Friday, May 15, 2009

HowTo: OSX 10.5.7 update on a Dell Mini 9

As my profile states, I make lots of mistakes.  I woke up this morning  to the OS X 10.5.7 update bouncing perkily on my dock.  So sure, why not? WHY NOT? BECAUSE YOU ARE PLAYING WITH FIRE!!
So here's  a HowTo for updating your Dell Mini 9 to OS X 10.5.7:
1. Get the stuff you need on your disk.  The update will bork/break your screen so you have to boot to safe mode.  Another added annoyance is that the USB didn't work for me after the update, so having these files on your drive or on a network share is important.  Here's the stuff you need.
  • If you are on 10.5.5 or lower, use the combo installer.  If you are on 10.5.6, you can use the standalone OS X 10.5.7 updater (don't use the system updater, it crashed on me).
  • The DellEFI1.1 file
  • The AboutThisMac.pkg to fix the About This Mac screen.  This isn't necessary but it makes the install look all nice and tidy
2. The instructions for applying the update came from conq at the mydellmini forum.  I'm adding a few extra tips that people (including myself) were stumbling on.
1. Download the installer, don't use Software Update. Install 10.5.7. 2. Let it reboot.  3. At the boot screen press enter (or any key) to get the  boot prompt.  It should look like this: boot:     type -x and hit enter boot: -x     OS X will enter Safe Mode.  4. When in Safe Mode run DellEFI. 5. Reinstall the Mini 9 Extensions and remove custom dsdt.aml file.  These are the default options  for the DellEFI, take the default. 6. Reboot.  7. At the boot screen use the -x to enter Safe Mode again 8. After in Safe Mode run DellEFI.  Install custom dsdt.aml file, which is the default option, take the default. 9. Reboot
One minor annoyance was that my Bluetooth pairings went awry and I had to pair my devices again. Running monolingual again will help remove some of the bloat of the update as well as cleaning up any programs that you might have installed since the last time monolingual was last run.  I had installed Xcode and monolingual removed ~750mb worth of stuff.
That's it.  Good luck!


  1. Please link to the combo installer. Many Mini 9 users are still on 10.5 or 10.5.4.

  2. Awesome! Many thanks for this post. For those of you who have quiet boot enabled, you can access the boot prompt by pressing F8 at startup, then type -x from there or -x -v for verbose safe boot. My safe boot hung for awhile at the AppleCPUPowerManagement initialization message but eventually booted; just be patient.

  3. thanks!! worked like a charm.

  4. perfect! thanks. i have to use -x -v in order to login and run the EFI. Thanks again!

  5. Followed your instructions, all seemed well until the final safe boot, which proceeds to the blank blue screen, then stalls, no log-in window or anything else.

    Suggestions on how to proceed? Any help would be most appreciated!

  6. Can't seem to get passed the broken screen, however the screen works fine in safe mode... is there a pref that I can trash so I can run the mini in normal mode again?? Thanks for everyone's help!!

  7. Thanks for providing the guidance for upgrading to 10.5.7(8). Have you done any investigation to upgrade to Snow Leopard (10.6)?

  8. For folks with a blue screen problem, please see this post: or just click on the Dell Mini 9 tag