Dell Mini 9 Mac OS X Installation Guide on 8GB SSD (Single USB Method)

Posted on: June 16, 2009

This guide i’ve made for those even only has 8GB SSD stock.  i tried to simplified the guide to make easier for newbie to get Mac OS X Retail running on  8GB SSD Stock. The guide also applicable for SSD more than 8GB Stock.


1. USB Flash Drive (8GB above) and Mac Computer or Hackintosh also considerable.

2. Mac OS X 10.5.6 Installer RETAIL not preload that comes with mac computer. u can get here for TESTING PURPOSE.

3. Download Dell Mini Essential. Place to desktop.

4. Download incremental MacOSXupdate 10.5.7 from apple site. This optional but recommended to stay uptodate.


1. Format USB Flash Drive to Macintosh Extended Journal using Disk Utility on Mac Computer or Hackintosh. Name it OSXDVD.

2. Restore Mac OS X Retail 10.5.6 installer to USB Flash Drive. Drag disk image Mac OS X Install DVD to Source and OSXDVD as destination. Refer snapshot below.

Click Restore. It takes around 20 Minutes depend on read write speed USB Flash Drive.

3. open Dell_Mini_Essential.dmg and place OSinstall.mpkg to desktop Open terminal.type

sudo cp /Users/YOURMACCOMPUTERNAME/Desktop/OSinstall.mpkg /Volumes/OSXDVD/System/Installation/Packages

or the simplest way u can copy above code to terminal. remember!! replace YOURMACCOMPUTERNAME . and press ENTER.

Note: U can skip this if u have more than 8GB SSD space. (Recommend for 8GB SSD)

4. Install DellEFIBootMaker0.3.2 (512MB, 1GB) or DellEFIBootMaker0.3.3 (2GB) depend on your RAM installed. It will install to USB flash drive OSXDVD.

5. Copy DellEFI1.2a5 to USB Flash Drive


1. boot up your dell mini press 2. Disable and Enable these following on bios.

  • USB BIOS Legacy Support (Enabled)
  • Bluetooh (Disabled)
  • also hard drive boot (Disable) SHIFT+F1

save setting and exit. boot press 0. select USB Flash Drive. ENTER.. wait till installation screen appear.

2. Open Disk utility select Your SSD Drive. Select 1 Partition and click option. Select GUID. format SSD to Macintosh Extended Journal and name it OSXMINI9 (All caps). and click partition. close and next.

3. Select OSXMINI9 Drive and click customize. Expand Essential System. u wont see name of the packages. Deselect following packages according to size of package

  • DVDPlayer – 47.3 MB (Removable)
  • AdditionalSpeechVoices – 697 MB (Removable)
  • OxfordDictionaries – 129 MB (Removable)

There will saved space 1.5GB of 6GB Essential System. also deselect Language Translations, Additional Fonts, and Printer Drivers to save disk space and click install.

Note: Above step is optional. You can leave untouch Essential System if u have SSD Space more than 8GB.

Installation will takes around 20 minutes. at the end of Installation might be said failed!.

4. go terminal type “postinstall” no quotes. close terminal and restart.

5. Press 2. Disable USB Legacy. enable boot internal hard drive. (SHIFT+F1). Save and exit. Unplug USB Flash Drive.

6. Boot up and type”-f” no quotes. it will force all needed extension to load. U will see Video launching. and setup your information.

Post Installation

1. Install DellEFI1.2a5 only select these following setting

  • Reinstall Chameleon 2.0RC1-r431 Bootloader
  • Install Dell Mini 9 Extensions
  • Hide DellEFI files
  • Generate a system specific dsdt.aml file
  • Restore the 10.5.5 keyboard pref pane
  • Disable Hibernate and remove sleep file (recommended)

Reboot..Done 10.5.6.

Upgrade to 10.5.7

1. Install MacOSXupdate 10.5.7. Reboot. Boot and type “-x” . No quotes. You will running osx on safe mode.

2. Run DellEFI1.2a5. only select these

  • Reinstall Chameleon 2.0RC1-r431 Bootloader
  • Reinstall Dell Mini 9 Extensions
  • Hide DellEFI files
  • Generate a system specific dsdt.aml file

3. Reboot. now it should works like the real mac. Congratulations!!

Checkout my latest post

69 Responses to "Dell Mini 9 Mac OS X Installation Guide on 8GB SSD (Single USB Method)"

Many Thanks dude. everything works perfectly. Easy installation guide. i had frustated to reduce installation size on 8GB stock. u solved my problem. you’re my man…

help me i got problem. my dell not boot directly to flash drive. how to set boot flash drive? sorry i’m new here.

