Welcome to Testing Grounds. This website will help you discover new ways of looking at the ordinary things around you. Whether it is a dusty old computer you have in the corner, or a coke machine down the street, Testing Grounds will show you how to do things you didn't think were possible. Enjoy!

What to look forward to:

Coming up on Testing Grounds, I'll show you how to do the following:

How to Install/Reinstall Windows Vista to Improve Performance

How to Backup DVD's: Defeat Any DVD Protection Including Sony and Disney

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

How to patch the iDeneb iso file (In Windows)

Hello everyone, many of you may have been having issues with the latest release of OSX86. The iDeneb team put together a fantastic version of Leopard that works on a lot of x86 hardware, but the first release had compatibility issues with some nVidia hardware. Either a white apple screen would pop up, or if you installed using the diagnostic view (pressing F8 and then -v when the disk loads) you may have noticed a message similar to "Still waiting for root device". I myself have had plenty of trouble with this, and it was only after several hours of searching that I found the iDeneb team's patch for the .iso. Unfortuantly they just give the patch out, and have no instructions for how to actually apply the patch. As it turns out it is a raw sort of patch, one that is applied through the command line or terminal of your operating system.

When the patch is downloaded there are three folders, Linux, OSX, and Windows. I have tried installing the patch in OSX and have run into errors that I could not solve, so that is the reason why this tutorial is Windows oriented.

Materials Needed:
  1. A Windows Operating System
  2. the original .iso file you downloaded from a torrent site
  3. the patch folder you downloaded from the link below

Some basic knowledge of the windows command line is needed. For those of you who don't know what the Windows command line is, it looks similar to this:

Cmd prompt

This is the old style of computing before windows. The screenshot above is from Vista, but the same basic look goes back to Windows 95.

You can get to it by pressing and holding the button between the Ctrl and Alt buttons on the bottom left hand side of your keyboard - the one that looks like the windows symbol - and pressing the r key. This will bring up the run command menu. Type in cmd and hit enter.

Now to get started! Let the fun times begin.

First travel to iDeneb's website for some basic info:


If you want to get right down to business, you can download the patch here:


Once the .zip file has finished downloading, right click on it and hit extract all or extract here. The resulting folder should have the three main folders and some miscellaneous files.

find the folder that was unzipped with the name: iDeneb_v1.3_nForce_Patch

It will have this stuff in it:


Now I'm going to tell you a few things that will save you hastle when you are in the command prompt. Move this folder to the very root of your C:/ drive. Go into My Computer and open the C: drive and place it there.

Inside the folder is a file called iDeneb_v1.3_nForce_Patch.ppf. Move this file to the Windows folder.

Find your .iso file that you downloaded, and place it in the Windows folder. Notice how it has a rather large and crappy name? Rename it to something simple like iDeneb.iso (once again this is for ease of use in the command line).

Ok, so now the fun really begins. Open up the command line prompt. (You can get to it by pressing and holding the button between the Ctrl and Alt buttons on the bottom left hand side of your keyboard - the one that looks like the windows symbol - andpressing the r key. This will bring up the run command menu. Type in cmd and hit enter.)

Type in cd.. twice (this is the change directory command, and the .. is the symbol used for the folder above the current folder)

Step 1

Now type cd iDeneb_v1.3_nForce_Patch

then cd Windows

and then type ApplyPPF3:

Step 2

Nothing has happened yet, but you have just accessed the file that will patch the .iso image. When you execute the program it shows you the instructions. Press the up arrow on your keyboard, this will place the most recently used command in the command prompt, saving you the trouble of typing it again. You will need to type in a space followed by "a iDeneb_v1.3_nForce_Patch.ppf iDeneb.iso". (You don't need the ""). This command will apply the patch to the .iso file.

It should look like this:

Step 3

You should take special care and make sure you have the correct iDeneb_v1.3_nForce_Patch.ppf file in the Windows Folder. There is a file that is just labeled iDeneb_v1.3_nForce_Patch, but it DOES NOT have the .ppf extension. This is not the correct file! you need iDeneb_v1.3_nForce_Patch.ppf! You will be staring at a screen that says something to the effect that the file does not exist - which is extremely frustrating.

After a while it will finish patching the .iso file. Hopefully you will get this message somewhere in the command prompt:


Congratulations! You now have a patched .iso file. Use burning software to burn the .iso file to a DVD and try installing Leopard again.

