That Was Hard

inside_computer.jpgI upgraded my computer a couple weeks ago, swapping out the motherboard, CPU, and RAM, but leaving the hard drives and case alone. I thought it would be pretty simple. I knew Windows would work without a hitch, but I knew from the beginning that I’d have to reinstall the Mac OS because it had been patched to work on my old AMD processor. What I didn’t know was that the OSX-on-a-PC drive interface situation had flipped since the last time I installed OSX. With my nForce4 motherboard, it was a hassle to install onto SATA drives. With my ASUS P5K-E P35/ICH9R motherboard, OSX refused to even see my PATA/IDE drives. My DVD burner and my Mac hard drive were both IDE, so I was in trouble. I went through a lot of work, so I thought I’d document it all for anyone who’s dealing with the same problems. The geniuses over at the Insanelymac forums were a huge help. Here’s what I did:

  1. Bought a new SATA hard drive. I can never get enough storage anyway.
  2. Used VMware Workstation to format the disk to HFS+ and install the OS. I followed the instructions on this post, although I used the Kalyway 10.4.10 install disc because I need 10.4.10 in order to run FCP 6
  3. Replaced AppleAHCIPort.kext with the one at this post
  4. In the BIOS, switched SATA mode to AHCI (from IDE)
  5. BOOTED UP OS X!!!!!!
  6. Ran script to get onboard components (sound, ethernet, etc) working.
  7. Switched SATA back to IDE mode in the BIOS and booted into Windows.
  8. Followed these instructions to enable AHCI mode in Windows XP
  9. Switched SATA to AHCI mode in the BIOS and booted into Windows.
  10. Suddenly I had a nasty audio skipping problem. It was clearly related to AHCI mode. It turns out it was caused by an eSATA drive I had plugged in to the computer, but not powered on. My guess is because of the hot-swapping capabilities of AHCI, the system kept polling the drive trying to figure out what it was, while in IDE mode it doesn’t bother looking.

I’m sure I missed a few steps, but those are the ones that stick out in my memory. There might have been some extra fiddling with ATA-related kexts. I also continue to have a problem mounting the boot disk when I boot with cached kexts. I use the -f flag on the Darwin bootloader to get around that problem.

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