How I installed Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion on my 2006 MacPro 1,1

There are two things that prevent 10.8 from installing on a MacPro 1,1.

The first is the lack of EFI64. Mountain Lion as has no support for 32bit kernel and extensions so it will not boot. This is true of many early Intel macs.

The other thing is that checks are made by the installer; against a supported machines list. If your mac isn’t on the list, it refuses to install.

It’s important to note that an upgraded graphics card is virtually essential. The stock 7300 GT isn’t supported and will cause Kernel Pannic. I don’t think the X1900-xt is either, my 8800GT did odd things on DP1 but may be OK on newer builds. Ideally Id try and source a HD5770 or other newer card. Some people use PC cards and flash them Look Here for info on that, me personally, I use an official Apple HD5770. There may be fixes for the old cards but they will probably break every time you software update so go get a new card. It’s cheaper than a new Mac

The first issue can be dealt with by using the Chameleon bootloader. Chameleon will emulate EFI64 and therefore load 10.8. Chameleon has to be booted by your Mac as if it were Windows. Apple calls this BIOS emulation “Legacy Boot”. Legacy boot will only boot from internal connectors like the SATA, so no USB or Firewire drives.

My solution requires a spare HDD in addition to the drive that your OS is on, you may be able to do it all with one, but I’m not going to cover that just yet. at the end of the process you will have a dedicated boot/install drive and a dedicated Mac OS drive. This drive and the one OSX resides on cannot be an external or connected to the ODD SATA ports. It must be on the IDE cable or one fo the four SATA sleds.

I am using a cheap 8 Gig SSD that I got from ebay with a SATA to IDE converter on, and its hidden away under the optical drive so you don’t loose any HDD bays

First download 10.8 From the app store. (you will need to do this on a supported mac) and Xcode from Apple. Then grab Chameleon-2.1svn-r1921 (google for it first). or here if you must Chameleon21_r1921 Please try elsewhere first as my bandwidth provider may get stroppy with me if it gets to hammered.

Go into disk utility and partition your spare HDD. Click the options button and chose Master Boot Record. Chose two partitions, the first 1GB (named BOOT) and the second can use the remainder of the disk (named Installer). Both partitions are formatted Mac OS Extended Journaled.










Once you’ve done this you can run the Chameleon installer.








At this point you must click Change Install Location.








Select Your BOOT partition you created earlier, then click continue.








Click customize here and choose Standard under the Chameleon Bootloader package. Nothing else is needed from the installer.








Next you will need to bless the BOOT partition.

In terminal run  sudo bless --folder /Volumes/BOOT --file /Volumes/BOOT/boot --setBoot --legacy

Make sure it goes in as one line, sometimes copying and pasting puts a carriage return in the middle. Also this command can only be performed whilst booted from EFI32 (so in 10.7 or from a 10.7 installer DVD/USB)

Here is my Extra Folder. Download it (place in the root of BOOT). Inside the Extra folder the smbios.plist and org.chameleon.Boot.plist files need editing. Add your serial to the SMBIOS.plist and in org.chamleleon.boot.plist set the <key>default partition</key> to <string>0,2</string> which is the installer partition.

The dsdt.aml file has an addition in it specifically to enable HDMI audio out on the mini displayport of my HD5770. If you search this forum thread there is a few posted you can try.,1123.0.html . Edit

Now to the installer.

Locate your 10.8 installer. Right-click and chose ‘show package contents’. Locate InstallESD.DMG in the SharedSupport folder. Double ckick on InstallESD.DMG to mount it. see here

Open terminal and navigate to the Mac OS Install ESD drive. cd /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ ESD/ should do it.

Still in terminal, you need to mount the hidden BaseSystem.DMG type open BaseSystem.DMG and hit enter.

See Here

Now open Disk utility. Click on BaseSystem.DMG on the left, then click restore, then drag your installer partition into the destination field.












Click Restore. This will put everything but the packages and kernel on the installer partition. (You may need to rename your installer partition back to “installer” as it may now be called MacOS BaseSystem.)

Next job is to copy mach_kernel from MacOSInstallESD to the Installer partition.

In terminal navigate to the Installer ESD with: cd /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ ESD then copy mach_kernel to the installer partition with cp mach_kernel /Volumes/Installer/mach_kernel have a quick look in terminal to see that it’s there with: cd /Volumes/Installer/ then ls . You should see it there.

Or watch this video

Now in your installer partition there is a system folder, and in that is an installation folder, in there is a packages symlink. delete it and the copy the packages folder from the MAC OS Install ESD.

Finally you need to open OSinstall.mpkg with flat package editor which is part of the XCode install.











Drag Distribution to your desktop and open it in text edit.

See This Video make sure you watch it in HD so you can read the text.

Pretty close to the start is a section headed var PlatformSupportValues there is a list of board IDs in speech-marks and separated with commas. like “Mac-F42D88C8″,”Mac-F2218EA9″,”Mac-F42D86A9″ you need to add your mac’s board it to it. This is specified in the smbios.plist in the Extra as Mac-F4208DC8 so if you’re using that smbios.plist then add that value. close text edit and go back to flat package editor. delete distribution from the package and then drag the one you edited from desktop into flat package editor, then save the package. this is mine with my board ID Mac-F4208DC8 and Mac-F4208DA9 OSInstall.mpkg


As an experiment I have removed what I think is the board check from this NoBoardCheckOSInstall.mpkg if you’re brave, give it a go.

Before you continue any further I warn you that this may totally screw your computer. Even if you follow the instuctions to the letter, I may have made a mistake. Back up everything and have a spare Lion install to hand. Good Luck!

Now re-boot and hold down option to bring up the list of drives, choose boot, then franticly tap the up or down arrow key until the Chameleon list of bootable drives appears. Chose installer and you’re off. it should look like a normal mac os install from there on in.
The disk with osx on should be guid partition scheme, if it isn’t installer complains.

When the installer has completed chameleon will keep trying to boot installer so edit org.chamleleon.boot.plist set the <key>default partition <string> to your Mountain Lion partition. It will probably be 1,2 or 2,2.

After install had completed I used nano, in terminal to create an “fstab” file in /etc. This has two entries in it which stop boot and Installer mounting when OSX boots so they dont apper in finder.
The entries look like this for each Partition you want to hide: UUID=39C933A6-E5A4-3CFB-8841-21C89B0EDF77 none hfs rw,noauto change UUID to the appropriate one. The UUID of a partition can be found in system report under Serial ATA.

See this video..

This is my solution for the Chameleon/Installer drive. It’s a cheap 8GB SATA SSD on an SATA to PATA adapter, hidden away under the optival drive.


I’ll keep updating as people ask questions and when Mountain Lion is released I will update further.

There is a fix for messages here


Here are the files you need messagesfix  Don’t forget to update chameleon first. If you add the module without updating chameleon you will have no boot.


Also I take no credit for working any of this out. Most of it came from posts on,1123.0.html
Mac Rumors Forum thread
and the rest I stumbled across on the internet. If any of this is your work, Thanks!


If you’d like to reward me for my time or help cover my hosting costs feel free to donate.


  1. Thanks for your guide :-)

    But I’ve got a problem: I don’t find flat package editor in Xcode … had a look at Xcode 4.3.3 in my Lion installation and Xcode 4.5 DP1 in my ML DP3 12a206j installation. Context menu in Finder for “Open with…” doesn’t show “Flat Package Editor”. Even in /Applications/ I can’t find anything that relates to flat package editor.

    Do you have a hint on this?

    • The Flat Package Editor still exists. It’s well hidden inside a Developer Tool called “PackageMaker” that is downloadable on this side of Apple site :

      Search there for “PackageMaker”, it should lead to “Auxiliary Tools for XCode”
      Download the .dmg.
      - Open it.
      - Find
      - Do “See package content” on it, then /Contents/Resources/Flat Package !!

      Launch it, then “File / Open” to open the mpkg
      (I had to enter my Developer account on the Apple WebSite to get it…)

  2. I tried to open OSInstall.mpkg with Pacifist and can extract the Distribution file. Unfortunately Pacifist can’t write it back :-(
    Anyway one thing was interesting with Pacifist: when it opens OSInstall.mpkg it complains that BaseSystem.dmg is not present (which of course can’t be there because the installation root is made of BaseSystem.dmg) … but the installer will run w/out finding what it complains for?

  3. Try opening Xcode package with pacifist and using the search to find Flat Package Editor app. That’s what I did. My xcode was pretty old and I used that method to avoid installing it. Let me know if that works. If not I’ll try and find somewhere you can download it.

    And I also got the error with BaseSytem.dmg. It didn’t cause a problem for me. I think if you run the installer from within osx it knows to make itself bootable with BaseSytem.dmg then reboots to continue the installation. You’re essentially doing this for it with my method and jumping forward to the just rebooted step. It uses BaseSytem.pkg to make your actual install bootable then.

    Hope that makes sense..


    • I found it in an old Xcode 4.2 package for Snow Leopard. It does not have an icon as yours in your video. Anyway I tried opening OSInstall.mpkg – it isn’t able to write it back after modding the Distribution file because of permission problems. Starting Flat Package Editor manually from Terminal instead would allow writing a modded OSInstall.mpkg but I can’t drag the Distribution file from desktop into the editor’s window because OS X prevents dragging a file from a normal user into a root’s window.
      Which version of Xcode did you use to extract the editor?
      For the moment it seems to be a very special way you did it…

        • Thanks Ben :-)
          For safety I appended these two to the list:
          These are the board ID’s of MP 1,1 and MP 2,1.
          Cheers, Konran

          • Hi there,
            Your comments are all 1y old. I am now going through that instruction on how to run OS X 10.8 on a Mac Pro 1,1 2006.

            I did everything as recommended with a few details changed.
            I got 1 drive with 4 partitions (boot, installer, OSX, spare), MBR formatted. etup everything and am now getting as far as to that chameleon menu where you choose the bootdrive 0,2. No errors but I can’t get booted into the installer and carry it out. What went wrong ? Would be nice to get some input.


          • The comments are regularly added to by myself and others. The most recent one I made on the 27th of April 2013.

            You may want to set installer by name as the default partition in chameleon’s boot plist. You may find it refuses to install on an MBR drive though. The installer checks for a suitable drive and knows intel macs can’t boot OSX off an MBR drive. it needs to be a hybrid GUID/MBR as per boot camp.
            You could uses something like superduper to clone an existing 10.8 install to an MBR drive and then install Chameleon. That’s a 1 drive, 1 partition solution.

        • Hi Jabbawok, nice idea with the hybrid boot media allinone.
          For now, I just reinstalled the stuff like described, two drives, one boot&installer MBR and one OSX destination drive GUID. I got to the same bootloader menu and not any further. Where is the fault now ? a corrupt installer or a non-working chameleon bootloader configurtion ? other reasons ?

          thx for your advice !

          • Hi Jabbawok,

            I did not get any further than the chameleon bootloader menu for 0,1 installer, looped on that boot option.

            I read several things about the issue “Mac 1,1 EFI64 OS X 10.8″
            The thing is that there’s a lot reasons why it might not work and no complete detailed failsafe instructions available. Starting with the bootloader, which command lines to write for your specific setup. You can easily try out every parameter but it takes time to test all variations.

            Now, since I read that the bootloader and OSX 10.8 might not support my graphic card, I exchanged it by a newer one, where I can’t see the Apple boot screen, which I would see with a working chameleon EFI64 bootloader, as they write. Don’t want to flash the card Bios if it does not help for all purposes.

            Do you have any more detailed and failsafe chameleon bootloader config and boot options menu instructions so that it will be highly probable that chameleon EFI64 might work ?

            Thx for your advice !!

            How about this ?
            “Note for Mac users:
            Chameleon is developed to boot Darwin/Mac OS X on PCs, it doesn’t work on Macs. Please don’t install Chameleon to your system drive, we got many failure reports with unbootable Macs after installing Chameleon.” (cited from a webblog).

          • This technique works providing your graphics card is supported. If you have followed the instructions but are using an unsupported gfx card it should boot a bit and then crash. If you get that far you can swap the cards for your pc one.
            Go through the instructions slowly step by step and it will work. Read every detail. Also look through the comments. I’ve answered quite a lot in them.

            The warning about chameleon not working on macs is not relevant here.


  4. Im going mad here, I have completed this page about 10 times now but when I go to the section below.

    I get no kernel found
    Alexanders-Mac-Pro:~ alex_skylarking$ cd /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ ESD
    Alexanders-Mac-Pro:Mac OS X Install ESD alex_skylarking$ cp mach_kernel /Volumes/Installer/mach_kernel
    cp: /Volumes/Installer/mach_kernel: No such file or directory
    Alexanders-Mac-Pro:Mac OS X Install ESD alex_skylarking$

    In terminal navigate to the Installer ESD with: cd /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ ESD then copy mach_kernel to the installer partition with cp mach_kernel /Volumes/Installer/mach_kernel have a quick look in terminal to see that it’s there with: cd /Volumes/Installer/ then ls . You should see it there.

          • No not yet, I think Im going to have to get a very stuff drink before I tackle this again. There are so many things I just don’t get.

            “Here is my Extra Folder. Download it and use the smbios.plist and org.chameleon.Boot.plist files. The dsdt.aml file has an addition in it specifically to enable HDMI audio out on the mini displayport of my HD5770.”

            Where do i put these? In boot>Library>Receipts? or just in the top level?

            I haven’t seen your video yet I’ll see about the kernel part

    • Ok great that is really helpful, done that part.

      When you did this part “Now open Disk utility. Click on BaseSystem.DMG on the left, then click restore, then drag your installer partition into the destination field.”

      And restored, did your disk change its name to Mac OS X Base System” Did you change the name back to Installer after?

        • Ok were getting somewhere!! My machine says that its YES, 64-bit Kernel and Extensions:Yes.

          Do you really mean that I restart the machine pressing up and down a lot? I’ll give that a go. Thanks for all this help!!!

          • Holy Sheet! Im in!! You Sir are a Genius!!! only took me 6 hours. Thank you!

  5. Sorry for spamming your blog. I now have to log in via the option key each time can you please explain below. Thanks in advance.

    What does this mean?
    After install had completed I used nano, in terminal to create an “fstab” file in /etc. This has two entries in it which stop boot and Installer mounting when OSX boots so they dont apper in finder.
    The entries look like this for each Partition you want to hide: UUID=39C933A6-E5A4-3CFB-8841-21C89B0EDF77 none hfs rw,noauto change UUID to the appropriate one. The UUID of a partition can be found in system report under Serial ATA.

      • I run the In terminal run:
        sudo bless –folder /Volumes/BOOT –file /Volumes/BOOT/boot –setBoot –legacy

        and get bless: unrecognized option `–file’

          • Alexanders-Mac-Pro:~ alex_skylarking$ sudo bless –folder /Volumes/BOOT –file /Volumes/BOOT/boot –setBoot –legacy
            Legacy mode not supported on this system

            What do I do now?

          • You must be in efi32 to run this so reboot into 10.7 32 K&E without chameleon or if you don’t have an install boot off the 10.7 boot DVD or USB. And launch terminal.

  6. Thanks for manual. Three problems:

    1) Cannot find flat package editor using Pacifist with downloaded Xcode, though it opens it up OK and I have searched contents by expanding folders as well.

    2) Second, you mention that “bravery is required” for removing the board check from NoBoardCheckOSinstall.mpkg. Should I skip this, or go ahead and do this? Did it work out OK?

    3) Have an ATI 5870 graphics card, which is slightly different from your 5770 card. Will I have audio problems?

    Thanbks in advance for your support.

  7. If you are using my smbios.plist then you can also use my osinstall.mpkg which has Mac-F4208DC8 and Mac-F4208DA9 added in. No need for flat package editor.
    I haven’t tested the osinstall.mpkg with the board check removed. So anyone who uses it will be testing..
    The dsdt.aml with hdmi audio out over displayport was someone else’s work so I’m not sure, but may well work with your 5870. Sorry not to be much more help.

  8. Hi Jabbawok, I greatly appreciated the clear instructions on how to install 10.8 DP4 however I’ve stumbled into a problem on my actual Mac Pro 2,1.

    I followed the instruction very closely (mach_kernel installed, Extra folder in BOOT hd, used your OSInstall.mpkg) but after installing 10.8 and rebooting, it started up via EFI Boot (which I’m assuming is BOOT hard drive? There’s also a hd called Windows which seems to be the same as BOOT?) and gave me a kernel panic. If I tried to start up via Mountain Lion hard drive, I get a no entry symbol.

    Do I have to edit smbios.plist to be as specific as possible other than replacing the board id to mine’s (Mac-F4208DA9) such as bios version, cpu type, etc.?

    If not required, do you have any idea what could have went wrong here?

    Thanks for helping us lowly peasants :)

  9. Oh could it be due to GeForce 7300 GT? Someone mentioned that it’s causing kernel panic. It’s my secondary card which I use to connect to HDTV (to be able to see boot up screen) but my main card is Radeon 5870.

    I’ll try removing 7300 and see how it goes.

  10. I’ve heard the 7300 causes issues. It’s completely unsupported in 10.8..
    The no entry sign is when it’s trying to boot in EFI32. The windows HDD is the Chameleon it should be using. If you got as far as re-booting and getting the installer to run then you’re pretty close.

  11. Jabbawok,

    Thanks for the guide. Couple of questions:

    1) The partitioning went smoothly on my SSD. Is BOOT supposed to be MBR, and INSTALLER supposed to be GUID? Or both MBR?

    2) Got your Extra folder. You said to “use the simbios.plist and org.Boot.plist.files.” But where are these to be placed? Not sure exactly where the contents of the Extra folder are to be placed, and how. Suggestion appreciated.

    jabbawok’s answers:

    1) Boot and installer are partitions on the same disk which is MBR (it is the whole disk that is MBR).
    10.8 should reside on a separate disk which is GUID.
    In my setup I plan to have an 8GIG ssd with the BOOT and Installer on it and 10.8 resides on a 256GB SSD.

    2) The Extra folder resides in the root of BOOT. The SMBIOS.plist, ‘Boot.plist and dsdt.aml files go inside the extra folder. When I have time i will post a you tube video showing this, as a couple of people have asked me to clarify this.

  12. I’ve read contradictory claims as to whether it is possible to use the Chameleon boot loader off a USB pen drive on a real Mac. For instance, even claims to contain a disk image that can be copied onto a flash USB that will make it bootable, although that might mean bootable on a regular PC, not a real Mac. Can you share your insight about this? Would it be possible to boot Chameleon using a USB pen drive and then install ML on an old Mac Pro and, later, run it by selecting the USB drive when booting (pressing Alt)?

    • Unless you could make a build of chameleon that boots from EFI rather than BIOS. This isn’t possible in a mac. When a mac boots chameleon it uses bios emulation that it calls ‘legacy mode’. This is only supported on the sata and pata bus, not USB or FireWire. I think my disk-on-module solution is the tidiest. There are two sata connectors unused on the 1,1 and 2,1 board and plenty of places to hide a DOM.
      Just my thoughts.
      There is no reason, other than lack of demand, that chameleon has not been built for mac-EFI booting, which would allow it to boot from USB.

  13. Great Tutorial Jabbawok!! My Mac Pro 2.1 (1.1) runs ML at 64 bit
    I just went a little step further and restored with Disk Utility from the fresh installed ML (on a spare GUID HDD) to a third partition of the same MBR Boot SSD to enjoy the full-solid state speed :-)
    I confirm that the original 7300 has to be completely unplugged to avoid KP (I use a PC HD4650 with 2 monitors)

    • Great to hear it. I’m running the other way at the moment, BOOT and install on a HDD and ML on an SSD. I’v got a very cheap 8gig SSD to replace the HDD ordered. One of the reasons for keeping them separate is that I had problems with updates producing errors I suspected were down to it being MBR. One guy on the forum has his booting GUID by using iPartition to convert it from MBR, somehow making it hybrid… But I like my solution for now.

  14. No, I used “Chameleon SSD Optimizer” because the name is more appealing… ;-)
    I’m thinking (webbing around) about the adoption of the UseKernelCache flag but I doubt it can lead to a big boot speed improvement.

  15. I think I’ve followed all the instructions to the letter. I managed to boot Chameleon, which started the ML installer. However, after selecting my “Macintosh HD” (currently with Lion) as the target, it said “OS X install data is incomplete” as “Essential System Software” was somehow missing.

    What did I do wrong?

  16. OSInstall.pkg hasn’t been altered, moved or renamed. I first replaced the original OSInstall. mpkg with your own. Later, I made my own using the Flat Package Editor to open the original OSInstall.mpkg, copying Distribution to a folder of my Desktop, opening Distribution with TextEdit, adding “Mac-F4208DC8″,”Mac-F4208DA9″ at the start of the array platformSupportValues in function isSupportedPlatform, saving the file and copying it back into OSInstall.mpkg using Flat Package Editor and then copy the modified OSInstall.mpkg to the Packages subfolder in the Installer disk. There are only two possible causes for the failure.
    1) Distribution and or OSInstall.mpkg rights
    2) Is a Mac Pro 1,1 covered by the “Mac-F4208DC8″,”Mac-F4208DA9″ addition?

  17. Actually, everything worked after the third try. I must have somehow corrupted OSInstall.mpkg when I first edited Distribution. Doing it again from scratch solved the problem. Now I still have to solve the issue of some incompatible software and streamlining the Chameleon boot (it reports some errors) and, if possible, make the awful black screen with messages, etc., invisible. Many thanks for your instructions.

    • My boot plist has these entries in it.

      Legacy Logo
      Quiet Boot
      And the Timeout key & String are removed. there is a black screen for maybe a second, then the apple logo for 3 or 4 seconds then desktop.

  18. Thanks. That’s very interesting. I still have some doubts, though. In my experience, the order of drives on a Mac Pro isn’t preserved between boots. For instance, much as I’d like to use “hd(2,2)” (my Mountain Lion disk) as the Default Partition every single time, I’m not certain it’ll keep its identity. I’ve checked and, apparently, it would be possible to enter this into org.chameleon.Boot.plist:

    Default Partition
    Macintosh HD)

    In your experience, would this syntax be safe?

    Last, but not least, Chameleon informs me, on boot, that there are five errors in some configuration file, which I have NOT edited. Can you suggest an effective way of troubleshooting this/these configuration file(s)? As far as I can tell, the only such files I have (in /Extra) are dsdt.aml, org.chameleon.Boot.plist and smbios.plist, and their contents are just as I downloaded them from your blog.

  19. Hello,

    good work, thanks a lot for your effort.
    I was able to install ML GM on my MP 1,1 with HD4890.

    As I am new to all the chameleon topics I don’t know if I should stay on ML GM or if I should revert to Lion. How this chameleon handle in terms of ML updates – is there constant “work” necessary to hold the machine in a running state or is it just once when installing?

    First of all I was not able to boot with GraphicsEnabler=Yes.
    Yesterday I tried the QE/CI from netkas forum. With No and those I finally had QE/CI.

    Today all of a sudden it works with this:

    Default Partition
    Graphics Mode
    Legacy Logo

    Is there a way to put chameleon onto my SSD (Update of Lion) now away from this temp HD I have used in order to install and boot?

    Thanks a lot.

    • You would have to convert the Lion Disk to MBR with iPartition and install chameleon on it, then copy over the extra folder stuff. You would need to boot into EFI32 (10.7) to bless it. Then it would work..
      I would just but a cheap 8GIG ssd from Ebay. I have one on order from HK at the moment.

      • Thanks!
        I thought it would be like this.

        Currently I have SSD with ML (form Lion) on bay 1, temp_HDD in bay 2, HDD in bay 3 and HDD in bay 4.
        Problem is that I have removed bay 2s real HDD in order to do the chameleon and MBR stuff. And I have no bay left for just a “boot HDD” which I have with temp_HDD in bay 2.
        –> so removing temp_HDD from bay 2 would virtually “kill” my system.

