Henry Poon's Blog

Snow Leopard on a Dell Inspiron 1520

After a lot of reinstalling and kext testing I’ve finally managed to get my Inspiron 1520 to run Snow Leopard with the latest updates and things working.  I tried my best to list the sources of info that I found, but I Googled so much useful and not so useful links that I don’t remember which are which anymore.

Computer Specs:

Intel Core 2 Duo T5250 Processor
2 GB RAM @ 667 Ghz
Intel GM965 Chipset
nVidia GeForce 8600M GT
Dell Wireless 1390 802.11g


I was lucky enough to only need the Retail Snow Leopard Disc (10A432) and the myHack Installer 1.0.1.  I pretty much followed METHOD 2 in this guide (method 1 didn’t really work out for me, but it might have had something to do with the disc restoration part of the guide):


For the myHack installer, check the box for the kext that says something about PS2 in it.  It will enable the laptop touchpad and keyboard.  Also, read the description for each kext to see if you need it or not.

When I used method 1 in the guide, I had some trouble with an installation error that said “Could not verify BaseSystem.pkg” or something along those lines.  That error appeared at about 10-15% installation progress.  It went away then I used method 2.  I did read somewhere that it may have had to do with the restoration in Disk Utility.  Either way, it worked the second time around.

Once SL was installed, I ran the myHack Installer on my drive to get the Chameleon Bootloader on there so I wouldn’t have to use my USB to boot all the time.  Also, be sure not to install GraphicsEnabler as it will prevent your computer from shutting down completely (more on that later).


Since my laptop uses an nVidia card, there is an issue that prevents the computer from shutting down completely if the “GraphicsEnabler” option is used in the myHack Installer.  I believe NVInject, NVKush, and NVDarwin all suffer from this same problem.  What happens is that when the shut down command is invoked, the computer’s screen will turn off, the HD will turn off, but the power stays on.  When the nVidia graphics kexts aren’t used, this problem goes away.

I’ve tried generating an EFI String and loading that with EFI Studio, but it didn’t do the job.  The resolution is still 1024×768 and I have no QE, CI or OpenGL support.  What I did later on was install PC EFI to see if that would fix things (I didn’t really know what I was doing here at this point).  That didn’t really work, but I did later find out that EFI Studio allows me to add boot flags.  I added “Graphics Mode”=”1280x800x32” to the boot flag so now it boots with the proper resolution.  It gives the proper resolution, but still no QE/CI or OpenGL.  This guide has information on how to test for QE (Quartz Extreme) and CI (Core Image): http://prasys.co.cc/tag/enable-qeci/

Another thing I tried was to modify my DSDT to get my graphics card working using this link: http://tonymacx86.blogspot.com/2010/01/advanced-dsdt-fixes-nvidia-graphics.html.  I managed to get the card recognized using the DSDT code, but when I got rid of the graphics kexts, and the boot.plist options as specified in the guide, I lost my graphics acceleration.  I know my DSDT code is working here still since System Profiler tells me what card I have with the exact same names that I gave in the DSDT.  It seems that having graphics acceleration and shutdown/restart working properly just isn’t meant to be.

The tradeoff:

I either could have proper graphics acceleration and no shutdown, OR I could have shut down and no graphics acceleration.  Graphics is the clear winner here, but I still hate having no shutdown.  I have not found a fix for this.

Power Management

There was a problem with high CPU temperatures with the laptop.  I installed the VoodooPowerMini kext located here (http://forum.voodooprojects.org/index.php/topic,1095.0.html)


After looking for various kexts, I found that VoodooHDA worked for me.  It can be found here (http://www.kexts.com/view/70-voodoohda_(32–_64-bit,_recompiled_by_prasys).html).


Works after installation.

USB Ports

They work since it can recognize my mouse and USB drive.

Battery Indicator

I used the VoodooBattery kext located here (http://forum.voodooprojects.org/index.php/topic,1092.0.html)

Card Reader

I don’t use this so I didn’t install the kext for it.  It can be found here: http://www.dailyblogged.com/retail-snow-leopard-installation-guide/ or SD Card Fix (more direct).


I had an issue where I couldn’t tap the touchpad in order for it to “click”.  I fixed this issue by installing the VoodooPS2Controller kext (check the Trackpad option during the installation) (http://forum.voodooprojects.org/index.php/topic,235.0.html).  Then I installed the preference pane (this allows configuring the Trackpad through System Prefs) here http://www.dailyblogged.com/retail-snow-leopard-installation-guide/ (command -f to find it).  I opened System Preferences and pressed the Show All button, and I saw a “Trackpad” option, so I opened it and the option was there.


Works after installation.


Everything I listed here works except for video and the card reader.  There are other things like Ethernet, but I don’t really use it.

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  1. Thomas Piccirello 2010-06-16

    Your USB is most likely running at 12 MB/s as opposed to the 480 MB/s specified by USB 2.0. You can verify what speed it’s running at in System Profiler. If you find that it is running at 12 MB/s, simply remove AppleHPET.kext from /System/Library/Extensions/ and reboot.