Have u followed the step by step. might be u missed out this


1. boot up press 2. Disable and Enable these following on bios.
USB BIOS Legacy Support (Enabled)
Bluetooh (Disabled)
also hard drive boot (Disable) SHIFT+F1

save setting and exit. boot press 0. select USB Flash Drive. ENTER.. wait till installation screen appear.

awesome post. Thanks for the clear and easy to understand guide. i’m still waiting snow leopard installation guide. 🙂

Thanks for this very clear tutorial Antyalias

but as I folowed th step “save setting and exit. boot press 0. select USB Flash Drive. ENTER…” an invalid partition table error appeared
maybe you know how to manage with it ? 🙂

(booting from an Isolinux CD dellminiboot I guess I succeeded to begin the installation from the USB flash Drive but I had a Kernel Panic short after the Grey Apple screen)

Perhaps u managed wrong format for USB Flash Drive. u should format mac os extended journal using mac or hackintosh. fat32 or ntfs wont worked. u should repeat Preparation step above.

i even had tried booted from cd dellmini isolinux but then cant detect USB Drive for installation.

Using this single USB Method u can install without DVDrom and no need to burn installer to dual layer disc. fyi size mac os x installer more than 4.3gb single layer. restore to flash drive 8Gb is enough to run installer.

hope this help

thanks for your quick reply antyalias 🙂

however I am 100% sure to have use mac os extended journal format 😦

actually the problem is you dell didnt detect your flash drive rait.
did u manage click 1 partition during format to mac osx extended journal? and select master boot record for option partition??

your guess is correct 😉
I am just reformating from (GUID) to (MBR)…

No change with MBR 1 partition os extended journal format 😦

thats weird. i never had this error even i reformatting many times.
Yves. how u managed restore mac osx installer?

I managed restore mac osx installer exactly the way your screenshot of Disk Utilities shows the Howto

… I used my own image disk of Mac OS X Install DVD I bought from applestore however was it my error ?

i think thats was great bought from apple store as it is retail disk. i had tried using preload that comes with my mac mini. this error will show
“mac os x cannot be installed on this computer” during installation screen.

thats why we need retail copy.

As indicated I just checked my brand new 32Go :
it is perfectly reconized in the BIOS
Did I missed the point ?

Hmmm… for some reason, the Essential System software item is grayed out and not “expandable”. As a result, I cannot remove the DVD Player, Oxford Dictionaries and Additional Speech Voices.

Anyone else have this issue? Any ideas as to how to get back on the proper path?

I figured it out…


I fixed the error I made in the step in copying the Dell_Mini_Essential files. Now it is working great.

Hello !

today a good news and a bad one from my mini 9 🙂

the good news is that in the BIOS “USB Flash” needed to be expanded because as I descovered it there were 2 “SSD” in my second hand mini 9 so setting my 8Go flash Drive in first position allow it to boot but only after a cold restart.

the bad news is the installation stopped at the line “PIIXPATA: Setting power state”

any helpfull idea to by pass this pb please ? 😉

… the boot went further re-enabling my 32Go SSD and further more alowing the wake on USB and (long long 10min later)…

the Splendid blue screen and aurora them for installation appears at last ! Yeepee !

So far so good 🙂

… (few hours later) system and all my application run up to perfection thanks to your help Antyalias, so great thanks !

on my side it went fine up until I click on the final ‘install’ right after customizing the installation so that it fits (by the way in the essential system category I get no label, only sizes, am I the only one?). I could find out which files to deselect by the sizes.

The intaller log reports: “Failed to locate package at path /System/Installation/Packages/BaseSystem.pkg (./BaseSystem.pkg — file://localhost/System/Installation/Packages/OSInstall.mpkg).

I have tried 4 times at least, made sure file system was properly set, that I had copied to the adequate location the OSInstall.mpk, etc. Running out of ideas here… any idea guys?

Thanks in advance from my mini 9 and myself! 🙂

Hi, newbie here, the Essential System software item is grayed out and not “expandable”. I cannot remove the DVD Player, Oxford Dictionaries and Additional Speech Voices.