        But recently I bought that eSATA Extender Cable from Newer Technology. Perhaps this is a solution? As per my understanding it is an “external-internal” drive so would this work?

        Thanks and Regards

  20. As long as you can have one MBR drive on an internal connector, you’re fine. The E-SATA on the MacPro is considered internal. Some people have used the IDE connector under the DVD drive.
    I have routed a SATA cable there for my SATA Blue Ray Drive.

    • Sounds good and very promising.
      I will buy an case for my temp_HDD and give it a try.

      Would you recommend any update to the chameleon boot loader or checking the different versions out there?

    • (off topic) I did the same thing! I used a SATA extension cable and ran it to the optical drive bay for installation of the BluRay drive! I love having BD on my mac that is always attached to my 61″ TV. I was amazed how easy it worked out with a cable I had laying around (I knew that darn cable would come in handy one day!)

  21. Hello,

    I have just installed my MacPro 1,1. It works but there is no sound and no sound device to select. How to do next?

  22. So I pasted:

    sudo bless –folder /Volumes/BOOT –file /Volumes/BOOT/boot –setBoot –legacy

    and I get “No volume specified”

    I see a volume called BOOT in the finder and a file called boot in the root of that partition. Hmm, I’m stuck already!

  23. If I try to bless the boot drive in terminal it just says “no volume specified” so I’m stuck on the first step. Very frustrating..

  24. There’s no carriage return.

    I’ll describe it step by step. I have a partition called BOOT with Chameleon installed as instructed.
    Next, to the terminal. I C&P “sudo bless –folder /Volumes/BOOT –file /Volumes/BOOT/boot –setBoot –legacy” (no quotes)
    The window is expanded so the whole command is on one line.
    I hit enter.
    It asked for the password.
    Then, “No volume specified”

    Couple of screenshots in case I missed something:


    Also, I’ve been emailing Tim Cook about this mess. My Mac Pro was advertised as 64 bit. It’s BS for Apple to now say I can’t run ML because my machine suddenly isn’t 64 bit. I’d encourage everyone in the same boat to do the same. It’s better than doing nothing I guess.

  25. @yuser, you seem to be the first one who installed ML GM.

    1.) Did you use the same procedure as for ML DP4 like Jabbawok described it here?
    2.a) Were you able to use identical the same OSinstall.mpkg pre-edited by Jabbawok?
    2.b) Or do you need to self-edit the OSinstall.mpkg copy supplied be ML GM installer?

    @PeterHolbrook: very useful information to read the syntax

    Macintosh HD

    for the smbios.plist – I’ll try this back home as I also have the phenomenon that drive numbering changes at will on each boot. Thus I never had a chance to boot into the correct partition w/out manual control. I have 10.6.8, 10.7.4 and 10.8 DP4 on separate disks in my MacPro2,1(1,1).

    To all of you who asked: I wouldn’t change a partition scheme for a Mac OS X bootable drive to other that GUID thus implies to install Chameleon on a separate drive with MBR partition scheme. When I installed Chameleon my first time I had a sole data disk which was previously formatted GUID with one visible data HFS+ partition. I changed that disk to GUID scheme with iPartition which frees the invisible EFI partition and leaves 200MB just before the data HFS+. So I formatted the 200 MB as HFS+ and named it ChameleonBoot in my case and installed Chameleon onto this one, made the partition active to enable legacy boot from this disk and partition. You don’t need to spend a whole GB for the boot drive as it is mentioned everywhere else. Even 200 MB is more than enough. This will hold as much kext’s and boot themes as you ever may want.

    • Hello,

      yes, could be I am ;-)

      1. yes. exactly the same

      2. I did it by myself with the one supplied with ML GM

      Sound was at first also not working but I was trying around to fix QE/CI and as soon as I put back the dsdt.aml to EXTRA sound was working!

      I attached the non-temp HDD back to MacPro today with SATA and the NewerTech cable installation – works perfect! Mac Pro back alive :-)

  26. @Konran:

    I can now confirm that the syntax

    Default Partition
    Macintosh HD

    [or whatever the name of your ML partition or disk is] definitely works. I still have some caveats. For instance, my Magic Trackpad is no longer paired after the computer goes to sleep. I noticed that behaviour after I edited the SMserial string value in smbios.plist, but there might be other factors involved, such as the order of directives in smbios.plist and org.chameleon.Boot.plist. I also changed the Graphics Mode string value to the actual resolution of my graphics card, although the Chimera Apple logo still appears somewhat distorted. Any idea if this trackpad unpairing thing might be related to that?

    There are other things I’ve noticed (one of them was pointed out by a member of the netkas forum): Apparently, in smbios.plist the right key name is SMboardproduct, not SMsystemboard. In addition, there’s an error at the start of smbios.plist. Immediately after the tag, there should be a key called “SMbiosvendor”, whose string value, naturally, is “Apple Inc.”

    • Thanks, I have changed my smbios.plist accordingly.
      I try a reboot now.

      Also I checked what happens after sleeping mode.
      First it takes like 20-40 seconds to go to sleep, not a problem.
      BUT: after waking up and entering password kernel panic and MacPro down :-(

      Any idea? The same for you? Trackpad works for me but I couldn’t try after waking up because of the kernel panic.

      Here is what I have:

      Apple Inc.


      Default Partition
      Graphics Mode
      Legacy Logo

    • So. Thanks for all this clear information, My setup is just as yours: a 1,1 with upgraded CPUs (2 x 2.33 GHz Quad-Care Intel Xeon) and that now shows as a 2,1. I am using the same graphics card as you (ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024 MB) as well. The only difference is that I am using an old Apple 21″ Cinema Monitor which requires an adapter to connect to my graphics card. This is presumably why I have not yet been able to boot in Chameleon, just get a black screen with a large cursor. Any suggestions? Thanks

  27. Hey,

    Thanks for the guide. I’m very close but when I try and boot into “installer” I get “can’t find mach_kernel” even though it’s definitely there in the root of the partition? Any ideas?

    I’m wondering whether this is safe to do this after the recent sleep and magic trackpad issues? Does it not work like a regular OSX install anymore?


      • I assumed it should be the drive number and then 2 for the partition so if its bay 4, then hd(3,2)

        Doesn’t seem to work though. Same error. Isn’t that just a default anyway, I get the error if I leave it or select it in the list.

        Thinking of giving up and staying on Lion until an easy solution is out there. This is close though :)

          • Yeah 0,2 is what it appears as in the list. I’ll try but I have a feeling it still won’t be able to find the mach_kernel. I’ll try it from scratch again tomorrow if that fails…

          • That worked – Installing now. If it all goes well then I’ll over-write my lion install :)

          • Do you know if it would be OK to clone the installation from one drive to another and it still boot through cameleon fine?

  28. Jabbawok, you have a step where you say:

    Now in your installer partition there is a system folder, and in that is a packages symlink. delete it and the copy the packages folder from the MAC OS Install ESD.

    In my INSTALLER partition, I have three nested folders, System > Installation > CDIS In the CDIS I have a Packages alias, which I deleted.

    I then copied the Packages folder from Mac OS X Install ESD (3.83 GB) to the CDIS folder, where the Packages alias was (now deleted).

    Did I do this correctly? Thanks for clairification

  29. Thanks for your support, Jabbawok:

    Yes, after moving Packages to CDIS, I found osinstall.mpkg. In your post immediately above, you said to “replace it.” But where does the replacement come from?

    Thanks again.

  30. Not sure what went wrong.

    Practicing with DP 4, and will go buy a thumb drive version of ML soon…

    Since I had flat pack editor, V 1.0, went ahead did the proper edit of the var platformSupportValues.

    With option key held down, had choice of INSTALLER, EFI Boot and Windows.

    Tried windows.

    Then got into the Chamelon loader and chose INSTALLER.

    Then I ended up at a disk utilities restore grey like panel, that said I could go ahead and install ML

    But when I started, a message appeared saying:

    “This copy of the install OS X Mountain Lion Preview 4 application is damaged, and can’t be used to install OS X”

    Noticed that the partition I was working from is now hosed. Have plenty of backups.

    Wonder if I made a mistake in changing org.chameleon.Boot Plist target disk to


    The chameleon Installer log showed that to be the right GUID disk, disk 0s2 to send it to. But maybe things changed around at boot.

    Well, any ideas for trouble shooting appreciated. Am a newbe, so maybe should do this via PM; please advise.

    • Use the osinstall.mpkg from my site, I’ve tested it. Don’t worry about editing it yourself. Also I don’t think there will be a Mountain Lion USB key you can buy, however you may be able to make one with the App Apple released for Lion.
      Good luck, post your success or failure.

  31. Hi!

    I stuck at rebooting. When I hold down option key to bring up the list of devices I see Installer / EFI Boot / MacHD and I don’t se BOOT partition.

    What did I do wrong?


  32. Hi
    I have installed all according to instructions on my macpro1.1 with hd 5770 graphic card
    Installer istalled osx
    After reboot chameleon started and i could see apple logo for sec then system rebboted, this happens all the time.
    I dont know what I did wrong
    I had Lion installed on ssd.
    Any ideas,?
    In my chameleon i can not select drive by pressing arrows i had to edit chameleon plist file with correct hd drive via terminal.
    Please help


  33. Finally got it to work on my MacPro 1.1
    I had wrong disk name in plist.
    Now I have 2 problems
    Im using 3 monitors I have 2 of them on 5770 ( that works)
    as second card I have been using 8800GT and this one not working,
    It shows in the system and also shows monitor in settings but wont display anything.
    I need to have 3 monitors connected.
    Any solution?
    2. when I restart I always have to manually select windows otherwise system will not boot.

    • Have you tried both DVIs on the 8800? Other than that I’m not too sure. Might be worth asking on the thread on Netkas I linked to.
      Try running bless –i /Volumes/BOOT and see what it says. That might be the problem with not booting automatically.

      • Hi
        Other port on card dont work as well
        Any suggestions on other cards I can use to connect 3rd display
        any of them single slot?
        My problem with booting is that it will give me errors when it boots automatically:
        boot1: error
        something like that.
        Thanks for help

          • output:

            acPro:~ robert$ bless –i /Volumes/BOOT
            finderinfo[0]: 2 => Blessed System Folder is /Volumes/BOOT/
            finderinfo[1]: 148 => Blessed System File is /Volumes/BOOT/boot
            finderinfo[2]: 0 => Open-folder linked list empty
            finderinfo[3]: 0 => No alternate OS blessed file/folder
            finderinfo[4]: 0 => Unused field unset
            finderinfo[5]: 2 => OS X blessed folder is /Volumes/BOOT/
            64-bit VSDB volume id: 0xA9FFDBDA76DF0885

  34. @yuser: thanks again – hopefully you’ve filled in your real SMserial of your MacPro instead of your fantasy chosen one. If you have registered software it might not run anymore because your machine is treated as a different one when you change it’s serial number.

    @PeterHolbrook: I can also confirm the name variant of
    MLion HD
    in Chameleon’s boot plist strings. Thanks, that’s really super because it seems that in legacy boot mode a Mac always re-orders the drive numbers. So
    almost never did it because after reboot the 2nd+1 drive is listed as another one. With the named solution it works always!

    @Sam (and maybe others who will do the same): If you really overwrite your Lion installation keeping only ML as your Mac OS on your machine you will stay with an unsupported machine. You will always have to keep booted in legacy mode. So you won’t be able to do things with your Mac that we don’t know yet – and you aren’t able to do things we already know:
    Legacy boot is stored i.e. in NVRAM parameter values. If anything goes (really) bad and your NVRAM gets cleared for any reason you won’t be able to boot anymore and you can’t re-bless anymore … and remember: bless command does only run in non-legacy mode.
    From my point of view a MacPro has enough resources to keep at least one supported Mac OS in spare…

  35. Once again THANKS ALOT for this tutorial.
    You´re the man!

    I made the install/boot on a old IDE-harddrive. Which btw worked perfect.
    I only have one issue.
    The airplay-mirroring isn’t enabled. Ive learned that only the Macs post summer 11 have that future enabled.
    Is there anyway to spoof the modelnumber so that future enables itself?

    Once again! Thanks allot for your work!

    Mac Pro 1.1 (upgraded to 2.1) 3ghz@8core
    Radeon 5770

    • AirPlay mirroring uses hardware encoding that’s on the i series CPUs. There may be a way to force it to use software but I’m not sure I’m afraid.

      • Use AirParrot to enable mirroring.


        But beware, it uses a lot of CPU (since the older processor chips do NOT directly support H264 encoding). That is the REAL reason Apple disabled mirroring on older Macs.

  36. Yeah I’ll restore my time machine backup of Lion to another disc I think just to be safe.

    I’m getting a load of kernel panics on ML GM :( Are there any common causes? I’ve removed my PCI sata cards and the only USB device connected is the 27″ LED and keyboard. It’s a Mac Pro 1,1 (2,1 firmware) with a 5770. There’s no logs (that I can see) to check either!

  37. From sleep sometimes, and then if it’s slept/left for a while, I come back to use it and about 5-10 minutes in. It seems random. Where would I look for logs?

    • Did you have a look with what it can do for you?
      I had lines with some “unsupported” stuff in there before ML DP4. With DP4 and GM I’m fine regarding sleep issues – so I can’t help further.

  38. @Konran:

    I wouldn’t worry about the blessing thing. I might be mistaken, but it seems to me that, by pressing Alt at boot time and selecting one of the possible actually bootable drives (excluding the non-bootable ML Macintosh HD on a Mac Pro 2,1), you actually “bless” the partition you select. For instance, I have a Windows 7 partition, a Snow Leopard partition, etc. Yesterday, I had to boot Windows 7 and pressed Alt at boot time. The default selected partition was the second “Windows” partition (Chameleon), but I chose to boot from the first Windows partition (Windows 7). When I finished my business with Windows, I rebooted. Guess what? The first Windows partition was selected as default (i.e., it had been blessed), so I simply chose the second one and, voilà, a few moments later I was running ML. If my observation is valid, you don’t really need Terminal to bless the Chameleon partition. It gets blessed whenever you select it at boot time after pressing Alt.

    • The setboot part of blessing choses that drive as the one to boot from. The other bits I think are important but not 100% sure. I’ll look at the bless manual some more.

    • Yes, you can change the boot drive by pressing Alt at boot time – but you can’t change the legacy status of your Mac that way. Thus, if you don’t have an OS X other than ML you can’t regain legacy status if you once loose it for whatever reason. That’s the whole part of my point. If you want to risk – your choice. I better go save as we had at least two people in the netkas booting thread who actually went lost … they dropped supported Mac OS X’es and were left to ML DP2. Also backup procedures running from ML to restore an older OS went bad :-(

  39. Can someone with a Mac developer account help out with one issue on ML?
    Please have a look at this one regarding Spotlight privacy settings:
    Lion 10.7.4 and ML 10.8 GM reside on the same machine. While running Lion I’ve taken MLion HD boot drive into the Spotlight privacy list to not index programs from ML boot drive to be accessible by a spotlight search (as they can’t be run on Lion).
    The I boot into ML and see that Spotlight privacy list keeps MLion HD in its list. When I change that to drop MLion HD from privacy and insert Lion HD to get the proper programs indexed it works fine – but going to Lion again I have Lion HD in Spotlight privacy list. Lion and ML seem to store spotlight configuration the same way. Remember the days of Snow Leopard and Lion: they keep this config separately so that indexing works fine on both OS’es w/out re-indexing each time you boot one of them.
    Unfortunately I can’t place a bugreport to Apple because I only have an iOS dev account, not one for Mac dev – could anyone please do so? Thanks.

  40. Thanks for getting this figured out…I can follow everything but don’t understand what you do with the Extras folder, where does it go. I can use textedit to edit the org.chamleleon.boot.plist file, but don’t know what to do with it after that. Thanks in advance!

      • Thanks…that was a silly question. I am trying to add my serial to smbios.plist but opening up it says its corrupted. Downloaded it again…same result. Any ideas? Thanks.

  41. Mysterious parsing errors:

    Every time I boot Chameleon/Chimera, there is a warning about parsing errors that is displayed for five seconds. Then everything works. It would be nice if those errors could be detected and corrected. So, I’m resorting to this blog in case someone is able to detect the errors. My graphics card is an ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1024 MB.

    Here’s my org.chameleon.Boot.plist, as sorted by PlistEdit Pro:

    Default Partition
    Macintosh HD
    Graphics Mode
    Legacy Logo
    Quiet Boot

    And here is my smbios.plist, as sorted by PlistEdit Pro:

    Apple Inc.

    I’ve failed to detect any errors in either file. I hope at least one of you is astute enough to detect whatever errors may be contained therein. Thanks.

    • It appears that one possible source of parsing errors may be found in the dsdt.aml file. If this were to be the origin of the parsing errors reported every time ML boots up with Chameleon/Chimera, does anyone have a functionally equivalent dsdt.aml file without the parsing errors? If such a file doesn’t exist, does anyone have access to an error-free source of such a file and the know-how to compile it?

      • Look on the Netkas forum thread linked at the bottom of the instructions. There are a few dsdt.aml files posted there. As I say, mine has a mod for the 5770s audio over hdmi.
        Thanks. Ben.

  42. Thanks for your help but I think I’m going to give up on this. It’s just too unreliable. I just tried a PRAM clear which rendered the boot drive unbootable so had to go into the Lion DVD and re-bless the drive. When it booted, it kernel panic’d on boot once and then booted a second time but was extremely slow, eventually locking up. It could well be a hardware issue so think it might be time to ditch the 1,1 and get something a little newer…

    Cheers for the guide though

  43. Thanks!!! This totally worked for me. Now I can get a few more years out of my Mac Pro 1,1.

    One question – can I install PC RAID cards like the Rocket Raid 2642? Do I need to install any drivers or do anything with the BIOS or chameleon configuration? I read that with chameleon boot, you can use any PC graphics card (non EFI). So is that also true for other PCIe cards?

    I don’t actually want to run a hardware RAID – I just want to use a card to bring 6G SATA to my Mac pro for SSD and I want to use a four lane card like the rocket raid 2642 because otherwise there’s no point (mac pro PCI 1.0 only pushes 250 mb per lane so may as well use a HDD software RAID for that).

  44. One observation – as I noted, this worked for me, but when I rebooted and held down the option key, I didn’t see BOOT as an option. Rather, there was a disk labeled Windows. I picked that one hoping it was the MBR partition for BOOT. Apparently it was since it worked and I got the chameleon screen and was able to select the Installer partition.

  45. Does anyone know if an ATI Radeon HD 2600XT or NVIDIA GT 120 will work? I have a few 2008 3.0GHz 8-Core Xserve that are on the “unsupported” list. They have EFI64 but have weak video using an ATI Radeon X1300, with only 64MB vRAM, mounted on a PCIe-based Mezzanine card.

    I plan on removing the Mezzanine card and installing better graphics card into one of the empty PCIe slots. Unfortunately there is no room for the double-slot graphics cards (like the HD5770), and there is no additional power connection supplied.

    I welcome suggestions for graphics card options. Thanks!

    • The gt120 should work. I think it was standard on a 3,1 which is supported.

      You might get a PC HD5750 to work with a modded kext. you loose boot screen.

        • Scandalous,

          Can you let me know if that works for you? I have a 2006 Xserve with that same ATI Radeon X1300 with 64 MB of memory. If I can drop in a new video card, that would be swell. Question is which one.


        • Scandalous,

          I’ve got the same Xserve. Could you post back here if you’re successful, and what you did?


  46. Really Great Work in here!
    Get a bit panic with a problem with Chameleon at the beginning, cause i’ve got an 5770 PC flash card so no boot screen, but everything went fine after all.

    By the way, is a 670/680gtx graphic card useful now we’ve got the 64bit kernel on a mac pro rev1,1?

    Tx ;)

  47. Does the Mountain Lion install have to be on the same disk that has the partitions: “Install” and “BOOT”?

  48. CAN it be on the same disk? This may be my problem with my previously attempted installs.

    Thank you for everything!

    • if you create a disk will MBR partitioned with a small boot and a small installer part and the rest OS. install the OS to a totally separate (GUID) disk and then clone the install to the OS partition on the original disk, that should work.

      • This is close to what I was considering. Given sufficient available drives, is there any reason why you couldn’t have BOOT and an empty partition on one drive, and the installer on another disk? This way, once the install is completed into the empty partition on the BOOT drive, you could just erase the installer partition and you’d just have a primary boot drive… Any reason why this wouldn’t work?

  49. Fascinating.

    I have a Mac Pro 1,1 with an HD 5770 simply because the original card I had in it was a piece of crap… always made loud noises, and I’d regularly have to open the case up and clean dust that’d get trapped in the heatsink all because the way the card was designed that was the only place for dust to go. Was annoyed about having to buy a new card for no real reason. Looks like that HD 5770 purchase was a bit more worthwhile than I thought considering it’ll allow me to do this.

    My only concerns about all this other than miscellaneous issues arising from the fact it’s unsupported hardware are system updates. Any chances of Mac OS X updates’ messing any of this up?

    • I dont think updates are likely to be an issue. Good practice would be to let other people take the risk and see how it goes. I will certainly post when I update.

  50. Jabbawok, do you know of any success with the Radeon 4870 card? I have an XFX PC Flashed Dual-DVI 1gb 4870 to run dual 23-inch Cinema displays but I can’t find any listing of success with this card under Chameleon. Only the 5770. Any guidance is greatly appreciated.


  51. Has anyone tried with a copy of the official release of Mountain Lion 10.8 yet? I’m anxious to try these instructions on my 2006 Mac Pro 1,1 with a flashed ATI Radeon HD 4870.

  52. If anyone has a chance to try this out with the official release, please update us with your results. The official release is available for download at the Applestore.


    • Yes and not only that, those who already done this with their MacPro1,1/2,1 Are they able to buy the Official 10.8 release.

      AppStore prevents me from buying it. So after these modifications would you be able to purchase it trough the AppStore, our would that need other hacks.

        • You get a message stating that “we could not complete your purchase. OS X Mountain Lion is not compatible with this Computer.”

          I’m assuming that I can download it manually from the store on another machine with my account, transfer this file to my Mac Pro, and go from there. It sure will be a pain if the App Store identifies the Mac Pro 1,1 even with Mountain Lon installed as the OS as incompatible with future downloaded updates, thereby forcing us to manually update using a similar transfer method…

          • Just read that they hidden away 10.7 for purchase too in AppStore.

            And if you go to already purchased you can’t download it normally, but you can if you hit opt/alt key and klick on buy.

            When I get home I will test this on 10.8 too, otherwise it will be a PITA to get it.

  53. Just a few things I want to clear up before I take the punge:

    1. I am currently using an unmodified Radeon HD 6870. It works within Lion right out of the box with the caveat of no boot screen. My question here is — with no boot screen, how would I hold down option and choose the Chameleon bootloader drive?

    2. After everything is installed and up and running, does the BOOT+Installer double-partitioned drive have to stay in the machine? Or rather, can it then later be reformatted and partitioned to use as storage? (which I’m using it for now?) And thus ML works as normal without it? I’m assuming NOT, since Chameleon is on it, right? Or, does Chameleon transfer itself over to the ML drive install?

    • When you bless the chameleon drive the setboot part of the command tells EFI to use it as boot disk, it should boot into it first.

      The chameleon drive needs to stay in your machine.

      • Thanks for the reply. I partitioned a spare disk as /boot and /installer and followed the instructions. I got the chameleon bootloader, and selected /installer from the list. I then got a slightly-misshapen Apple logo and spinning wheel, as though everything was OK.

        THEN, though, I got basically a white-ish screen with flickering, and nothing else. Here’s an example video:

        I have an HD 6870 — is that not supported? It works fine in Lion.