    • hp 2010-06-16

      Thanks for your comment. I never thought about that. I just checked the USB Speeds in the System Profiler, and it shows 480 MB/s, so I guess that confirms it really is working as specified by USB 2.0.

  2. tyler durden 2010-07-12

    would you be able to give a little more information as to what you did… i tried the method above on my inspiron 1520 and it wont work… any information you can give is much appreciated

    • hp 2010-07-12

      What in particular are you referring to?
      At what point of the installation are you in?

  3. tyler durden 2010-07-13

    ok, so i erased the drive and restored a copy of 10.6.2 to it (tonight i am going to try the 10A432) and then used the myHack… i got a kernel panic from ElliotForceLegacyRTC so i removed it from the myhack install… I was then able to get the hard drive to boot into the OSX installer, but it says “Mac OS X can’t be installed on this computer” and forces me to either restart or go to the startup disk… i have a hackintosh… i tried iAtkos S3 V2 and that was crapping the bed also, so youre method seems to be my best bet (i have a hackintosh running leopard that i built myself so i know a little about installing)… anyways… like i said, im gonna try the 10A432 disk since i was trying with 10.6.2… any other ideas as to what you selected or specific steps you took in the initial install… also, what problems did you run into (if any) when updating or did it go smoothly since this was a vanilla install… thanks again for your work man… its much appreciated

    • Henry Poon 2010-07-13

      I’ve never had an issue with that particular kext, but did you look at what the installer log gave you when it said it failed? The installer log is in one of the menus at the top when you’re in the installer.

      I installed with 10A432, and that could also be a reason why it’s not working, but I can’t be sure. My initial install was very straight forward. Most of my time was spent trying to get things like HDA to work and the like.

      Let me know how it goes.

  4. tyler durden 2010-07-13

    ok using 10A432, just got a kernel panic from IOATAFamily.kext and specifically AppleIntelPIIXATA.kext… will update in a bit

  5. tyler durden 2010-07-13

    hmmmm it appears that the guide you used was working with myhack v1.0 rc3 but the newest is v1.1 and there is DEFINITLY a lot less kexts in the newest version… i wonder if i swap out the kexts and chown them if this will work… do you by any chance have the old myhack installer?

    • hp 2010-07-13

      I just checked. I used myHack installer 1.0.1.
      Google that version. It should be there.

      I did have a kernel panic as you did, but the myHack Installer I used has an option to install their version of those kexts, so I never saw that KP when I used this version of myHack. Give it a try I suppose.

  6. tyler durden 2010-07-13

    i cant find that version anywhere… i honestly looked… can u upload it somewhere?

  7. hp 2010-07-13

    The myHack website is back up. Link to download is here: http://osx86.sojugarden.com/2010/06/myhack-installer-1-1-released/

  8. tyler durden 2010-07-14

    i tried with myhack1.1 that version does not work…. it must be the updated kexts… i need the same version you used which was v1.0.1… do you still have it?

  9. tyler durden 2010-07-14

    i couldnt get your method to work and i tried for two days… then i found this,… http://uphuck.ggrn.de/forum/viewtopic.php?f=54&p=53960 thanks for the help dude

  10. DogEater008 2010-07-16

    I got the X3100 version of this card, so you either need to do the sleep corner trick to see the screen after installing OSX. or you can go into the Extensions folder and backup delete all AppleIntelGMA* files (then delete the Extensions.mkext). This will boot your machine up with no QE/CI. From there… google for “Screen Sleeper Solution” and install it.

    Put back the Delete AppleIntelGMA* kext and you should get everything working.

    As using myhack installer to work with this machine. Leave everything the way it is (myhack 1.1) except for the ElliotForceLeagcy***** kext. Att the IOATA*** kext. Remember to click the PS2 kext so that your laptop keyboard and touchpad works…

    I’m just writing this of the top of my head so, I don’t remember the exact names for the kexts.

  11. Tyler Durden 2010-07-16

    thanks for the update. i finally figured out how to get the laptop working using iATKOS S3 v2. then i had to edit the dsdt.aml to get the display working along w/ restart/shutdown… only thing not working on the laptop is sleep. even managed to update to 10.6.4.

  12. hp 2010-07-16

    That’s good news!

    Restart/shutdown never worked on mine because of the nVidia card.

  13. Computers 2010-08-12

    Hey, I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I like what you have to say. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  14. Pablo 2012-12-14

    Any suggestion how to enable the cp acceleration on my dell dimension 3100 p4 everything else works thank a lot I got sl 10.6.8

    • hp 2012-12-14

      What’s cp acceleration?

      • pablo 2012-12-14

        sorry miss spelled quartz extreme and GL acceleration fix on my dell dimension 3100 p4 any suggestion?

        • hp 2012-12-14

          That’s a tough question. I haven’t touched this in a looong time so I’m not sure how to help you. From what I remember, it heavily depends on what video card you use. Hopefully you can find a post out there that talks about your specific video card. Otherwise, you may find yourself trying to figure it out for hours. Sorry I’m not much help.

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