Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

For Some, Installation Problems Spoil Leopard's Release

October 27, 2007: 7:18 AM ET

picture-17.jpgThis was not the smoothest of upgrades.

The first report of trouble installing Apple's (AAPL) new operating system came from Australia, where Leopard was delivered nearly a day before its U.S. debut. The message, posted on Apple.com's OS X 10.5 Leopard discussion board, read:

Installation appears stuck on a plain blue screen

Posted: Oct 25, 2007 7:32 PM

I'm upgrading my 20″ iMac (Core Duo) at the moment and the installation 'completed', then the computer rebooted and it has been sitting on a plain blue screen for the past 30 minutes.There is no progress indicator of any sort but I can occasionally hear the hard drive seeking. Should I restart my Mac or keep waiting???

Thanks,

Paul

By this morning, the "stuck on a plain blue screen" thread Paul started had grown to 246 messages and been viewed more than 10,000 times. Not everyone who posted was experiencing problems -- many of the messages were offers of support and advice -- but it appears that dozens (if not many more) would-be Leopard upgraders have run into something akin to what Microsoft (MSFT) Windows owners have come to know as the BSOD (the Blue Screen of Death).

"Not a very good start," wrote a user who calls himself (or herself) Perapolka.

"Jeez don they test this stuff ?" asked Wingrove.

It's not clear what's causing the problems, and according to a report in The Register, Apple's technical support staff has been getting an earful from frustrated upgraders.

One source of trouble seems to be an app called Application Enhancer. Some users have found relief by deleting it using a tricky UNIX workaround supplied by user Chris McCulloh, who became an instant hero. Others have managed to complete the installation after being advised by Apple tech support to run an Archive and Install.

One Apple developer who ran into similar problems working with pre-release versions of Leopard shared a message he received from the company with the latest seed:

"Archive installs from Tiger to Leopard sometimes will not succeed on Power PC systems if you try to preserve user settings. Please perform an upgrade install or clean install or opt out of preserving user settings to work around this. Intel systems are unaffected."

UPDATE: On Sunday, with pageviews on Paul's thread approaching 30,000, Apple posted instructions for how to deal with the problem. See here.

Meanwhile, Fake Steve Jobs has been struggling with his own blue screen issues; see his Secret Diary.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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