      • As a follow-up to my own reply — using another guide, I removed S/L/E/ATI6000Controller.kext from the /Volumes/INSTALLER drive. (The ML install partition), set Graphics Enabler to “NO” in the chameleon plist, and was able to get an install screen.

        However, I stopped there because when I click the drive to install it to (my current Lion drive), and then click “Customize” to choose install options, there are no options in the list! So I think something is still “wonky” with my graphics setup.

        I put the kext back where it was, and switched GE back to YES. and will await input from hopefully someone more knowledgeable like you! :D

      • I was able to buy MT. Lion from a virtual machine (Parallels) running Lion. Apparently the VM masked the fact that I am on a Mac Pro 1,1. The memory allocated for the Lion VM had to be boosted after an error message told me I needed at least 2 gigs of RAM to tun ML. After that it downloaded without a problem.

        • Hey Linrey Great tip on Parallels, I downloaded a trial version and installed lion and it has allowed me to download mountain lion from the App store without a problem.

  54. Awesome guide!
    Could you post links to where your 8GB SSD and PATA converter were bought? Looks like a worthwhile investment!

  55. My MacPro 1,1 currently has 10.7. I am a little confused about the instructions. is the BOOT and INSTALLER a separate drive that all of 10.8 will be on which will render my 10.7 drive unusable? or is the BOOT and INSTALLER a separate drive that is used in conjunction to the Main drive that has 10.7 that will be replaced with 10.8? Does this mean I have to start up my computer with the BOOT and INSTALLER and then switch to the main drive? I am lost.

    • Boot and install live on their own separate drive (mbr). 10.8 has its own drive (guid). This could be the drive your 10.7 is on. You should keep a drive with 10.7 on for emergencies though..
      You can use an old IDE drive for BOOT+installer and pit it in the optical bay.

  56. So now here’s my dilemma. I keep getting a KP that says “Unable to find a driver for this platform “ACPI”…IOPlatformExpert.cpp:1546″

    I’m running a MP1,1>2,1, (2 x5355) and an APPLE (ATI Radeon) 5770.

    I can’t find a similar KP on netkas or anywhere else on the web :\ Any suggestions?

    • I also struggled with the “Unable to find a driver for this platform “ACPI”…IOPlatformExpert.cpp:1546″ error. I finally figured out that my installer disk did not contain the correct files because I had not restored the BaseSystem.dmg properly. Everything worked as expected when I followed the instructions more carefully.

    • It’s impossible to say for sure. They are unlikely to drop hardware support for any part of the system in later point releases. Best practice is to let someone else confirm the update has no ill effects before applying it.

      • But if everything fails i could clone a image of the boot partition before the update and if it fails mirror it back and skip the update… :)

  57. Thanks for this great article, before trying myself anybody can confirm this procedure will work with my mac:
    2×2,66 GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon
    Ati Radeon HD 3870 512 MD


  58. Thanks for the write up. You may want to mention that if you have access to another Mac that is eligible for Mountain Lion that you can then take a shortcut by only doing the first few steps of your write up to get it to boot to the 64bit kernel and then letting that other Mac upgrade your Lion install.

        • Yes, you still have to install Chameleon on the old Mac Pro.

          In my case I have access to a modern Mac Pro so the upgrade itself is a simple as swapping the hard disk, running the upgrade there and swapping it back.

          • Would this also work with a MacBook Pro 13 with ML and the MacPro1,1 in target disk mode?

          • Should do. It needs to make the disk MBR though and put chameleon and the other bits on. I’m getting a new Mac Pro so I could try that method with my MacBook Air.

  59. So, so very close….

    I have been booting my MacPro 1,1/ 1,2 into 64 bit for a while with chameleon, so I was able to follow your method to launch Installer fine, but when it does, it will reboot again after 2 seconds. I tried again in verbose mode, and I can see it starts off copying files (ktexts, i think), and then will reboot itself, where I’m back at chameleon rather than the ML installation.

    I tried what Jan suggests, using the Install OS X Mountain Lion application by changing the OSInstall.mpkg, but the Install OS X Mountain tells me that the “application is damaged, and can’t be used to install OS X–try downloading it again”

    It seems to me that you method might work for the App store version if I can just stop that reboot.

    Perhaps there might be a way to do it with the “Install OS X Mountain” if I can get past the part where it recognized that it had been changed.

      • Yes, I have a internal drive with the boot partition and the Installer partition. The only difference from your instructions is the name of “BOOT” is “Das_Boot”, but the Installer partition is called “installer” just like yours.

        • I can tell that it starts fine in verbose mode with doing all sorts of things like copiing files—and then it reboots itself

          • what version of chameleon are you using. Older versions will cause 10.8 to reboot. Are you ising my DSDT.aml and SMBios.plist. Also what is in your boot.plist ?

          • Well, that could be it.. I used chameleon Wizard to install v2.1svn r 1819 built on 2012-02-13 and I confess the DSDT.ami I am using was something i got from,1123.0.html to work with my 5770, sound and data. My plist is :

            Default Partition
            Kernel Flags


          • Probably the same DDT.aml as mine then.. Make sure you have a bootable 10.7! Update chameleon. Re-bless and cross your fingers.

          • well Jabbawok, despite your scary name, you are the best! The problem with the rebooting was indeed that tiny boot file I had! I merely updated my r1819 to r2035 from and magic! all is well! I’m writing from my 10.8 now!

            Thanks for your speedy replies–without them I would have lost hope!

    • @kwis: Thanks for sticking with it – your fix worked for me. I had the same problem, when selecting the Install drive my Mac1,1 kept rebooting Chameleon instead of the selected Installer partition.

      Before starting this process I already had a Chameleon install working and so I skipped the first part of this procedure. That was my problem: a Chameleon install that was too far out of date.

      After downloading and replacing Chameleon with the latest r2035 release from the Installer partition booted and I got a successful glitch-free install of 10.8. (BTW, I am running an XFX 6870 with no issues.)

  60. I just installed Mountain Lion on my Mac Pro 1.1 and instead of the installation disk I just have the boot partition on one disk (the remaining space on the drive is used for Time Machine) and I installed Mountain Lion on a second drive from a MacBook Pro (2008) with the Mac Pro in target disk mode, so I could avoid the installation disk and the modification of the installer.
    Because I used 10.7 Lion in 64 Bit mode before, I had to update Chameleon to 21_r19211 on the Boot partition.
    I have a GeForce 8800 GT installed and it seems to work without any problems.

    • I’m not sure if I understand.. did you run the ML installer on the MacBook Pro(2008), with the MacPro 1.1 in target mode?

      • Yes, that’s right, I run the installer without modifications on the MacBook Pro and selected a new clean drive installed in the Mac Pro as installation target.
        I let the installer do its work and after the installation was complete and the installer asked for the timezone etc. I quit the setup and shut down the MacBook Pro
        Then I also shut down the Mac Pro with the power switch, disconnected the FireWire cable and rebooted the Mac Pro.
        Chameleon starts Mountain Lion and I could migrate my stuff from a former Lion installation.
        So it seems that a ML installation is universal and runs with different Mac models.

    • I’m very new to all this, but if I understood Maccy’s procedure correctly, I should be ok doing this:
      1. Install ML on a supported computer, in my case a Mac mini 2011;
      2. Clone the mini’s ML install to an external HD.
      3. Install and configure Chamaleon to boot the MacPro in 64 bits, as previously described;
      4. Restore the cloned ML install to a GUID partition on the MacPro
      5. Make sure Chamaleon loads the correct partition.
      Is that it? Looks too simple, so I assume I’m missing something here. My graphics card is compatible (HD5770).
      I appreciate any input on this. I’m currently backing up things and making sure I’m ready to try the switch…
      Thanks in advance!

  61. I am concerned I am unsure about a fundamental concept with the original process outline by Jabbawok. I am assuming this Chameleon boot partition needs to be on the drive where you want 10.8 to startup from? I use an SSD for boot into 10.7 so if I wanted to “upgrade” (not new install) 10.8, I will need to clone my current 10.7 install, then erase and partition the SSD following the outlined procedure then clone back 10.7 on the correct fresh OS partition and then continue from there with the procedure?

    Or can the boot partition be on any internal harddrive?

    • As I say in the instructions “my solution requires a spare drive” this drive has chameleon and the installer on it. 10.8 has its own drive.
      That’s two drives in total. The drive with chameleon on is MBR and has two partitions, a BOOT and an Instal partition. For this I Use a cheap 8 gig SSD I got from EBay.
      10.8 lives on its own drive that is GUID partition map and has one partition. It could be that you use the drive you have 10.7 on presently and upgrade it.
      You should however have some bootable 10.7 like a USB stick or something just for emergencies.

      I’ve updated the instructions to make this a little clearer.

        • No problem. If your are on a real budget, any old IDE drive stuck under the optical drive will do(for chameleon/BOOT). It shouldn’t even spin-up once 10.8 is booted.

          • Thought things were going swimmingly going through the process without any problems but at my first attenmpt at rebooting to start the installer I’m getting a kernel panic. Anything I should be looking for in the error msg? I absolutely know that you re not here for my personal tech support and won’t be surprised if ya don’t reply of course!

          • Stick it in verbose boot and see where it panics. -v in chameleon I think.
            I’m off to sleep as its gone 1:00am here.
            Stick at it. You’ll get there!

          • This is my third upgraded card for my Mac Pro — it’s a 6870. One of my difficulties is that it does not display during the intial regular boot process. It is displaying now that Chameleon is in the mix.

  62. This is an awesome guide, thanks for putting it out! I was hoping you could help me. I seem to be stuck with Chameleon displaying the following message “No bootable device — insert boot disk and press any key”. I have made sure that the bless command does not return any errors. I have all sleds full and connected the Chameleon drive to the onboard SATA plugs. Would you have any suggestions? Thanks

    • I had this problem, that’s why I got the sata to ata adapter for my SSD. Chameleon can’t see the odd-sata ports properly so gets stuck. Connect it up in a drive sled and see if it works. Then grab an old IDE drive and put it in the optical bay. Or get an adapter off eBay like I did.

      • I now have removed all drives from all sleds and plugged the Chameleon in sled 2. Seems like now it tries to come up but I see “EBIOS read error: Controller or device error. Block 0×0 Sectors 0″. Seems like I need to tweak some Chameleon setting?

      • Just to update my last comment. The error message repeats over and over. If I let it run, after about 5 minutes the installer kicks in and all seems to be working fine. Looks like Chameleon is trying to do something that is failing and retries a few times before giving up. Any ideas on what it might be? I might try to disconnect the DVD burner and the drive that is plugged into the on board SATA…

        • Hi. I have the exact same thing. The message that repeats and then the installer finally runs. I ran the installer and it got to the restart stage, but won’t restart. I just get the grey no-entry sign trying to boot from the HD with the OS on. Did you also have this problem? Any ideas how to solve?

  63. After selecting the boot partition, I keep getting:

    b1f init
    b1f error

    Then the computer just sits there. I’ve made sure that my boot.plist is set to the install partition, but I’m still stuck. Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks for the help.

    • Don’t worry. 1,1 and 2,1 are virtually identical. Mine was a 1,1 and I’ve upgraded the CPUs. When you do that it’s best to stick a 2,1 firmware on it.

      • If there isn’t a copy of Mach_kernel in the default partition, specified in boot.plist it will. Is the default partition your installer to start with or have you complete the install?

        • I’ve completed the install. I put Mach kernel in the installer partition as instructed. But I assume the installer also put one where I installed mountain lion

          I was thinking about a CPU upgrade myself now!

  64. I’m getting a kernel panic when trying to boot, I use the window drive and then I get chameleon saying mach_kernel cannot be found and a option to boot installer or system, then it panics out if I select system…

  65. so I tried it all out again and it works great now, only issue is, i tried to do the “stab” file and it’s created and everything, added the correct UDIDs and still the drives show after booting. not sure what’s going on, but I did have to find my UDIDs under ATA instead of serialATA, since my drive is connected to the IDE cable in the optical bay.

    if i unmount them after boot in disk utility everything still runs fine and dandy, any thoughts?

  66. You should sell an ML upgrade kit for the older MPs. Include a pre-formatted disk and instructions. Would probably pay for a few vacations with the earnings…

  67. I’m going to just have to pass on this for now. What is the best way now to make it so it doesn’t boot into Chameleon everytime. I reformatted the boot/installer hard drive but even if I have a different startup it goes into Chameleon unless I hold down option when restarting. Your help is greatly appreciated. :)

    • YMMV but for me, pulling all but my original 10.7 boot drive from the system with a PRAM reset (Command-Option-P-R) seemed to work. Subsequent restarts booted right into 10.7 even the other drives in. (Including Chameleon BOOT drive)

  68. After a couple of preliminary failures, I have now successfully booted into 10.8. Although I followed the procedure for setting up the Installer partition, I didn’t actually do an install as I decided to update a clone of my 10.7 OS to another drive and I upgraded the OS to 10.8 via a MacBook Air while attaching the drive via USB. Two things at the moment: first, my serial number is appearing as SOMESRLNMBR in System Information and secondly, my internal SSD which has my original 10.7 install isn’t appearing as a device (or volume). I believe I have this SSD attached to the “auxiliary” SATA connection on the motherboard (allowing me to snake the cables up and through to the IDE/DVD drive bay). Obviously, it seems there’s some incompatibility — or coincidentally, I’ve had a SSD hardware failure. It’s a long shot but anyone else experiencing this? Do newer Mac Pros not have the secondary internal SATA connection. (The whole secondary connector could be my imagination, it’s been a while since I did it)

    • I think I answered my own question reading a post from (’s-internal-bays-to-sata-3-0).

      “There’s only one situation where this won’t work: if you happen to use Boot Camp to run Windows on your Mac. Apple doesn’t support Boot Camp on these “extra” connectors. In that instance, you’ll need to use an ATA hard drive hooked to the ATA connector in the drive bay. You’ll lose a lot of the speed advantage during booting and launching when you do it this way, but at least you still retain Boot Camp capability.”

      So I guess this does mean if I want to boot in 10.8 with a Mac Pro 2,1 or older I lose access to the secondary ATA connector.

      • I can access the ODD sata ports once booted into 10.8 but chameleon can not use them. I tried my boot/install drive on one but ended up putting an IDE converter on it and connecting it under where the SuperDrive was. Ive now got. SATA Blueray burner in the top bay, connected to an ODD port.

        • Hi, just had my vacation, now starting to look at this again.

          If I understand your above comment a 3 drive soft raid also used as the boot disk is out of the question then with chameleon?

          I hate to have many partitions, I like to keep it simple.

  69. Tried doing the 10.8 install on my MacPro 1,1 with other instructions and failed, possibly because at their base was the pre-release 10.8 software. It is rather time consuming to do these mods, but something I enjoy (former mechanic and working “under the hood” of a computer is quite similar). The above instructions couldn’t be more complete – now is the time to see if I can make it work. Will have to see what graphics card is in the MacPro and upgrade if necessary. I had a PPC G5 DP 1.8 GHz which worked fine but Apple dropped PPC support, so I bought the MacPro. Little did I know the dropping of the older Intel processors was to come; I may have opted for a newer MacPro-but that may have been out of my price range.

    Thanks to the author (I wish I knew how they figure these things out) for all the work on this project. I for one was more than glad to donate for the work. I also found out the conversion rate for $10 to GB pounds.

  70. Is anyone have any issues with iCloud under System Preferences using a Mac Pro 1,1 or 2,1? I keep getting an error stated my account is a valid Apple user id but not an iCloud account. Works fine under Lion and web access. I wonder if the server is authenticating the machine I’m using. Any help is greatly appreciated it. Mountain Lion w/o iCloud access is pretty much not worth it.

  71. I followed the instructions for my Mac Pro 1,1 with upgraded processor (dual quad-core 3GHz) and updated video card (Radeon 5770) but I’m hung on chameleon. It boots to BIOS apparently for a split second then all screens go black. I edited the resolution down to 1024x68x32 in smbios but same result. Thoughts?

    • I managed to snap a pic of the white on black BIOS looking screen and it says Mode CPU AHCI

      Physical Disk
      -and lists my external esata time machine disk

      And I get nothing but a black screen after that… I tried updating to 2.1r2035 and same. I pulled the esata drive and same (except it didn’t list the esata drive obvi)

      I’m not even getting to any expected ML issues… I can’t seem to get chameleon to work as advertised… HELP. Where have I gone wrong?

        • 10.7 SATA 256GB SSD Boot Drive. Upper ODD bay, ODD SATA connector from MLB.

          40GB PATA rotational drive, Lower ODD Bay, Normal ODD PATA connector (Has Boot, installer and 30GB partitions. HFS+ Journaled; Master Boot Record)

          HDD Bays 1-4: 4x 1.5GB; Apple RAID Card in x4 lane slot

          Ext. 3TB ESATA drive, attached to esata/usb3 pci-e card in x4 lane slot. Have tried with this disconnected

          Asus 5770 in 16 lane slot, 2 displays attached, one apple cinema 23, one VGA (not registered till after boot; I tried without these displays connected; Shows in system profiler as ATI Radeon HD 5000)

          NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT in x1 lane slot, one 1024×768 VGA display attached

          I realize after 10.8 is installed I will likely need to lose the NVIDIA based on comments, but my problem currently is before I ever even see the chameleon boot loader…

          • I think the issue is chameleon can’t see the ODD sata port . It’s a pain in the ass but if you want to get this working you get your mac in the same state as mine, no 7300gt, no RAID CARD and your OS on a sata sled port,
            Chameleon won’t boot an ODD dive but if your running a raid card then the sata ports on that used to run the sleds are free. You may need to get a cable to use that, probably a sff-8087 to sata cable. I’ll do my best to find a solution for you so you can keep all the hardware running, except tha 7300gt (there’s little hope for that)


          • Does it matter if chameleon can’t see the ODD SATA port if that’s just my current lion boot disk? Does chameleon not see the ODD PATA ports either where the 30GB was attached? Cause I thought that’s exactly what you did, I just used a PATA drive rather than a PATA/SATA converter and replaced the other ODD with it.

            I had a feeling you’d nix the RAID card, but in that case I’ll just stick to lion, grudgingly. It’s an Apple RAID card, so it uses the same SATA connectors… no joy there. I really can’t afford a new MP (which is why I decked this one out as best I could) but maybe that;s the way to go… I did put a considerable amount of moolah into it, so I can’t justify selling it for less than $2k but no takers on the bay of E’s

            I already ordered another 5770 since the 7300 seemed a definite no-go, but since chameleon can be used for other purposes (right?) I thought I’d at least be able to get as far as it’s boot menu with a display attached to that card (as it’s the only card that is recognized before OS load since the ASUS isn’t an apple 5770… you mentioned flashing those PC cards, can youpoint me in thee right direction for that?)

  72. I got through most of this. But when I rebooted the machine, pressed Option, selected EFI BOOT as the startup, then launched the ML installer, the step where I select the installation disk, my startup disk, which contains Lion, is not showing up. All of my other disks are (I have all four of my internal bays filled) displayed. What do you think is going on?

      • My 10.7 disk is on my startup SSD, which is in the old bay taken up by the secondary optical disk drive. Bays 1 thru 4 are regular SATA drives, with Bay 1 containing the Install/BOOT drive.

      • Just read an earlier post…does Chameleon not see a drive that’s on the ODD SATA port? Does the startup drive need to be in one of the four bays/sleds?

        • It wood seem that way, I tried the chameleon drive on the ODD port and it wouldn’t work. The IDE connectors are ok for the chameleon or OS drives though.

          • Can I confirm what ODD stands for? Is a true acronym? Is it what in my earlier reply I referred to as secondary SATA? And Jabbawok, you said that Chameleon won’t recognize “them” but that 10.8 does once booted? Any thoughts as to why my SSD drive on what I’ll assume is an ODD SATA connection is not appearing in 10.8? (I’m just about to reconfigure things, copying your setup with the IDE adapter but I thought I would just ask).

          • ODD stands for optical disk drive. In 10.8 I can see my BlueRay that’s attached to one of them. I’m not sure why your SSD isn’t showing up.

  73. Great work! Thanks to your hard work, and determination I’ve just got my 2,1 (studio machine) running OS X 10.8. For now, I’ll keep 10.8 on the non-”on-air” partition, and use 10.7 when I’m broadcasting.

    Nevertheless, this worked a charm, and it’s incredibly quick with a new 256GB SSD, 16GB of RAM and the HD5770. This *should* keep my machine working for another year (hopefully until Apple releases a new workhorse for us pro users)

    Tomorrow, I’ll try the same on my 1,1 — although I suspect i’ll have to do an EFI update to 2,1 before it plays nicely.


    (Time for install = 2 hours, inc. a drive to a friends’ house for a suitable drive!)

  74. Hi Guys, I’ve manged to install Mountain Lion which I’m really happy about. Thanks to all the info on this forum. One strange thing though.. In System profiler it reckons the system is an iMac Core 2 Duo, it no longer has the right serial number and it also mis identifies the video card. I’m running a Radeon 5770 in mine. Any ideas what might be causing this? The system seems fine but I’m worried the performance will be lower as it not got the machine info right. Any ideas!?

      • I really can’t see what I’m doing wrong. i’ve used your extras folder and put my serial number in which it doesn’t recognise. My machine is a Mac Pro 1,1 Dual-Core Intel Xeon 2.66 with a serial like CK71100MX**, Boot ROM MP11.005C.B08, It thinks its an iMac summer 2001, iMac8,1, Core 2 Due 2.66GHZ, the serial number comes up as “SOMESRLNMBR”, The graphics card comes up as an ATI Radeon 5000 instead. My file is setup like this.. SMproductname
        Am i doing something stupid!?

  75. Hiya, great work – not sure I’ll try it yet on a production machine, but since we can no longer buy 10.7, I’ll be stuck at 10.6.8 if I don’t do something. Our 1,1s and 2,1s have Geforce 8800GT cards and Avid only supports Nvidia – what’s the latest on these GPUs? Still problems?

  76. Thanks for the great work. I had some issues with boot0 errors due to using a drive with 4k sectors, other than that its working fine. (fix using “sudo dd if=boot1h of=/dev/disk2s1″ )

    One issue I am having is the detection of the graphics card. Currently the system is reporting my “ATI Radeon HD 5770″ as an “ATI Radeon HD 5000″. Any ideas on how to correct this will be greatly appreciated :)

  77. Hi, nice article!

    I order the graphic card in ebay. I would like to try and make it, do you know if it would work in my computer?
    2x3ghz dual-core intel xeon
    the card I bought is the ati radeon hd 5770.

  78. Everything is working great but I have a few questions.

    When I hold down the option key I don’t select the EFI Boot I have another hd named ‘Windows’ which boots up fine. Where did the ‘Windows’ hd come from as I don’t see it listed any where in Disk Utility?

    When Chameleon loads I get a ‘Can’t find mach_kernel’ Error which will cause a kernel panic unless I hit any key prior to the error showing up.

    I was hoping to get the Boot loader on a USB flash drive instead of the hard drive I used. I followed the same steps on the USB flash drive. Loading Chameleon adding the extras folder etc but it wont boot and it only shows the EFI Boot without the windows hd now. I even tried cloning the old BOOT to the flash drive with no success.

    Is there a way to get Chameleon to just boot right into mountain lion rather then select the volume each time?

    Thanks for all your work.

    • Chameleon boots from BIOS emulation, which Apple put on the Intel Mac to allow it to boot Windows, hence your chameleon partition is windows.
      You need to check the default partition setting in the org.chameleon.boot.plist on your boot partition’s extra folder. It may need changing to the Mac OS disk. This should make it bool Mountain lion automatically.

      Legacy boot will not work with USB drives unfortunately so chameleon has to be on either one of the four SATA ‘sleds’ or the IDE cable.

      Good Luck

  79. Just want to be sure that I understand this correctly. You cannot use the extra SATA connectors in the ODD bay area for either the boot/installer drive or the Mountain Lion drive. Is this correct?

