Kooty's TechnoBabble is a blog by Brennan Kootnekoff, and is about the interesting day-to-day life of a multi-platform systems engineer/administrator. From time to time, he will post useful tidbits of information here that may save hours of time, and prevent premature gray hairs and aging.
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May 17th, 2010. comments are open 8 commentsInstall Mac OS X on an IBM Thinkpad T43

I recently went about the task of installing Mac OS X on my ThinkPad T43. I installed both Leopard and Tiger, so I will layout pretty simply how to install either on your T43. First of all the disclaimer: I will not be responsible for what may happen to your laptop, or the grey hairs you may get doing this. And you are only supposed to do this if you are an Apple developer and or have a license for the OS you are installing.

It is actually pretty cool to show off to your buddies that you are running OS X. My computer specs are the following:

IBM ThinkPad T43, Intel 915GM Graphics Chipset, AD1981B Sound Chipset, 2GB DDR2 RAM, and 60GB HDD.

Now onto the fun stuff. Firstly, the steps that are the same for Tiger and Leopard.

    • You must use the paperclip trick to short out pins 6 and 12 on your VGA out. Just bend a paperclip into a U shape, with ends long enough to touch the contacts on both sides. Look at the following diagram to see which pins. Alternatively, you can take apart your laptop and solder the pins together from the inside like I did.

  • Now you must back up all your data onto an external HDD, because we will be formatting the entire drive.
  • Also, disable all CPU power management features in the BIOS because this slows the computer down quite a bit.
  • We are done the initial setup stages.


  • Download the install ISO from the green demon, or the pirate of the internet seas. Make sure you get the Kalyway 10.5.1 ISO and not any of the ToH ISOs. I repeat ToH WILL NOT WORK!
  • Fire up the computer using the burnt DVD, and press enter when it asks you for startup options.
  • Now, get a beer, and wait for this thing to boot up. If you get stuck on a blue screen with no cursor, that means that you did the paperclip mod wrong.
  • Open up Disk Utility from the top menu, and create one partition (and name it whatever you want)
  • When you get to the setup options screen, select SSE2 System, the MBR Bootloader, and also the Azalia Audio package.
  • Wait for the computer to finish installing, and then restart your computer.
  • Everything except the wireless and Quartz Extreme should be working now (No GMA900 leopard support yet).
  • Go to http://code.google.com/p/iwidarwin/ and download the latest 10.5 Stable package.
  • Run this in your terminal
    sudo -s
    chmod -R 755 /System/Library/Extensions
    chown -R root:wheel /System/Library/Extensions
    rm -rf /System/Library/Extensions.mkext (if exists)
    rm -rf /System/Library/Extensions.kextcache (if exists)
  • Reboot, and everything should be working at this point.
  • Enjoy.


  • Download the XxX 10.4.11 ISO from your favorite ’source’.
  • Put DVD in, reboot, and press enter at the prompt to start the install.
  • As same as Leopard, if it stalls at the blue screen without a cursor, it means that your did the paperclip trick wrong.
  • Open up Disk Utilitiy from the top menu, and create one partition (and name it whatever you want)
  • For the install, Select the NoEFI Package, the 8.9 SSE2 Kernel, and the GMA900 package, but NOT the fixer.
  • Wait for the install to finish, then reboot.
  • Once running, you will probably notice that not much is working, don’t worry we’ll fix that.
  • Insert the Install DVD, and install the GMA900 Fixer and the AD198x package. You may have to dig in the install DVD to find the latter package. Once installed, reboot.
  • You should not notice that you have working QE+CI, and also working sound.
  • Now, download the Broadcom Ethernet Kext file, and extract it to wherever you can remember. You will need to copy this file over from another computer because ethernet/wireless isn’t working yet.
  • Now, run the following commands.
    sudo -s
    rm -rf /System/Library/Extensions/IONetworkingFamily.kext
    mv /PathToFile/IONetworkingFamily.kext /System/Library/Extensions
    chmod -R 755 /System/Library/Extensions
    chown -R root:wheel /System/Library/Extensions
  • Now reboot, and you should have fully working ethernet, with the exception of your MAC address being 00:00:00:00:00:00. You can set your MAC Address by using the command:
    ifconfig en0 ether <MAC Address>
  • Go to http://code.google.com/p/iwidarwin/ and download the 10.4 Installer (Stable), and install the package. Reboot, and you should have working wireless (although you can only connect to unencrypted or WEP APs).
  • Enjoy!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask via comments or just send me an e-mail.


8 Responses to “Install Mac OS X on an IBM Thinkpad T43”

  1. RichardJohnson Says:

    how did you get Quartz Extreme to work in Leopard? I couldn’t really see that in the How-To. It looked like you only included the wifi info.

  2. kooty Says:

    “Everything except the wireless and Quartz Extreme should be working now (No GMA900 leopard support yet).”

    That answer your question :) ?

  3. Testx Says:

    hi, i have also an IBM T43,
    i installed the Kalyway 10.5.1,
    the instalation went perfectly,
    but when the gry screen whith the apple show up it takes a few seconds and then reboot, and so on,
    an infinit reboot.

    i’ve found a lot of tips on the net, like changing some bios features,
    or changing some options in the instalation menu
    but none works!

    Please, i need some help.
    my e-mail lionidas at gmail.com

  4. Dave Says:

    I cannot see the diagram for the VGA out paperclip trick ? Could you please email it to me ?

  5. megob Says:

    hi, and thanks for this post! I’am trying for some days already to do the same on my T43, but it did not work out yet. Two questions:
    - will Kalyway 10.5.2 work as well? (I tried with this release, but get a kernel panic (whatever this is and means) on the first “verbose” page)
    - how does the paperclip trick work? I could not find the diagram, and was not able to figure out myself…

  6. megob Says:

    Hi, and thanks for this post! two questions:
    - will kalyway 10.5.2 work as well (I get a kernel panic on the first “verbose” page)
    - how does the paperclip trick work? don’t manage to figure out the pins.

  7. xavier Says:

    don’t do an rm on the mkext or kextcache. do a touch instead.
    example: touch /System/Library/Extensions.mkext

  8. kooty Says:

    It’s back up there now – sorry

    Kalyway 10.5.2 doesn’t work for me…. and like you it kernel panics. And the diagram is back up, sorry.

    If I understood correctly, the whole point of removing those two files is so that the OS rebuilds the kernel extension cache. If you do a touch, it MAY work, but the OS might not rebuild the cache. rm is the way to go IMHO.

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