Installing BootThink as an alternative OSX bootloader

Installing BootThink as an alternative OSX bootloader

BootThink Boot-loader

What is BootThink and what is this guide???

Several weeks ago, a person called xiezhy posted this boot-loader to insanely. It has come from China, so the documentation is all in Chinese. I have written this guide to help people who may be cautious or unknowing, and want to install this great alternative to Chameleon 2.

The original post can be found here:

http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/index.php…168500&st=0

BootThink is a boot132 based bootloader that resembles the BootCamp drive selection screen very closely. It featured skinnable icons and a nice transition between drives. It can boot all Windows operating systems and some linux OS icluding Ubuntu. It can boot Tiger and Leopard, but no Snow Leopard at this time (since updated).

This is a basic guide for setting up and using a bootThink bootloader on a flashdrive, standard install drive or EFI Partition. I recommend the flashdrive, as it keeps everything seperate from the actual drive, and allows you to have more than one bootloader stick, that could be swapped for testing purposes. This guide is written using references to a flashdrive, the same process can be used for a small partition, which is a better method for laptop users.

Download the Pack available on the website.

The Pack contains the boot loader installer for convenience, a copy of this guide in a .txt file. The Pack also contains the basic kexts required for the bootloader to boot leopard on most machines. These supplied kexts are the only needed kexts for the gigabyte EP45 series, see link for my guide to retail installing on these boards…

The pack is on my FTP, weighing in at 12.8MB

The Screenshot Folder.

The screenshots folder contains a directory tree that may appear confusing at first, but is laid out like the actual structure of the boot-loader.

e.g., the screenshot for a certain folder say the Darwin folder, will be the “Darwin Folder”

Do not copy out anything from the screenshots folder, as it is not going to work, it is just for viewing and comparison after you are done. All the folders are made during the install process. Only kexts, com.apple.Boot.plist ‘s and dsdt.aml (if needed) need to be modified.

The Requirements

A working installation of MAC OSX for convenience. It is possible to do this on a windows computer or drive, but is much more complicated and is not covered in this guide.

A flash drive, over 128MB, as the boot-loader and the kexts that it contains uses around 100Mb for me. It will be formatted in HSF+J later. OR a hard drive to install to (either a small partition or directly to the OSX disk and partition).

The Method

1. Boot to your leopard desktop.

2. insert the USB stick or mount the partition.

3. Open disk Utilities (Applications, Utilities)

4. Find the flash-drive, then use the “Partition” tab to choose its name (Boot-loader or BootThink are good names) , 1 partition, the partition to be Hsf+ Journaled and GUID. MBR works also, but can be a little less compatible for my system at least.

5. Go ahead and partition it…

6. When done, you should have a removable drive named something like BootThink.

7. Open the install package in this pack called BootThink 1.1.0. You can refer to the screenshots of the install process if needed, its a simple process though, choose accept and continue until you get to the drive selection (screenshots 5,6,7) choose the flash-drive.

8. Choose install.

9. It will/should succeed.

10. Navigate through the folder system. Darwin, if you have a dsdt.aml, put it in here. Also copy you com.apple.Boot.plist file from your mac to this folder. It is vital, as it contains all the necessary preferences like boot times etc. Customized the same way as any other boot-loader.

11. Navigate through to Extensions. (Darwin, System, Library, Extensions.) On the way you will see a extensions.mkext. Move it elsewhere, as it is loaded by default and probably won’t contain the kexts required to boot your system.

12. Copy the kexts from the Kexts for BootThink to the extensions folder. It should look something like the screenshot. Add or remove any kexts, leaving the ones I have made green. They are the bare minimum. The un-highlighted ones are optional but recommended. The Blue are audio, and are for 889a. Replace these with your own. Red are certain kexts that my EP45-UD3 needs to do anything really powerful. They prevent weird KP’s on my board. I would only use these if you are certain that you need them.

if you use and IDE drives, leave the JMicron or substitute your own.

13. You are done for the necessary part. Reboot and choose the flash-drive in the the drive selection of the bios using del for example then change the hardrive selection order to boot to the flashdrive first. Test it. It should load its graphical interface. It should list the available drives, and boot to any windows, Linux or mac drive with the exception of Snow Leopard. Try it out.

If it boots to Mac then the .kexts are in the right spot, and are the right ones. Congratulations.

Customisation.

If you want to customise your drive icons. To have a apple on mac drives, and windows icon for NTFS and FAT drives, then Navigate to the rc folder. Darwin, rc. Edit the bitmap names so there is no _between the filename and the .bmp. See screenshots of enabled and disabled. To change them back, just put the _ back.

Other Features of BootThink.

Press F8 at drive selection screen to change to text mode

when in text mode, all normal boot flags can be used, eg -v -f -s -x

If you get annoyed by multiple drives showing when they are not bootable, use textmode to type p=- This will only list the bootable drives in the selection menu, and typing p=+ will get them back.

Holding shift is meant to boot in safemode. However, it does not seem to do that for me for mac. It does however for Windows

Visit the poorly supported forum in insanelymac…

http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=168500

Thanks to xiezhy for this great bootloader.