What I am doing wrong?

how u manage section preparation on step 3. the best way u copy and paste to terminal. perhaps the file not copy to installer correctly.

ur problem might be same as gilsas u should read section preparation carefully.

As i state in my post Essential package wont shown any names when u right click to expand. the guide is size of the package.

OSinstall.mpkg must copied to installer to get menu essential system can be expandable.

Thanks for your reply, still doesn’t work for me, can the OSinstall.mpkg file be modified at the terminal during installation?

By the way, my retail copy of Leopard is 10.5.4, does that make any difference?

Thnx bro.. everything is perfect.. i got 1 problem here.. how to turn on airport wireless? wireless card was detected.. but i cannot turn on it..

IG. when u said wireless card detected u are suppose have green light on Airport system preferences. see prefered signal on Network Name and select which u are connected. hope this help

Many thanks for your answer – I could not fix this so I switched over to the mini132 method which worked for me ( well, more or less) – maybe it was related to the img file I had built? BTW, seems capitals are missing in step 3 at Packages and Installation, am I right?

Many thanks for your answer – I could not fix this so I switched over to the mini132 method which worked for me ( well, more or less) – maybe it was related to the img file I had built? BTW, seems capitals are missing in the path at step 3, “Packages” and “Installation”:

sudo cp /Users/YOURCOMPUTERNAME/Desktop/OSinstall.mpkg /Volumes/OSXDVD/System/installation/packages


how can I confirm that step 3 was completed properly? all i get in terminal is:


and it doesn’t look like anything was modified (or added) on my USB OSXDVD

hello again. . . now i am getting

cp: /Users/chad-power-mac-g5/Desktop/OSinstall.mpkg: No such file or directory

and after one more time

usage: cp [-R [-H | -L | -P]] [-fi | -n] [-pvX] source_file target_file
cp [-R [-H | -L | -P]] [-fi | -n] [-pvX] source_file … target_directory

also, i have taken out “space” after “OSinstall.mpkg” and added a capital first letter to “Installation” and “Packages”


your command should be like this

sudo cp /Users/chad-power-mac-g5/Desktop/OSinstall.mpkg /Volumes/OSXDVD/System/installation/packages

make sure your flash drive mounted.

after unplug plugin the wireless card, my wifi run like a charm but after that my bluetooth not detected.. blur.. +.@” do u know what happen?

I should probably be a little more descriptive in my attempts . . .I was using this terminal command line as described in my above comments . ..

sudo cp /Users/chad-power-mac-g5/Desktop/OSinstall.mpkg /Volumes/OSXDVD/System/installation/packages

.. . when describing my problems.

i am still troubleshooting this, but now am trying using Disk Utility to restore the Leopard 10.5.6.img using an INTEL based mac whereas before i was using a G5 PPC processor. I read somewhere that the Disk Utility on a mac power-pc processor is compromised for this task.

i hope this information helps someone alongside me in this attempt. i will report back after this installation attempt (now trying it by restoring disk image with an INTEL mac on the USB)


Is anyone using the TESTING PURPOSES only dvd download given here?
I am downloading it now (for testing purposes of course) but noticed after downloading all of it there there is no ‘part44.rar’ file…. Has anyone successfully used this DVD that is provided?

Hello again,

In addition to my comment above, I dont seem to be able to unzip it… Could this be because the part 44 file is missing? Really want to try to get OSX on my mini, but cant even start yet!!!

that site not mine. that was my friends site.
i’ll ask him to fix the link. just refresh the site for few moment.

Need a little help here – trying to d/l those files for the USB drives. Can somebody point me at the d/l sites?

If you mean the Dell Mini Essentials pack, go to the top of the tutorial and in ‘Requirements’ at step 3 is the hyperlink to the download page.

Many thanks for that, it is d/l-ing now! I do have one rather newbie-type question before i get started… In this command-line step:

sudo cp /Users/YOURCOMPUTERNAME/Desktop/OSinstall.mpkg /Volumes/OSXDVD/System/installation/packages

do i replace the YOURCOMPUTERNAME part with the name of the mac that i am doing the preparation on or the mini that i hope to install OSX on?

Many thanks again, for a great guide and for your help. Really looking forward to getting OSX on my mini!



