Asus Z96J Hackintosh

Here’s a step-by-step guide to get a working Z96J hackintosh install, plus multiboot with Windows and any number of Linux distributions. All credit for the Leopard portion of the install goes to rickdekart from insanelymac.com. Currently, my wifi and camera are not working, but I’ve purchased a Dell 1320 mini pci-e card off ebay for $12.16, and have read that this card is plug and play compatible with both Leopard and Backtrack 3 (one of the Linux distributions I have installed – it’s good for learning network encryption hacking). I haven’t installed the card yet, but the guide will be written as if the compatible card was already swapped into the system. As with any OSx86 hacking, this guide is strictly for educational purposes, read through the entire guide before starting, backup any important files you have on your current install, and don’t try this if you don’t know what you are doing.

How-To: Installing Leopard
1. Download and burn the iPC Leopard distribution to a DVD. I used version 10.5.6.
2. Reboot the Z96J with the iPC disc in the drive, and make sure that the BIOS is set to boot from the DVD/CD Drive. When you get to the prompt that allows you to press ‘F8′ for boot options, boot into verbose mode (-v).
3. Once the disc has finished loading, you will be at the language select screen for Leopard. Click through the menus until you can get into disc utility (from the top menu bar), and format your hard drive as OS X Extended (Journaled). Create one partition for the moment, even if you plan to do a multiboot system – we’ll fix the partitions after Leopard is installed. Click through the menus again until you get to the screen where you can either customize or install Leopard.
4. Click the “Customize” button. You will be given a window with several check boxes for the different drivers available in Leopard. Scroll down to “Fixes and Patches” and select the “PS/2 Keyboard” fix. This will allow you to use your laptop’s keyboard on your first Leopard boot. Don’t select any others – we will be adding the remaining drivers once the base system is installed.
5. Click the “Install” button and sit back. Leopard will install itself onto your hard drive.
6. Once Leopard is installed, the system will reboot. Leave the disc in the drive, and let it turn back on. It should boot into Leopard, and you will see the set up screen. Complete the set up, and you will be at your desktop. If your keyboard or mouse don’t work, just plug in an external keyboard – we can fix this later on.
7. Download Asus_Z96J_Drivers.zip onto another computer and extract it and copy to a flash drive. Plug the flash drive into you Z96J and open up the folder. First we’ll get graphics working properly. Open ‘com.apple.Boot.plist’ from the drivers folder and type “sudo nano /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/com.apple.Boot.plist” into terminal. Terminal will ask for your password – enter it (you won’t see the cursor moving, but it’s still being entered). This will open up a file for editing that we are going to plug out graphics card into to get it working. Copy the last 2 lines from com.apple.Boot.plist in the Drivers folder and paste it into the terminal. Save it and close out terminal.
8. Open Kext Helper b7 from the drivers folder and drag the remaining drivers onto it. Type in your password and hit install. Upon reboot, everything should be working properly.
9. The last thing to do is install the bootloader. Download Chameleon here. Install it, and you should see the bootloader screen on reboot. Select Leopard and it should boot up with no problems. Congrats, the Leopard part of the installation is done!

At this point, if you want to stop the tutorial, you have a fully working Leopard install (minus webcam). If you want/need additional OS’s, continue reading below.

How-To: Multiboot
1. The next OS we’ll install is Windows 7 (additionally, you can swap this for XP or Vista if you want to). First we must boot into GParted and edit some flags on the partitions, and resize partitions from the Leopard install.
2. Pop the GParted disc into the CD Drive and reboot. Once its on the desktop, resize the Leopard partition if needed – my system is 70 GB for Leopard, 50 GB for Windows 7, 70 GB for Data, and 40 GB as an extended partition for Linux (33 GB for Ubuntu, 5 GB for Backtrack 3, and 2 GB for a Swap partition). Next, make sure the ‘boot’ flag for the Windows partition is checked. Reboot the system after the operations are complete, and swap in the Windows 7 disc.
3. Once the Windows setup loads, follow the prompts and install Windows. I’m not going to go into a step-by-step for Windows as it is relatively straight forward. Once the system restarts, you should be on your Windows desktop. Don’t bother setting up any drivers now, its not as necessary as it was for Leopard.
4. The next OS is going to be Linux – you can install as many distributions as you want, but make sure that each one has its bootloader installed on its partition, not in the MBR. Again, these installations are straight forward, so I’m not going to outline them here. After you are all done, pop the GParted disc in again. We need to change the boot flag back to Leopard.
5. If you receive an error message upon rebooting the system, that means the MBR got messed up from the Windows install – don’t worry, this is fixable. Pop the Windows disc back in, and instead of installing it, click ‘Repair System’. Then open the command prompt, and type “bootrec.exe /fixmbr”. Reboot again. You should be back at the Chameleon bootloader, but with the option to boot any other OS you have installed also. Congratulations, your multiboot Asus Z96J is all done!

