Building a triple boot development machine

Well; I got bored a few weeks ago and my Main machines were both in trouble (a G4 Mac Mini – 1.42 overclocked to 1.67 – its HD is full and DVD burner doesnt burn anymore – cost to upgrade HD and replace DVD drive – about $200.00 and a old DellDesktop tower that has been cobbled together and running dual boot XP and Ubuntu 8.10)

So; I was looking around in the netbook forums – SERIOUSLY considering getting myself a MSI Wind to play with (which; will now be my NEXT purchase) and I caught wind of the MSI Wind PC (a mini Desktop using most of the winds components)

so; a plan was hatched.

Plan:

-One mini PC based on MSI Wind Desktop hardware
-Boot XP
-Boot Ubuntu
-Boot the Granny Smith related operating system
-Full hardware support in all operating system
-no lack of features.

I also have a lot of hardware laying around so without haste I ordered this stuff:

MSI Wind PC Barebones “Kit” – $140.00
Samsung OEM 22X SATA DL DVD Burner – $26.00
Western Digital 7200rpm 320gb SATA HD – $55.00
G. SKILL 2GB DDR2 SODIMM – $22.00

First Steps

A few months ago a costumer of mine GAVE me his daughters water damaged MacBook when he found out what a motherboard replacement would cost him. sad for her – GREAT for me.

The Donor:

3184371588_4fb866ce14

take a good look at what a Dunkin Donuts coffee can do to a computer –

3184372730_a8f7969823

…Moving on – lets harvest this AirPort card: (it is an 802.11 a/b/g/n card. )

3184379586_56e75a19b0

3183545065_15372fc664

…and now for the bluetooth module; which is located under the DVD drive – here you can also see the MacBooks Bluetooth Antenna (that green stick looking thing on the top right hand side of the dvd burner)

3184384592_9c0b5e707b

there it is:

3184397968_468193cd6b

make sure that you get the cable too!

3184404906_78ba2470ff

3183569447_867c77bc4d

I had one of these kicking around from some previous upgrades:

3184475452_0360e1c0ee

3183638217_6eec5e0080

we’re going to be taking the bluetooth antenna from that upgrade kit

Mac Mini upgrade kit Bluetooth antenna vs. the MacBook bluetooth antenna:

3183640935_1086c53aca

MacBook bluetooth module; its cable; and the Mac Mini antenna:

3183641441_2c80e6c621

now to MORE of my salvage parts – here is the IR receiver and its cable from a 1.83ghz Intel 17″ iMac

3183652959_805f9aaa3d

 

the extra parts of the cable branch off to connect to the iMac’s built in iSight camera – which we wont be using.

and – I actually had to BUY two other things:

MacBook Pro Airport Antenna module – bought off of eBAY FOR $15.00

3184488544_a1a83026ef

and a 4 port USB hub from Best Buy – $15.00

3183626483_b3fda8641f

3183629337_63911487d1

ok; the PC hadn’t arrived yet at this point – but no reason not to get down to business!!

Second Step

Lets gut this USB hub…

3184468260_1e801b01d6_m

oh wow; look at that AWFUL blue LED (MUCH brighter in person) – that HAD to go!! LOL

3183633249_72a1277d4a

Ok, now I have removed the AWFUL blue LED; and de-soldered one of the USB port connectors from the hub:

3183644209_cf750b4e8c

and in its place; soldered on the Bluetooth module’s cable:

3184482708_e1556519af

3183647105_1a1d570de8

************************

Ok; before moving forward – let me let everone who doesnt know; know.

in any iMac; MacBook; MBP; etc, etc – the Bluetooth module; keyboard and trackpad (on laptops); built in iSight; and IR Reciever are USB devices!! (this makes my project VERY easy!!)

**Note about the IR Recievers – the MacBook and MacBook Pro recievers are ULTRA minituraized; and integrated into the harddrive cable – so even though they ARE USB devices – they are very difficult to seperate out and use; additionally – on the MacMini – the IR Reciever board on the front of the frame is JUST the IR reciever eye; and not the whole module – the other part of it is semi-integral to the machine – so its a no go also… this is why I went with the iMac IR Reciever!!

and; here are some notes that may help anyone else doing this:

..My notes on the Bluetooth Board:

3184518190_3fb1bf6f2d

…and my notes on the IR Receiver:

3183678123_aea2faf0cf

any USB port is only 4 wires…

Vcc = +5 Volts
D- = Data –
D+ = Data +
GND = ground

and the “Stnadard” USB cable colors are:

Vcc = Red
D- = White
D+ = Green
GND = Ground

************************************

Like I said; the IR cable also has the connectors for the built in iSight – which we are not using and don’t need -so cut them off!!

 

3184506976_5a1ccfebda

3183672207_c273c76684

and here I have mocked it up to an old USB pigtail I had (cord from an old Apple Pro mouse. LOL )

3183677381_d1eafb9640

The system arrived!!

standard fare of accessories included..
power supply, and stand

3184441584_b7c829f67c

Drivers CD for windows and a “Manual”

3183600821_7127471b03

pretty good looking little box actually!!

3183593947_278cae056e

3184436042_9fd71e1d98

3184443092_0a8fa045f2

OK lets rip it apart!!