OK so i have part 44 now and all parts from 1 to 71, but TUGZIP or 7-zip are both unable to extract it. Tugzip just stops half-way and 7-zip only creates a 2.9Gb file….? What am i doing wrong?!

steve-o, just download the max os x from another site (its popular and it starts with a “p”)

can you use an external usb hard drive, instead of a flash drive?


I’m d/l-ing it now.. hopefully it will work! I’m also hoping that you can use an external drive as i dont have an 8gb flash drive. I do have an external drive or a card reader which i could put my 16gb SDHC card into. Anyone know if this would be ok?


OK, so its all downloaded now and seems that the file i have is ok (is there any way to check the file is ok other than just trying it?). My earlier question still remains though:

In this command-line step:

sudo cp /Users/YOURCOMPUTERNAME/Desktop/OSinstall.mpkg /Volumes/OSXDVD/System/installation/packages

do i replace the YOURCOMPUTERNAME part with the name of the mac that i am doing the preparation on or the mini that i hope to install OSX on?

Can anyone who has completed the install successfully let me know the answer? Also if there are any other pointers i would be grateful before i set out upgrading/ruining my Dell!

Many thanks

Thanks for the guide. I had install go well but upon restart, after the postinstall step, I see a boot error and can not type -f. Any ideas? Thanks.

If you don’t have a 8GB+ thumb drive, can you substitute a USB hard drive in it’s place? I understand you’d have to format the whole drive, but I wasn’t sure if the Mini 9 only would boot off of something it recognized as a flash drive vs any USB storage.

Got everything working properly up to the 10.5.7 update- I don’t have enough space to install it on the 8 GB SSD?? Is there something I am missing or something I can delete?

It says I need 357 MB more free space. This is a fresh install as per the above steps and my SSD shows 5.87 GB used on 6.83 GB total with 990.5 MBs free. Does that look right??

Otherwise, AWESOME job- I have a fully functional 10.5.6 Mini 9.

Hi Zuck

Do you have any pointers as to any steps that need clarification? I have the required files now and just want to hear from someone who followed the steps and it all went good for!

Also, can I ask you this question:

In this command-line step:

sudo cp /Users/YOURCOMPUTERNAME/Desktop/OSinstall.mpkg /Volumes/OSXDVD/System/installation/packages

do i replace the YOURCOMPUTERNAME part with the name of the mac that i am doing the preparation on or the mini that i hope to install OSX on?

Enjoy your hackintosh!

Finally got my Mini 9. I’m about to try this install tonight. It’s slightly different from MechDrew’s method but I’m hoping it works.

Steve-O: Replace YOURCOMPUTERNAME with the name of the mac, not the mini.

Easier install for 8gb SSD’s:

Instead of placing the OSinstall.mpkg to desktop, run these commands on the Terminal:

open /Volumes/OSXDVD/System/Installation/Packages

The finder window will open where the installation files are located. Copy the OSinstall.mpkg from ‘Dell Mini Essential’ and paste in into the installation files window. This function will allow you to pick and choose the ‘Essential’ files that were previously grayed out once you insert your USB drive back into the Mini 9.


Thanks for that Rick and good luck for your install! Will probably tackle it sometime this weekend…i’ll let you guys know how it goes!

how do you do this

also hard drive boot (Disable) SHIFT+F1
save setting and exit. boot press 0. select USB Flash Drive. ENTER.. wait till installation screen appear.


jsut press shift f1 in dell setup ??

can someone help me out?

im in the installation, but it stops and says “failure to validate essentials package.

i have 2 gb of ram.

btw, wat does “hard drive boot (disable) shift + f1” mean?

i have bios a04, disabling hard drive is shift + 1. is that what its talking about?

i tried it, but it still says same error when there is still supposed to be 23 min left.

When I get to the installation step 2, and select the disk utility from chameleon screen, I get an “No loader” error… what did I do wrong?


I am trying this method to install my OSX

I am stuck at Boot Error after I go through with changing things at the boot. I am having the same problem as Yves.

Yves if you could tell me how you got around it, I would be grateful.


Wow I finally got this thing to work PERFECTLY. I initially used a retail copy of 10.5.0 and kept getting the restart computer kernel error after running the Dell EFI I purchased a retail copy of 10.5.6 and it works perfectly!!! Every port works on it including the webcam, sd card reader, all usb ports (which for some reason didn’t work on 10.5.0). This is the greatest netbook, and people who are expecting to be able to use it for Final Cut Pro have their expectations way to high.

