How to Install Mac OS X Lion on Your HP ProBook (or Compatible Laptop)

There’s nothing more satisfying than building a hackintosh, i.e. installing Mac OS X on a non-Apple machine. Although it isn’t as easy as it sounds, but the end result is worth the effort. Building a PC with specific components and installing Mac OS X on it can save you thousands of dollars you might spend on a real Mac. And now, it’s time to step into the portable world. Today we will show how you can turn an HP ProBook (or any compatible Sandy Bridge laptop) into a 95% MacBook Pro!

Why should (or shouldn’t) you do it?

Let’s clarify whether or not it should be done. Firstly, we all know Apple makes awesome laptops. The design, build quality, and the aesthetics (not to mention, the glowing Apple) would make you crave for one. Secondly, all these Apple laptops are bundled with Mac OS X, which (for some people) is the most user-friendly and annoyance-free operating system. Digital artists, musicians, video editors, they all prefer Mac for a reason. So the verdict is, if hardware design is what you really look for, you should get a real Mac, and we are not at all stopping you from doing so. But if you’re only concerned with the OS (and saving a few bucks in your pocket), you may consider giving this a shot. But remember, it may not perform as good as a real Mac does. The results vary, so hope for the best, and proceed with caution.

Why HP ProBook?

If you’re familiar with hackintoshing, you might know that the hackintoshing methods devised by tonymacx86 are the most ‘legal’ ones (since they do not involve piracy, while most other methods are based on piracy). And if you remember, we have already showed you how to install Mac OS X Snow Leopard or installing Mac OS X Lion on a custom-built computer using the tonymacx86 methods. Recently, one of the members of the tonymacx86 community, named ‘BlueKing’ discovered that the HP ProBook (especially the 4530S) is one of the most compatible laptops for running Mac OS X Lion or Snow Leopard (not to mention it resembles a MacBook Pro as well). As you might’ve read in the hackintoshing basics post, it’s all about the motherboard, and the HP ProBook seems to have a hackintoshable motherboard. Apart from that, it has to be a Sandy Bridge processor. The reason is simple, Sandy Bridge processors have built-in graphics support, which means you can get full graphics acceleration (QE/CI) in Mac OS X by slightly tricking it, and you won't need a dedicated graphics card. So if you are an existing ProBook owner, see if your machine is compatible or not. Finally, there’s one more thing that you need to check. If you want to use Wi-Fi in OS X, your laptop should have an ‘Atheros’ Wi-Fi module. But if you’ve just purchased a ProBook and don’t have the required card (you might have a Broadcom or Ra-link instead), you can buy the Atheros card from eBay for pretty cheap. Be sure to order the right one, HP branded card, part number 593127-001 (just search on eBay for HP Atheros 593127 and you’ll get it). Then just take the old one out, and replace it with the new one. Now that you’ve got all the required items, we’re ready to go.

If you have any other Sandy Bridge (core i3 or above) laptop, you can try this method anyway, just be sure to search the tonymacx86 forums for your particular laptop to see if someone else has already tried hackintoshing it. You can also install Mac OS X Snow Leopard on your ProBook or any other laptop (instead of Lion) as described in the iBoot+MultiBeast method. The following procedure is a detailed explanation of the Lion install guide by BlueKing (for snow leopard installation, you may also refer to this guide).

The procedure

There may be two situations now. Either you’ll have Windows (or any other OS) already installed on the hard drive, or it might be empty. Either way, we want it to be formatted on GPT (so you might have to reformat it if Windows is already installed). Backup your data before you proceed. We will use the UniBeast method. Start off by preparing the UniBeast USB drive. We have a detailed guide on that, so you definitely need to check it out. Explaining the whole thing will take time. But in short, buy the OS X Lion app on a Mac, attach a USB of 8GB or more capacity, format it as Mac OS X Extended, download UniBeast from tonymacx86, run it, be sure to select “Laptop Support” when you run it, wait, voila.

Once the USB is ready, attach it to your ProBook, and turn it on. Be sure to have the optimum settings, and for that, the simplest way is to restore your BIOS to defaults. Also note down the BIOS version, since we will need that later. Boot from the USB into the installer (press F9 when you turn on your ProBook), let it load, select a language, and click Next.

