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January 25, 2012

How to fix stretched bootloader themes on your Hackintosh

If you have a Hackintosh with a widescreen monitor, all of the images on your bootscreen may be stretched and distorted. This is because the Chimera bootloader (and the Chameleon bootloader that Chimera is based off) can only display VESA resolutions, which are the basic resolutions programmed into your graphics card. These VESA resolutions usually aren't widescreen, so if you use a widescreen monitor, this can lead to some pretty bad distortion on your Hackintosh bootscreen. You could always edit your VESA resolutions, but if that doesn't suit you, there is now a simpler solution. Jump past the break to find out how.

1. First, open up the folder of the Chimera theme that you're currently using. If you haven't yet installed a custom bootloader theme, then your theme folder will be the "Default" folder under /Extra/Themes in your main hard drive.

2. In the theme folder, you will see multiple icons. In this tutorial, we will be adjusting the width of all of these icons, so that they will appear normal on the bootscreen. If you're running Mac OS X Lion, these files will probably be locked, so if you want to save yourself some time, turn off automatic file locking.

First, open any icon with Preview.

Above, I have opened the icon "device_hfsplus_o.png" (for my LoginToLion bootloader theme). This is the icon that is displayed for all of my Mac OS X hard drives on the bootscreen.

3. Under "Tools" in the menu bar of Preview, click "Adjust Size". Change the following parameters:

- Change "pixels" to "percent"
- Uncheck "Scale proportionally"
- Change "Width" to 80

This will adjust the icon to only 80% of its previous width.

4. Adjust the size of any other icons that you want to un-stretch. For instance, you should also adjust "boot.png", "logo.png", and "background.png". These are all important parts of your bootscreen (most of the file names are pretty self-explanatory).

You don't need to adjust any icons that you see on your bootscreen; for example, if you don't have any Linux hard drives, don't bother adjusting any of the icons for Linux (called "device_ext3.png")

NOTE: Do not adjust the images "font_console.png" and "font_small.png". These are the images for the text on the bootscreen; if you adjust them, Chimera/Chameleon won't be able to read the text correctly.

And that's all there is to it! Chimera will still stretch out of your icons, but now that you've unstretched the icons beforehand, they'll look completely normally when on the bootscreen.