    • Correct.The ODD (Optica Disk Drive) SATA connectors support legacy boot but chameleon can not boot from them. The IDE connector is OK though. Hence my solution with the Sata SSD os SAT to IDE converter.

      • Thanks Jabbawok. Mountain Lion is now running on my Mac Pro 2006. I was going to use a OWC 30gb SSD for my Boot/Installer drive, but the SATA to IDE adapter for some reason read the drive as having 0 bytes on it, wouldn’t allow format or anything. The drive was working fine on one of the SATA ports. Don’t know if it’s a conflict with the drive and the adapter or if the adapter is just junk. Anyways I put a 40gb PATA drive in instead for the Boot/Installer, followed the guide and mission complete.

        This is great at least now I can maintain the same workflow from my desktop to my laptop. I appreciate all the hard work that you put into this and making it available.

  80. Anyone that knows how to do this fairly well that lives in So California that can come by and I can pay a couple bucks to do this for me?

  81. Great instruction! Worked perfect on my Mac Pro 1,1 with ATI Radeon HD 4870.
    (after removing the 7300 GT…)

    Thank you!

      • Do you mean DDT.aml will help generate AppleHDA.kext?

        My Apple 4870 does not have sound. The sound now comes from the onboard sound device, not from HDMI/DisplayPort. And I can find AppleHDA.kext in system folder of which date is 25-Jun 2012 and is the same as other kext. Hardware profile shows it is Intel High Definition Audio.

        It seems everything works.

  82. Hey,
    I just bought a Mac Pro 1,1 ($440!) and I was looking to install OSX on it, so I am going to try to do a partition of the main drive for the BOOT and Installer. So BOOT&Installer are GUID? Also, does it show the Chameleon boot screen? Or just boot up normally?

    • That’s an amazing price.
      To boot chameleon, the disk must be MBR. You can partition a disk with three partitions MBR BOOT/installer/macos install the OS to an additional drive like a USB and then clone it back to the macos partition on the first disk.
      For ease, I’d just get an old IDE drive and stick it on the optical bay for BOOT/install.
      Good luck.

      • Once Mountain Lion is installed on the drive where Lion used to be, does the Install/BOOT drive need to remain or can that be taken down/overwritten?

      • Just wondering about the drive alloctaion issue.
        JB, you state the following;
        01/08/2012 at 8:20 am
        To boot chameleon, the disk must be MBR. You can partition a disk with three partitions MBR BOOT/installer/macos install the OS to an additional drive like a USB and then clone it back to the macos partition on the first disk.

        But I thought ML would only boot from GUID?

        • Chameleon is doing the booting. The mac will only boot chameleon if its an mbr disk as it is using the bios emulation meant for booting windows, which will not boot guid.

          The Mac OS installer checks to see if the disk it’s being installed on is guid. That is one of the reasons I have it on its own disk.

          • Oh right. One last thing before I get right into it. There are two spare SATA ports on the mobo. Are they both ODD SATAs or is one ODD and the other different?

    • Is that core duo or core2duo. If its core 2 then it will work. You would have to get a 64bit Kext for your graphics and patch some other Kexts. Not straight forward but possible.

  83. Have any of you guys noticed that, when using Finder, you double-click on an empty folder, the “title” of the Finder window will change to the name of that empty folder but the contents of that Finder window will continue to show the contents of the parent folder until you drag some content to the empty folder? In wonder if updating Chameleon/Chimera to something like Chameleon-2.1svn-r2035 might solve issues like this.

    • I haven’t noticed. That’s not to say its not been happening. I naught try upgrading my chameleon. The reason I specified the one I did was because I had tested it. I won’t recommend anything I haven’t personally tested.

    • I do not have this problem.

      Even the problem exists, I do not think it is related to Chameleon.
      It is entirely the issue of ML.

      • I think you are right. Although I haven’t found the problem on a newer, supported iMac that doesn’t need Chameleon/Chimera, it seems the problem does exist for some users that I suppose aren’t using Chameleon. See So, it would appear the problem affects only certain user accounts on certain particular hardware. Let’s hope 10.8.1 corrects this bug.

  84. What if I need to boot into Lion after doing the bootloader steps you’ve provided? Can I boot through the option menu through chameleon?

      • My numbers appear to be a bit different than yours for the install partition for the prefs files in the extras folder… where can I find out what the numbers are for me?

  85. Terminal command:

    sudo bless –folder /Volumes/BOOT –file /Volumes/BOOT/boot –setBoot –legacy

    fails with error:

    Error while getting file ID of /Volumes/BOOT/boot. Ignoring…

  86. Awesome blog post. I have had a stock Mac Pro 1,1 for 6 years that I wasn’t sure what to do with, but decided to take the plunge of upgrading it with your blog. Upgraded it with an additional 8GB RAM and ATI 4870 card that I was able to get for $125 on EBay total. Flashed my Mac Pro 1,1 with the netkas firmware and got it to recognize as a 2,1 with both processors showing (required 2 reboots though). All of that worked under Lion with no problems, so followed your instructions and am running Mountain Lion perfectly now.

    I have only one suggestion to make as a clarification to the original blog entry. After Chameleon booted from the installer the first time and copied the ML files to the main GUID hard drive and rebooted, it went back to the installer. Per your instructions, you said to edit “org.chamleleon.boot.plist” and change the default partition.

    The problem I had was how to figure out how to re-edit this file since I was in the OSX Install package. I found that it contained a version of Terminal, but pico / nano cannot be used in it. I ended up using vim to edit the file, but vim can be confusing to use. I was thinking that maybe it would be useful earlier to make a copy of the “org.chamleleon.boot.plist” called “org.chamleleon.boot.plist.afterinstall”, edit this file to contain the post-install default installer partition, and then you could just copy over this file in the terminal of the OSX Install package after it did the initial install.

    If you did something different, or if I missed how I was really supposed to edit that file, I’d love to hear it. Thanks again for an awesome set of instructions.

    • Hmm, ran into an issue that I was wondering whether you could help me with. I added some internal hard drives to my remaining sleds. When restarting, the chameleon boot loader says it cannot find “mach_kernel”, and then suggests two hard drives it has found, but they are on (1,2) or (3,2). If I select the Mac HD (3,2), it will try to boot, but will undergo a kernel panic. ML will only boot if I remove the hard drives such that the drive number of the original Mac HD changes back to (2,1) during booting.

      My chameleon boot loader originally had the MacHD as (2,1), but it seems as though as I add and remove hard drives, the MacHD drive number can be randomly assigned / changed. Do you know how I should properly address this as I plan to remove / add hard drives to this computer over time?

          • I’m still unclear however how you guys managed to edit the chameleon.boot.plist file after the installer went through? Wouldn’t it just keep kicking you back to the installer on every reboot. Would love to know for the future and I’m sure it would be helpful to others.

          • If you press a key when chameleon is starting you can use the arrow keys to choose the partition to boot.
            Boot into the OS and edit the boot.plist to set the auto boot.

  87. The “Find My Mac” feature is disabled under these instructions as the drive does not have a recovery partition? Any way of putting a recovery partition on the Mac HD?

    • There’s a recovery partition update on software update that should sort this. I’ll post instructions when I work it out.
      I’ve been meaning to look into this but it’s a pretty limited feature for a desktop with no gps. I’d loo I to Prey for tracking, it’s great.

      • Hmm, wish I had seen this before. Since I had a machine with a supported copy of ML on it, I actually just low level block cloned that hard drive to my main hard drive on the MP 1,1 and moved that drive back. Booted up like a charm and allows full iCloud functionality since the Recovery Drive is there now.

  88. This is great… and I can’t wait to actually get it working!

    I’ve created the partitions as directed, copied all the folders into what I believe to be the right order. When I reboot I have three additional partitions, Installer, Windows, and EFI Boot. Selecting either Windows or EFI Boot results in both monitors going white for a period, followed by both showing some quick text (boot, something else I can’t read) which is then replaced for a couple of seconds by a rotating cursor in the top left corner of an otherwise black screen. This cursor stops as a vertical pipe with a break in the middle, which has a horizontal cursor flashing below it… and it never gets any further.

    This appears to be the step I’m not successfully navigating:
    “then franticly tap the up or down arrow key until the Chameleon list of bootable drives appears”

    I’m clearly not seeing the Chameleon list of bootable drives. What do you mean by “frantically tap the up or down arrow key”, or more to the point, do you mean this literally? (Surely that isn’t the normal mechanism to activate this thing?) Anyway, I’ve tried following this advice literally, and it does nothing different than if I do nothing after selecting the Windows or EFI Boot partitions.

    Can you advise what I might be able to try next? I’ve triple checked everything up to that point, downloaded your own Chameleon even though I’d previously got it from elsewhere as requested, checked all settings.

    Mac Pro 1,1 that has been flashed to 2,1, with an ATI Radeon HD 4890 that has been flashed from a PC version…

    • Just noticed my BOOT partition is Mac OS Extended (Journaled) but somehow I managed to get my Installer partition as just Mac OS Extended. Is that an important deviation from your instructions?

    • Bay One: 80Gb SSD reformatted for this process…
      Bay Two: Time machine volume.
      Bay Three: Data drive, which contains the user folders when booted into Lion.
      Bay Four: Secondary data drive, with OS 10.6.8 installed on it.
      /dev/disk4 is connected via eSATA to the internal SATA connector, and currently has the Lion boot drive as an 80Gb partition (Aurora A), which uses the user folders off the drive in Bay Three, and also contains a backup partition of the data on bay three.

      $ diskutil list
      0: FDisk_partition_scheme *80.0 GB disk0
      1: Apple_HFS BOOT 1.2 GB disk0s1
      2: Apple_HFS Installer 78.8 GB disk0s2
      0: GUID_partition_scheme *2.0 TB disk1
      1: EFI 209.7 MB disk1s1
      2: Apple_HFS Tardis 2.0 TB disk1s2
      0: GUID_partition_scheme *1.0 TB disk2
      1: EFI 209.7 MB disk2s1
      2: Apple_HFS Spark 999.9 GB disk2s2
      0: GUID_partition_scheme *750.2 GB disk3
      1: EFI 209.7 MB disk3s1
      2: Apple_HFS Ember 679.3 GB disk3s2
      3: Apple_Boot Recovery HD 650.0 MB disk3s3
      4: Apple_HFS Ember 2 69.9 GB disk3s4
      0: GUID_partition_scheme *1.0 TB disk4
      1: EFI 209.7 MB disk4s1
      2: Apple_HFS Aurora A 80.0 GB disk4s2
      3: Apple_HFS Spark A 919.0 GB disk4s3
      4: Apple_HFS Recovery HD 700.0 MB disk4s4

  89. My approach on Mac Pro 2,1 (upgraded 8 core Xeon 3.0GHz) was this:
    - Updated Apple Graphics card – ATI 4870, I think.
    - BOOT partition is on a GUID disk with BOOT CAMP on it, so it has a shadow MBR
    - Chameleon r2025 installed with edited Extras – Graphic Enabler is set to No
    - Mountain Lion Release disk installed on another computer (including recovery) supporting ML.
    Still trying to configure default boot partition from Chameleon, but seems to all work. The first boot was very slow due to a cache update.

      • I can confirm this REALLY work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Now No more extra hard disk to boot ML!

        This is what I did:

        1. Install Lion on the system hard disk/ssd
        2. install BOOTCAMP (your need windows disc to go ahead)
        3. Make a windows partition (min 20G, no worry here, will delete it later)
        4. BOOTCAMP will ask you to reboot using Windows disc. OK just go ahead
        5. During booting windows, it will prompt you to select CD-ROM boot option, stop here and let’s start LION
        6. Boot back to Lion now and delete the windows partition,
        7. create your BOOT partition & run Chameleon and everything just like the above…..
        8. Remember to bless the BOOT partition
        9. You can now reboot and run the ML installer which you made before
        10. Installer ML on LION partition or remove LION completely before installation.
        11. ML is ready to use.

      • Partition structures like MBR and GUID are usually static tables that point to the partitions on the disk.
        Windows legacy boot loaders do not understand GUID, and need MBR.
        BootCamp sets up MBR tables that shadow the content of the GUID tables. Disk Utility recognizes these kinds of disk, after they are created, and maintain both, as they may be change due to resize.
        iPartition can also add these dynamically, although its changes at times confuse Disk Utility.

  90. Thanks for saving my HD5780 Mac Pro 1,1 Jabbawok!
    Running 10.8 now.

    Some remarks:

    - Sleep does not work on my Mac Pro 1,1. It goes to sleep but never wakes up (no video). Not sure yet what’s causing this. Looking into this.
    - Your smbios.plist is not OK. The first string is not preceded by a key.
    - Your Extra has some stale VI state files.

  91. My setup: MB Pro 1,1 with HD6850 (unflashed PC version, working fine with Lion, no boot screen of course). ATY_init patched.

    I followed the instructions to the letter and managed to install Chameleon successfully. It is working so well that my regular Lion install is even booting with the 64-bit kernel and sound (hangs when waking up from sleep though).

    Now when I try to boot into the Installer partition, I get the stretched Chameleon boot loader for a few seconds and my screen just turns to a white mush. I can see that it is working properly but I only get some glimpse of black movement when I move the mouse.

    Good chance that it’s the DSDT file that is screwing me over.


    • It would work without the DSDT.aml . You’ll get no sound and drives will show as external but it should boot fine and install. There ar other DSDT.aml files posted on the Netkas forum thread you can try..

      • It’s definitely not the DSDT file. I have tested a bunch and no change, I still got the white screen (and only when) installing ML.

        Any chance there’s a specific ATIConfig (e.g. Pithecia) that people have used that may work? Is it possible to inject the ATY_init on the ML installation, maybe?

  92. Hi I did this and it worked flawlessly! The only issue that I encountered was every time my mac pro goes to sleep after about 30 seconds of it waking up the computer freezes solid and the only way to get it back is reboot it. Has anyone else had this issue yet ,and if so how can we fix this?

    Thanks in advance

  93. It would be great if somebody could make entire bootable Mauntain Lion OS X on DMG file and share as torrent . This tutorial takes a lot of time to fallow and it would much simpler just to buy suported video card and restore from dmg file all necessary files.

  94. Is the Mountain Lion installation created this way able to run Filevault 2? Or to put it another way: Is Chameleon mandatory for every boot process from here on out, or is it used only for the system installation? I’m not 100% clear on this. Thanks in advance for any further info on this!

    • Chameleon is required for every boot process. 10.8 will not boot from EFI32 (without modification). Its entirely possible that chameleon will support FileVault2 in the future, .
      This solution is not for everyone but it should withstand software updates unlike solutions which modify 10.8 to boot on EFI32. I’m not saying its better but it works for me and a lot of other users. The best solution would be for apple to issue a firmware update, but they would still have to insist on graphics card upgrades, so it begins to narrow down the number of people its going to be a solution for.

      • Thanks for the clarification! (My question was not at all intended as a critique of your solution or tutorial, btw.)

        I was at the verge of ordering an ATI Radeon HD 5770 from Apple (which costs a hefty EUR 250 in the German Apple store), but I think I’ll hold off on this. Doing without Filevault 2 is no option for me and having to tinker with the system after each and every little update (with those other solutions flying around – if they work at all on the GM) doesn’t sound very worthwhile.

        *sigh* I’m really starting to hate Apple’s golden Cage. It seems to shrink more and more.

        • Its a shame you need the filevault2, but it’s very likely it will enter into chameleon eventually. I wouldn’t be in a hurry to buy an apple 5770. Id just get a PC one and a power cable. It can be flashed or used as-is with the lack of a boot screen.
          I’ll keep my eye open for filevault2 support and post it up if it appears.

          • PC Radeon 5770: Doesn’t “no boot screen” also mean no FV2 password login screen?

            And thanks, it would be great if you could blog about it if there is any news on FV2 support in Chameleon. I subscribed to your RSS feed just now.

          • Quite right you wouldn’t. If fv2 support is integrated into chameleon then you would see a request for a PW on an unfleshed card. Netkas has made flashing them pretty easy so it’s not such an issue. I assume you’re running one display on DVI.

  95. Thank you so much.
    10.4, 10.5, 10.6, 10.7 an now 10.8 on my 1.1 MacPro.
    XFX 4870 1GB (flashed), USB 3.0 – no optional drivers needed, WOW!
    No Errors at all, I have only 1 128GB SSD with Boot, Installer and MacOS, no additional drive (there are already 3 HDDs inside).

    Big Deal!

      • CnMemory USB 3.0 PCI-Express Karte, until 10.7 I had to use additional LaCie-Drivers, ML disabled the driver (not compatible) and i was a little disappointed, but SystemProfiler recognizes the Card as USB Super Speed Bus.

        (Greetings form Germany)

          • can you have a look at the PCI cards section of system information and note down what it says about your card for me please. Mine is PCI1033,194 but the subsystem ID and subsystem vendor ID is “0xffff” I think this is wrong and my card is broken. Thanks

          • pci1033,194:

            Treiber installiert: Ja
            MSI: Nein
            Bus: PCI
            Steckplatz: Slot-3
            Hersteller-ID: 0×1033
            Geräte-ID: 0×0194
            Subsystem-Hersteller-ID: 0×1033
            Subsystem-ID: 0×0194
            Versions-ID: 0×0003
            Link-Breite: x1
            Link-Geschwindigkeit: 2.5 GT/s

  96. I tried to install ML on my MP 2006 2,1 (updated from 1,1), but unfortunately it didn’t work. I used a new 2 TB-Harddisk (internal SATA-Bus) that I formatted as instructed by you (the boot-partition is about 4 GB) and did all the other things you described. The HD resides in bay 2 (internal hd), all other bays except the first (HD with Lion on it) are empty. When booting I pressed the alt-key to start the boot manager where I selected the disk called “EFI-Boot”: The Display (Graphic Card is GeForce 8800 GT) got black and then showed:

    boot0: GPT
    boot0: test
    boot0: test
    boot0: test
    boot0: done
    boot1: error

    After that I booted a Volume named “Windows”, it showed:

    boot0: test
    boot0: test
    boot0: error

    I tried again and again but failed. I never got a possibility to start the ML-Install. What can I do/what went wrong?
    Thanks in advance, Stefan

      • Hi Jabbawok,

        yes, it is MBR. By using TextEdit I changed in Extra>org.chameleon.Boot.plist the setting of the default partition:

        Default Partition
        Graphics Mode

        It didn’t help. Still getting

        boot0: test
        boot0: test
        boot0: error

        So I have to do a hard restart and can only boot to Mac OS Lion by boot manager.


          • I will do this tomorrow and report to you (I will eat a little bit now as it is 10:30 pm here (Germany) …;-).

            Thank you for your support!

          • Hi Jabbawok,

            during the last days I had no time to try, but today I did. Without success … I reformatted the disk (a 2 TB-disk which resides in bay 2, in by 1 is my Lion-Disk), did anything how you described and again got

            boot0: GPT
            boot0: test
            boot0: test
            boot0: test
            boot0: done
            boot1: error

            when booting without boot manager, by pressing the “alt”-command and using a disk called “EFI-Boot” I received

            boot0: test
            boot0: test
            boot0: error

            In my MacPro (1,1 > 2,1) I do have four HDs, on the one in bay 4 there is Windows 7. I already removed all disks but the both in bay 1 and 2, this didn’t help. I don’t know what my failure is.

            When using the boot manager I see these volumes:

            Mac OS Lion – INSTALLER – Windows – Windows – Recovery HD – EFI Boot.
            None is called “BOOT”. But I named the partition for the chameleon installation “BOOT” (in capital letters) and the partition for the Installer “INSTALLER”. I used chameleon as download from your website (shame on me …). Also I used your .mpkg – file, so I don’t know what else I could do …


  97. Hi,

    Huge thanks for this!

    I did things slightly differently and all working apart from messages and iCloud. Any ideas how to fix (donation coming your way (thats not a bribe!).

    How I did it:

    1. Follow you guide to making the BOOT partition and install Chameleon and extras.
    I already had bootcamp on another drive so just made the partition on there.

    2. Installed 10.8 on SSD via my MacBook Pro.

    3. Put SSD in Mac Pro.

    All working great apart from the icloud and messages problem….?

    Really appreciate yours and the others work!


      • Thanks for quick reply. It won’t let me login, gives an error message. As soon as I boot the drive on my laptop it lets me log in. Maybe i’ve done something wrong somewhere?

          • Yeah It does. I tweaked it a bit because I haven’t updated firmware. Maybe i’ve made a mistake somewhere?

            Thanks so much!

            Apple Inc.
            my serial number is here

          • Humm.. Maybe something to do with moving the drive, but I know others have done it. iCloud and messages use your hardware uuuid which gets messed up by chameleon. Maybe a look at the logs may help..

          • I’ve looked through Chameleon_Installer_Log.txt file. Can’t see any errors or anything? Is that what you mean?

          • I see! Sorry I’m a bit of a beginner with this.

            Maybe this is it?

            2012-08-07 19:26:23 +0100 apsd[68]: Got connection error Error Domain=NSURLErrorDomain Code=-1004 “Could not connect to the server.” UserInfo=0x7fce5ac17e00 {NSUnderlyingError=0x7fce5ba0e580 “Could not connect to the server.”, NSErrorFailingURLStringKey=, NSErrorFailingURLKey=, NSLocalizedDescription=Could not connect to the server.}
            2012-08-07 19:26:23 +0100 apsd[68]: Failed to get client cert on attempt 4, will retry in 60 seconds
            2012-08-07 19:26:24 +0100 imagent[176]: ApplePushService: Certificate doesn’t match host
            2012-08-07 19:26:24 +0100 imagent[176]: [Warning] Missing push certificate

          • I’d reinstall but swap the SSD back to the Mac Pro after it reboots so it completes the setup on it.. Or install using my method. Can’t guarantee that will sort it but might do..

    • So this is confirmed working:

      1. Follow jabbawok guide to making the BOOT partition and install Chameleon and extras.
      I already had bootcamp on another drive so just made the partition on there.

      2. Installed 10.8 on SSD via my MacBook Pro.

      3. Put SSD in Mac Pro.

  98. I completed the install and most everything works. However, the internal LG Blu-Ray drive and SSD (in the second ODD bay, not one of the four eSATA bays) do not work. If it’s not a physical connector problem, which I need to look into, there’s nothing in this procedure that would render them inoperable, right?

    I did the DMDT thing and it got my sound working. Is it possible that it somehow “forgot” about my ODD and SSD?

  99. Everything seemed to work with only 1 retry.
    However, my iWork apps will not launch. They start bouncing in the dock but they don’t go beyond that and the system marks them as not responding. The do launch fine on a newer MacBook Pro that has Snow Leopard installed the normal way.
    Any ideas? I did remove preferences and even reload them (with the updates) – no change.
    Thanks! Jim

  100. Will you be putting up a video of the whole process in the future? I’m new at this stuff, and I seem to get lost at the “Here is my Extra folder” part.

    This part “Add your serial to the SMBIOS.plist and in org.chamleleon.boot.plist set the default partition to 0,2 which is the installer partition.”
    totally lost me.

    I am running 10.7 on my main HD and was using a second HD in bay 2 as the BOOT/Installer drive. I also have 10.8 as an installer on 8GB USB flash drive.

    Sorry for the noob questions.

  101. I did this and it works very well. The only mistake I made was setting the MBR first which defaults to FAT partitions and not changing it when I set up BOOT.

    Once I’d followed the instructions it worked fine. So far it’s been stable for four days and gone through a number of reboots.

    The other points worth mentioning are:

    1) the new Migration Assistant in Mountain Lion is crap. You can no longer select different things to be copied once you have setup the machine. It’s all or nothing, no idea why, so if you are migrating, do it when you are loading in the OS, not leave it to later.

    2) I didn’t bother with the sound dsdl as I don’t have a Thunderbolt display.