Please note:

You have just patched the .iso file. For some people this will fix their problem and let them install OSX86 onto their PC. But for some people this will still not fix their problems. This is most likely due to other hardware compatibility, not just an nVidia related issue. For those people I suggest visiting the InsanelyMac forums. The website is an incredible resource with a community of people who know their stuff and will hopefully have an answer to your problem.

InsanelyMac: http://www.insanelymac.com/

I hope this post helped all of the people struggling to install the patch.

Monday, October 13, 2008

No Root For You, a Book By Gordon Johnson

Hacker's Database

A BOOK! I am proud to present the publication of a new book, written by the founder/developer of leetupload.com. The book, as seen below, is entitled "No Root for You: A Series of Tutorials, Rants and Raves, and Other Random Nuances Therein. It is about network auditing, a step by step tutorial guide explaining how one would go about auditing, securing, and learning why certain exploits work, etc. Purchase your copy now, by clicking HERE.To read more (view table of contents and the like) click here.

About the Book
Gordon Johnson:
As I have noticed over the years, spoon-fed information on anything that involves network auditing, or anything of the sort, has been rather scarce. It is for this reason that my book has spawned in its current form. The idea is to prove that such tasks may be explained in an articulate manner, while still maintaining a proper rapport with the individual. People tend to speak in lofty tongue when they have a superiority complex; I eliminate this completely by drawing back the verbal curtain and cutting straight to the point. This is done by speaking in layman’s terms, while still maintaining proper terminology when absolutely necessary, and utilizing metaphors to express the idea in a more
descriptive form. As you may have guessed, this is a network auditor’s quick-reference bible. Not only does it contain step-by-step, illustrated tutorials, but an explanation in regards to why each exploitation, or what have you, works, and how to defend against such attacks. Be prepared, one might also discover a few “rants and raves,” as well as other random nuances.
About the Author
Gordon L. Johnson is currently a junior at Indiana University in Bloomington, and is 20 years of age. His major is Informatics, with minors in computer science and cyber security. He has written for Hakin9 I.T. Magazine entitled Remote and Local File Inclusion Explained, which may be found in this book. He has experience in the I.T. field, as well as a consulting computer technician. As an aspiring network auditor, he has many computer related interests as well. His background encompasses knowledge in the following: programming in C, C#, Visual Basic, VB.net, HTML, PHP, Scheme, MATLAB, scripting, 3D interior design, hardware modification/development, and maintaining IRC/game servers as well as his website: leetupload.com.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

OSX Leopard 10.5.5 On A PC

Please see update at end of post!

In previous posts I showed you how to install Tiger and Leopard on your boring PC and cut its chains of slavery to Windows operating systems. Installing Tiger involved quite a bit of work, and may have taken someone with advanced knowledge of computer software an entire weekend to perfect. Drivers were hard to come by, and it was largely luck of the draw if you were able to get your particular hardware to work with Tiger. Leopard was an evolutionary step forward, automating much of the process and having great compatibility with PC architecture. More modern devices are supported automatically, both through default Leopard software, and from the lovely folks who compiled these hacks in order to liberate OSX for the masses.

OS X Leopard was cracked for PC consumption the day of its release. This was mostly accomplished because Leopard was meant from the beginning to be used on computers with the x86 Intel architecture. The roadblock keeping OS X from naturally running on any pc is something called EFI, or Extensible Firmware Interface. The EFI that Leopard uses is only tooled to work with Apple hardware, which means that it needs to be patched. The original method of patching was to use a thumbdrive attached to the computer and utilize the terminal to transfer files from the thumbdrive to the operating system files of Leopard. Compared to installing Tiger onto a PC, this method was ridiculously easy and was all that was required to have a successful boot of Leopard. But a better solution is now available, one where no thumbdrive is required and installation is streamlined and so easy that nearly anyone can do it.

OK, first thing's first.

This is a set of guidelines for installing OS X Leopard onto a PC. What you choose to do with this information is up to you, and I am in no way responsible for whatever happens to your machine.

