How to Install Snow Leopard Without VT-X in VirtualBox

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Technologies such as VT-x and VT-i enable central processing units to virtualize operating systems, such as Mac OS X. While most CPUs can run operating systems like Windows XP 32-bit from within a virtual machine, processors lacking virtualization technology cannot perform the kind of hardware acceleration necessary to virtualize certain operating systems. Since VT-x and VT-i are Intel-based, AMD processors cannot use either of these technologies. Some AMD processors do, however, have a virtualization technology of their own.

  • Click "Start," enter "system" into the search box and select "System Information" from the results.

  • Write down the information displayed in the Processor field and look up the processor model on the AMD website.

  • View the processor specifications to see if the CPU utilizes AMD-V or AMD-Vi. If not, the computer can't run Snow Leopard.

  • Open VirtualBox and click "New" to create a new virtual machine.

  • Enter "Snow Leopard" or "Mac OS X" into the Name field. Select "BSD" as the OS and choose "FreeBSD" as the version and click "Next."

  • Set the base memory size to a minimum of 1MB. Click "Next," "Use Existing Hard Disk" and the folder icon to find the Mac OS X VM. Double-click it to add it to VirtualBox and click "Next."

  • Click "Create." Select the new VM from the list of machines and click "Settings." Go to the System tab and change Chipset to "ICH9" and check "Enable IO APIC."

  • Go to the Processor tab and confirm that Processors is set to 1. Check "Enable PAE/NX."

  • Select the "Acceleration" tab and check "Enable VT-X/AMD-V" to turn on AMD virtualization technology.

  • Go to Storage and select "ICH6" from the Type drop-down menu and click "OK."

  • Right-click the VM, select "Show in Explorer" from the context menu and exit out of VirtualBox.

  • Open Notepad, and drag-and-drop the XML file into the application. Scroll to "<ExtraData>" and add the following before the "</ExtraData>" tag:

    <ExtraDataItem name="VBoxInternal2/SupportExtHwProfile" value="on">

  • Save the file and then exit from Notepad.

  • Relaunch VirtualBox and double-click the Mac OS X virtual machine to run Snow Leopard on the computer without VT-x.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you lack an existing Snow Leopard VM file, you can download a copy of the file from the Sysprobs website. Don't download this file unless you have a valid copy of Mac OS X Snow Leopard.
  • If you have an ISO image of Mac OS X Snow Leopard, select "Create New Hard Disk" while creating the new VM. Follow the on-screen prompts when the Create New Virtual Disk Wizard appears. On the Storage tab in Settings, click the disc drive and then click "Choose a Virtual CD/DVD Disk File." Add the ISO to the VM.
  • If an error occurs when attempting to run Snow Leopard, go to your motherboard's system setup program -- accessible from the boot screen -- and confirm that AMD-V or AMD-Vi is turned on.

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