Phase Three
Plenty of room; Removable tray for drives

3184444850_ffb57be123

3183609709_d3038e5936

internal (bootable) Compact Flash socket, two SATA connectors, a MINI PCIe connector; and an unpopulated header for a second MINI PCIe connector are on the board

3183615869_cd94c07da5

3184456368_f7d3d32c01

And; the Airport card just slots right in!

3183618487_f273fab40e

no disks or anything; i just fired it up to check out the BIOS

3184459342_4ab6b3e21c

ok; now the idea is to mount all of these extra accessories inside of the case – without taking up a USB port on the front or back of the case – so I need to look for places to pick it up on the board – I need a Vcc, GND, D- and D+…

As for Vcc and GND; i just tapped them off of the front USB ports (I couldn’t find any other 5v output on the board)
…Wire used here for power is 24ga (from a piece of CAT 5 cabling)

3184546946_deb4c5a6ef

3184548262_de4e2414f2

3184551568_b30e580dc1

and; held down with tape to protect against shorting (would rathe use Kapton tape; but I haven’t got any – so Super 33 it was! )

3184282117_a258024ec5

Then I needed to find D+ and D- points on the board…. part of the MINI PCIe spec is USB on the header;

leg 36=D- and
leg 38=D+ to be specific!!

2654357052_a7c3c7d71f

so I figured that I would try the unused Mini PCIe header on the board:

3184538086_2d26b664c6

 

3183703389_2fb5eafe1c

but; these proved to not work out for me – my USB devices got Power; but not Data – now truth be told I dont know for sure if it was a bad solder joint on my part – or the fact that the supporting circuitry is not in place for the second Mini PCIe header….

…either way; that left my only option being the USB on legs 36 and 38 of the primary mini PCIe header (the one that the airport card was installed into)

this is not a big deal; since the airport card does not use USB and is not connected to these lines – and I most likely wont be using any other devices in that slot other than the Airport card…

so; for this i used 30gauge wire (“wire wrapping” wire available at any electronics store)

3184282513_db14995dcf

3185130460_464052cbaa

After the lines were connected I held them to the board with some electrical tape and hot glue.

3185131232_e2b4296e22

At this point I want to test my handy-work up until now; so I threw this hodge-podge together; and stuck a flash drive prepared with an Ubuntu 8.10 live image on it into the front usb port; and fired it up!!!!

3184286401_67dde5fe41

the system came right up; and I promptly opened a terminal window and typed: “lsusb” to see what Ubuntu saw hanging off of its USB ports…

3184284841_67385aa386

SUCCESS!!!! my devices are recognized!!

Now I insulated the back corner of the case from anything that could be “Shorted out” upon:

3185131912_f64118a659

cleaned up the USB wiring with the aid of some shrink wrap; hot glue and electrical tape – and mounted the USB hub and the Bluetooth module into the case with the aid of some double back tape!

3185135334_e95caf467d

Now I wanted to get the IR module mounted in the front of the case so that the Apple Remote, etc can control the systems…

3184297937_e5786e29ce

3184298719_2dae7ce1f1

I want to fit the module right here inside the front panel;

3184301729_569b7ec6db

but; some plastic and standoffs are in the way:

3184300609_4e91eab762

but not for long!!

3184304221_8ed2b9752b

3184305531_bd29a50293

3184307435_e811bd7a77

also; must be conscious of the positioning when it will be sandwiched between the faceplate and the chassis

3184303695_6037d59be1

the cable will pass through that little space in the bottom right; but so does one of the tabs to hold the faceplate on – theres enough room for both; but youve got to be careful on installation

now I need to position the IR sensor and make a hole for the light to pass into so I positioned it and made a mark for the hole, and took a chance with the drill:

3185152490_9e14138c22

3184312625_4c8a51906d

3185157590_9f8b1391bd

3184314591_27afaa43ce

held in place:

3185159682_b5a306cba7

3184316417_e92cc55263

Wrapped in tape:

3185161948_8ef3e722ea

held in place with double back foam tape:

3184318525_c511989abe

3184318809_57483facfd

during the process I broke the memory retention clips off

3184319091_76912c3c25

but that was easily fixed:

3184320243_ef2a9a7f64

3185165216_3eb8708f42

3185165922_be9a604bfc

I installed the drives; and then affixed the MacBook Pro wireless antenna with my good friends double back foam tape and electrical tape:

3185166600_30ffb5c225

3185167178_2d0dd65c52

3185168652_834cec20d7

Mounted the faceplate:

3184325909_cb962b5d63

3184327005_9d07c6443a

and that left me with the Bluetooth antenna install….

3185171452_c8c131e18f

3184327993_1f68519d65

3184328235_bf5a58516f

3185173272_56a338de63

3184330931_e7365353c5

3185175804_e76be78b61

Then on to the operating systems installation…
(PLEASE make sure that you buy it.)

3184297279_9e6ab3307b

I will not discuss how to install or configure any of these operating systems; or provide any links to any resources to enable you to do so. This machine was built as a special project for my own personal software development purposes and I WILL NOT discuss the installation of operating systems.

The Triple boot configuration took a while to get down; but now I have it assembled, and triple booting using the GRUB boot loader; and under windows I installed the Boot Camp software from apple and all of my internal hardware is supported 100%

Completed!!

3184336349_834ccff230

3184336975_83531fb685

3185181590_9dc2b04e78

Sorry for the ULTRA long post!! But i thought that someone out there would be interested!!!!

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply