How To: Install Snow Leopard on a Dell Mini 10v with 10.6.2 support.

This post was originally made by Gizmodo. However, I have added some additional information to support the 10.6.2 update, which removes Intel’s Atom processor. All picture credits to Gizmodo.

This post walkthroughs the process of preparing Mac OS X Leopard, onto a USB memory stick. The USB memory stick can then be used to install Snow Leopard on the Dell Mini 10v netbook.

Prerequisites

 

• Dell Mini 10v.  It must be a 10v, not a regular Mini 10.

• BIOS version lower than A06 (A05, A04, A03 all work fine). Downgrade instructions are available here, though they require a Windows PC for creating a bootable DOS flash drive.

• Retail copy of OS X 10.6 (NOT an OEM copy that comes with a new Mac).

• An 8GB (or larger) USB flash drive, the faster the better. External HDDs will work too.

• A Mac with a working optical drive, for preparing your flash drive

Netbook BootMaker and NetbookInstaller

 

Preparing Your Flash Drive

 


1. Insert your flash drive and OS X Retail install disk into your computer

2. Open Disk Utility (searching in Spotlight is the easiest way to find this)

3. Select your flash drive from the list on the left. Make sure to select the drive itself, not any partitions you may have written to it before.

4. In the right panel, select the "Partition" screen.


5. From the dropdown menu, select "1 Partition," then click "Options" below the partition map.

6. Select "Master Boot Record." This will ensure that your Mini 10v can boot from your flash drive. Select a name for your partition—doesn’t really matter what—and apply your changes. Keep in mind this will delete anything you have on your flash drive right now, so back it up if need be.

7. Once this is done, move from the "Partition" screen to the "Restore" screen in Disk Utility

8. For your Restore Source, select (by dragging) the OS X install disk from the left panel. Make sure this is the item called something to the effect of "Mac OS Install DVD," not "Optiarc DVD" or some other hardware title. For the destination, drag your newly-prepared partition over. Click restore.

9. Run the BootMaker app., select your OS X partition on the USB drive and select Prepare Boot Drive.

Installing OS X Snow Leopard

 

10. Jump into the BIOS, double-check to see if you have the right BIOS. As long as it’s lower than A06, you’re fine. If not, you will need to downgrade. See above.

11. With the arrow keys, cycle over to the "Advanced" screen, where you’ll see a list of options. USB BIOS Legacy support should be enabled, as should Bluetooth.

12. Now cycle over to the Boot screen., "USB Storage," and move it to the top by pressing the F6 key.

13. Once you’re done, press F10 to save and exit.

14. Ensure your power plug is connected to your computer and the USB stick is connected. All being well, you should see the screen below.

15. The first thing you need to do is format your hard disk. Bring up Disk Utility in the installer select it at the highest level possible. Go to "Partition" and make it a single Mac OS X Extended (Journaled) partition. Before hitting Apply, go to Options and select GUID Partition Table. Then hit apply.

Follow the usual OS X install instructions.

Updates

16.  Download  the Mac OS X v10.6.1 Update. After the installation reboot. Now, install the Mac OS X v10.6.2. Update – BUT DO NOT REBOOT!

17. Next download and install the latest version of Netbook Installer and reboot. The netbook should now reboot with the 10.6.2. update.

Odds and Ends

By and large, your install should work out of the box. Sleep, shutdown/startup, sound, keyboard shortcuts, battery indicators, and anything else you can think of should be present and at attention, barring one glaring flaw: the trackpad.

18. Go here, and download the attached trackpad driver.

19. Open Finder on your 10v, and press CMD+Shift+G (on this keyboard, that’s Alt+Shift+G.) In the box that comes up, typed "/Extra" and press enter.
This will bring you to a hidden folder. Copy the .kext file you’ve download into the Mini10vExt folder, making sure to back up the one you’re replacing.

Open Finder on your 10v, and press CMD+Shift+G (on this keyboard, that’s Alt+Shift+G.) In the box that comes up, typed "/Extra" and press enter.
This will bring you to a hidden folder. Copy the .kext file you’ve download into the Mini10vExt folder, making sure to back up the one you’re replacing.

20. Run the app in the "Extra" directory called UpdateExtra, which will alert OS X to the new drivers. Restart your computer.

Now you should be able to click and drag—the cursor should jump when your second finger makes contact. You should see, as you could before, a panel in the OS X preferences where you can adjust trackpad settings.  The only other issue you’re likely to run into is the occasional too-tall settings screen. Here‘s a clever virtual screen resolution workaround for that.

Author: Jas Dhaliwal

Jas Dhaliwal is a highly experienced International Social Media Strategist. He specializes in building and engaging with social communities across the web. Born and bred in London, he is passionate about technology and social anthropology. You can follow @Jas on Twitter

  • nice post

  • donholtmaccom

    Great Post – My Dell Mini is happily running X.6.2 thanks to this post and the WONDERFUL and EASY Netbook installer . . .