The Orange Box on a Macbook - A step by step guide of what worked for me.

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by mrvain, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. mrvain macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2008
    This article describes how to run “The Orange Box” PC version on an Apple Macbook.

    Macbook specs:
    Processor: 2.2GHz Intel Core Duo
    RAM: 2GB 677 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
    Graphics: Intel GMA X3100 Chipset with 144MB


    This article is specifically for the Macbook, but may be compatible with the Macbook Pro. I will explain step by step how to install “The Orange Box” using CrossOver as well as fixing some common problems with getting the games running. Any additional suggestions or productive comments by the readers is welcome.

    Items you will need to complete this install:
    -CrossOver, an application for running Windows applications on Mac systems
    -External USB DVD drive (I will explain why shortly)
    -1 paper clip


    1. Buy the game.
    2. Download “CrossOver”.
    3. After installing CrossOver insert Disk 1 into your external DVD drive and click on Setup.exe
    4. Inside the CrossOver popup box that appears choose “Install Unsupported Software”, then “Continue”. Follow the wizard and begin setting up your Steam account and installing the software. I chose to install all five games.
    5. During the install everything will be running smoothly (see the below footnote for an exception) until you are prompted to insert Disk 2. If you didn’t heed my advice about the external DVD drive, or don’t have one, you are about to be screwed. The DVD will not eject no matter how hard you wish, force, or cuss it. Instead, by using the external drive, you can cut the drive’s power, use a paperclip to force it open, make the switch, and turn the power back on. Voila!
    6. The rest of the installation should go smoothly.

    Footnote: My installation actually did crash the initially try. The second time Crossover promoted me to create a new bottle to store the files or use the existing one. I chose the existing bottle despite the software’s recommendations not to.

    Running the games:

    From inside your Users/your-user-name/Applications/CrossOver/ folder you should have a click it. This is how you will run the games.

    The games are very picky about what version of Direct X you use, and you will need to enter some command lines into the launch script for them to run. From under My Games in Steam, select the appropriate game, click the Properties button on the bottom right, then click Set Launch Options. Once the game actually loads, you can play with the in-game video options to find your preferences of quality vs. performance settings.

    Half Life 2:

    The game runs great! The only exception is during the game you will come across communications terminals that usually show a video of the character who is talking to you. I have noticed problems with this video not playing.

    Launch options:
    -heapsize 512000 -dxlevel 70 -width 1280 -height 800 -novid

    Half Life 2: Episide 1
    Seems to run as well as Half Life 2.

    Launch options:
    -heapsize 512000 -dxlevel 70 -width 1280 -height 800 –novid

    Half Life 2: Episode 2
    The worst of the bunch. Not only will you need to run the following launch options, after the game loads you will need to go into the video options and change the Shader Detail setting from High to Low. Even with these settings the water in the beginning of the game will not load its texture, and some of the game menus are unreadable.

    Launch options:
    -heapsize 512000 -dxlevel 90 -width 640 -height 480 –window -novid

    Plays amazingly! Yes, I was surprised to. The only problem is you will need to play it in a window at 640 by 480 for best results. Feel free to try full screen, but it tended to bog down on me in the later levels.

    Launch options:
    -heapsize 512000 -dxlevel 80 -width 640 -height 480 –window -novid

    Team Fortress 2
    Is still a work in progress. With the following launch options you will be able to load the game and connect to a server. Unfortunately when the actual game starts none of the textures load. I suspect this is a problem with Direct X compatibility or Shader Detail settings.

    Launch options:
    -heapsize 512000 -dxlevel 90 -width 640 -height 480 –window –novid

    Additional Information:

    I have only had time to play Half Life 2 and Portal, so while I have listed bugs in the other games, be warned there are probably more.

    I would be happy to capture then post videos of the games running should anyone request this.

    Here is a break down of what the launch options mean.

    -heapsize (the amount of RAM you are dedicating to the game)
    -dxlevel (the Direct X level you are running the game 70=7.0, 80=8.0, 90=9.0)
    -width / -height (the resolution you are running the game in)
    -window (runs the game in a window instead of full screen)
    -novid (skips the intro video when launching the game)

    This article was written with the intention of helping the community. Any additional help with discovering better settings would be appreciated, and should be posted below.
  2. rasputnik macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2004
    You don't need that. Instead, try opening a terminal.

    sudo umount -f /Volumes/Orange\ Box
    once that completes, you can eject disk 1.
    then insert disk2, let OSX remount the DVD and click 'ok' back in Steam.

    Thanks for the launch options, btw!
  3. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Reports are that TF2 works fine even on older MacBooks.

    MBP should use BootCamp because of the GPU.
    MacBook actually runs better with CrossOver than with windows.
  4. tominated macrumors 68000


    Jul 7, 2006
    Queensland, Australia
    it's fine to use it with crossover, it gives it access to it
  5. mrvain thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2008

    Are you sure this is through CrossOver?? Not bootcamp or Parallels??

    The game will run in CrossOver, but none of the in-game textures (walls, skins, etc.) will load.
  6. Sarghm macrumors newbie

    Feb 12, 2008

    I've been watching and waiting on the Team Fortress 2 on Crossover scene for a little while, and now I have something to bring to the table.

    After hanging on like mad, waiting for some form of patch to come out in order to sort this horrible texture - loading ordeal - I can 100% confirm that as of the new Leopard Graphics Patch (installed after 10.5.2), Team Fortress 2 runs unbelievably smoothly on my white Macbook (2.2GHz, 2GB RAM, X3100 GPU).