Then on the menu bar, click Utilities> Disk Utility. Now, assuming you want to have a dual-boot system, we will create 3 partitions; One for Mac, one for storing your data, and one for Windows. You can make even more (or lesser) partitions if you want to. In Disk Utility, click the Partitions tab. Create 3 partitions, label them Lion, Empty (or whatever you want), and Windows respectively, and adjust their sizes accordingly (you may or may not create the ‘Windows' partition, it depends if you want to create a dual-boot system later). Click the Options button, click ‘GUID Partition Table’, and click OK. Make sure the Windows and Empty partitions are formatted as MSDOS and the Mac OS X partition is formatted as Mac OS X Extended (Journaled). Click Apply, and then click Partition to partition the drive.

This screenshot is just for reference, actual results may vary. This one is just to give you an idea of how it would look like. You may notice that the ‘Windows' and ‘Empty' Partitions aren't labelled here, but you get the idea.

Once you've done partitioning, quit disk utility. If you want to dual-boot with Windows, it is usually recommended to install Windows first, and then install OS X. But since you have made it half way through the installer, going the other way would take more time, so we will install OS X first. Continue with the installer. Select the Mac partition as the destination (whatever you named it, Lion, or Mac HD), and let it install. It takes about 15-30 minutes, depending on your configuration. When it's done, you'll be informed that Mac OS X Lion has been installed, and will be prompted to restart your computer. Do so by clicking the restart button.

When it restarts, you'll need to boot from the installer USB again. This time, you'll have 2 choices. Either to boot into the installer again, or to boot into OS X that you just installed (and that's what you need to do). Use the arrow keys to select the drive named Lion (or whatever you named it) and press enter. You'll be on the desktop in a few seconds. And yes, you might get a prompt to attach a keyboard at first boot, this is a one-time process. Attach a USB keyboard to the laptop and the prompt will disappear, then you can unplug the keyboard.

There's one more thing left to do before you can fully enjoy using Mac OS X on your laptop. Since this project of hackintoshing a ProBook was started by a member of the tonymacx86 forums, he also developed a special installer, specifically for the ProBook. If you remember, it’s important to run MultiBeast after you install OS X on a custom-built PC so that you can ensure the operation of all the devices, such as sound, and other functions like sleep. And if you’ve been following this guide for any Sandy Bridge laptop other than a ProBook, you have to use MultiBeast now (read how to use it). But in this case, the specially designed HP ProBook installer is what you need. First, register on the tonymacx86 forums (and it is recommended so that you can ask for help there if you come across any problem). After registering, download the installer attached at the end of THIS post. We are not authorized to redistribute it, so you'll have to go and get registered, and download it. And if you're installing on a different laptop, use MultiBeast.

The next step is the simplest. Download the installer and run it. There are a couple of selections you need to make. Select your BIOS version (you probably would’ve noted it down earlier, so refer to that). Then select what to install. Select the OS X version that you’ve just installed (in case of Snow Leopard, upgrade to 10.6.8 before running the installer). Also select Ethernet Kext Installer, Chimera (bootloader), and the appropriate SSDT if you’re on an i5 or i7 CPU. Finally, the most essential thing, select the appropriate DSDT. First, identify which version of ProBook you have, whether it is the one with built-in graphics support (HD3000), or one with dedicated graphics (Radeon), or the 4730S. Click the arrow besides the name to expand the items under that category. Then select the BIOS version that you noted down earlier. Also check out the Extra Tools and see if you want to install any of them. The following screenshot shows how the selections looked like on my ProBook.

Once you've made your selections, click Install, enter your password, and wait for the installation to complete. When that's done, you can test if everything is working. Remember, you can run the installer any time again, if you need to. It means if something stops working, you can run the installer again to re-enable it. According to most people, HDMI out, VGA out, sleep, audio, full graphics, Wi-Fi (if you have the Atheros card), webcam, in short, everything works. The tonymacx86 community is now working on bringing multi-touch gestures to the trackpad (although two finger swipe/scrolling works perfectly).

Now if you're happy with how your ProBook is running OS X, you can continue using it. If you want a dual boot system with Windows, boot using the Windows DVD, and install Windows on the partition that we specified using disk utility (you can format the Windows partition as NTFS from the Windows setup, and the empty partition as FAT32 after you install Windows, so that both Windows and OS X can read/write data on it). Once Windows has been installed, you'll notice that you can no longer boot into OS X. This is normal because Windows has replaced the chimera bootloader. To fix this issue, boot into OS X using the installer USB (select the Mac partition when you boot from the USB). Run the ProBook installer and install chimera (select chimera from the list of items to install). Once that's done, restart your laptop and you'll now have the chimera bootloader, which will give you the option to boot into OSX or Windows. There you go, you have a (non-Apple) laptop running OS X and Windows, the best of both worlds!

