Update Snow Leopard to 10.6.8 on Dell 1525

I have been away from the Hackintosh community (and the 1525 community) for some time now, as updates have been easy and I haven’t had to do any DSDT modding or replacing of a larger number of kexts on an update to update basis, but I knew 10.6.8 in preparation for Lion was not going to be just your normal update.  So, I went out and did my reading… Hackintoshin’ is all about “community” and it’s this community and the many sites together that all compliment one another and create the community as it is.  I suggest EVERYONE visit them all and READ, READ, READ!

I want to thank and give FULL CREDIT to Slice (for all his offerings to the Dell 1525 community, especially for the modded DSDTs), the Voodoo/Chameleon crew for the massive number of updates between RC3 and RC5!, Nozyczek for all of his super hard work supporting the 1525 and the various updates for Snow, and lastly Jomijoy.  Between visiting InsanelyMac, nozyczek’s site, and reading the comments from Jomijoy at MacYourPC, I was able to gain enough information about what had taken place in my “down time,” and what was expected and needed for the 10.6.8 update.

When you get to 10.6.8 and realize how much of the OS and what is needed is now vanilla, it will blow you’re mind.  The 1525 is getting closer and closer to a “real” Mac everyday with all of these peoples’ hard work and experimentation.

I’m providing here the steps needed to get to 10.6.8 and have your HackBook Pro 1525 running better, booting faster, appearing generally more snappy, and being more “native” than it ever has been before!

Step 1:

MAKE SURE YOU ARE UPDATED AND RUNNING IN-FULL ON Snow Leopard 10.6.7 *AND* that your Dell 1525’s BIOS is at A17 (not A16 or A15, etc.) The BIOS must be at A17 as that’s what Slice’s modded DSDT was created for, and it’s the only way to guarantee that things will work as they should.  And, of course, you should have performed a FULL SYSTEM BACKUP prior to any of this!  I am not responsible for you killing you machine, you solid install, etc., etc.

Now, you might say you have a problem as you can’t update the BIOS (EXE) in SL, and you’re right. But, if you have access to a Windows machine, here:

Download ‘Bootable USB Drive Creator Tool 1.0’:


This will allow you to image FreeDOS or MS-DOS to a USB stick and have it be bootable right into that OS.

Dell’s A17 BIOS Update, while appearing as a Windows app, will also run in DOS, so let’s download that at:


This is the latest A17 BIOS image for the 1525. Copy this to your newly formatted DOS-based USB stick. Put the stick into the Dell, power on, and hit F12 to select the Boot Menu. Boot from the USB stick. After getting into DOS, type ‘dir’ to ensure you see ‘1525_A17.exe’. If you do, you’re ready to update the BIOS.  If you don’t, then you did something wrong. Repeat the above steps.

At the DOS prompt, type (don’t type the ‘A:>’ or whatever drive letter, just what comes after the ‘>’ sign):

A:>1525_A17.EXE (and hit Enter)

The BIOS should be flashed to A17 within a minute or so.  When done, continue on. If you have issues where the app reports that you must be on AC power or have the battery plugged in, and you already do, then at the DOS prompt, type:

A:>1525_A17.EXE /forceit (and hit Enter)

This will bypass the warnings and flash the BIOS anyway.

So, let’s carry on…  Now, you should VISIT:


… and READ — and, READ AGAIN!  Since we’re not doing a complete reinstall, you will need to utilize only a portion of nozyczek’s instructions and tools.

Step 2:

Backup your old trackpad.prefpane in /System/Library/Preference Panes. Copy it to your Desktop or somewhere so you have a backup.

Step 3:


10.6.8 Combo Update from Apple’s Site:


nozyczek’s Dell 1525 10.6.8 Autoinstaller (Note, if you have a 1440 display on your 1525, download the other Autoinstaller!):


Step 4:

Run the Apple 10.6.8 Combo Update Installer (DO NOT RESTART when the Installer completes)… You do and YOU’RE TOAST! Leave the finish dialog up and ‘Restart’ button pulsating!  Then, leave this alone until directed…

Step 5:

Rename the /Extra folder on the / (Root) of your Snow Leopard volume.  Do NOT delete it.  You will need to pick pieces and parts from this copy to place and/or edit into a new /Extra folder that will be created in the following step.