The things you need for this project are as follows:
  • High Speed Internet Connection (Useful if you want the disk image before the end of time)
  • Blank DVD-R (or two, I'll get to that later)
  • Nero, or some other program that allows the burning of disk images to blank media
  • A BitTorrent program such as BitComet or Transmission
  • A computer with the following attributes:
    • Processor with either SSE2, SSE3, or SSE2/3 capabilities.
    • at least 512 MB RAM
    • at least 9 GB of free disk space
    • A DVD drive for installation
Now that all of the essentials are taken care of, we can get to the nitty gritty. In my personal opinion, this is one of the easiest installations of any operating system that I have ever had experience with. If all of your devices are supported, and your system has reasonable specs, you may expect to be cruising on your new Leopard in under and hour and a half. If you have just the bare minimum system requirements, it may take considerably longer.


In order to install Leopard, you first need to get the Leopard OSX86 installation disk. Now, the legality of this is somewhat questionable. The general consensus is that there are three ways to go about this, and I will order them in the most painful to least painful:
  • Become an Apple developer. After several years or decades of convincing Apple Corp. that it would be a great idea to open up their kick ass operating system to the public for use on PC's, you can probably install the now defunct and outdated leopard onto your PC free of legal worries.
  • Buy a Leopard License, and then go and download Leopard from one of a plethora of Torrent websites. So that way at least your giving your money for a Leopard license and choosing to use it on a computer. Even though the license agreement specifically states that you cannot use OS X on anything but apple hardware. Oh well, it happens.
  • Who cares, just download it. This is the most common method, and also the least legal.
Now, for the two practical options you need to download the Leopard distribution. The latest one out on the internet is from a development team named iDeneb. They have the latest Leopard release - 10.5.5, so go to a popular torrent site (I cannot link or suggest one for legal reasons) and if you happen to type in something similar to "iDeneb 10.5.5" you might happen to find what you need. Unless you have a crazy good connection, expect to wait upwards of 2-3 days for the whole thing to download. It is a large file and will take a considerable time to acquire.

Then you need to burn the .iso file to the blank DVD. I prefer using Nero to do the burning, but you may have another program that does a similar job.

If you’ve never booted from a CD or DVD on your system, then follow the outlined steps. If you already know how then just skip the next paragraph.

Insert the dvd into your dvd drive and shutdown the computer. Then whenever the computer boots up, pay attention to if it says anything about boot sequence or BIOS setup in the first few seconds of booting. For most Dell systems that I’ve come across the Boot Sequence option can be reached by hitting F12 at startup. For HP it is usually F2. Other BIOS’s might be Del or any of the F keys. Then select your CD/DVD drive, and the computer will boot from it after hitting enter.

Here is what a Dell Dimension 3000 BIOS boot selection screen looks like:
(The CD/DVD drive is highlighted)

Boot Selection Screen

And now the possible difficulties begin. If you wait a while and let the DVD boot up, it will eventually say something like "Press any key to begin or F8 for options . . ." (I know it isn't exactly that, but it is similar), if you press any key the next screen pops up:

White Apple Screen

Now, if your CD/DVD drive is still spinning at this point and the light is working, than chances are you are perfectly fine, nothing to worry about. But unfortunately with this particular distribution of OSX86, there are some issues with older hardware. You will need to go through a lengthy process in order to get back on the right track to install Leopard. From what I've seen the problem mostly involves NVidia chipsets, but it could be other hardware that causes its malfunction as well. Here is the website that has the patch, you may be able to find instructions as to how it is used as well. (It involves messing with the .iso file that you downloaded earlier, and you will need some basic knowledge of the Windows command line or Linux Terminal)

The Patch website:

Remember when i said in the materials needed section that you may need 2 blank DVD-R's? It's because if you have this problem you will need to burn the patched .iso to a new disk in order to use it.

Here is a screen that might tip you off that you have a problem:


The link shown above is part of the iDeneb website. If you have further problems with this particular distro, consult that website and the forums at InsanelyMac.

(Also, when first booting the DVD at the part where it prompts with "press any key . . ." press F8 and then -v in order to boot in diagnostic mode. This may be useful for troubleshooting)

This is the screen (in diagnostic mode) where the failure usually occurs:
FAIL Part 2

Back to the ideal installation case, these failures are depressing!

A gray screen will load with a cursor or colorful pinwheel in the upper left corner. Then a Blue iDeneb screen will appear:

iDeneb Screen

Then the language selection screen will appear (English for this tutorial):
Language Selection

Loading Screen:


Welcome Screen:

Welcome Screen

Now it gets more complicated. You need to format the hard drive at this point in the installation. To do this, go to the Utilities button on the upper OS X bar as pictured below. Then go to Disk Utilities.