    3) I simply used the standard files provided here and didn’t hack anything with the Flat Package Editor. I did change the serial number over though.

    Overall I’m delighted. I was looking at a newer Mac but with a new model coming out next year, if I can keep my 2006 Mac working for another year thats great. My current Macpro has 16GB of slower 667Mhz ram but has eight cores at 2.66Ghz, a similar replacement would cost me over £1,500 to buy. All I would get out of it would be faster disk access (SATA3 vs SATA2), faster memory which is nice, slightly better CPU’s and a 64bit EFI. Seems a lot of money for marginal improvment. The 512GB SSD I shoved in makes a big difference and keeps my Mac ticking over for another year longer.

    Thanks for the update., very helpful.


    • Whilst its bad form to respond to you own e-mails, I thought I’d update people on progress.

      The installation seems to work OK. I have installed Mountain Lion OS X Server with no problems.

      The speed of things seems to be quicker than Lion but that could be a subjective thing because it’s a new install.

      Dictation doesn’t work, all I get is it saying it’s initialising. No big deal but a slight annoyance.

      Other odd stuff seems OK, My new Dymo label printer installed OK. Networking looks OK, the 5770 graphics cards seems fine. Boot times are very quick, I have discovered that you can max out SSD drives when copying between two of them (which was fun). I think the iCloud appears to be working (as well as it ever did which isn’t much to say). So far so good, it’s a keeper on the system up til now.

      • I’ve used dictation through my old iSight and its fine. Try tinkering with the mic settings. I had problems when I started dictation with the iSight lens closed.

    • Hello Rob,
      I have exactly the same configuration as yours. I just wanted to know if there is a limitation of the RAM, I read on the web that the limitation is 8Go. Could you please confirm me this information ?

      • I only just seen your e-mail, I have no limitation on RAM (AFAIK). The Activity Monitor tells me I have 16GB of RAM and currently have 10GB free so I assume its all working correctly.

  102. I can confirm this tutorial works on Mac Pro 1 1 with a 4870 installed. One thing I noticed was the Distribution file that I edited with the Flat Package Editor was entirely different than the one on the tutorial with no place for a serial number. I ended up finding another one off a Hackintosh site that looked similar to the alternate one listed here and everything worked. Thanks for making this possible for everyone else. Suck it Apple.

  103. Hi Jabbawok – I was able to successfully install Mountain Lion on a Mac Pro 1,1 with s 8800 GT Display using the method you outlined. All is great except no sound. I read all of the forums posts and your instructions and insured I had the dsdt.aml file in the extras folder on the boot volume. I even searched the other forums you suggested and found a file for download here,1123.msg10380.html#msg10380, but that still doesn’t help. Any suggestions? Thanks for your help, by the way!


  104. Thanks for the guide.

    Mac Pro 1,1(2,1)
    Got it all installed but i can’t boot into the installed ML.

    Chameleon is one the IDE underneath the DVD ROM and ML is on the extra SATA ports, Does it actually need to be in one of the 4 HDD bays to boot? I have changed chameleon to boot up from the correct (hd 3,2 for me).

    One thing i noticed is my ML HDD doesn’t show up as an option to boot when booted into chameleon.

  105. Has anyone tried to use Mountain Lions dictation feature after installing 10.8 on a Mac Pro 1,1 using this method? Things seems to be working but Dictation won’t enable properly. Various forum posts mention issues with unsupported Macs.

    Thx – Guy

  106. Hi, The method worked great in my Mac pro 2006. Chameleon and ML are in seperate bay drives.
    I have one problem though: I cannot make chameleon the boot drive under os x. It does not show up under the list of eligible drives. I need to hold down option to choose the drive manually at boot.
    Any suggestions?
    Thank you,

    • When you bless it in 10.7 part of the command makes it the selected boot drive. I think it’s the setboot. Reboot into 10.7 and re bless the chameleon drive. Reboot without touching anything and it should be fine.

  107. Jabbawok,

    Thank you for this great tutorial….I am now a happy Mac Pro 1,1 from Pekanbaru, Indonesia with Mountain Lion on it…

  108. Jabbawok, I’m about to try this on my mac pro 1,1 with 5770 apple graphics upgrade. Couple of introductory questions. 1. i have a 40gig ide drive liying around that i want to use for the boot/install (chamelleon). Do i set it as master or cable select when connecting it to the second optical drive cable. The reason I ask is that i have rread that it wouldn’t be bootable if set as slave. 2. I dont want sound through the 5770, i want to use the sould out port of the motherboard. Do I have to do anything different than your current instructions indicate? I know i will probably have more questions, once I begin the process. thank you for your excellent site.

    • Mine is master, but I have a SATA optical drive (connected to the ODD data ports on the board) and no IDE optical.
      The DSDT that I use simply enables the audio out on the card, it doesn’t stop the onboard stuff from working.

  109. Hi,
    Great write up.
    I’ve got my MacPro 1,1 (2,1) running Mountain Lion by following your instructions.
    The only problem I’ve got is that I can’t get Chameleon to boot from the 8GB SATA SSD on an SATA to PATA adaptor if I have the Superdrive connected as well.
    I’ve tried all the combinations of master and slave but with no luck.
    How do you have yours connected, is the Superdrive connected?


      • Cheers. Looks like Chameleon doesn’t like sharing the IDE cable.
        I’ve moved the 8GB SATA SSD to the first internal SATA drive bay and connected the Superdrive back on the IDE. I had to invest in a new larger hard drive to create space for it as all the drive bays were used.
        I also managed to update to 10.8.1 via the Appstore after trying a few times.

        Thanks again.

  110. Hi Jabbawok,

    is there a limitation in diskspace for chameleon and/or windows? I tried to install on a 2 TB disk and failed, as reported. I would try again with a smaller disk – but this is about 400 GB in size, could that work?

    Thanks, Stefan

  111. Jabbawok, i’m new to this, please bear with me. I installed chameleon into the 40 gig ide with the two mbr partitions (BOOT is 4s1 & Installer is 4,2). I coppy the extra folder and the dsd tfile to Boot. I bless the boot volume. This all seemed to work as I can now boot chameleon and my osx lion in 64 bit. I haven’t yet added my serial number to the smbios.plist file, nor have i added the necessary files to install ML. So here are my questions; 1. why is my hardware uuid different under chameleon and is this going to cause any problems? 2. where do I find my machine’s platform support value? All I know id the serial number, the product #FA765LL/A and that is a Mac Pro 1,1 with an Apple 5770 card that I installed. 3. System profiler is not showing uuids for any of my hdd (ata or sata). 4. i see that some people have installed ml to an ssd in another machine and then transfered that their Mac Pro. I have a 2011 imac 24″, can i connect the 240gig ssd that will become my ML drive to the imac externally and install ML? Can I just then connect that drive to my mac pro and selected once chameleon boots?
    I know these will not be the last of my questions, but thank you for your help. a donation is on its way.

  112. Thanks for the guide, brilliant work!

    My Mac Pro 1.1 (8Cores 2,66 / USB 3,0 / System SSD + 1TB,2TB HDD + 8GB Chameleon Boot SSD) now on ML. (used your OSInstall.mpkg without problems)

  113. Hello,

    I’ve been enjoying 10.8 thanks for your instructions but today had to reset the PRAM (my firewire ports stopped working. I can’t boot into 10.8 now though, have I done something silly? Is it easy to fix? thanks

  114. Success – ML working on my Mac Pro 1,1. I still would like to discuss how to possible make ML display the same Hardware UUID as 10.7.4

    • I’ve tried a couple of methods of forcing it but they didn’t work. Iirc change between efi32 boot and chameleon 64 boot in 10.7 too. I don’t have a 10.6 HDD in the MP at the moment to look. Perhaps Netkas may be able to she’d some light on this..

  115. Every time I try this, choosing EFI Boot simply boots into my Lion boot drive. As in, the SECOND I click return to trigger the efi boot drive, I see the apple logo and then the spinning boot wheel. I’ve banged the arrow keys to no avail. I can’t figure out what I did wrong. I went through the steps meticulously but I get exactly nothing. Any help would be appreciated.

      • when I do that, I get a black screen with what looks like a windows boot message that says “No bootable device — insert boot disk and press any key”

        any ideas?

        • what connector is your chameleon drive on? It must be on one of the four SATA sleds or the IDE connector. CHAMELEON can not see or boot the ODD SATA ports.

          • Aha, somehow I missed that point. Yes, it’s on one of the extras. I’ll have to get an IDE to Sata adapter then for it. The other bays are all filled with my raid.


          • I got the proper adapter and can boot into the chameleon drive selection screen, I choose the installer and then it just sits there on the black screen with white text. There are 2 vertical lines like the | character under a line that says “VESA v3.0 16MB (ATIMBIOS).

            I’ll try this again and see if I might have messed up something in the Chameleon install.

  116. I should mention that I’m on a Mac Pro 2,1 with a 5770 card in it. I used the board ID for a 2,1 in the chameleon file instead of the 1,1 you used, but added BOTH to the file in the package (haven’t even reached the installer anyway, so that’s not the issue).

    I do notice my drive ID’s change every time I boot.
    Here’s my config:
    DVD burner on IDE bus
    500 gig Chameleon drive (the boot partition had to be like 36 gig because it wouldn’t let me go any smaller) on the extra SATA bus ported up through and into the second optical bay.
    500 gig boot drive in drive bay 1
    3 1TB drives in bays 2-4 raided together for video.

    Could it be the size of the boot partition? Maybe I should just order an 8 gig SSD…

  117. PLEASE HELP !!!!

    Okay here’s my setup:
    MacPro 1,1 Quad 2.66
    6GB RAM
    ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256 MB graphics
    4 HD’s as 1 TB Stripped RAID Insternal
    1 Raptor HD with 2 Partitions. Boot=1Gb Installer=70GB MBR as osx extended hfs+

    I have done all the steps from 1-10 but i still cannot get Chameleon 2.1 to boot into the 70GB Installer partition where i cloned the ML Installer.
    On the boot loader i select HD 0,2 Installer drive and i see it flash an error msg saying Mach-O Bad Magic Number!!??!!??
    I double checked my org.chameleon.Boot.plist and see that it says hd(0,2) so i don’t know where to start figuring out this one.
    Any help from anybody!?!
    Plz e-mail me also at vazdef at hotmail

  118. Hi,
    10.8.1 is out. Has anybody successfully updated? From my ML install disk, it does not work. Appstore complains that the update does not work for my computer and refuses to download.
    I assume I have to go to the Boot partition where the installer sits, but how can I update the existing ML installation from there?



      • Successfully updated via AppStore.
        ML 10.8.1, MacPro 1.1, 4870 XFX flashed, 8GB RAM, USB 3.0,
        only 120GB SSD with 2GB Boot, 10GB Installer and 108GB MacoS.

        • Solid YES !!

          Mine is successfully updated via AppStore.
          ML 10.8.1 (12B19), MacPro 1,1, ATI 5770, 16GB RAM, 480GB Accelsior PCI-e based SSD…

          Jabbawok…big thanks to you :)

          • Also successfully updated via AppStore,
            ML 10.8.1, MacPro 1.1, GeForce 8800 GT (from Apple)

          • Mine updated via the manual download. But Appstore still offers me 10.8.1 – which Appstore then refuses to install due to an incompatible machine. Strange.

      • I have now upgraded to 10.8.2 and that worked fine with no problems at all.

        Everything seems to work OK, not tried every possible thing but I can’t see any obvious issues at the moment. It boots, it works, I’ve just put a second monitor on the system using the DV port and that works fine as well.

        I have less and less reason to buy a new Macpro which is great.


  119. After 3 hours following your guide, it works. Cool stuff.
    I tested the whole thing (boot/installer partition) with a small disk in bay4 on my MP1.1

    I’d like to add an extra thing for those with an Apple bluetooth keyboard who are wondering why the option key (alt) does not work while booting.
    Well in my case it doesn’t. I had to use a wired keyboard to access the boot options.

    So now I’m in the process of replacing the small disk with an bigger one (500G) and 3 partitions, so I can still access my files in bay4. All bays are filled in my case.

    thanks for the manual.

    • After testing for a few hours I stumbled across several graphic problems.
      Safari was flickering, my second screen started flickering and Diablo III did not start anymore with a message that the HD5770 was not supported. Strange, because I did not get this message with Lion.

      Anymore people who have graphical problems? my mac is a MP1.1 with an ATI HD5770 (card is bought via apple store)

  120. I’ll use 8800gt with rom flashing.
    My mac pro is 2006 (1.1) version.
    There are two rom file efi32 and efi64.
    Which rom file do I have to install with 8800gt ?
    Please help me~

  121. Hi,
    I don’t know how to:

    a) “open OSinstall.mpkg with flat package editor which is part of the XCode install”

    can’t find Flat Package Editor with installed Xcode 4.4.1

    b) find the board ID; the closest I found is “UUID du matériel: 00000000-0000-1000-8000-0017F20B8842″ is F20B8842 the board ID of my MP 1,1?

    Thanks a lot in advance for your help.


      • Thanks!
        So next step is to re-boot, right?
        My MP 1.1 has a ATI Radeon HD 3870 512 MB.
        Should this graphics card be upgraded enough?
        Thanks a lot in advance!


          • Doesn’t seem to work on mine ;-(
            All I get when re-booting on “EFI Boot” is a black screen…
            Is it the graphics or did I miss something??
            Thanks anyway.


  122. After the EFI Boot selection, I actually select Installer and immediately I get the gray apple screen with the logo on it and them it disappears but nothing else happens.

    The screen remains gray forever

    Can anyone please provide some insight and what may or may not be happening?

    Thanks for your help!

  123. I followed your instructions from your web page and got my MacPro running 10.8. I updated my software and everything seemed fine for about 2 weeks, now I am having sleep problems. My Mac goes to sleep as usual but now it will not wake up the log in screen freezes. How can I get my sleep working like it should?

    Thanx for all your help

      • I was having what appears to be the same problem – waking from sleep froze the system with a kernel panic, with no log entry of the crash.

        I used the Chameleon Wizard app to enable “darkwake” and it solved my problem perfectly. I also unchecked Graphics Enabler, but that broke the DVD Player app. Turned Graphics Enabler back on, and all is well.

        I’m using a ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024 MB video card.

  124. ML 10.8.1 works on my Mac Pro 1,1 with Apple GeForce 8800 GT.
    Thanks for your description.

    A few things I have done differently:
    in my new XCode Installation ther is no Flat Package Editor.
    So I used “terminal”:
    mkdir workdir
    cp OSInstall.mpkg workdir
    cd workdir
    xar -x -v -f OSInstall.mpkg
    rm OSInstall.mpkg
    vi Distribution (changing returncodes to false / true)
    xar -c ./ -v -f OSInstall.mpkg

    the second:
    for testing I used old drives (I already used them in my mac).
    with the “window” disk utility I did not get deletetd the EFI partitions.
    So I uses “terminal”:
    diskutil list
    diskutil partitionDisk /dev/diskX MBRFormat “HFS+” BOOT 1% ….

    my question:
    can I realy use this Installer to update my real system?

  125. I would like to thank you for this awesome guide. i followed it to the letter and it worked immediately.

    Keep up the great work!

  126. So I had this working fine.
    Then I decided I wanted to use a different drive for the boot/install drive.
    I’ve followed all steps, and re-did everything from scratch, over and over on the “new” drive, a 10 GB IDE drive. But all I get is “boot0: done”
    It worked before on a 160 GB IDE drive. I’m baffled.

  127. Hmmm why are these comments not in chronological order?
    Anyway, and update from my “boot0: done” problems:
    I switched back to my original working drive, and it worked again. So I kept trying other drives and eventually I got a 10 GB drive that worked. I am able to read and write to the other drives that did not work, so I have no idea what about them makes them not work for this use. But with this 10 GB IDE drive, everything works. Even those fstabs to prevent mounting. Now the loud old school drives spins down and I don’t hear or see it. Pretty good.

  128. Will this work for installing Lion cause after researching Lion Vs Mountain Lion I would rather have a better performance with Lion then mountain Lion. I am cloning my bootable drive now so I can easily reverte back to Snow Leopard is need be. Thanks in advance for your time and effort I think this is the most simplified and comprehensive tutorial on the subject I have found across the net. Lion is just faster then Mountain Lion & Snow Leopard is the fastest of them all but I need 10.7 or newer to run some of my app I already purchased for Elgato’s Game Capture HD App

        • You can install lion off the DVD/USB/app store. It will install on a 1,1 as is. My hack will get it booting full 64bit Kernel and Extensions and should enable HDMI audio out on the Displayport of a HD5770. I detected a speed improvement between 32 and 64 bit.

          • Thanks a million & my FredEFuego YT channel has 100X more content on it then my MultiPlatGameTrap channel and yeah I had to subscribe to your channel because I like simple easy to follow instruction that even a novice like me can understand and follow. Great work I tip my hat to you my good sir.

  129. After several tries I seem to be stuck. After selecting the boot partition, I get a black screen with a flashing cursor in the top left of the screen. Any thoughts?


  130. Installing ML on mac pro 1.1 . Going around in circles. All I get is boot0 error. I feel like I have done everything correctly. Has anyone else solved this?

  131. Hey guys!
    First of all, i’d like to thank Jabbawok for this excellent guide!!!
    Unfortunately i get the “can’t find /mach_kernel error”…
    In org.chameleon.Boot.plist i have set:
    I also checked in disk utility’s information on my “Installer” partition and it identifies it as “disk0s2″, so i think that 0,2 is ok…
    When i restored Base_System on “Installer” partition, i didn’t let it “erase destination” because when i did on 1st attempt, it made it “Mac OS Extended”, (not journaled).
    I re-blessed the drive etc but nothing.
    I’m running snow leopard (not lion). Could it be the cause of failure? I’m desperate for help.
    Thanx in advance!

      • Thanx for replying!
        I did that and now i just have the usual text and a blinking cursor underneath. No “can’t find mach_kernel” but no progress either.
        The partitions BOOT-Installer are in a 500gb mbr hard drive in one of the four hard drive bays of my 1,1 mac pro and i checked with the “ls” command, as you instructed, that the mach_kernel is in both partitions.

        • I found I had to scroll down and up through the list of drives and back to Installer for it to recognize and find the mach_kernel. Complete voodoo it seems.

          • I just tried it. No good.
            Since i no longer have the no kernel message, i suspect that my problem lies elsewhere…

          • Ok, i substituted “0,2″ with “Installer” in org.chameleon.Boot.plist, but the only difference i got was a ¦ character on the blinking cursor.

  132. Jabbawok, thank you very much!!!
    It seems that the problem was on “Installer” partition, as you suggested.
    I don’t know what i did wrong, but i installed ML from a supported mac on another partition and used chameleon to boot from it and now i’m writing from my ML mac pro 1.1
    Thank you again…

  133. Thanks for the help. I updated mine to Mountain Lion ages ago, and it works just fine. I have a friend with one that’s wanting to know whether it’s possible to just partition 1GB out of his main disk (which is a SSD) and use that as a bootloader or does the bootloader have to be on a separate drive?

    Thanks a bunch!

    • Should work fine like that. You might want to make the boot big enough to fit the installer on and then use the rest of the drive for ML. He’d need a lion install just for doing the setup. Worth keeping a Lion handy just incase ML breaks.

      • I was considering just copying the Lion install to another drive using SuperDuper! and then updating it to ML via my MacBook. It’s what I did with mine. Thanks again!

  134. Looks like a great step-by-step so far, but like many here, I’ve stumbled at the “in org.chamleleon.boot.plist set the default partition to 0,2 which is the installer partition” because the instructions appear to be incomplete. As far as I can tell, you probably want that to be the disk and partition number from the Info button in Disk Utility? In other words, on my system, with a drive hooked to the ATA channel along with the optical drive, I see “disk3,s2″, and thus should enter 3,2? Thanks!

  135. Jabbawok: you’re a genius (and very generous with your time)… thanks for this guide. I have a quick question: When I’m in Disk Utility, it doesn’t allow me to click on Options… to choose Master Boot Record.

    Will this be a problem? I’ve created the two partitions on an existing drive I have, in addition to a third partition (previously existing), per your instructions (current status: shrinking disk).

    Thanks for any feedback.

  136. So, I guess I’m one of those idiots who doesn’t pay attention to instructions, but it seems that I mistakenly installed Chameleon onto my main boot drive. I haven’t rebooted yet, so my MacPro is still running fine. Is there anything I can do, files that I should delete to uninstall Cameleon? Thanks in advance for any help.


    • Unfortunately as your drive isn’t MBR chameleon won’t work on it. You may be able to convert it to hybrid MBR and then reboot to chameleon. And it should work.

      • So, it turns out Chameleon fried my main boot drive. Spent 2 days recovering it (tried refit and every other method online and probably made it worse–plus my Time Machine backup was corrupted on Drobo Pro). I had to basically install Lion again using Internet restore (which took 10 hours due to slow Internet) and then ran DiskWarrior to repair the drive. After 2 days, I seem to have recovered files I thought were unrecoverable.

        Unbelievably, I’m going to try this again, but this time I’ll make sure not to install Chameleon on my main drive. Questions:

        a) with ML, will my MacPro2,1 be 100% functional? Are there any issues that might crop up later?
        b) I have 18GB of RAM. Will ML access all of it?

        I see that you’ve been really responsive with complete strangers and that is admirable. Thanks for contributing to the community.

        • That sucks. Reminds me of when I accidentally deleted 150 user accounts and spent a week using a painfully slow utility to in delete them one at a time, all because I missed one setting.
          As for issues. Ram should be fine. Some people report issues with sleep. I wouldn’t know, as I never sleep my Pro because I use it as a VPN server amongst other things.

          • Ah, my MacPro hasn’t been able to sleep in ages. When it auto-sleeps it is prone to irrecoverable crashes when I come back to the computer. I think it is due to the Drobo and TimeMachine backups somehow. At any rate….

            Well, I made it to the rebooting stage. Selected the EFI Boot drive and waited. It never brought me to a Chameleon boot load option. Screen goes gray, then it goes to a black screen that says “No operating system installed.”

            The interesting thing is, when I reboot back to my Lion boot drive, the two partitions: Installer and Boot are no longer visible in Disk Utility. The SSD drive doesn’t even show up. Also, it seems that sporadically, rebooting with Option pressed occasionally doesn’t show the EFI Boot or Installer partitions either. So maybe my SSD is faulty or is wonky somehow. It is brand new, though, so not sure.


  137. Rats, I’ve gotten to the point where I can boot to the chameleon boot drive selection menu. But like many others I get a “can’t find” the mach_kernel error. I’ve tried changing the drive to 0,2 as you suggest, and to 3,2 as my disk utility would suggest. I definitely have the mach_kernel file at the root level of my “Installer” drive.
    Could I simply move a drive temporarily to a ML compatible system, install it there, move it back to my Mac Pro 1.1 and then use Chameleon to select it as the boot drive? That would seem to be the simplest solution for many of us…

      • Yep! This quickly and easily solved the problem I had. Now my MacPro 1,1 is running ML without problem. My unsupported Radeon 6870 works wonderfully too. It’s a real shame that Apple can’t support their own hardware as well as “random groups of interested people” can. (Note to Apple; my Mac Pro 1,1 also runs Windows 7 in 64 bit with no problem, despite your assertion to the contrary.)

  138. OK, after a couple attempts, my “Boot” drive no longer even shows up. Going back to the beginning and trying again from scratch…

  139. Ok first off Thank you for all your hard work! I have successfully installed mountain lion on my Mac pro….but recently my GF reset the PRAM and now it doesn’t boot to the BOOT drive and I’m stuck. WHat should I do?

      • Thanks to Jabbawok for all the great work here. This was also the problem with my BOOT drive vanishing. For some reason it became unblessed and then stopped showing up as a bootable device when holding down the option key. After manually blessing it again via. terminal (instructions above in this guide) it workes fine. However, my machine does insist on calling it “EFI Boot” or something like that…

  140. Hi there!

    Thanks for your work. I’ve followed your steps but after rebooting chameleon says “no mach_kernel” although the file is on it’s location…
    Any idea what could go wrong?