If you have any questions after installing, check out the FAQ. Also, you can head over to tonymacx86 forums and ask your question there, you’ll definitely get answered. There's a dedicated forum section for the HP ProBook, so go ahead and check it out. Also, avoid using the default ‘software update’ on your hackintosh laptop, or it may break your installation.


How to Share CD & DVD Drives Over the Network on Windows

From ultrabooks to netbooks, computers are shedding their optical drives. If you still use an occasional CD or DVD, you don’t have to buy an external optical drive –  you can share another computer’s optical drive over the network.

The two computers must be on the same local network to share an optical drive. This requires using the Advanced Sharing settings in Windows – there’s no easy, HomeGroup-style way of doing this.

Sharing a Drive

First, open the Computer window (click Start and select Computer) on the computer with the optical drive.

Right-click the drive you want to share, point to Share with and select Advanced Sharing

Click the Advanced Sharing button in the properties window that appears.

In the next window, enable the Share this folder checkbox. Type a descriptive name – such as “CD Drive” – for the share, and then click the Permissions button.

Ensure that the Everyone group has Read access to the drive. If you require additional security – for example, if you’re not using a home network — you can restrict access to specific users. Click OK to save your changes after configuring the permissions.

You may want to disable password-protected sharing to make this easier, assuming you’re on a secure home network. To do so, click the Network and Sharing Center link under Password Protection.

Click the Home or Work header, scroll down, and select Turn off password protected sharing to disable it. Click the Save changes button after you’re done.

After you click the OK button, your drive will be shared on the network. You’ll see its address under Network Path in the properties window.

An icon over the drive indicates that it’s shared. To stop sharing the drive later, go back into its Advanced Sharing window and uncheck the Share this folder checkbox.

Mapping a Drive

On your other computer, open Windows Explorer and click the Network option to view your network.

Browse to the share you created, then right-click it and select Map network drive.

You can specify a drive letter for the shared optical drive and have it automatically become mapped each time you log in.

The mapped drive will appear as its own drive letter in the My Computer window. Double-click the drive, or navigate to it in any application, to access its contents over the network.

We’ve also covered using Paragon Net Burner, a third-party program, to share disc drives over the network.


How to Extend the Windows Firewall and Easily Block Outgoing Connections

The Windows Firewall is powerful, but it doesn’t offer an easy-to-use interface for its advanced features. Windows Firewall Notifier fills the holes in the built-in Windows Firewall, offering easy management of outbound connections and a console that displays network activity.

Windows Firewall Notifier is a lightweight application that works in tandem with the built-in Windows Firewall. It doesn’t add a lot of features that already exist in Windows or take up system resources by running in the background.

How It Works

Windows Firewall Notifier is smart. It doesn’t always run in the background – instead, it uses a few clever tricks to hook into the existing Windows Firewall infrastructure. When you install and activate Windows Firewall Notifier, it enables the Windows Firewall (if its disabled) and sets it to block outgoing traffic by default. It then enables the outbound connection logging feature in the WIndows Firewall and creates a scheduled task linked to the Windows Firewall events. When the Windows Firewall blocks an application from connecting, it logs the event to the event log, which causes Windows Firewall Notifier to launch and display a notification, requesting your input.


Windows Firewall Notifier doesn’t include an installer. After downloading it, you’ll have to create a folder somewhere – say, at C:\Program Files\Windows Firewall Notifier – and extract the archive to that folder.

After extracting it, launch the Console.exe application to enable Windows Firewall Notifier


When you launch Windows Firewall Notifier, it offers to enable the outbound connection notifications. You’ll have to enable the notifications to use Windows Firewall Notifier, although you can use the console application without enabling notifications.

When a program attempts to connect, the connection will be denied and you’ll see a notification. You can allow the application to connect or block it. By default, your choice is saved as a firewall rule in the Windows Firewall, although you can select “Only apply this choice now and ask again the next time” to temporarily allow or block a program.

Windows Firewall Notifier only implements notifications for outgoing connections. Windows already offers notifications for inbound connections – Windows Firewall Notifier ensures these notifications are enabled when you install it.

The Console

Windows Firewall Notifier also comes with a console that offers features found in third-party firewall interfaces.

On the Connections pane, the console displays established connections, allowing you to see the applications communicating over the network.

The Rules pane allows you to manage Windows Firewall rules. You can view rules created with Windows Firewall Notifier or view and manage all your Windows Firewall rules.

The Log pane displays a log of denied connections, allowing you to see what your blocked applications are trying to do.

Disabling & Uninstalling

To uninstall Windows Firewall Notifier, click the “Notif. Settings” button in the console window. From the settings window, select the “Do not enable the notifications” option.

Windows Firewall Notifier offers to revert the Windows Firewall to its default settings.

Once you’ve disabled the notifications, you can close the console window and delete the Windows Firewall Notifier folder.

If you’re looking for a lightweight, free application that adds a few features missing in the built-in firewall, Windows Firewall Notifier is a good bet.


How to Use CCleaner Like a Pro: 9 Tips & Tricks

There’s more to CCleaner than clicking a single button. This popular application for wiping temporary files and clearing private data hides a variety of features, from fine-grained options for tweaking the cleaning process to full drive-wiping tools.

CCleaner is easy for beginners to use – just launch it and click the Run Cleaner button. But there’s a lot more you can do with it.

Consider What You Delete

CCleaner clears a lot of stuff by default. You might want to reconsider clearing the browser caches (Temporary Internet Files for Internet Explorer). Browsers store these files on your system to speed up browsing in the future. When you revisit a site, the site will load faster if images and other files are cached on your system. Clearing these will free up some space and increase your browsing privacy, if you’re worried about that, but frequent cache cleanings can slow down your web browsing.

Erasing the thumbnail cache (under Windows Explorer) can also slow things down – if you open up a folder with a lot of image files, it will take some time to recreate the cache. Clearing it does free up space, but at the cost of recreating the cache later.

Many other options clear most-recently-used lists (MRUs) in Windows and other programs. These lists don’t take up much space, but can be privacy concerns – if there’s a most-recently-used list you rely on, be sure to uncheck it.

Whitelist Important Cookies

CCleaner clears all cookies by default, but you might want to keep some. If you find yourself always logging into your favorite websites after running CCleaner, open the Cookies pane in the Options section.

CCleaner can help you with this whitelisting – right-click in the Cookies pane and select Intelligent Scan. CCleaner will automatically add Google, Hotmail, and Yahoo Mail cookies to your whitelist.

You’ll probably want to add other cookies to the whitelist, too. For example, locate the howtogeek.com cookie in the list and click the right arrow button to add it to your whitelist. CCleaner will leave your How-To Geek cookie alone, so you don’t have to log back into How-To Geek after clearing your cookies.

Beware the Registry Cleaner

While CCleaner does include a registry cleaner, I’d recommend against running it. The Windows registry contains hundreds of thousands of entries; removing a few hundred (at most) won’t give you an increase in performance. Registry cleaners can accidentally remove important registry values, however, so there’s risk with little reward.

That said, if you’re dead set on running a registry cleaner, CCleaner is one of the safer ones. If you do run the registry cleaner, ensure you back up any changes you make. You can restore the deleted registry entries from the backup file if you encounter any problems.

Manage Startup Programs

The Startup panel in the Tools section allows you to disable programs that automatically run when your computer starts. To avoid losing an autostart entry that may be important, use the Disable option instead of the Delete option. You can easily re-enable a disabled autostart entry later.

Wipe Drives

When Windows or another operating system deletes a file, it doesn’t actually wipe the file from your hard disk. Instead, the pointers to the files are deleted and the operating system marks the file’s location as free space. File recovery programs can scan your hard disk for these files, and, if the operating system hasn’t written over the area, can recover the data. CCleaner can help protect against this by wiping the free space with its Drive Wiper tool.

While some people believe that multiple passes are necessary to irrecoverably delete files, one pass should probably be fine. If you’re disposing of a hard drive, you can also perform a full erase of all the data on the drive with this tool.

You can also have CCleaner wipe free space every time you run it by enabling the Wipe Free Space checkbox under Advanced in the Cleaner section. Enabling this option will make CCleaner take much longer to clean up your system – CCleaner recommends leaving it disabled.

