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Microsoft Silverlight plugin error on EFi-X “Mac”

December 5, 2008

If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you would know that I built my own Mac clone using an EFi-X chip.  The EFi-X chip fools retail versions of Mac OSX into installing on plain ol’ regular PC hardware.

I also have a subscription to NetFlix.  Now, in order to stream NetFlix “Watch It Now” movies, you need the Microsoft Silverlight plugin.  So I downloaded the disk image for the 2.0 Silverlight plugin for Macs and ran the package installer.  This is where it got a little odd.  I was greeted with an error message stating that “Silverlight 2 may not be installed on PowerPC.”  I don’t have a PowerPC Mac (obviously!).  I have an Intel Core 2 Duo running in my machine.  Now, the EFi-X chip isn’t perfect.  When you click on “About this Mac” in the Apple menu, the processor is listed as an unknown processor.  Even though the processor is unknown, why would Microsoft’s package installer not recognize this as an Intel-based Mac?  Every other app I’ve installed correctly identifies this as an Intel Mac.  What funky code is Microsoft using?  They must be using some kind of simple string search, like “if not ‘Core 2 Duo’ then exit with error_string” or something like that.

Well, long story short, I found a quick and easy way around this.  

If you’re having the same problem installing Silverlight on your Intel Mac, follow these steps:

  1. Close all open web browser windows for Firefox, Safari, etc.
  2. Mount the Silverlight 2.0 disk image and right click on the Silverlight.2.0.pkg icon.  Select “Show Package Contents” from the menu.
  3. Double click on the “Contents” folder.
  4. Inside the Contents folder, there should be a file named Archive.pax.gz.  Double click on that file to decompress the file.
  5. A new window should pop up displaying the decompressed “Library” folder.  Open this folder and there should be another folder inside named “Internet Plug-Ins”.
  6. Open the Internet Plug-Ins folder and there should be a file inside named “Silverlight.plugin”.  Right click on this file and select “Copy “Silverlight.plugin””.
  7. Now, navigate to /Library/Internet Plug-Ins on your root partition.  Paste the Silverlight.plugin into this folder.

Silverlight should now be installed for both Firefox and Safari.  After following these procedures, I was able to stream NetFlix movies to both browsers using the plugin just fine.  In fact, if you open Firefox and go to “about:plugins”, you’ll see Microsoft’s Silverlight listed.

Now, I’m pretty sure that Silverlight doesn’t support PowerPC Macs, so these procedures probably wouldn’t do anything but crash your browser if you tried it on an older PPC-based Mac.  But if you’re having this problem on an Intel-based Mac or hackintosh, give the steps above a shot.  Any problems or suggestions, post a comment and I’ll try and help out!

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5 comments

  1. Thanks for the tip!


  2. Much easier fix:

    Copy Silverlight.2.0.pkg to desktop

    Show Package Contents:

    Navigate to Contents/Resources

    Delete InstallationCheck

    Run Silverlight.2.0.pkg from desktop


    • Awesome! That is definitely easier than the solution I came up with. Thanks, Danny!


  3. No problem. I’m not on the Efi-x chip, but I ran into the same issues on my boot-132 install of Leopard, since my Intel Core 2 Quad was labeled as “unknown” in system profiler.


  4. Thanks! This solved my problem easily.



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