      • Hi thank you for fast reply.
        I copied the file mach_kernel to BOOT drive and that helped.
        Another problem occured – during installation the installer says that it cannot find base system components. The packages folder full of those componenets is on Installer\System\Installation location.
        Should it be somewhere else?

        • I’m in the middle of moving house so my mac is all packed away. I’ll have a look when I’m on the new place.
          Check through the instructions again maybe the copying failed and you need to do it again.

  141. I will be attempting this soon on my Mac Pro 2 x 3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon soon. I have a few questions:
    1. Will the install of ML be a fresh install or upgrade?
    2. I want to continue to use all my HD sleds so will use the IDE connection for my boot drive. Will I ever need more than 8GB there? And can you recommend an IDE SSD setup (I don’t want to run into driver issues)
    3. It seems the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512 MB is now works. Do I have to modify any of your files to make my system work?

  142. Hello and thanks alot for this guide. Worked like a charm for me. I removed the other hard drives while installing just to be safe to not lose any data and now I’m running 10.8.2 without problems!

    The only problem I have is a boot camp partition which I now cant boot to. When I hold down Option when I boot I get these drives: Installer, Mac OS X HD (the old drive with lion), Machintosh HD (new drive with 10.8), Windows, EFI boot. No matter which one of Windows or EFI boot I end up in chameleon, which also sees the Windows drive but wont boot it. I wonder if theres a way to edit this list in the mac boot loader to have less drives to start with and to put the Windows drive back (so it wouldn’t go to cameleon).

    Thanks. (Sorry for bad grammar, formatting. Writing this with phone)

      • Hello again and thanks for the fast reply. The Windows partition is on the same physical disk as the Lion install (Lion is on 1,2 and Windows on 1,4 if I dont remember wrong). Mountain Lion is on 4,2.

        Thanks again.

        • I researched this more, and it seems that it’s not possible to boot a boot camp Windows partition with chameleon. I wonder also why I can’t boot it anymore with the normal bootloader, as in why it doesn’t show up there. I’ll have to try to disconnect the drive with BOOT and Installer if it would work then (which I think it does).

  143. Hi guys,

    I had a go at booting an old 2006 xServe with ML and got it happening no problem.

    What I’ve since found out though is that the 64bit kernel is still “governed” by 32bit kernel parameters (i.e. as received from the 32bit EFI)

    What this means is, that the moment the 64bit kernel steps past these parameters, (because it can as it knows it has more RAM to do so) you’ll get a KP/restart… ouch…

    This is what’s happening to me when I installed ZEVO, which requires a 64bit kernel.
    It’s post 860 of the thread where “Hackerwayne” explains the issue.

    So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you do anything that asks the kernel to extend beyond how a 32bit kernel boots…. YSOOL…

    This would have implications for software like Apache, MySQL and PostgreSQL etc, where setting sysctl parameters of the kernel can benefit these apps…

    ZEVO is available here if anyone wishes to test/play for themselves… It’s well worth sussing out anyway in case you don’t know how shizen and old HFS is…
    Once installed and setup, just do a simply drag-n-drop copy greater than a few gig and you’ll quickly see what I mean… 8((

    HFS link:
    ZEVO link:


  144. Hi-

    Thanks for the guide, everything is going smoothly so far – I can now boot into the Installer drive, which appears to allow me to setup a new installation of 10.8. However, I’d rather upgrade my existing 10.7 copy, rather than do a fresh install. Has anyone had luck with this yet, and if so, do you recall what procedure you used to do an OS upgrade rather than a straight install? Thanks!

    • Upgrade should be fine. You can even boot into your 10.7 from chameleon an it will be 64bit K&E.
      of course you should take a backup and I’d advise keeping a HDD with 10.7 on it somewhere.

  145. Nice write up, I want to put this on an MBR Disk Utility RAID 1 (two 1TB drives). Anything I need to know about the Drive/RAID IDs part? I am not to worried, but this is all I have on my mind before I assemble the extra parts for my two Mac Pro 1,1s…


    • Oh one note, I am very glad to be able to get 5 years from my Mac Pros. Now I will be able to get 2 more years. Which will be perfect time for a new powerHouse to go for another 7-10 years… fingers crossed. Not to mention tho that Mountain Lion seems like it has most of the features we will need for maybe even 3-4 years with iMessage and iCloud…

  146. Jabbawok, thank you very much for the guide. The 4870 is supported just fine, mine is an XFX Flashed PC 1gb Dual DVI card hooked to 2 Apple 23″ monitors. Along the way I learned you were correct, the Chameleon SSD drive must be the ONLY drive on the IDE chain or it won’t boot. My machine updated via Software Update to 10.8.2 no problem at all.

    Few questions:
    1. My machine will no longer wake from sleep, so I simply set Energy Saver to never have it sleep. Is this an Apple problem to fix in 10.8.x?

    2. Is there any benefit to installing Chameleon 2.1r2069 instead of the r1921 you originally suggested?

    3. I have my system, a Mac Pro 2,1, up and working flawlessly, sleep aside, with the same setup you have, PATA -> SATA adapter board and 8gb SSD. I also have my internal 60gb 10.8 SSD in Bay 1, a recovery partition on it, a Drobo Time Machine connected via FW800. When I boot up it selects, or I think it tries to, the drive specified in Startup Disk system pref which is my 10.8 OS. I get the “No Smoking” sign. In order to make it boot I must hold Option/Alt on a USB keyboard and specify the Windows drive name and then everything proceeds normally. Is there a way to make it default to the Windows drive rather than having a USB keyboard connected for boot alone?

    Again thank you very much, I hope this setup lasts a long time.


    • 1 sleep seems hit and worked then didn’t so I just don’t sleep my mac. Look into disabling darkwake.
      2 if it works. I’d leave it.
      3 boot onto 10.7 efi32 and re bless your drive.

      • Sleep my comp can live without, I won’t touch Chameleon unless you say so, and lastly re-blessing the drive worked beautifully. It now boots the 8gb SSD and then hands off to my main SSD. Thank you very much.


  147. Hello! I investigated my boot camp windows problem futher and it seems the whole windows partition is broken, and it cannot even be mounted. No idea when it got broken, but doesn’t really matter because I can always reinstall.

    But for some good news, now for the first time when I’ve owned a Mac Pro 1,1 it sleeps and wakes right! I’ve always had to use pleasesleep, but now it works better than ever! And everything except the windows problem is running really well. Thank you again!

  148. I investigated my boot camp windows problem futher and it seems the whole windows partition is broken, and it cannot even be mounted. No idea when it got broken, but doesn’t really matter because I can always reinstall.

    But for some good news, now for the first time when I’ve owned a Mac Pro 1,1 it sleeps and wakes right! I’ve always had to use pleasesleep, but now it works better than ever! And everything except the windows problem is running really well!

  149. Worked like a charm, thanks Jabbawok!!!
    Invested $125 in a refurbished HD5770 and repartioned an internal drive (Raptor lol) to house BOOT and Install. Had one kernel panic right after the installation when the system came back from sleep mode, never since…
    Now I am waiting for the first ML update via the AppStore and if that goes through I will be a really happy camper and probably use my beloved 2006 1,1 for a few more years (assuming Cupertino does not throw another monkey wrench).
    SSD with IDE adapter via eBay on it’s way to get my Raptor back…

      • You can’t boot chameleon on that (ODD) connector. I’m not sure why it isn’t supported as a bios drive in legacy mode, probably because it was never used on a shipping 1.1 or 2.1. At present I’m using it for my sata BlueRay drive

        • So which IDE cable were you using? In addition to the ODD one, is there another IDE connection on the 1,1?

  150. I have a MacPro1,1 (2×2.66 Dual-Core Xeon with a NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT).

    I followed the instructions and was able to get 10.8 to install (ran the installer), however when I try to boot into the installed 10.8, it gets hung on “Waiting for DSMOS”.

    Any ideas?

  151. Well I do appreciate the effort and I think I got pretty close to getting my MacPro 2,2 with a 5770 to run 10.8 but after a day of trying I guess I’ll stick with 10.7.5.. I did learn a lot along the way and now I have an old PATA drive in my ODD bay that I can use and I learned of the ODD SATA port that I might hook up as well.

    I think I experienced every single problem that was listed above. I finally got it to install, I just never got it to boot successfully. I got to the install screen and quit out of that when it looped but then just got kernel panics, no smokings, grey screens, black screens and endlessly spinning progress wheels. You are a smarter man than I Jabbawok. Now. I need a drink. ; )

  152. Please post a copy of how the smbios.plist & org.chameleon.boot files should after they have been edited…



  153. MacPro 1,1
    PC flashed 4870
    10 GB ram

    4 TB raid 1 configuration
    using an old SSD (80GB) as BOOT and Installer (Mac OS X Base System)
    Removed the storage RAID array while I wait for the SATA->PATA adapter
    Upgraded the OS RAID array successfully from LION to Mountain Lion.

    Sound works too.

    After install, was able to manually select the boot disk and get into Mountain Lion, but can’t seem to configure the default partition correctly just yet. Because of the RAID 1 OS, hd(1,2) and hd(2,2) neither of them are working for me. Also tried hd(MacPro) and that’s not working either. Still playing around with the configuration.

    Next steps:
    1. install 10.8.2 (in progress now)
    2. move SSD from bay 3 to ODD spot using SATA->PATA adapter
    3. reinstall storage RAID array in bay 3 and 4
    4. figure out how to get the boot configuration correctly so ML auto boots instead of the Installer.

    Just want to post quickly to say Thank You to Jabbawok for putting together the tutorial but most importantly for the support that he continues to provide up to 100 pages of comments now.

    Will post update.

    • 10.8.2 updated successfully

      skip BOOT and Installer from mounting – success!

      configured OSX to boot by default – success!

      All good to go. Thanks again.

      • So how’d you solve those last issues? My 10.8.2. upgrade worked fine as well. Then I used Macintosh SSD as the default partition string without hd() around it. I thought I was making things difficult by booting my Mac from an Apple software RAID disk (2 SSD’s), but that’s actually working fine and it installed on that disk as well.

  154. Thanks! Everything worked out!

    my configuration:

    Mac Pro 1,1 (2007) 2 x Dualcore 2,66 GHz
    upgraded to Mac Pro 2,1 and changed CPU to 2 x Quadcore 2,66 GHz

    Changed ATI x1900 to GTX 570 2,5GB VRAM

    14 GB RAM

    Bay 1: 1 TB HDD 3 Partitions
    BOOT, Installer, Data (userfiles)
    Bay 2:
    128 GB SSD
    Bay 3 & 4:
    2 x 1 TB HDD Software Raid 0

    I´ve got several Kernel Panics after Bootloader loaded Installer. I figuered out that I can´t swap HDDs without Blessing.

    So first setup your HDD, then bless the bootloader.
    Now my “new” Mac Pro is running fast. Fuck you Apple for making this so complicated.

  155. I can’t succeed in booting Chameleon…
    When I reboot having the Alt key down, I see all my booting drives.
    I see no “BOOT” drive, but “EFI Boot” (two, One is my Time Machine drive, for the other I hope that is the “BOOT” drive, but not certain… ).

    -My BOOT partition is on a MBR drive, first partition,
    -My Installer partition is on another drive (GUID partition), (iParition doesn’t want to create another parition on this disk on which I have another partition I can’t remove)
    -Both drives are on the standard SATA racks of the Mac Pro 1,1

    When I choose “EFI Boot”, After a few time I have :
    - first a complete black screen
    - Then a second one, but not so dark
    - Then on this one, a white cursor blinking, then… “No system partition” (or a text approaching, tired even to remember such a simple text…)
    - I never get the Chameleon GUI.

    Once I get in a curious state, having chosen the “EFI Boot”, my OS X Lion has been loaded, perfectly working, and it was impossible to erase the BOOT partition once inside Lion, so I think I was actually well loaded on it…
    I have tested a lot of things to set the hd(x,y) option for Default parition, numbers or Label of the parition (which I think is the best way because the numbers of the drives are different at each boot)

    Any Idea ?

    I have another completely empty disk I can try to use to set BOOT and Installer on the same MBR drive, but I don’t think the problem is there, because after having installed ML on the target drive (which is a Third different one, SSD) I would have to set the Default Partition on it.

    • Correction :
      -My Installer partition is on another drive (GUID partition), (iParition doesn’t want to create another parition on the MBR disk on which I have BOOT + another partition I can’t remove because no place to copy these data elsewhere for the moment, need an extra disk to save these non critical data)

      • I have tested on a complete empty disk, reformatted with Disk Utility :
        MBR type, BOOT (1Go), INSTALLER (10Go), FREE(480Go left).

        When I reboot after having prepared BOOT & INSTALLER, with the Option key, I see… No “BOOT” drive, but it is not “EFI Boot” which is in double, but it is now “Windows” that I have twice : My Bootcamp partition and… I hope it is the “BOOT” one.
        When I choose the second one, I have the black screen, then… another message :
        Then it is over.

        • Ok. Found the last problem : the BOOT was in FAT32. Reformatted in HFS+ and no more problem.
          I succeed in booting at last on Chameleon on this new disk ! Then install Mountain Lion (on an Firewire disk, just for a try, but afterwards it was not possible to boot on this FW disk via Chameleon to see. I have to mix up all my disks now to be able to install on my small SSD I am using (mounted on this ODD Sata port, hidden on logic board).
          - The Setup of ML was not seeing this disk
          - I am using it for Lion, after having cloned my HS with Carbon Copy Cloner… It works very well… but it seems to be a strange workaround if I continue with Chameleon…

          I still do not understand why it is not working on my other MBR disk, maybe it was the conversion with iPartition from GUID to MBR which was not very good. I’ll save the data on it, then reformat from scratch all this disk to make a clean MBR format.

          Well. I see the end of the tunnel. Thanks for this tutorial Jabbawok.

          • As Jabbawok states in the guide, it will not work with a Firewire drive as the MP boots into legacy mode. I’m using a drive in my unused 2nd optical bay and that works fine.

  156. Jabbawok – thanks for the guide :-) I am unable to successfully complete the steps you have here and have tried many variants based on the feedback thead. One place which may be the culprit is the lack of a /Volumes/BOOT/boot file at the point where the bless command is run. Any help would be really appreciated. I have uploaded greater detail and screenshots to Thanks!

    • You seem to use different settings for the Chameleon install. Select BOOT as the target first, then customize and then ONLY select standard install. As the guide says: Nothing else is needed. Judging from your screenshot, you install all kinds of extras and actually ask the installer NOT to install the bootloader. No wonder you don’t have a ‘boot’ file.

      I ran through the steps yesterday on my MP1,1 and it works.

    • Be sure as well to correct the errors in the plist and SMbios files. As for Chameleon, I believe you do not need to use the Graphics Enabler option when you have an Apple-issued ATI 5770. For SMbios: as stated in some of the comments here, an ‘SMbiosvendor’ key is missing above the first ‘Apple, Inc.’ entry – and the ‘board’ key should read ‘SMboardproduct’.

      Jabbawok, would it be possible to update these files on your download links? As it stands, anyone following the guide will start out with these erroneous smbios and chameleon files.

      • Thanks for the feedback and pointers – much appreciated. I retried the process with the suggestions however am still hitting a wall. I have provided detail and screenshots of the 2nd attempt at Any further pointers would really be appreciated :-) I am sure I am missing something obvious. BTW, glad to hear your move to ML went well. I am attempting the upgrade from 10.5.8.

        • Could not get the supplied version of Chameleon to work. Have played around with different versions of Chameleon. Can get 2.0 RC3 to the point where on reboot the Chameleon loader appears after selecting the Windows or EFI Boot device. Big win for me. Two options are presented at the Chameleon loader “Installer” or “hd”. Selecting Installer leads to the message “Can’t find mach_kernel”. I have tried a range of suggestions in this thread including copying the mach_kernel across to /Volumes/BOOT. I have also tried changing settings in the org.chameleon.Boot.plist file however none of these appear to affect the behaviour of the Chameleon loader.

          • First Q: You did select MacOS Extended for BOOT as well right? Screenshot only shows Installer. But BOOT looks okay later, so you probably did.

            Weird situation with Chameleon. Looks different. Should indeed install 725KB. However: the file ‘boot’ should be in the root of BOOT. That’s the file you need to bless. Could this difference with Chameleon be because you’re still on 10.5.8? I was on 10.7.x and used the exact version as downloaded here from Jabbawok. The installer application may have changed between versions.

            I performed other steps exactly like you did, but I did not use the ‘NoBoardCheck’ version. Jabbawok does warn it may not be stable. I used the other one. Also, before rebooting, check to see whether mach_kernel made it to the root of Installer.

            Furthermore, after blessing the drive and rebooting, you shouldn’t even need to hold Option. It will just boot into BOOT. From the Chameleon menu you can then select Installer to continue booting and installing/upgrading. When that’s done and machine reboots, you come back to Chameleon and then select the newly installed ML. Then you can go and edit the options to select your ML install as the default. It still works for me here, even sleeps reliably.

            Maybe I can clone my BOOT as our machines are exactly similar?

          • Yes. Chose “Mac OS Extended” for BOOT.

            Tried compiling Chameleon from src on 10.5.8 but it bombed. I think you’re right that it could be an issue with 10.5.8. I have ordered 10.7 media and will try again on this in a few days.

            Thanks for the tip on the OSInstall.mpkg – I will follow the instructions for modding it. I did do this the first time around.

            Lastly, if things go really pear shaped I might hit you up for a clone of your BOOT partition. Will let you know how it all goes :-)

  157. hello,

    I have this set up for a couple of months now and everything is working great! on question i would like to ask tho is: is it still possible to use bootcamp? if so how do i set it up? bootcamp assistant doesn’t seem to work….


  158. Thank you Jabbawok, your post was in my reading list for months and I finally decided to open up my MP and bring it up to ML. Works fine so far, did notice a few glitches with freezing up on heavy network traffic. Mine was not a clean install however, I upgraded my Lion install. May be the culprit. It feels good to be able to give this reliable old workhorse a new lease on life. Compensates my frustration with Apple for not updating the EFI to 64 bit; I hate planned obsolescence. (Yes, I own an iPad 1 too…)

  159. Hi! Excellent guide, thank you so much. A breath of new life in my Mac Pro ‘grandpa’ :) I have one, potentially difficult question: is it possible to add Windows 7 to this setup and dual boot?

    • If windows7 is on its own HDD you should be able to invoke the startup disk menu with the option key at boot and choose it. I prefer to use virtualbox or similar.

      • The problem is I upgraded the video card to ATI 6870 and I don’t have the boot screen anymore, i.e. there is no way to display the boot menu. Is there any way to make Chameleon see Windows 7 partition?

  160. Dear All,
    I’m trying to get everything installed but no success so far, I’m still unable to load Chameleon: I’m stuck at the gray mac start-up screen with apple/nofolder/wrong-way icons cycling (after either selecting manually the “Windows” partition or leaving it boot automatically after a ‘error-free’ blessing procedure). The feeling is that boot-loader is not being reached nor loaded at all.

    Aside from this I’ve another ‘conceptual’ issue: NO room for more disks!
    All the MP sleds have disks (in a raid 5 config with a rocketraid board) AND the bay under the optical drive is already occupied by a SATA disk (via ODD1). Moreover the custom apple “SATA-to-sleds” MB connector is redirected to an external 4xSATA fully booked case (2 drives x windows/bootcamp, 2 drives x storage&backups), switched on just when needed (noise matters!).
    My BOOT and Installer partitions (HFS+ on MBR) are on the ODD SATA … yes, I know that this will prevent Chamaleon to starting install process but at least it should allow Chameleon to boot … but it doesn’t !! :-(

    So pivotal questions here are: 1) how can I have Chameleon work 2) where t** f** can I position the 2 partitions in my system? Only on an ‘external’ SATA disk I suppose…

    I’m really curious about the “shadow MBR with bootcamp” procedure ….

    Thanks in advance for every comment to my post.


  161. MP 1,1 3ghz 8800GT: I got everything setup to run this on a 120g SSD, but as I wait for all of my backups to finish, and backup Install Lion OS to burn to a disc…I’m thinking, I have another spare 2.5 HDD 160gb. Should I use that for the BOOT/Installer, and install to the 120 SSD? This completely leaving my current install untouched….sounds more safe this way. Can you share your thoughts on this and make any suggestions or caveats? Thanks in advance! This is great info!

  162. Success! MP 1,1 3ghz 8800GT: Used an old SATA 1 drive for BOOT/Installer. (going to order the 8gb ssd now that it works….should speed up the restart/boot process)
    Setup a new SSD to install to. This turned out to be a great idea, as I stumbled a couple of times, and it was easy to just boot the original drive and start over. (not to mention the fear reduction, in case this didn’t work…only time lost…still make a data backup and an OS Install backup!) FYI; performing this process after midnight will lead to completely useless discoveries like the following: This WILL work with plain ol Lion too, and you don’t really notice throughout the installer, and file transfer til it boots up and looks much to familiar. This can easily happen when you’re not paying enough attention and you grab the Install ESD from the Lion OS backup you may have made. LOL
    Lastly, here’s some ‘useful knowledge’; If you do use a old used disk for your BOOT/Installer, start out by doing an Erase, click Security Options, and slide the bar over once to ‘writing over data 1 time’ to really clean it before using. I had a problem at first with my BOOT/Installer disk until I did this. Good luck all!
    THANK YOU JABBOWOK! Great blog, and it’s extremely cool to get this kind of help on a ‘just wanna help’-basis!

  163. Thank you for your diligence of putting this together. I am ecstatic that my (1,1) is now running ML. I installed a PC 5700 and flashed it to 5770 prior to installing Chameleon & ML. When I launched ML and checked my system’s Graphics/Displays, my video card no reads ATI Radeon HD 6700. Bizarre. Video card works like a charm from Chameleon boot on.

  164. I used an updated DSDT from TonyMacx86 that someone was using, because it was creating problems for them, when using yours. I have eight core 2.66 and 3.0s that I’m trying to update, but I’m not even sure it’s going to show eight cores or not, because I cannot get past installer.

    Currently, I can boot into installer in problem. Once I go into C after the install and stop it to manually boot from the other drive, I can see the apple symbol and that the computer is loading, but after a few more seconds, the usual Apple error screen shows up, WITHOUT A LIST OF ANYTHING, which merely says to power off the machine and turn it back on again. BOY am I frustrated. I’ve been working on this for the last 2 weeks and I can’t get it to go. I’m so close.

  165. I try this method on my MacPro 2,1 with an Ati HD 2600 XT but when I run the installer it stop on boot aftert load the ethenrnet card (I use the -v option and the last string is “Ethernet [Intel8254x]: Link up on en1…”.
    Any ideas?



    • Marco, I had the exact same problem and never found a solution. So whatever it is, apparently we both did the same thing wrong.

  166. Ok, got my SATA to IDE bridge board today. I had the BOOT/Installer drive in Bay 1, moved it to under the DVD with the IDE, and it didn’t recognize it? Something else I need to do?

  167. Hi Jabbawok,
    I’ve used you method on my 2.66 2.1 with 10.6.8 on an IDE disk on CDrom Bay.
    The main system is on a Apple Raid Card, with a System Disk and a Raid Volume.
    Actually Chamaleon starts but it can’t find /mach_kernel and it ask “boot:” with a flashing line. Can I have a chance to boot with this configuration? Can I install my system on the other partition of the ide disk? Many thanks in advance! Best Regards

  168. I was not successful in doing the upgrade. Altough I managed to boot the Chameleon Drive into the MacOSX Kernel, it hung during boot.