I used the netbookinstaller method as well, but could not get osx to boot without the flashdrive plugged in.

This is the greatest thing for only 250 bucks on my Vostro A90.Thank you very much for the great walk through and providing a solution for those of us with only 8gb SSD.

I also wanted to mention to run the program called monolingual ( it removes all other traces the languages other than what you need. For instance, I only speak and understand English, so I ran monolingual and removed all other languages and cleared out 495mb of storage from my 8gb SSD. Lots of storage space when considering that is a more than 1/16 the size of the drive (actual SSD disk size is about 7.3GB)

Hi, I’ve not started on doing this yet, but is it possible to install OSX on an external USB HDD or USB memory stick and boot from that rather than using the internal SSD. As I’d rather keep Linux on the SSD. Thanks in advance. Chris

know the command disk utility uses for restore? dd? interested so i can write the partition image to usb drive.

For those of you with BIOS A04, in order to disable the hard drive boot, go to the “Boot” menu, select the hard drive, then click “Shift+1”.

Repeat to enable.

As for me, after following the install, I open up Terminal and tried “postinstall” only to get a “command not found” error. Then when I restart I get an “Operating system not found” error.

Any ideas?

IF YOU ARE GETTING THE FOLLOWING ERROR MESSAGE NEAR THE VERY END OF INSTALLATION: “the installer could not make the computer start up from the volume…”

DO NOT RESTART! Or else you will get “operating system not found” error and a headache.

Instead do this: After failure, go to Utilities>Terminal…

In Terminal type: “postinstall” (without quotes) and after a few seconds it should say, “You are now ready to reboot to a fully functional OSX Install!” Now type “reboot” and your Dell will begin the restart process. It may take a minute or two, so be patient. When your computer does reboot, enter Setup again by pressing “2” (the number two.) Navigate to the Advanced tab. If you have BlueTooth and intend to use it, turn “USB BIOS Legacy Support” is Disabled. If you do not have BlueTooth, or do not intend to use it, keep “USB BIOS Legacy Support” Enabled and set BlueTooth to Disabled. Select “Exit Saving Changes” in the Exit tab and your Dell will restart again. Let it start up as normal and it should show the grey screen again, and will ask which drive to boot from (or perhaps it will automatically boot from the SSD.)

To the author, PLEASE update your instructions to include this because this is a VERY common error that happened to many people.

…Nevermind you had the instructions all along. Sorry. 😦

Although I use large computers in my job, I’m pretty ignorant of small ones. I’m trying to follow these directions, using a portable hard drive. I’ve formatted it correctly, I think. I purchased the 10.5.6 retail installer and restored it to the hard drive. I skipped step 3 of the “Preparations” because I have a lot more than 8GB. I did step 1 of the Installation directionson the Mini 9, but when I rename and partition the hard drive, it erases the material restored to the hard disk earlier, so I’m missing something important. When I try to run OSinstall.mkpg from the desktop of the Mac, it says that it can’t find the software. Can you suggest what I might be doing wrong? When yourefer to the SSD drive, is that the same as the Flash drive? Could it be that the OSX installer from my Mac retail disk is not in .dmg format? I went to the web site you give to get the downloadable version of the installer, but it looks like one has to download the system in a large number of pieces.

When will we get the Snow Leopard guide.
Guessing it should be the same as this one but may need a new version of OSInstall.mpkg


It’s interesting to see just how pervasive digital memory has become in our lives. It’s like everytime I turn my head, I see something with a card slot or USB jack, haha. I guess it makes sense though, considering how much cheaper memory has become as of late…Ahhh, who am I to complain. I can’t make it through a single day without using my R4 / R4i!(Submitted by Nintendo DS running R4i SDHC PostNext)

Hey i have done evereything you have said, put all files on 16gb pen and plugged it in still no boot of pen =-= can some one plz tell me how to put the bootmaker on the pen properly so it boots?

Hello. I think I followed your directions to a T, but here’s what i see when i try to boot the USB:

boot0: Gxxx (forget now)
boot0: testing
boot0: testing
boot0: error

Can’t seem to find anything telling me what I did wrong. Please help.

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