Errors:
If you are not greeted with the Chameleon screen after fixing the MBR, but rather a string of text (this happened to me), you just need to reinstall Leopard as per the start of this guide. You don’t have to worry about the other OS’s – just erase the Leopard partition, reinstall it, and reload Chameleon. Reboot the system, and you should have a working multiboot setup. Congratulations!

UPDATE:
I have installed the Dell 1390 wifi card that I purchased off eBay and can confirm that Leopard sees it as an Airport card – menu bar and all. Search eBay for one if you are stuck with an Intel Pro Wireless card.

This entry was written by Marc Budofsky , posted on Sunday September 20 2009at 11:09 pm , filed under Hackintosh, Multi-Boot, Tutorial, Ubuntu, Windows and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

7 Responses to “Asus Z96J Hackintosh”

  • kudejudas says:

    Hi. I have a asus z96j with a ATI 1600. Aparently the driver is working but the quartz extreme says not suported. I wan to use software such as Modul8 and for some reason i cant. What do you advice me to do?

    Thank you right away.

  • marcbudofsky says:

    Did you try using OSx86 Tools and enabling quartz? When I first added the device to the plist, quartz wasn’t enabled either, but OSx86 Tools was able to correct it. If it still doesn’t work, shoot me an email with your plist attached and I’ll take a look at it.

    Marc

  • InVMusic says:

    So i got everything but i’m stuck on what two lines to enter in the terminal and where. Also how do i save it when i’m done? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for this post.

  • marcbudofsky says:

    @InVMusic

    Open Terminal (Applications > Utilities), and then enter the “sudo nano …” command. This will give you admin privileges to edit a system file. Nano is the editor that you will use – it opens inside of terminal. What you need to do is copy the long string from the com.apple.Boot.plist file in the drivers folder and past it into the one loaded into your system. Off the top of my head, I can’t remember what the paste command for terminal is, but go to the top menu bar and hit Edit – it should be under there. Once you have pasted it into the proper location, look for the “Write-Out” option at the bottom of the terminal window – that’s how to save it. Again, I don’t remember it off the top of my head, but I want to say its something like ‘CTRL-O’. Once you write it out, exit out of nano, and you’re back into a terminal window. You can now exit the terminal, restart the computer, and you should have working graphics.

    Shoot me an email if you need more help.

    Marc

  • Brian says:

    Hi Marc,

    Nice guide! I have an Asus S96J. It’s essentially the same as your laptop, but with a 1280×800 screen.

    How did you generate the string for the com.apple.Boot.plist file? The EDIDs of our displays are different, so the string doesn’t do what it should.

    If it helps, here’s my EDID:

    00FFFFFF FFFFFF00 0DAF2315 00000000
    00000103 80211478 0A77F1A0 5A4B9624
    184F5400 00000101 01010101 01010101
    01010101 01017C2E 90A0601A 1E403020
    36004BCF 10000018 000000FE 004E3135
    345A312D 4C30320A 20200000 00FE0043
    4D4F0A20 20202020 20202020 000000FE
    004E3135 345A312D 4C30320A 202000F8

    Thanks!
    Brian

  • John says:

    I have a Z96J and successfully installed everything, but I’m having some trouble with the audio driver.

    The fn+audio controls on the keyboard don’t work, and the mic doesn’t work. Could anyone tell me what specific audio driver I need to fix the problem?

    Thank you

  • marcbudofsky says:

    @Brian

    Honestly, I found the plist with the screen string already in it from insanelymac.com I believe. I can try and dig up the original post – I think they were talking about how to generate the string from the EDID. Check back in a week, or shoot me an email and I’ll see what I can do.

    Marc

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