    Interesting is, that I could choose in the Chameleon Bootloader to choose between my plain 10.7 Installation and the prepared 10.8 partition. When I booted in -v mode with all the terminal-logging on it showed me the under 10.7 the left picture and under 10.8 the right picture – they hung on different locations during the boot process.

    Even more interesting, when I booted directly into 10.7 without Chameleon, everything worked as always flawless – although it was both time the same partition!

    Too bad that I invested 250 bucks in the the new ATI5770 now being stuck with 10.7 :-( Maybe any ideas what could be wrong when the kernel hangs during the boot process?

  169. Thanks very much for this. Worked first time and has since been reliable.

    I have an issue with my Virtual W7 x64 though. I have a HD 4870 Graphics card and this is not being recognised in Fusion 4 probably because of the 32bit EFi. I cannot load 32bit divers, and the 64 bit ones seem to not show up. All I get is the ‘Standard VGA’ as a display adapter.
    Any ideas on how to get the W7 x64 to see the card would be greatfully received.

  170. Thanks for your guide – but

    If I install the SSD card I have either no SSD card or no DVD drive. Therefore, the standard placement.
    Accurate information about the system see screenshots: screenshots-EFI-64/picture-1.jpg screenshots-EFI-64/picture-2.jpg screenshots-EFI-64/picture-3.jpg

    Now to the software.
    I have followed your procedure exactly. See screenshots: screenshots-EFI-64/picture-4.jpg screenshots-EFI-64/picture-5.jpg screenshots-EFI-64/picture-6.jpg screenshots-EFI-64/picture-7.jpg

    At the end I enter the terminal command to boot BOOT -> Reboot.
    I choose the HD installer. There comes just a slashed circle on gray background.
    I start up without something to do – or choose the HD BOOT (named EFI). There comes a black screen with a blinking line.

    Have I missed something or is the hardware configuration the problem.
    Please help – best regards – Norbert.

  171. Thanks for your guide – but

    If I install the SSD card I have either no SSD card or no DVD drive. Therefore, the standard placement.
    Accurate information about the system see screenshots:

    Now to the software.
    I have followed your procedure exactly. See screenshots:

    At the end I enter the terminal command to boot BOOT -> Reboot.
    I choose the HD installer. There comes just a slashed circle on gray background.
    I start up without something to do – or choose the HD BOOT (named EFI). There comes a black screen with a blinking line.

    Have I missed something or is the hardware configuration the problem.
    Please help – best regards – Norbert.

  172. I‘ve reformatted and installed everything again. With small problems I came to the installation from Mountain Lion. In the meantime, I have already updated to 10.8.2. Still everything works. I will complete the installation on the weekend. Maybe I need to report it to the finish again.
    Thanks for the help. Alone, I could not have done. Compliment for this guide. Thank you.

  173. Hi jabbawok..

    Many thanks for this post. I finally got my Mac Pro 2,1 (formerly 1,1) APPLE HD 5770 working starting with 10.8.2 installation (using chameleon 2.1r2069.

    I appreciate your time and effort!

    I tried the other methods such as dead.xx but it wasn’t very stable…

    A couple notes.

    1. When I tried to download your ‘smbios.plist’ it was empy (other files were fine).
    2. I had to type in the actual name of the installed OS X drive (in org.chameleon.Boot.plist) once I had been DONE with installation. Chameleon would not recognize a boot designation such as (1,2) but would recognize “Mountain Lion HD.” During a chameleon boot. if (1,2) was selected from the boot menu it would crash. Any thoughts?

    Thanks again!

  174. I’m so close to getting this to work. So far, I’m able to launch the Mountain Lion installer partition that is on my IDE-SATA SSD. However, it seems I HAVE to boot from Chameleon on a boot partition that is on one of my SATA bays. The Boot partition that is on the IDE-SATA SSD will not run and I don’t know why. It is a MBR disk with 2 HFS+Journaled partitions (BOOT & Installer), which is what I would ultimately want to do. I am so glad that I was still able to see the installer and that gave me a lot of hope after spending the entire day on this. I keep getting a Cannot find boot disk error.

    So I guess my main concern now is to get Chameleon to boot from the IDE-SATA SSD. Is there anything else that I can try to troubleshoot this? Also, is it normal that my system will show a white screen after the boot disk selection for about 4 minutes before dropping into the black screen for a minute before either gettting Chameleon or the cannot find boot disk error? I strongly suspect it has something to do with my DefaultPartition setting on boot.chameleon.plist. Lastly, when the screen is white, is that when I’m supposed to frantically press up and down keys? Thanks so much for breathing new life until our far from outdated systems!

    • Forgot to mention: I have my IDE SSD daisy-chained off my IDE-ODD. The IDE-SATA Bridge is on master. The ODD is on cable select if that matters. Does it?

        • Disconnecting the PATA optical drive and now Mountain Lion works like a charm. Updated to 10.8.2. There seems to be a problem signing into OS X Messages. Could there be some other issue involved that blocks this service? Thanks again for a wonderful early christmas present!

  175. I’ve been trying like crazy to make this work on my 1,1 MacPro w 2x 2.66Ghz CPUs and could never even get the Chameleon menu… well this seems to be due to me trying to use the newest version 2.2svn2138 I found here:

    Has anyone else tried this newer version and got it to work? If so, how? As soon as I installed version 2.1svn1921, I immediately got the Chameleon menu. It left me at a black screen, but now I bet I can get it to work.

    Would be great to know if there is a way to use the newer version of Chameleon.

  176. Ok… booting with -v, I can see everything seems to load perfectly all the way through the boot sequence, but I end up with a black screen. Any ideas? I tried booting with GraphicsEnabler=No with the same results. I have a 8800 GT (actual Mac version that came with this machine).

    Ok, I’m going to comb through this thread to see if someone has anything on this. Thanks.

  177. OKKKK! I finally got past the “black screen” by booting with the following parameters:

    -v VBIOS=Yes GraphicsEnabler=Yes PciRoot=1

    Probably not all of those are needed, I will later experiment to figure out exactly what IS needed. Now I’m off to install for the first time.

    : )

  178. Thanks to all for the great info. I have ML running on my Mac Pro 2,1 with a Radeon 6870 card. I wanted to share the following tip.
    When you use Startup Manager (hold alt key after startup tone), hold the control key while clicking on the desired boot drive (“Windows” in this case). This will make the Chameleon boot drive the default on subsequent boots. This is handy if you’re using an EFI32 compatible card for setup, and switching to a PC card later.

    Many thanks – Berc

  179. Anyone else having problems with Messages/iMessage logging in and staying logged in? I know one responder above stated he just redid the entire process and it fixed it, but then I read over on the TonyMacX86 that their hackintosh’s are no longer able to access iMessage services so I am wondering if that is why it is a no-go. This would be a real bummer for me, since half the reason I upgraded to Mt Lion was for iMessage/Messages

    • Yup. Seems like on 12/18, apple servers seems to stop accepting messages and is possibly based on your UUID. Is there a way to pass the actual reported hardware UUID from system profiler when you boot in lion under supported EFI32 to the EFI64 chameleon environment? I see that you can specify a static UUID so that you don’t get a changing UUID after every reboot, but no way to specify the actual hardware UUID that is shown in system profiler. Clover looks like it can do that but doesn’t work on Mac Pro yet it seems. Anybody have any other suggestions? Console logs aren’t too helpful. By the way, I got the recovery partition onto ML by first starting a Lion installation from a disk image, then booted into chameleon and started the mountain lion installer.

  180. Hello, thanks for this great post on keeping our Mac Pros updated to the latest. I followed your post completely. I as able to boot into the Installer partition but continued to have a stall at the initial grey screen with the spin wheel spinning. I restarted and boot it again using the verbose feature in chameleon and found out that it was freezing at this point:
    I let it sit for a couple of hours and nothing happened. The only problem I see is the line that says “BootCacheControl: Unable to open /var/db/BootCache.playlist: 2 No such file or directory”

    Thanks for any future help!

  181. I’ve followed the instructions down to downloading “Extra”. For some reason Xcode says that smbios.plist is corrupt. I’ve tried this on two different machines with the same result. I have a MacPro 1,1 and I’ve got everything else sorted to that point. “Add your serial to the SMBIOS.plist” is this the hardware serial number off the macpro1,1 ? I’ve done the other plist without any issues.


      • Cheers matey,

        It’s opened in text edit. Will attack the MP in the morning and report any success. Rather annoying that they’ve dropped support for the MP1,1 & 2,1 when it’s easily powerful enough to run it especially with a 5700 card.

        • Whilst I chatting with you……

          There is an entry:


          The 2,1 is not supported and my machine is a 1,1. I know I can upgrade make mine into a 2,1 but is this what the OS “sees”. If so should it appear as something that is actually supported? Should I change this entry?

          • Well, I started again today. Fitted an old 40Gb IDE drive into the bay under the DVD writer and removed the X1900 from my system leaving just the 5770 in….. Followed the instructions again and hey presto, it is now installing Mountain Lion. I will report on the progress later but it is currently looking good. I’ve noted the iCloud bit and my Lion install is still there on the other drive so should be ok. If it all works out well I am going to treat the MacPro 1,1 to another 2Gb of Ram and an SSD :-) It was such a shame to make such a capable machine obsolete by design rather than by accident. You don’t mind as much when there is a fundamental problem such as processor type/speed, ram etc but when it is virtually a case of them just deciding to make an arbituary cut off at a certain point it is just not right.

          • **** FULLY WORKING ****

            MacPro 1,1
            6Gb Ram (4x512Mb,4x1Gb)
            2 x Dual Xeon 2.66GHz
            5770 card (standard Windows card flashed with Apple firmware)
            40Gb IDE drive set as slave and fitted in bay below DVDWR

            Machine originally running Lion 10.7.x

            Downloaded version of Mountain Lion 10.8.2

            Instructions followed as per guide but using 10.8.2 instead of 10.8

            Didn’t matter, it all works just as expected……

            iCloud, sound, video and updates all working so far.

            Many many thanks for this….

      • Not sure whether there is a solution in my case. I have a MacPro 1,1 but had the motherboard replaced, therefore I do not show a serial number in System Profile. When checking in terminal using “ioreg -l | grep IOPlatformSerialNumber” I get “”IOPlatformSerialNumber” = “System Serial#”"
        Do you think using “SystemSerial#” in the smbios.plist file would work?

  182. I’ve followed the instructions as far as I can tell. I have a Macpro1,1 and I’ve got the board-id and inserted that as required.

    In the smbios.plist I have changed in to show my 1,1 but I didn’t know the 1,1 SMbiosversion number so left it at 2,1′s – not sure what difference this makes…..

    Rebooted and I see 4 normal looking drives one is called boot.efi then a different looking one also called boot.efi

    If I select the different looking one it boots into what looks like a MacOS grey backdrop with options to run disc utility etc. If I select from there boot installer it shows a stop sign

    What should chameleon’s boot screen look like? I was madly tapping the up arrow as it booted.

  183. I sit here with my 1,1 -> 2,1 upgraded MP running 10.8.2 running ML before me.

    I just printed out Jabbawok’s instructions and notes and worked carefully through them a step at a time, however….

    A note or two, or more…

    I kept being tripped up by the ‘Can’t find mach_kernel’ error. It was not until I referred to the Installer partition BY NAME, not by number eg (1,2) that I could get it to work.


    Default Partition

    After that it was plain sailing, *once* I’d swapped my flashed 5870 back to my flashed 5770… (Boot, reboot loop otherwise – I may chase that up if I get bored one day)

    Similarly once it was all installed I had to refer to the Mountain Lion OS partition by name to get it all to work without the ‘Can’t find mach_kernel’ error. I now have all my music and sound software running fine, I have two screens plugged into my 5770, the one plugged into the VGA shows the complete boot process.

    As far as software updates are concerned, they all download and apply as though this where a normal Mac.

    I’m going shopping for some Xeon 5160s now they’re at pocket money prices – I think the hex key to undo the heatsinks will cost more than both the procs!

  184. For those of you having sleep problems, I found this thread very helpful:

    Mac Pro 1,1 with Radeon 5770 HD

    Computer sleeps, but after waking up, there is no power to USB devices. The authentication dialog is displayed on the screen, but because USB devices aren’t powered, I can’t type anything.

    Seemingly, setting darkwake=10 solves this issue. My org.chameleon.Boot.plist looks like this

    Kernel Flags

  185. I’m a tad confused but I think this may all come down to graphics card.

    I followed the instructions and have everything set up, but I do have a stock unsupported gpu the 7300 gt (?). Which is why I bought a cheap Saphire Radeon HD6670, which is supported. My problem is.

    I can’t see any boot screens unless I have the unsupported graphics card. I can go all through the process, having selected bootEFI and it seemingly installs. But when it restarts I get the greed out no entry sign.

    If I take the unsupported card out and reboot I can’t see anything and eventually the computer just shuts off. I’m reinstalling lion now and hoping to have another go, but is there any way to install or see the install screens without having to keep the 7300 GT in?



    • The no entry sign means your booting without chameleon. Hold down option when booting then You need to click on the windows disk whilst holding ctrl down and it will remember to boot that every time. Try changing graphics enabler in the boot plist and have both cards in at once.

      • Is it possible to change the boot.plist file within chameleon itself? I.m assuming as we’ll the the graphics enabler is from the chameleon.boot.plist (I can’t see the proper name at the moment) if I can change the plist file without being in mountain lion I can then take out the other gpu and it should just boot into ml I hope.

        Knowing my luck though probably not

        • Strike that, I removed the incomparable gpu restarted having timed how long it takes for boot loaded to come up kept hitting up selected the drive I needed to boot from and touch wood I’m in.

          Will see if I survives a reboot once I’ve changed the plist settings and see what happens.

          • So for those who have a GPU that doesn’t show the normal mac boot screen. leave your old GPU in the machine connected to the monitor i had the new one in as well.

            Reboot holding option (alt) and cmd click on the windows icon then start hitting up.
            when you see the installer and HD in chameleon select the installer, and you should be able to see the install happen.

            Once it’s finished and reboots let it restart into installer and click apple shut down.

            remove the incompatible GPU (in my case the 7300 GT) and switch on again and then when the monitor turns on keep hitting up until you see the HD and Installer selections and pick the one you installed ML to and it should then boot, make a note of the 1,2 number as well as this is what you’ll change the boot.plist order to when you’re in ML.

            Now i just need to wait for some bright spark to sort the iMessage problem out and i’ll be up to full speed.

            Thanks Jabbawok for your excellent guide and support



  186. Where do you add your Mac Pro serial number in the text file?

    Does it matter where you paste it in? Or which spot do you have to put it in?

    A picture would be great!


  187. I’ve followed the steps and what I get is a Alt Boot menu with “Mac OS” (existing system disk) “Recovery Partition” (existing recovery partition on system disk), “Installer”, and “EFI Boot”. “EFI Boot” eventually goes to a Mac logo, flashes black, and then boots the system disk. At least I didn’t pooch it, but it sure ain’t working.
    I prepped the disk from an existing MacBook Pro with ML on it… followed the steps, and I believe I got it right… but the again, it’s not working.
    What say you all, start over?

  188. I have ML working on my Mac Pro 1.1 and it has been working fine since November, with the exception of Messages which stopped working around Christmas time.

    Does anyone have a fix for this?

  189. Thanks, Jabbawok, for your great guide.

    After reading through a year’s worth of comments, it’s hard to believe I have a problem nobody else has reported. This procedure works fine (my smbios.plist and org.chameleon.Boot.plist pretty much exactly as shown here), except when I boot into ML (even the ML installer), my USB is 99% broken. The mouse and keyboard work with about a 10 second lag; if unplugged and plugged back in, they don’t show up at all. Other USB devices and drives also don’t show up at all. This is true of all the USB ports.

    I have tried 3 different versions of Chameleon (r1820, r1921, r2070); I have tried with ML Installers from 10.8.0 and 10.8.2. I did the complete ML install (it’s hard to hit the buttons with a 10s. lag on the mouse movements. . .) and everything works except the USB. My board ID is Mac-F4208DC8, so that isn’t different.

    Mac Pro 1,1, upgraded to 2,1 with 2x Xeon x5355, Radeon HD 5770 (Apple brand).

    Oh, and I have tried with 1,1 firmware and 2,1. Any ideas what else I might try?

    • Got the same problem. Also Mac Pro 1,1 upgrade to 2,1 with 2 x Xeon 5345 and Radeon 5770.
      Problem was a not compatible airport card (non Apple). Removed the Card and mouse and keyboard responded normal again. Solved it for me.

  190. I have a few questions about this process,
    If after I boot into the installer, and I get an error message saying something about a Nvidia driver, is that the kernel panic you made mention of? I know I need a better video card, but lion and mountain lion have support for PC video cards. Event though, would the installation be happy with a non-EFI PC, but capable video card, or do i need to flash one to be able to see the boot-loader? vs having 2 video cards in during installation?
    Also, do I have to keep the BOOT drive after installation, or can I remove it? And one last question, can I install over a Lion partition to have my programs in ML or would it just wipe the partition? Thanks in advance :/

  191. I don’t necessarily advocate this as the best or most elegant method, but after having my MP2,1 (flashed) hang on boot after Ethernet init, I gave the iAtkos ML2 10.8.2 hack distro a whirl, and actually succeeded in making it work (hi from inside ML)!

    I followed their provided instructions for writing the installer .dmg to a USB hard drive – ended up using Carbon Copy Cloner instead of Disk Utility, due to it refusing to write the image after doing an imagescan – and writing their custom-packaged copy of a 2.1x build of Chameleon to it. I then removed the SATA disk from its USB enclosure, put it on SATA port 1 in my MP2,1, and booted the installer from the “Windows” partition thereon. Once in the installer, I setup my disk (MBR partition table, 1 partition), and then – figuring, since this is a Mac, I don’t need patches – I deselected EVERYTHING, absolutely everything, except bootloader installation in the installer options screen. The installer ran, completed, and panicked at the end trying to reboot. Hard rebooted, option key down, picked the (for me) rightmost “Windows” partition, and the system proceeded to pull itself up by its bootstraps from my new hard drive. I modified my ….Boot.plist to look much like Jabbawok’s, plopped in the dsdt.aml from here ->,1123.msg11131.html#msg11131 (you have to be logged in to see the download link!), and also added the QE_CI exotic patch for my ATI 4890. I have sound, accelerated graphics, all 8 cores and all my RAM visible. Haven’t tried sleep.

    The upside of this method is that it’s a one-disk solution: since the rootdisk is MBR and has Chameleon straight on it, you don’t need to mess around with adding an additional disk in the CD bay or sacrificing one of your 4 SATA drops.

    • Ahh… sleep is a no. I’ll poke at this more later if I can be bothered to care. I’m not sure if sleep ever worked with this 4890, so I might be wasting my effort. I have a flashed 5870 downstairs that went to live in my girlfriend’s gaming system, which I may borrow back temporarily.

      • Radeon 4890: graphicsenabler->no, darkwake->0 == sleep works with the usual unpleasantness with DVD player etc.

        Bog-standard PC GF8800GT 512MB + graphicsenabler->yes, darkwake->0 == sleep/wake works and so does DVD player. Happy days! Maybe I’ll look into what nVidia can do for me, then. The GTX 670 looks nice.

  192. Hello Ben,
    Thank you for your guide.
    I’ve installed Mountain Lion on my Mac Pro 2,1, and everything is working fine.
    There is only one problem.
    During startup, I can read the message:
    After a 5 second pause, ML starts, but I would like to get rid of this message, and to gain about 5 seconds.
    Can you help me?
    I’ve already looked for a solution in Netkas forum, but I’ve not found it.
    Thanks for your attention.
    Best regards,


  193. Anyone now how to get messages working again? I’ve downloaded the files mentioned (an update to chameleon and the FileNVRAM.dylib (is that even relevant for the Mac Pro?). If anyone has figured it out and has time for a little step by step guide that would be much appreciated!


  194. Restarted my MacPro 1,1 today only to find out it no longer boots into Mountain Lion. I hold option, select Windows and then monitor momentarily displays the initial boot screen but then goes to a black screen with just a blinking underscore.

    Something happened since the last time I restarted which was sometime last November 2012 ~79 days ago.

    • Have encountered the same issue. Have been gleefully running ML for the last several months (including regular system restarts) and on Friday, could not boot to ML. Instead, see brief ‘boot(0)’ and then straight to a blinking cursor.

      Have reinstalled Chameleon from the start, changed boot drive specs, re-blessed the boot drive, and carefully following directions, but still no success.

      Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

  195. Looking for a little guidance as I am totally new to the Chameleon world. Few months back I followed exactly Jabbawok’s instructions with great success. Everything works great.

    After reading about the plug’n'play Nvidia graphics card support in 10.8, I decided to pick up a refurbished EVGA GTX 570 1280MB card.

    I was expecting a blind boot to login/finder. Instead I get greeted by the Chameleon boot loader informing me that “Can’t find mach_kernel”. I proceed to select my previously working 10.8 install as the startup disk only to kernel panic moments later.

    What gives ? Is there something additional I’m supposed to do with Chameleon or the modified 10.8 install to have the GTX 570 work ?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

      • Worked! Popped the GTX 570 back in and booted up without a problem.

        For a while I thought my sleep issues were resolved, but then I plugged a FW800 HD back and they seemed to come back. I’m going to update to 2,1 in anticipation of installing some X5355s .. perhaps the FW might help the sleep issues too. Thanks!

  196. Do I have to do a full install of the OS? Is there a way to leave my current install alone and just have it boot EFI64?

  197. argh!

    I did the whole thing on my Mac Pro 2,1 and booted it up. Then I went to do the messages fix. SInce there weren’t any actual directions, I installed the copy of Chameleon from your zip file, then put the module in the modules folder. A reboot causes a kernel panic (and I can clearly see MacPro 2,1 on the screen). Is there a way to fix this?

    I tried emptying the boot drive and redoing it based on the original directions/files, but it still panics on boot. Any idea what I can do?


  198. Not sure if my last comment got posted or not, but I got a kernel panic when trying to do the messages fix. FInally got it back with a pram reset, then rebuilt the boot drive and reblessed it. Back in Mountain Lion now. Any chance you can post specific instructions to do the messages fix based on your original state of the Boot drive after the first instructions? Thanks!

  199. Hello,

    So i’ve downloaded the linked files to fix messages. The first thing the chameleon installer says is “DO NOT INSTALL TO AN APPLE COMPUTER”.

    Any ideas?


    • If you have followed my previous instructions to boot 10.8 then you already have chameleon installed on your boot drive. This will be updating that chameleon to a version that supports the module.

      If you install it to the wrong drive (os rather than boot) and then insert the modules file, your computer will not boot.
      This kind of tinkering is not for the faint hearted, and you should try and get an understanding of what you are doing to the machine so if you make a mistake (as I have many times) you can fix it.

      I’d read through the forum threads I linked to so you can get a clearer understanding of how this hack works.


      • OK thanks, I just run the update and then place the file in the extra folder but how do I update the Chameleon install and place the FileNVRAM.dylib file into the extras folder if you have the boot SSD hidden as mentioned in your guide.

        • copy the fstab file from /etc (which you created to make ML not show those drives) to desktop so you can put it back later. Then delete the fstab file in /etc. Reboot and you’ll be able to see your Boot drive in Finder, then run the Chameleon installer from the messagesfix folder. On the Boot drive go to the /Extra/Modules folder and put the FileNVRAM.dylib in there. If the Modules folder doesn’t exist under /Extra create it first. Then Reboot. Put the fstab file that you copied to Desktop back in the /etc folder and Reboot to hide your boot drive again. That’s what I just did of course while holding my breath. Everything is working fine.

  200. I’ve had 10.8 running on my Mac Pro 1,1 since December without any problems, other than Messages. I want to install Windows on another drive. Before I start I want to make sure I don’t jeopardize my current system. Should I use BootCamp? If so, what about this boot rom update it tells me I must do? Or can I just run off the already installed boot/installer drive?

