Tuesday, February 16, 2010

OSX on Jetway Atom GM1

After recent efforts with OSX on non-regular hardware (Lenovo running 10.5.8, Wind U100 running 10.6.2),

I was looking to use a case that was hanging around that I got from Ebay for about £5.

After some looking bough a Jetway Atom GM1 on Ebay: it was a dual core
  • it had 2 RAM slots
  • the spec says supports 4Gb of RAM
  • its a good form factor for my case

Here's the board in the case.

There are some issues:
  • the positioning of the power socket is very poor, and means you have to press down on the wires to get them under the drive caddies
  • the caddies also push to the RAM sockets, which means if you want to fill both sockets one of the RAM chips will have to be low profile. For some reason DDR2 RAM in low profile form factor is rare on Ebay.
  • Curious.all the power connectors are molex, but the drive connectors are 2 x SATA and 1 x PATA, so if you want to use SATA HD you'll need SATA to Molex adaptor. This will cause the HD to butt right up against the PSU.

Anyway, not enough to put me off! Spec below from www.jetwaycomputer.com/Atom-GM.html

ProcessorAtom 330 1.6GHz
Chipset945GC + ICH7
Memory2 x DDR2 400/533 Dual Channel DIMM slot (up to 2 GB)
GraphicsIntel GMA950 Integrated Graphics
AudioRealtek ALC662 5.1 Channel Audio
LANRealtek RTL8102EL 10/100Mbit Ethernet

So with the spec, and knowing that if I wanted to close the case I'd need different RAM (I'd borrowed the 2 x 2Gb DDR2 sticks), it seemed a reasonable challenge to get OSX 10.5 Leopard running on it.

I chose iAtkos v7 which installs 10.5.7. I chose the default options, including the Realtek LAN and Realtek Audio. On reboot I got a bad crash:

"Should have 2 cores, but only 1 found for die0"

I thought initially it was due to the wrong kernel I chosen during install, so I booted from the DVD and installed just the Voodoo Kernel. Reboot, same thing.

Some Googling suggested that this was due to the Kernel not liking the four (2 physical, 2 logical) cores, so I went into the BIOS "Advanced Bios Features" and turned off hyper-threading. You could also use the boot option "CPUs=2".


Boots into 10.5.7 no problem, and feels quite nippy.

Quick check of whats working, and whats not... well it all working apart from audio in, which I can live with.

I had two problems though.

First, doing 'about this mac' caused a GUI crash, restarting the Finder and killing any open applications.

Second the CPU information shown in the System Profller was wrong.

At first I thought the two were related, so I found CPUInjector.kext and using instructions here I made the kext say the board had a Core Duo CPU

But this didn't fix the about 'this mac crash' , so a bit more Googling and I found another kext AppleSMBIOSEFI.kext.

Remove the old AppleSMBIOS kext, and then use kext helper to install AppleSMBIOSEFI.kext.

Then restart.

The boot is slower, but now 'about this mac' doesn't crash! Instead it shows garbage, but I can fix that!

Using OSX86Tools I selected "autoset CPU info" and "Restore System Strings Files to Defaults".

Log out and back in, and About This Mac is now fine.

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