How to run Mac OS X El Capitan on Windows 7 or Windows 10 – How to build a Hackintosh VM Virtual Machine

Here is a guide to show how to build an OS X El Capitan virtual machine that runs on top of Windows 7 or Windows 10. Thanks to this video, (where only the first 3:30 minutes are relevant to this guide,) I wrote a step by step solution to building a hackintosh virtual machine that runs on top of Windows. Once you have OS X El Capitan running on Windows you can easily build a bootable OS X USB drive to further install the latest OS X operating system on a normal Mac. Building a hackintosh may be against the OS X terms of use so I don’t advise selling such a machine/solution and this guide is only for your testing and troubleshooting.

  1. Download VMware Player from official VMware website (30 day free trial):
    https://www.vmware.com/products/player
  2. Download OS X El Capitan: https://goo.gl/vXKKL6
  3. Download latest Unlocker app at http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/files/file/339-unlocker/
  4. Unpack Unlocker and copy to the same directory as your unpacked OS X El Cap.vmdk files.
  5. Run the unlocker file named “Win-Install”
  6. Create a new folder on the desktop and name El Cap Install Folder.
  7. Open VMWare Player -> New VM -> Typical -> Install OS Later -> Mac OS 10.11 -> Install to new El Cap Install folder you created. Store as single file -> Edit VM -> Set more ram and CPU -> Select HDD and remove -> Add new HDD -> SATA -> Use existing HDD -> Browse to El Cap.vmdk you downloaded and unpacked-> Keep existing format > Remove CD/DVD -> Show all USB devices -> finish ->
  8. Open the new Virtual Machine configuration file (OS X 10.11.vmx) inside your your “El Cap Install” folder, and open with notepad.

    vmx edit
    vmx edit
  9. At the end of the file add the line:
    smc.version = "0"
  10. Save
  11. Power on the OS X VM!

*Note, if you go on to build a USB bootable os x installation drive, after you insert your USB key drive into the computer, it may not show up on your OS X desktop. To fix this, click on the USB drive icon at the bottom right-hand corner of the vmware player frame.

attach-usb-drive-to-hackintosh-osx-in-vmware-player

powershell – Find all computers in a domain or OU running a service

Sometimes you need to find all the computers on a domain that are running a certain particular service. By using Active Directory, supplying your canonical domain name, and define an output file, you can easily create a list of computers running a service.

First, start PowerShell as administrator, and import active-directory powershell components with the following command:

Import-Module ActiveDirectory

Then, open PowerShell ISE and copy in the following into a new .ps1 script:

$ou = "OU=Computers,OU=finance,DC=east,DC=contoso,DC=com"

$servers = Get-ADComputer -Filter * -SearchBase $ou | select-object 
-expandproperty name

Foreach ($server in $servers){
$Data = Get-Service -ServiceName *SAVService* -ComputerName $server | 
select machinename,name | sort machinename | format-table -AutoSize 

Write($Data) | Out-File .\machinesrunningSAVService.txt -Append
}

Run the script, and your output file will look similar to the following:

MachineName Name      
----------- ----      
hostname1   SAVService



MachineName Name      
----------- ----      
hostname2   SAVService



MachineName Name      
----------- ----      
hostname3   SAVService

 

 

How to enable RDP remotely with psexec pstools

How to enable RDP remotely with psexec pstools

If a computer is on your network, but RDP is not enabled, you can create a group policy to enable it and then restart the computer. Or instead, you can use psexec to remotely enable RDP.

Below are a couple one-line scripts to enable RDP on a remote computer from a different computer on the same domain. Keep in mind you need to be an administrator and you will only enable RDP for yourself, not an entire security group.

  1. Download the pstools to your computer from here and unzip them into a folder named pstools at the root of your c: drive.
  2. Open the command prompt as administrator.
  3. Change directory into c:\pstools then run the command:
psexec \\hostname.contoso.com reg add "hklm\system\currentcontrolset\control\terminal server" /f /v fDenyTSConnections /t REG_DWORD /d 0

4. Run another command to open the required ports in the firewall on the remote machine

psexec \\hostname.contoso.com netsh firewall set service remoteadmin enable

5. RDP into the remote machine with mstsc.exe successfully!

 

How to format a large external usb hard drive for use between both an OS X Mac and a Windows 10 PC

All versions of Windows since Windows Vista should be able to access a GUID drive. Because OS X is able to partition a GUID partition, we want to partition our large external hard drives with this compatible partition table. So, any modern computer since 2006 should be compatible. GUID doesn’t suffer from the restriction of a maximum partition size of 2TB, so if we have a hard drive larger than 2TB, we won’t be required to build multiple partitions with MBR.

Here’s a good quote for other important features regarding GUID (GPT stands for GUID Partition Table).

“On an MBR disk, the partitioning and boot data is stored in one place. If this data is overwritten or corrupted, you’re in trouble. In contrast, GPT stores multiple copies of this data across the disk, so it’s much more robust and can recover if the data is corrupted. GPT also stores cyclic redundancy check (CRC) values to check that its data is intact — if the data is corrupted, GPT can notice the problem and attempt to recover the damaged data from another location on the disk. MBR had no way of knowing if its data was corrupted — you’d only see there was a problem when the boot process failed or your drive’s partitions vanished.”

exFAT was released in 2006 as well, but Microsoft added backwards-compatibility to previous Windows versions from before Vista. The main benefit to it is that it doesn’t have the file size restrictions of FAT32, so individual files with exFAT can be larger than 4GB each. It probably isn’t super important for smaller files, but it could be a necessity for people working on larger files like videos or disk images.

Below is a step-by-step procedure for formatting a large External USB drive which can be used by both a Mac and a PC. This setup will utilize the newest, most fault-tolerant partition tables, and allows for the largest volume and file size capabilities. In my case I am formatting an 8TB Seagate Backup Plus+ USB 3.0 external HDD hard drive.

First, plug a new USB drive into a Mac:

  1. The Mac will automatically prompt if you want to use the drive as a Time Machine backup Disk – click “Don’t Use”
  2. Open Disk Utility
  3. On the left side of Disk Utility, under External, you should see your drive listed.
  4. Select the “highest-level” of the drive, not the partitions located underneath. In my case, Seagate Backup+ Desk Media.PC Mac External drive format (1)
  5. At the top of Disk Utility, click the “Erase” button.PC Mac External drive format (2)
  6. Name your disk, such as “JC-External”.
  7. Under “Format” drop-down menu, select “ExFAT”
  8. Under “Scheme” drop-down menu, select “GUID Partition Map”PC Mac External drive format (3)
  9. Click “Erase”
  10. Once the drive has been erased, again, Time Machine will prompt to use as a backup disk – select “Don’t Use”PC Mac External drive format (4)
  11. Click “Done”
  12. Your drive should now be listed under Devices in the Finder.PC Mac External drive format (5)
  13. Control-click or right-click on the device in the Finder, and click “Get Info”.  You can see that indeed it created an 8TB ExFAT Volume, but the Sharing and Permissions cannot be modified. Permissions can only be set if the drive is formatted with  “OS X Extended”. Also, notice that the Created/Modified dates may not be accurate, however, files and folders contained in the drive will display accurate modified dates/times.PC Mac External drive format (6)
  14. One thing to note, is after initially formatting the drive on a Mac, and then attaching the external drive to a Windows 10 PC, the drive may not immediately display with a drive letter by default in the Windows File Explorer. Go into Windows 10 Disk Management and find the drive listed in the discovered drives, but you may find that a drive letter is not associated with the volume.
  15. To fix this, in Disk Management, right-click on the large/unidentified new data volume and click “Change Drive Letter and Paths…”. Next, click the Add.. button, assign a drive letter (D:) and then OK. You should now find your external drive listed in Windows Explorer and see the files and folders you copied into it while it had been connected to your Mac.

 

Windows 10 Best Free Video Screen Capture Open Broadcaster Software Install Tutorial

This video demonstrates how to use Open Broadcaster Software for capturing your desktop into a record-able video. OBS is free software that you can also use to record your gaming sessions to never miss that moment during your computer game. Here is a good post on Reddit.com describing how to set up OBS for capturing your game with a 20 second “buffer” so you can show your frags on youtube or convert them to a gif. But for now, below I put together a tutorial on how to setup OBS to record your desktop screen and audio to make videos like the one here:

 

How to Setup User Account for Child on Windows 10 Tutorial

This video shows you how to setup a user account for your kid/child without creating an email address. Windows 10 wants you to use an email address to create a user account. When you try to setup an account, it asks you to use an existing email and if not, it tries to force you to sign up for an outlook.com account. This video shows you how to bypass the Windows User account setup and use Computer Management to create a normal/local user account on the computer for your kids.

Solved – Dell Optiplex 790 2nd HDD disk drive not found in Windows 10 Disk Management but BIOS sees the drive

disk

I have a Dell Optiplex I’m putting together for an IP Camera security system. The security cameras use a lot of disk space, so I connected a 2nd Seagate 2TB drive to the black SATA port labeled SATA1. The BIOS sees the drive, but when I logged into Windows 10 and looked in Disk Management, the drive wasn’t found. If the new hard drive isn’t in Disk Management, but the BIOS does see the drive, there’s something wrong with either the BIOS / SATA / RAID configuration, or there’s something wrong with the drive itself. I attempted to Scan for Hardware Changes in the Device Manager – no luck. I also went into Disk Management -> Action -> Rescan Disks -> no luck.

Here is the SATA Port layout:

SATA 0 (Blue) – Primary HDD 500GB Seagate ST3500413AS

SATA 1 (Black) – Secondary  HDD 2TB Seagate ST2000DM001-1CH164

SATA 2 (White) – CD / DVD

SATA 3 (White) – empty

I went to Dell’s support website, ran the System Detect (for some reason entering the Service Tag didn’t work) and then went to look at the available drivers. I was thinking of updating the BIOS from A09 to A18, but then noticed under Serial ATA there is a Seagate Firmware update named B765JC49.zip – unpacked is 2 folders, DOS and Windows, in the Windows folder is the file B7032100.exe – this is the file I installed. During the setup, the computer is restarted, and like most firmware utilities (I love these), you get a nice old-school 8-bit text interface with a resounding SUCCESS in big blue letters when it’s done.

So this was really all I did, and after flashing the Seagate Firmware, and logging into windows, immediately the drive was detected and prompted me to initialize and format the disk. So I did just that; initialized the drive as MBR, then changed the CD-ROM to drive letter E:, and formatted the new drive as NTFS on drive letter D: labelled as “Data”. Life is good again. Hopefully this post will be found by someone else having difficulty when their computer doesn’t see the new 2nd disk drive and save them a little time and frustration in the process.

 

How to create and shrink partitions in Windows 10 – video

I’ve posted a new video here that demonstrates how to shrink an existing partition with Disk Management and then create a new partition with the empty space in Windows 10.

Sometimes you’d like to have a separate partition for data or scratch drives to keep your data safe when you run backups or re-install an operating system or software. Other times you create new partitions to install a different operating system and do a “Dual Boot” with the extra partition. Let me know if you’d like to see a video or a post about dual-booting Windows 10 and Linux/Debian/Ubuntu.