Disk Util 1

The disk utility will come up. Click on your hard drive (Not any partitions you may have, see below - its in the right hand column) and then click the erase tab:

Disk Util 2

Click on the Volume Format drop down menu. I always use Mac OS Extended Journaled. You may be able to use another type, but I know for a fact that that does indeed work. Then name the partition whatever you would like, I'm partial to something plain like Leopard.

Once that is accomplished (It may take some time depending on your hard drive size and system configuration) click the red x button to exit the Disk Utility and return to the installation Welcome screen.

NOTE: Make sure there is a partition on the left hand side that says "Leopard" (Or whatever you named it). If there is not then go to the Partition tab, select 1 partition, and partition the hard drive properly.

Welcome Screen 2

iDeneb's changelog will appear, click Agree:


Then the following screen will appear telling you where you can install Leopard. It should show the partition and hard drive you just formated. If it does not then something went wrong in the formating process, but don't worry, you can still go to the Disk Utility and try it again. (Please note that in this photo an external hard drive icon is used, unless you are installing on an external drive, a hard drive icon should appear)

Install Location

Click continue and the Install Summary page comes up:

Install Summary


You MUST Click Customize!! If you do not, your install probably will not work. The Customize screen will show you several options that you will need to select or de-select based on your own hardware configuration. If your first install does not work correctly, chances are you need to choose different options in the Customize screen:

Customize Installation

Click Done and return to the Installation Summary Page:

Install Summary

The installer will now check the disk. If you are feeling particularly daring you can skip this process. However, I recommend going through the process at least once. There may have been an error in burning the disk, or the .iso file itself may have been slightly corrupted. As long as the disk hasn't been scratched, you really only need to check the disk once if you need to install Leopard again.

Disk Check

WHOO HOO! Leopard is installing!

Installing Leopard

Once this is complete a green circle with a checkmark comes up saying that the Installation was successful. You will need to restart the computer (I think it may do it automatically if you are not around) and after it goes through the Darwin Bootloader, another Apple loading screen appears:

Glorious Green Checkmark!

Apple Screen

Now all you need to do is set up the Leopard Basics. I have noticed that the setup process is much less painful with the iDeneb distribution of Leopard 10.5.5. The other versions of OSX86 I have encountered have several more steps, which in my opinion can lead to extra problems.

Select your keyboard:

Keyboard Selection

Do you already own a mac screen:

Own a mac?

How do you connect to the internet screen:
(I said this computer will not connect to the internet)

Connect screen

Enter registration information (you may or may not want to put fake information here):


A few more questions:

More Questions

Account Creation screen:

Account Creation

If you chose to not connect to the internet, this screen about not forgetting to register might appear:

Don't Forget!

The iDeneb loading screen:

iDeneb Loading Screen

You now have Leopard 10.5.5 loaded onto your personal computer. Congratulations!


Apple Screen

Guess what. Your done - that is if all of your hardware is supported. If it is not, I suggest checking out these sources:



If you have any questions or comments, please post a comment at the bottom of this post. I have documented what experience I have had with OSX86 Leopard, I leave this open to you now. Please help one another.


There are a few things that you should be aware of if you are doing this for the first time. The first one is that you should NEVER use the Apple updater to update your installation of Leopard. For instance, if the Apple updater pops up and says that you can update from 10.5.5 to 10.5.6 DO NOT UPGRADE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!!! It will brick your machine and you will need to re-install Leopard again.

The second thing that may be of use is a program called SIW, or System Information for Windows. This is useful if you do not know if your Intel processor is SSE2 or SSE3. Of course you need to have an installation of Windows to run the software, but many people do so I am providing the link:



For everyone having worried about their hardware setup, there is a website that lists hardware components and whole computer systems:

For computer rigs:

For individual components:

Granted the above lists are for 10.5.2 and now 10.5.5, but for the most part the same rules should apply with patches and compatibility.

For those of you receiving an apple loading screen with a crossed circle in it, this usually means that a patch needs to be applied to the .iso file in order for it to work. Applying the patch is somewhat complicated and I have decided to make a post about applying the patch. It can be found here: