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Repairing NetbookInstaller’s Chameleon Bootloader

If you have set up your hackintosh using Meklort’s NetbookBootMaker / NetbookInstaller and have overwritten the Chameleon bootloader with GRUB or have otherwise damaged your MBR, you can use some of the following techniques to fix your issues.

NetbookInstaller uses a custom version of Chameleon to patch the Mac OS kernel in memory during bootup. If you have accidentally installed GRUB (or another bootloader) to your MBR, you will probably find it is impossible to boot into your OS X partition.

If you are able to boot into a linux, you can easily remedy this. Otherwise boot from sysresccd, which is a great live linux distribution for repairing problems, and can be installed to a USB drive.

Re-Installing the Custom Chameleon

First, grab the NetbookInstaller source and unpack it:

$ wget ''
$ tar -xvf NetbookInstaller\ 0.8.4\ RC1.src.tgz

Then change to the directory where the custom Chameleon is stored and write the bootloader image to your MBR using dd, preserving all the surrounding GPT data structures. In the following example, /dev/sda is my local disk. WARNING: don’t trust me that this won’t break your computer.

$ cd SupportFiles/bootloader/Chameleon\ 2\ NBI/` `dd if=boot0 of=/dev/sda bs=440 count=1

Other Issues

If your boot sector / partition tables are badly damaged (e.g. if you forgot to type “bs=440” above) you may still be able to fix things. Boot up sysresccd and run gdisk, which should be installed by default.

For documentation on using Rod Smith’s most excellent GPT fdisk to fix all your troubles, I refer you to his page on repairing GPT disks.

A great link for doing a similar procedure that we did with Chameleon, but for getting Grub repaired and restored can be found here.