don’t think English is his first language, so let me try to clarify:

    • Use OSX86Tools to install the AppleIntelPIIXATA.kext, don’t close the app yet.
    • Open terminal and change directory to: /System/Library/Extensions
    • mv AppleVIAATA.kext /var/tmp (in case you need it back!).
    • Back in OSX86Tools check Set Extensions permissions & Clear Extensions Cache and then Run Selected Items.
    • Reboot machine, and you should notice GREATLY improved performance.

    If it doesn’t boot again, well don’t blame me 🙂

    Till next time…

  • Part 1: Getting OSX 10.5.6 on my IBM T43 laptop

    Posted on March 29th, 2009 ashinn No comments

    Over the next few posts I’m going to chronicle my struggles to get OSX 10.5.6 on my test laptop, this is just the first installment.

    As I might have posted in the past, I do a bit of testing/development for OSX on a Hackintosh, more specifically using an IBM T43. I’m somewhat ashamed to say that, being that I’m an iPhone/iPod owner (and generally a fan of Apple products). I would love to own a real Apple branded machine, but they’re just not within my budget. Even used mini’s still seem to fetch near MSRP prices on eBay. So please, I really don’t need any lectures.

    I started this journey with Kalyway 10.5.1 and over time used their comboupdates to get it to 10.5.3. I’ve been very content for a long time, but lately I needed to do some testing that required 10.5.6.

    I imaged the laptop and unsuccessfully tried about 50 different methods to get it to 10.5.4, .5 and .6. Nothing really worked out for me 100%, so I decided to turn to the newer iDeneb releases.

    First I acquired the iDeneb 1.4 (10.5.6) DVD ISO, and attempted to install. The DVD boots, installs about 3/4 the way and then dies with this error: pkgExtractor[162]: BomFileError 2: No such file or directory – ./usr/X11/share/doc/renderproto/renderproto.txt. I dicked with this thing for days and on about 7 different machines (not T43’s) and recieved the same results. Either I’m doing something TOTALLY wrong, or this ISO is bunk. I found a few other people who were having the same issues on the InsanelyMac forum, but no fix was ever posted.

    Then I acquired the iDeneb 1.3 (10.5.5) DVD ISO, and likewise attempted to install … success! The winning combination to choose at install is:

    • X11
    • Patches 10.5.5 Ready -> Audio -> AppleAzailiaAudio
    • Patches 10.5.5 Ready -> Chipset -> VIA-SB
    • Patches 10.5.5 Ready -> Kernel -> Kernel 9.4.0 StageXNU
    • Patches 10.5.5 Ready -> Network -> AppleBC5751 (more on this later)

    If you’ve never installed OSX on this laptop before, make sure you disable SpeedStep in the BIOS or you’ll be hating life.

    At this point you more/less have a working 10.5.5 machine, which is a step in the right direction. Still isn’t 10.5.6 though, so let’s continue on. You’ll notice your video isn’t quite right yet, and maybe some hardware you have isn’t working right either. My suggestion: get it to 10.5.6 and THEN worry about that stuff.

    Lucky for us, iDeneb released a 10.5.6 upgrade kit. It can be found here:

    Follow the instructions with it and voila, you’ll be at 10.5.6.

    Now, to get all of my hardware devices hmmmmmmmmmmmm……….

    Till next time…

  • Manually reactivate LVM’s in Linux

    Posted on March 2nd, 2009 ashinn No comments

    I’m not sure what the deal is, but often when you boot Linux up single user you only get the root volume group activated. This could be totally normal behavior, and no big deal. When you have /usr /var and other portions of the file system broken up … it becomes a big deal.

    After looking around the lvm man page awhile, this worked for me.


    # lvm lvscan
    Failed to find sysfs mont point
    inactive ‘/dev/var/var [7.99 GB] inherit
    ACTIVE ‘/dev/system/root [7.80 GB] inherit
    ACTIVE ‘/dev/system/swap [2.00 GB] inherit

    Execute this:

    # lvm vgsan
    # lvm vgchange -ay


    # lvm lvscan
    Failed to find sysfs mont point
    ACTIVE ‘/dev/var/var [7.99 GB] inherit
    ACTIVE ‘/dev/system/root [7.80 GB] inherit
    ACTIVE ‘/dev/system/swap [2.00 GB] inherit

    You may now mount volumes as normal for maintenance.

  • Lockdown Firefox updates on Microsoft Terminal Server

    Posted on March 2nd, 2009 ashinn No comments

    I had an interesting dilemma today.

    Due to the way some of our internal applications and certain brands of network gear function, our NOC requires Mozilla Firefox on the terminal servers. Over the weekend an update must’ve come out for Firefox, and a user clicked OK.

    The update crapped out halfway through since they didn’t have administrative rights. Firefox doesn’t appear to roll back in this situation, leaving you with a broken install. So broken that you can’t even uninstall it without getting the dreaded: “Your computer must be restarted to complete a previous upgrade of Firefox. Do you want to reboot now?” which is also what it says when a user tries to open it.

    Sure would be nice if the developers of Firefox threw in a privileges sanity check.

    We need a two phased approach to fix this fiasco.

    Fix #1: Get rid of that obnoxious error.

    Lucky for me, a co-worker of mine has ran into this before and has the fix documented on his blog here:

    Long story short: delete the *.moz-upgrade and *.moz-delete files from Firefox folder. Now that the error is gone, I went ahead and uninstalled/reinstalled Firefox just to make sure nothing dirty was left behind.

    Fix #2: Disable the auto-update feature in Firefox.

    I accomplished this by first creating a file called mozilla.cfg in the C:Program FilesMozilla Firefox directory with the following contents:

    // Disable Auto Updates
    lockPref(”app.update.enabled”, false);
    lockPref(”extensions.update.enabled”, false);

    Those instruct Firefox to disable the auto update for the browser itself AND any add-in extensions.

    Also you must edit C:Program FilesMozilla Firefoxgreprefs edit the file all.js and add this to the bottom:

    // Process mozilla.cfg in FireFox root directory.
    pref(”general.config.obscure_value”, 0);
    pref(”general.config.filename”, “mozilla.cfg”);

    Without that last piece, Firefox won’t process the mozilla.cfg you created.

    No reboot needed, and hopefully you’ll never run into this again.

    Later on I found a nice website that lists many other features an administrator might want to enforce in a terminal server environment. Check them out here:

    Till next time…