Step 6:

Place nozyczek’s Dell 1525 10.6.8 Autoinstaller folder on the desktop and run it. (Again FULL CREDIT goes to nozyczek for such a KILLER script! And, for taking into account all that is handled in Slice’s new DSDT vs. what kexts are now needed in the /Extra directory! All of you will be amazed by what few kexts are now required!)

Here are the steps as to how (… if you’re no good with the cmd line):

Start Terminal (located in ~/Applications->Utilities->Terminal)


sudo -s <enter your password when prompted>
cd ~/Desktop/hackintosh*
  • Select the drive you wish to install to, i.e. your Snow Leopard volume
  • Select the “i” option and hit Enter to start the Autoinstaller
  • Then, just sit back and wait for the installer to finish
  • Hit ‘q’ to Quit at the end and terminate the Terminal session

When done, run ‘Disk Utility’ and ‘Repair Permissions’ on the SL volume you installed to.

Step 7:

Now return to the 10.6.8 Combo Update dialog and click the pulsating ‘Restart’ button.

Step 8:

Your 1525 should boot into the OS without issue.  But, you will not (maybe) have Wireless support and the Trackpad prefPane will need updated.

Step 9:

Install your former IO80211family.kext from your old /Extra folder (Remember, the one you made the backup of?!) using KextUtility or KextHelper. This will replace any version that might exist in S/L/E. (Note, I did not need to do this as Apple brought back the driver for Broadcom chip in the Dell 1505N WLAN mini-PCI card in this version.  It was there in 10.6.5, and disappeared for 10.6.6 and 10.6.7, only to reappear in 10.6.8.   Nice!  Here’s to hoping it’s in Lion as well!)

Step 10:

Copy the trackpad.prefpane you made a backup of to in /System/Library/Preference Panes.  Replace the one already existing.

Step 11:

Again, run ‘Disk Utility’ and ‘Repair Permissions’ on the SL volume.

You’re done!  You should now have a fully operational 1525 at 10.6.8!   And, You will notice that amount of custom kexts required is down to just a few!  Amazing work from the community!  Sleep now appears to be native!?  Slice’s DSDT has limited the amount of required kexts even more.  Refer to nozyczek’s site (link provided) and go to the bottom to see only what kexts were applied on top of Apple’s.  Things just keep getting better and better!  I have A LOT more research to do to see exactly what has been done in the past year or so, but progress has no doubt been made!

Past these steps, (and you don’t need to do as I did, but…)  I updated Chameleon from nozyczek’s r1088 to r1095, added the Chameleon RC5 PrefPane which makes customizing your com.apple.Boot.plist a dream (me, I use it just for reference; I still edit mine via TextMate), and corrected my Yukon2.kext binary to reflect the correct MAC address of my internal NIC (instead of the default 00:11:22:33:44:55 — a couple of these defaults on the network and things are likely to get a little confusing depending on your network set up).  I also brought back my custom theme and a few other simple and cosmetic com.apple.Boot.plist items to “make things as they were,” so to speak.

Note, I only posted this here so that everyone that enjoys OS X on a 1525 could benefit.  The more consolidated information for the 1525, the better.  Although, you all should be visiting all of the sites mentioned to do your OWN homework and give your own thanks.  It’s only fair to all of people that helped provide you all of this good stuff.  I you wish to share this, feel free to do so, but just give credit for the compilation.

This said, I hope this guide helps some of you out!  Good luck!

With all the fun I had on this one, I’m diving in again and will be attempting to get Lion going within the next couple of weeks.  With the progress I’ve seen and being that at 10.6.8, we’re prepared for Lion, I can’t expect that we all won’t be able to be enjoying Lion on the 1525 in the near term.  I will post anything eventful to the other sites as I find and figure things out.

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  1. Richard Ward July 20, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

    Good work!

    With Mac OS X Lion (10.7) released today, do you think the future looks bright for our 1525’s to have as much Lion success as we’ve seen with Leopard and Snow Leopard?

  2. Dave July 21, 2011 at 7:28 am #

    Hey Richard!

    Been up and running the GM for over a week. It’s not my full-time OS yet, but it works and will only get better as the community dumps more and more assets into making it perfect.


    Hope all has been well. Take care.

  3. zulu August 16, 2011 at 10:41 pm #

    Great work! Worked as expected with no issues.

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