    Settings are as follows:

    Resolution: 1152x720
    Model Detail: High
    Texture Detail: Medium
    Shader Detail: High
    Water Detail: Simple
    Shadow Detail: Low
    Antialiasing: None
    Filtering Mode: Trilinear
    VSync: Disabled
    HDR: None
    Bloom's been disabled as well.

    So to clarify - I am currently running Team Fortress 2 through Steam, through Crossover 6.2, on the above settings. The framerate ranges from 20 to around 45/50, so it's 150% playable (won my fair share of matches!)

    And just to eliminate any skepticism that may have arisen:

    Sorry to bump up a rather old topic - but I'm sure you're as interested as I was when I first booted up Team Fortress to find it running gorgeously. :)

  7. TheManKinahan macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2008
    is there some setting I dont see? 150% is pretty confident. I think im running it with almost the same settings, and a few maps dont load. 2fort has big graphics issues in the tunnels and where the bridge is. I definitely have the video update, this is so frusterating
  8. auhlixer macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2006
    Philadelphia, PA
  9. tominated macrumors 68000


    Jul 7, 2006
    Queensland, Australia
    not in this lifetime. source games support DX8 mode, which is the highest crossover currently works on
  10. Sp3shl K macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2007
    is this using the methods above to run tf2 or just installing and running it?
  11. sixmac macrumors member

    Mar 28, 2008
    i'm going to give this a go, i have got steam working fine with crossover and want TF2 on PC, i already have it on PS3 but i want the extra stuff you get from PC..oh i'm going to try it on my new 2.4 macbook fingers crossed :confused:
  12. fauxni macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2008
    Münster, Deutschland

    also another way if one does not want to open a terminal.
    You may also going into Disc Utility and Eject from there, worked for me first try :)

    There are many ways to install this software through crossover none of which need a 3rd party drive.

    Thanks a bunch for all the boot options as well!
    Much appreciated.
  13. sixmac macrumors member

    Mar 28, 2008
    don't know if this deserves a new thread but this weekend you can play TF2 free on steam,

    free TF2 trial, free crossover games trial get onboard :p
  14. kkat69 macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2007
    Atlanta, Ga
    In the "Manage Bottles" window there's an "Eject" button there and when prompted for the 2nd disk you can click on that, insert the new disk and it will work.

    I've installed several 2 disk games in crossover and used that method. Works every time.
  15. chachu7154 macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2008
    I was having some trouble running Orange Box on my Macbook Pro and I thought someone here might be able to help.

    Everything seems to be installed properly and shows up in Steam, but when I try to run the programs most just open a black window or a blurry image with the word loading in the bottom corner. I waited a good ten minutes and nothing changed.

    I tried some of the launch options above. Has anyone tried these on a Macbook Pro? That's what I have and I don't know if there would be any difference.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  16. TheManKinahan macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2008
    Check the compatability forums at, its definitely going to be different on a pro, because the hardware is pretty different, especially the graphics card. Good luck
  17. retrofraction macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2008
    my friend can run TF2 on the same computer, exsept he uses bootcamp with vista 64 and it works fine , he gets about 30fps
  18. retrofraction macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2008
    my friend can run TF2 on the same computer, exsept he uses bootcamp with vista 64 and it works fine , he gets about 30fps
  19. johnnnytk macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2008
    TF2 2.4ghz, 160HD, X3100 144mb, etc. White macbook.

    So this is what I'm going to do. I have a XP Pro 64bit SP2 install discs.

    1. Get CrossOver
    2. Run CrossOver
    3. Install Windows
    4. Once Windows is installed, open a virtual window of windows xp.
    5. Download Steam and TF2
    6. Play TF2, it should run fine then, right?

    Or even, plan B...
    1. Use Bootcamp
    2. Partition disk
    3. Install Windows
    4. Download Steam and TF2
    5. Play TF2, it should run fine, maybe? Apparently it does but I don't know.

    I'm a huge tf2 player and now I'm wondering if you had any crashes or defects on maps or anything. Did you?

    I read some other forums about running TF2 on a macbook and they had some problems while playing.

    MacRumors is pretty reliable so this is my source so far, haha. Thanks! :)
  20. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    I've been trying to get Portal to run under Cider with no luck :( Almost there- the screen goes dark- and then it crashes.
  21. johnnnytk macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2008
    So wait, HL2 and TF2 works for you?

    Have you tried other programs such as Bootcamp/Parallels/CrossOver? Let me know if you had anyluck, I haven't tried anything yet and I'm getting mixed solutions that this worked and then it crashes, etc.
  22. mattcube64 macrumors 65816


    May 21, 2006
    Any word on how this'll run on an old Rev A Macbook, specs in the sig?

    I'm sure not too well, but if it's comparable to what you were getting, it could probably hold me over until I upgrade...
  23. johnnnytk macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2008
    Yeah, I had it working on CrossOver perfectly. I also found out that CrossOver didn't even need a windows installation disc. It was totally wierd but kind of cool at the same time.

    Anyways, I did have the windows xp disc and had it just in case. So I installed the steam.msi file and installed it. Downloaded TF2 and got it working. It booted up and the game worked fine. As I was trying to get into the game it was stuck on the Welcome screen and I couldn't click continue. I heard the music go "da da da da" so it obviously froze. I don't know why. I even use the launch option to make it like the other post that worked.

    Any hints?
  24. sixmac macrumors member

    Mar 28, 2008
  25. chachu7154 macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2008
    Possible fix

    Team Fortress 2 works fine for me with crossover games, but I had a pretty similar issue with Episode One. The freeze up happened during gameplay but it had the same audio skipping issue.

    I added +cl_drawmonitors 0 to the launch options and that solved the problem. I'm not sure if you tried that or not, but it may be worth a shot.

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