  201. Hi
    Thanks for great advice, however I have managed to get in a pickle.
    I have had a running version for many months, and it has been very stable.

    I just changed my processors to 2.33 quads from 2.0 duos and i have broken the set-up.
    Even when reinstalling the original processors, I cannot get the system up.

    I had chameleon only finding a 0,2 Installer drive at boot, which just went to auto-reboot when selected.

    If I use the Alt key at power-on, I get EFI Boot, Windows, Mountainlion and Installer as options. The only one which works is Windows, which takes me to Chameleon and either mach_kernel not found or autoreboot.

    I did a PRAM reset at some stage, but only after re-installing the old processors etc.

    It appears as though chamleon cannot see the boot drives. I had them out in the transfer, but they are back in the same slots.
    Any advice, or a total rebuild required?
    If a rebuild, will the 2×2.33 quads work with the 1,1 details above?

    thanks for all your help and community spirit.

  202. Concerning the imessage fix, I installed the latest chameleon 2.2svn r2170. I immediately was able to log into iMessage but then had graphics problems – black or transparent finder windows. Also all major apps like iPhoto, iMovie crashed. I have a radeon 5450, Mac Pro 1.1 ML 8.2. Any similar troubles out there?

      • Yes, the radeon 5450 is a PC card. It works fine with some ati 5000 kext changes I found. It drives 3 27″ monitors. I have solved the Message problem by working with chameleon wizard a bit more carefully – set graphic enabler to no, use Eulemur setting. Also I had the kernel cache as yes, which I finalled set to no. Everything worked better after that. BTW, thanks for all your kind attention to all of us.

  203. Hey Jabbawok,
    thank you for the great instruction…
    but what would happen if I delete the BOOT partition?
    and can I use also an external hdd for the BOOT location?

    • Without the boot partition you wouldn’t be able to boot 10.8. The boot partition uses chameleon, which emulates EFI64 that is required to boot 10.8.
      You can only use the internal IDE connection or one of the four sata sleds to boot. Chameleon boots from the BIOS emulation apple put in to boot windows so they only saw fit to enable it on those connectors. This is why I have the small sata SSD connected to the IDE in the optical bay.

  204. Hi,

    I just wanted to let everyone know that after I installed the 10.8.3 update last week, sleep now works properly on my Mac Pro 1.1. Before the upgrade it always used to have a kernel panic after waking from sleep.

    I presume this wasn’t intentional on Apple’s part but merely a “happy accident.” Hopefully it won’t break again with 10.8.4….

  205. Totally confused about this one:

    I am pulling this from within 10.8 terminal, so obviously Chameleon is working. However, both drives “Install” and “BOOT” are not listing as mounted volumes. I am trying to reset Chameleon to choose (2,2) at startup. But since there is no BOOT drive (so to speak) I can’t accomplish this. If you notice, I am running BOOTCAMP. I know BOOTCAMP will bless its drive when shutting down and I’m relativey possitive this is creating issues. Is there a way to un-bless BOOTCAMP or would this create havoc?

    Filesystem Size Used Avail Capacity iused ifree %iused Mounted on
    /dev/disk1s2 931Gi 216Gi 715Gi 24% 56618816 187487850 23% /
    devfs 200Ki 200Ki 0Bi 100% 692 0 100% /dev
    /dev/disk2s2 2.5Ti 58Gi 2.5Ti 3% 7580766 332779941 2% /Volumes/Seagate 3TB
    map -hosts 0Bi 0Bi 0Bi 100% 0 0 100% /net
    map auto_home 0Bi 0Bi 0Bi 100% 0 0 100% /home
    /dev/disk2s3 197Gi 16Gi 181Gi 9% 4283028 47319527 8% /Volumes/OS 10.7
    /dev/disk3s2 2.7Ti 283Gi 2.5Ti 11% 37107608 329133724 10% /Volumes/WD Caviar 3TB
    /dev/disk0s2 233Gi 42Gi 191Gi 18% 234584 200216284 0% /Volumes/BOOTCAMP

  206. Hi,

    yesterday I was able to get the Lion Version 10.8.3 on my MacPro 1,1. Thanks for the tutorial. Now I have the problem, that my fire wire Drive causes the problem, that chameleon shows “no mach kernel found”. When unplug the fire wire drive, everything works fine and then, I can plug in the firewire. Is there a possibility, that the firewire hd can be plugin and ignored by chameleon at the boot session?

    • In your boot plist set the default partition as a name like “Macintosh HD” instead of 1,2 or whatever. When you have your FW HDD plugged it changes the drive order so chameleon looks for the kernel on the wrong drive. If you tell it to find the drive by name then it will find it whatever.

  207. Hi,
    Do we have a soulution for “Recovery HD” partition. Because I use TM to backup my system OS and files. I can restore files without any problems, but unable to restore full OS “I got an error” telling me that the backup is not for this system … and so not able to restore. I know that using CCC will help. But is there an option to use my TM OS backup ???

  208. Hi jabbawok,

    I got ist – 10.8.3 on my MacPro 1,1. Unfortunally I have to unplug my Firewire Drive while booting. Otherwise a get a mach kernel failure and I have to restart. Do you know anything I can do whithout unplugging firewire?

    Thanks Michael

    • In your boot plist set the default partition as a name like “Macintosh HD” instead of 1,2 or whatever. When you have your FW HDD plugged it changes the drive order so chameleon looks for the kernel on the wrong drive. If you tell it to find the drive by name then it will find it whatever.

  209. OS 10.8.3 now running on my MacPro1,1. I can confirm:
    1. GeForce 8800 GT video card works well.
    2. The default partition should be specified by name in org.chameleon.Boot.plist.
    2. A kernel panic at the very end of the process (when rebooting after the installer ran) was solved by removing an old third-party PCIe USB 2.0 card.
    Many thanks for this massively useful posting. Donation sent.

  210. Dear Jabbawok,

    I’d like to install Mac Lion on my MacPro1,1.
    Dual-Core Intel Xeon
    2x 2 GHz
    Memory: 6GB
    ATI Radeon HD 5770

    I already downloaded Mountain Lion on a supported Mac, Chameleon 2.1-r2069 and XCode (updated) from Snow Leopard DVD.

    1. Will your way work with 10.6.8 or do I have to install 10.7. first?
    2. How can i edit your SMBIOS.plist (which programm: XCode, Property List Editor, Wizard,…?) – I tried with Wizard but it said “corrupted file”.
    3. I want to upgrade my CPU. Should I do it before installing ML or after?


    • I put your Extrafolder in the root of BOOT. Opened the SMBIOS.plist with Wizard and just put in my serial – when I choose “save”, the SMBIOS.plist dissapear in the Extrafolder.

      • Sorry, I’m quiete new in this…
        But maybe my questions will help others…

        2) I used Text Edit for changing SMBIOS.plist.

        But do I have just to add my serial number?
        Mine is a MacPro1,1 and in your SMBIOS.plist is written MacPro2,1 – do I have to change that? And some of the others I don’t know exactly…:

        - SMproductname – MacPro1,1
        - SMsystemversion – is that in ATM “SMC-Version (System): 1.7f…?
        - SMsystemboard – that I have.
        - SMbiosversion – is that Boot-ROM-Version? If not, where do I find it?
        - SMcputype – I have Dual-Core Intel Xeon 2x2GHZ, what should I write there?
        - Serial – I have.

        • 1,1 and 2,1 are identical hardware, mine is a 1,1 that I’ve updated the firmware on.
          You should be able to set it up as a 2,1 with no trouble.
          Use the serial number printed on your Mac Pro.

          • Wow, thank’s for answering so fast!

            But do I have to update my firmware to 2,1 before I try to install Mountain Lion or can I stay at 1,1?

          • Dear Jabbawok,

            I edited your SMBIOS.plist for my MacPro1,1 like above and did cut the SMcputype. Will it work like that and autodetect my cpu or do I have to find out the type of my Dual-Core Intel Xeon 2x2GHZ:
            Apple Inc.

          • Dear Jabbawok,

            I followed your guide (except the NoBoardCheckOSInstall.mpkg).
            I did a restart, pressed option.
            I could choose between:
            - Installer
            - Windows
            - EFI Boot
            - ExternBoot (it’s a bootable 10.6.8., Firewire800)
            - DVD Mac OS X Snow Leopard

            I did choose EFI Boot (because in the list was no “BOOT”)
            Then an installation guide appears and I can choose a language. I selected “German”. Then it says I should remove the DVD and clean it and try again.

            My BOOT and Installer is in the first bay on a “normal” 250GB HDD (MBR, MacOS Journaled).

            Do you have any advice what may have went wrong?


          • After reboot I tried now “Windows” and “EFI Boot”, but both end in that my DVD (which is not inserted!) should be cleaned.
            I tried “Installer” – but it’s forbidden.

            I have no clue…

          • As I understand “Windows” is the right one to choose. After that I choose “hd (0,2″).
            Then it looks like the installation process begins – I can select the language (German I did) – but then appears “your DVD may be not clean. Clean it and try again.”

            In the protocoll is written: “PFPpackage – can’t instantiate package: /System/Installer/Packages/OSInstall.pkg”

            10.8.3 on MacPro1,1
            2×2 GHz
            ATI 5770
            first reboot I had KP, but then changed the hd from 1,2 to 2,2.

            Thank you Jabbawok!!!

          • Dear Jabbawok,

            everything works fine! Is there a way to make the boot process faster?

            Thank you!

            PS: Is there another way than paypal for donation?

  211. Hi, I have a problem where when I select the installer to boot it goes right into kernel panic. I have a 5770 card from apple installed and nothing else besides upgraded cpu’s that ran fine when I was on 10.7. Any Suggestions?

  212. HUGE thanks to the guys who’ve helped to make my Mac Pro 1,1 current again – this is a huge step :)

    I have an ATI 4870 1GB which has been flashed for use with the Mac, and upgraded CPUs to Intel 5355s (with associated firmware revision to MP 2,1).

    Has anyone been successful in installing 10.8.3 either by combo update or by internal Software update?


  213. Hey guys, i tried it all. cameleon with not work with raid hardware. The only work around is SSD. Progress is painful……

  214. Hi,

    great guide ! I managed to install ML on the second disc. But when I reboot after the installation into ML I get Kernel Panics. What did I do wrong? Didn´t find that problem in this thread…

    I have a Ati 5870…

    Thanks & CU!

  215. I got everything to work. just one small thing. my apple 5770 reads out as 5000 in the system profile. is that normal?

  216. Hi jabbawok! Thank you so much for your great tutorial. I successfully installed 10.8. Now i have a strange issue here: I have 10.8 on a 60GB SSD connected to SATA1, BOOT and Installer on SATA2. Everything fine so far. Now when i’m trying to connect my two other drives to SATA3&4 Chameleon won’t start anymore… It stops after blinking (_) and the list of bootable drives does not show up. Any idea whats wrong here?? thanks for your reply.

    • is your boot drive referred to by name in the boot plist or by drive ID? The drive ID can change when you add more drives so its better to use name like “Macintosh SSD” rather than 0,2

  217. Sometimes things are not as they appear…

    First, many thanks, Jabbawok for all your fine efforts. I had been running fabulously for months with some minor annoyances like sleep and messages not working well until about 10 days ago when a restart yielded the following from Chameleon:

    Boot(0): Done
    Boot1: Boot/

    Frozen at that point. I tried everything I could find to resolve to no avail. Along the way, I bumped into the following post…

    which gave me cause to check all my HD’s, but drives checked out in Disk Utility with “Partition maps appear OK” and all partitions verified. Days later at the end of my rope I rooted out my Mac Pro 1,1 and pulled all the “non-essential” drives and restarted again. Chameleon booted as it once did transitioning smoothly to 10.8.3. Evidently, the problem rested in a bad partition on a 1TB Time Machine drive.

    Just posting for the benefit of others – don’t take Disk Utility’s word for the state of a drive to be acceptable to Chameleon.

  218. Hi Jabbawok,

    first: thank you for your how-to.

    unfortunately I cannot start into 10.8: after selecting my “Macintosh HD” the grey “no-entry” sign appears.

    My config:

    - MacPro1,1
    - 2x3GHZ
    - 17GB RAM
    - the needed spare HDD (160GB: 7GB for BOOT and 153GB for install) is in bay1.

    My Harddisk for installing later 10.8 is connected via the internal SATA port on the main board. The reason is easy: it is a 2.5″ disk and it is clamped below the internal DVD.

    What have I done (I guess):

    walked through your how-to. All results were as predicted. The only difference was after the reboot to start installing 10.8.

    After the power on I pressed the [ALT] to get the boot menu. Then I selected the “Windows” partition to boot. As already mentioned in the comments I also got the “EBIOS read error: Controller or device error” approx. 5 times.

    But after 5 minutes the menu comes uo and I was able to install 10.8.

    It took aprox. 20 min. It was an upgrade (10.7.5 -> 10.8.3)

    After the installation has been completed and I has restarted the MAC (as required) the grey “no-entry” sign comes up.

    So I changed the default partiton string from
    0,2 to 3,2.

    To get the correct information I entered “diskutil list” in the terminal window.

    Furthermore I changed the 3,2 to Macintosh HSSD – the name of my Harddisk.

    No changes.

    Then I took the way via the installer: Power on the MacPro, choice “Windows”. The EBIOS message comes up again and then !!!!! : I saw the messages “Can’t find /mach_kernel”.

    Strange because the mach_kernel is in the root directory of the partition BOOT (shown via LS).

    So, now I am lost ….. Any ideas? – Thanks in advance.

    • Hi, I am back again. Sorry for spamming your Blog.

      I didn’t recognized that the internal ODD SATA also is not allowed (doesn’t work). I have no installed the 2.5″ disk on an internal bay and voilà it works :-)

      GREAT JOB!

  219. I have this USB soundcard ( with chipset CMedia CM6206. It worked without problems with a MacMini.
    Now with my MacPro 1,1 (upgraded to 2,1), the card becomes silent after some playback. I can make it loud again, when I change some settings in the Audio/Midi prefs app. But working with FCPX or Logic is not possible.
    With Windows 7 on the same computer, there are no such problems.
    All other USB devices, including an EyeTV, work without any problems.
    Does somebody have suggestions.

  220. some days later the system is still stable and works fine. Thanks again.
    Within the chameleon boot menu the Mac hard disk is selected and the boot process is fast.
    Unfortunately I have one unsolved issue: If I power-on the mac I have to select manually the boot partition to get my 10.8 into the boot process. If I don’t do that the grey sign will appear after approx. 5 seconds. Mostly the “Install” partition is pre-selected. see screenshot:
    This means: power-on the mac, press the [ALT], wait until the bootable devices appear and then select the “BOOT” partition. strange: inside the finder the partition is labeled as “BOOT” but in the first boot menu the partition is labeled as “Windows”.
    Does anyone have a solution for me?
    Thanks in advance!

    • There is a key you can hold whilst clicking on the boot drive so it will remember it. U think it is alt but I’m not sure. One of the other users here mentions it in their post.

      • Thanks for your quick reply.
        Unfortunately the system doesn’t remember the option.
        I found a solution: unbless the installation partition. After that the Mac boot via the “BOOT” partition. I can boot via chameleon the installation partition – as expected.
        Now I am happy.
        Thanks again.

  221. I’d been getting crazy for a couple of months for the sleep issues with my Mac Pro 1,1 (and then 2,1), that I’m using with Chameleon and Mountain Lion, now 10.8.3, following Jabbawok’s directions.
    Everything was working fine, apart for the problem of a kernel panic, after sleep/wake, when it came the moment to connect USB devices (USB pen drives, external speakers, iPhone, etc.).
    The first step with which I’ve come very near to a solution was booting Chameleon in verbose mode, a little intimidating with those hundreds of lines: I say very near because, in some circumstances, my Mac froze anyway.
    The second step was adding to the org.chameleon.Boot.plist the lines:
    No need anymore to boot in verbose mode, but the problem of occasional panics persisted.
    The third, and definitive, step was tricking the system to be a mac pro 3.1, as suggested by chevi in forum:,1123.570.html
    modifying the smbios.plist and tricking the system to be a mac pro 3.1 with the following lines:
    I fixed definitely the issue!
    Thanks a lot to chevi and to Jabbawok! :-)
    (The dsdt.aml he posted doesn’t work with me: I continue to use the one posted here by Jabbawok, with Chameleon 2.2svn 2170.)
    I don’t understand how this trick can work, but I’m happy anyway, being very environmentally conscious.
    Long live the Mac Pro 1,1 (now 3,1)!
    I’ve spent a lot of money for my Mac Pro (the latest for 2 Intel Xeon Quad Core processors) and a lot of time to hack it: maybe it was easier to buy a new one, but it is very nice to bypass the Apple forced upgrade policy.
    I don’t know if with this trick now are possible additional upgrades.
    If I’m not wrong we owners of a Hackintosh Mac Pro 1,1/2,1/3,1 with Chameleon can’t use the recovery disk of Mountain Lion: do someone know if there is a workaround?

    • I forgot to tell that in the smbios.plist I’m not using the lines:
      but this ones:
      (the key is different).
      If the system continue to experience kernel panics, it can be useful to to start Chameleon in verbose mode, adding these final lines to the org.chameleon.Boot.plist file:
      Kernel Flags
      -v verbose

      • I have another solution. I removed the installer drive and put it away for reinstallations.
        Now I boot from an SSD which has a MBR partition table, volumes for Chameleon, Lion and Mountain Lion. The SSD is on one of the drive bays. That solution means I can install two optical drives.
        That setup just works fine for me.

  222. In my previous posts I forgot to tell you that also the lines:
    are fundamental.
    Now, for completeness, I’ll add the code for both the smbios.plist and the org.chameleon.Boot.plist files.
    Maybe that a run of Kext Wizard:
    could be of use after changing the code.

    For me everything is working like a charm.
    Long live Mac Pro 1,1!

    Remember to insert your serial number in the proper string:
    Your Serial Number

    Apple Inc.
    Apple Inc.
    Apple Inc.
    Your Serial Number

    Default Partition
    Mac Pro HD
    Graphics Mode
    Kernel Flags
    Legacy Logo

  223. I had the same problem booting the Chamaleon the “can’t find mach_kernel”
    solved editing the plist and poiting to Ïnstaller”partition instead of hd(0.2)

  224. I have a (August,2007) Macpro1,1 which I have been trying for a week to install Mountain Lion on…following the Jabbawok install procedure. After many misfires, I finally installed ML on a dedicated (GUID formatted) hard drive…at least all indications were it installed.

    However, even though it showed up in Preferences Start-Up window, and also when I started up holding the Option key, I immediately get the gray screen with the slashed circle.

    I need someone with more knowledge than me to advise as to whether my particular macpro needs different settings than the 2006 model instructions.

      • So, the only way to boot the installed ML is to first launch Chameleon and then select the ML hard drive from the Chameleon screen? I just assumed that once installed, the ML drive could be selected like any other bootable drive…I take it this is not so….and that the Chameleon Boot/Installer HD must be left in the MacPro just to facilitate booting the ML HD.

        Other than to satisfy my curiosity, I can’t see tying up two macpro hard drive sleds to be able to boot Mountain Lion.

        Since I have already put my macpro back to its original state, I’ll probably just forget about ML…even though I purchased it from the Apple Store.

        • You can set the Mac Pro to boot chameleon automatically and chameleon to then boot 10.8 automatically. You can use an IDE drive in the optical bay and keep use of all four sata bays. All this is detailed in the guide. There is a method of doing it all on one drive by making your OS drive hybrid GUID/MBR and installing chameleon.

          I replaced the IDE optical drive with a sata BlueRay drive and connected it to the ODD SATA port on the logic board.

          • Can Chameleon be installed on an IDE drive connected to the same cables meant for an Optical drive? Will it then boot and operate okay?

  225. Is it ok to clone the install boot drive to another drive as i used an old small drive but im concerened its gonna fail so want to clone it to a newer drive?

  226. My install through following your instructions verbatim went without a single hitch. Obviously, I believe it helps to have prior experience in performing other similar type of “hacks” so that these concepts are not so foreign. I previously attempted and successfully completed both installing OS X 10.6.8 on an HP Compaq Laptop as well as creating a dedicated Windows 7 64 bit system boot drive on this same Mac Pro. Aside from the brief aesthetic nuance of a boot loader followed by a slightly disproportionate grey apple boot up screen, once the login window screen appears, OS X 10.8.3 both looks and runs flawlessly using this method. I have now gone full circle with my Mac Pro 2,1 (formerly a 1,1); adding 16 GB RAM, installed two (2) Intel Xeon x5355 chips, upgraded (as you recommended) to an Apple ATI HD5770 Video Card and now running OS X 10.8.3. Upon testing, I am now achieving near 11,000 Geekbench scores where as before in OS X 10.7.5, I was getting in the high 9500′s. I am not quite certain how mine ranks with the new Mac Pro’s, but I can attest that it is far suitable for my needs and “feels” nicely current.

    Thanks much for sharing and providing such a detailed and accurate tutorial !

    • Glad it all works!
      I think the only thing that’s slowing the Mac Pro down is the lack of sata 6Gbs. If a 3rd party card could be seen by chameleon then that would speed things up. I’ve sold that Mac Pro so I can’t test, although I may be getting another one soon.

      • And of course, just as I represent my install as “flawless” I have in fact found a glitch. Ironically, it appears to be video card related. I must state at the onset that the Apple ATI HD 5770 I acquired is brand new and just came out of the original Apple “Graphics Card Upgrade” box 48 hours ago. The glitch I am experiencing is video drop out at boot up. It does not happen every time however occasionally during the grey apple spinning wheeling/just before the log in screen stage, I loose video. The small white light on the bottom right hand corner of my 23″ inch Apple Cinema monitor will begin blinking. Upon disconnecting the dvi plug from the card and then reconnecting it, video the reappears as normal. I am uncertain if this other aspect is related however I have also noticed that despite the Apple HD 5770 card being fully recognized in my 10.8.3 system profile. upon opening the “Expansion Slot Utility” (System/Library/Core Services) no video card is present. In that same utility while booted in OS X Lion 10.7.5, the Apple HD 5770 video card is recognized. Do you recall if this was the case for you as well and if so was there any work around or a way to resolve this ?

        • just thought I would mention in a follow up that I am not sweating this minor hiccup to drastically. As I stated above, the HD 5770 is being FULLY recognized within my OS X 10.8.3 System Profile; displays it as fully functional in Slot 1 using all 16 lanes etc so if the Expansion Slot Utility not reporting the same info is only glitch I am ok with it.

          • The expansion slot utility probably wants to talk to the EFI which isn’t there because chameleon replaces it. If you set the pci-e settings in 10.7 they should stay in 10.8 with chameleon.

          • Hello again,

            Although I can sort of predict your reply due the length of time I have spent trying to find a solution with no success, I thought I would run it by you anyway. I have used this method on my wife’s Intel iMac 2.0 GHz 17″ Radeon X1600 graphics and have everything working save the lone hurdle as you might have already guessed….graphics. The system neither recognizes the X1600 internal graphics or the native resolution. I believe another project doing this sort of thing (ML Post Factor) has tried resolving this by massively patching and injecting both 32 bit kext’s and framework into Mountain Lion and while a working version exist, my personal experience has been that the resulting system is about as stable as a house of cards in a wind storm. Any possible or suggestions ?

          • I don’t think there’s a lot you can do. There may have been some kexts in some of the early betas of ML. They may have been 32 bit as I think the early betas still supported that.

  227. Hi. This is all working but the only way I can get to the chameleon BOOT disk is by holding option key when I power up. If I don’t then the system either boots to BOOTCAMP or fails when booting from MACINTOSH HD.
    Is it possible to have BOOT default as my boot Volume?
    I’ve got the correct partition booting in chameleon.