Securely Delete Files

You can have CCleaner delete files securely, effectively using the Drive Cleaner tool on each file it deletes. Bear in mind that this is slower than deleting the files normally – that’s why operating systems don’t securely delete files by default. If you’re concerned about privacy, enable this option from the Settings tab in the Options section.

Include Custom Files

If you use a program that isn’t included in CCleaner’s list of applications, or you have a temporary file directory you want cleared regularly, you can specify custom folders and files in CCleaner. CCleaner will delete these files and empty these folders when you run it.

To add a custom folder or file, open the Options section and use the options on the Include tab. Be careful when adding folders or files; you could accidentally add important files or folders and lose them.

The custom files you specify here are only cleaned if the Custom Files and Folders checkbox under Advanced is enabled.

Exclude Files

Likewise, if CCleaner keeps clearing something you don’t want it to clear, you can add an exclusion in the Options section. You can exclude an entire drive, folder, file, or registry key. You can also restrict the exclusion to specific file extensions.

Manage Installed Programs

CCleaner’s tools include the Uninstall panel, which lists your installed programs. This panel includes a few more features than the default Windows one – you can rename or delete the entries here and any changes you make will also appear in the Windows Control Panel.

You can also save the list of installed programs to a text file – an easy way to keep a list of your installed programs in case you need to remember and reinstall them from scratch.

Once you’ve got CCleaner set up, you can run it automatically each night or create a shortcut or hotkey to run it silently.


How to Take Screenshots of the Windows Logon Screen: 2 Geeky Tricks

There are ways to run a screen capture utility – or any other program – from the welcome screen. Windows doesn’t make this easy, but it’s possible. The logon screen runs on the Winlogon desktop, an isolated Windows desktop.

Whether you’ve set a custom logon screen background and want to show it off, need a screenshot for your tutorial, or want to capture an error message, any of these methods will work for you.

Launch Programs on the Winlogon Desktop

We can launch other programs on the Winlogon desktop with the PsExec command, available on Microsoft’s website. The PsExec command is part of the Sysinternals suite of utilities.

After downloading the PSTools package, place the PsExec.exe command into your path – for example, in the C:\Windows\System32 directory.

Next, launch a Command Prompt as administrator by right-clicking the Command Prompt shortcut and selecting Run as administrator.

From the administrator Command Prompt, run the following command to launch a command prompt window on the Winlogon desktop:

psexec -sx cmd.exe

The s option tells psexec to launch the process as the system user account, while the x has it launch the process on the local Winlogon desktop.

Lock the screen with WinKey+L and press Alt-Tab to reveal the Command Prompt running on the Winlogon desktop. You’ll also see the command prompt if you press Ctrl-Alt-Delete and Alt-Tab on the Ctrl-Alt-Delete screen, which also runs on the Winlogon desktop.

Use the Command Prompt to launch screenshot utilities and other applications on the secure desktop.

Hijack the Ease of Access Button

Windows displays an Ease of Access button at the bottom left corner of the login screen. When clicked, this button opens the Utilman.exe program, allowing you to start accessibility utilities from the login screen. You can actually replace the Utilman.exe file with another EXE file – like a screenshot utility – to easily take a screenshot of the login screen.

You’ll find the Utilman.exe file in the %WINDIR%\System32 directory, which is C:\Windows\System32 by default.

We’ll need to rename the Utilman.exe file so we can replace it with another EXE file, but we can’t rename it until we take ownership of it. To take ownership of this file, right-click it and open its Properties window.

Select the Security tab in the Properties window and click the Advanced button to access its advanced settings.

Select the Owner tab in the Advanced Security Settings window and click the Edit button. I’ve already taken ownership of the file here – by default, it’s owned by TrustedInstaller.

Select your administrator account and click OK to take ownership.

After you’ve taken ownership of the file, you can rename it to something like Utilman_backup.exe

You’ll need a screenshot utility to put in Utilman.exe’s place. I tested Win 7 Logon Screen Capture, which worked well. Put the file in Utilman.exe’s place.

After it’s installed, go back to the logon screen (WinKey+L) and click the Utilman.exe file to take your screenshot. Clicking the button will bring up a save dialog if you’re using Win 7 Logon Screen Capture.

Use a Virtual Machine

Most screenshots of the Windows logon screen you see online were taken using virtual machine software. This is the simplest way to take these screenshots, as the virtual machine software displays the guest operating system’s logon screen in a window on your desktop.

To get started with virtual machines, check out our list of articles for learning virtual machines.


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