This article was updated on Sunday 28th October 2007 00:33 GMT to reflect new information gleaned in user forums. Apple support drones are getting an earful from Mac users who are getting the dreaded Blue Screen of Death while trying to update to the latest and greatest version of OS X. A thread in Apple's official support …
Like we learned in the military ...
never, ever be first. Early adopters gets screwed, be it Vista, XP back when it first came out, the iPhone, VoIP, or a hosted of "latest and greatest" items.
I'm waiting 60 days or for 10.5.1, which ever comes first.
I have Unsanity's Application Enhancer installed and my Leopard upgrade went flawlessly. Considering that Apple's instructions plainly state to disconnect any external peripherals before upgrading, sounds like El Reg is trying to turn garden variety PEBCAK into news.
Caused by associating with Intel Chips?
I've had kernel panics on OS X before, but where does the Blue Screen Of Death come from, shouldn't it be a gray screen with a transparency window in the center or something? This doesn't sound like any Mac I know? Someone take a photo of it and post it so we can see if it's the Microsoft Standard Blue or some more artistic shade of blue that would fit more to the Apple styling conventions.
Not Apple's fault - read the workaround
>To remedy, users were instructed to rip a technology known as APE, short for
>application enhancement, from the Leopard's maw. The process is too gory for us
>to print here, but suffice it to say that, among other things, it had users use a
>command line to purge files with names like "Enhancer.prefpane" and
APE, short for "Application Enhancer" is a third-party app (look at com.unsanity.ape.plist - this signifies that it's an app called "APE" from unsanity.com) that has deep and potentially unsafe hooks (/hacks) into the system, to modify applications and system functions. It's not really a surprise that it screws up when an entirely new version of the OS is dropped in there in front of it (It should check this, and not load...)
http://unsanity.com/haxies/ape/ and refer to http://www.unsanity.com/products/compatibility where it is listed as "not compatible with Leopard".
That is why I recommend an "Archive and install" not an "Upgrade install". You just don't know whether your previous apps will fully work with the new system ESPECIALLY if they are hacks like this.
Search for the post by "Chris Mcculloh" and read all the replies to it.
And from reading that thread, nearly everyone who did an "Archive and install - where the installer puts all the previous system files in a folder called Previous System and installs a fresh new system, instead of overwriting in place, had a successful install.
Reading any lower, I see that someone else reports another workaround for those ones that still don't work. Look for the post by indiekiduk. He says that there is another problem with ShapeShifter - a third party theming tool that again, messes with system internals.
And further down, 4F!ller recommends removing iScroll - a third party trackpad driver.
So as far as I've seen, the vast majority of these issues come from third-party software that has been installed. This isn't Apple's fault, and Apple should not have to support these bits of software. These pieces of software SHOULD check to see what OS version they are running on, and demand that they be updated if the software is installed. It's kind-of like expecting engine bits from your old car to work in your new car without damaging it (if we must bring out the inaccurate car analogies). That said, IMO, Apple should make Archive Install the default, not the in-place install.
"but where does the Blue Screen Of Death come from, shouldn't it be a gray screen with a transparency window in the center or something?"
You know that blank light blue screen when you shut down? That shade of blue. My guess is that it's stopping critical system processes from starting up, and leaving the system with no apps running (not even the login window).
CPU Wars ...... The Chip is the Computer and the OS just a Driver?
"Caused by associating with Intel Chips? "
Hmmm. That was an interesting question, gollux. Are problems peculiar to certain particular Chipped machines.
I have Unsanity's Application Enhancer installed, and I ran the Leopard upgrade without a hitch. The instructions tell you to disconnect any external drives before beginning the upgrade. Might this be a case of people not bothering to RTFM?
Stop the presses, a user did something stupid!
This sounds dubious, I installed my shiny new copy of Leopard today right off the truck, and it was flawless, and faster to install than Tiger was.
I've heard some rumor that if your old Tiger install had "issues" it was better to start fresh and thats what I did, but I couldn't even get the BETAS to crash, and they were less than perfect. And I have done a fair share of installs on different hardware.
Show is a picture of this "blue screen" or personally most of us are going to chalk this up as a mean spirited FUD attack on a day of record OS X sales that would make Ballmer wet himself.
I bet you can hear his teeth grinding all the way across Redmond.
Known Issue with APE
APE uses hacks into the kernel to offer small "enhancements" to the UI. They're often to blame for crashes to the window server and other interface services. Unsanity, who provide the architecture for these haxies, warns that they may cause system instability. Apple hates them and often criticises them for not following the recommended development paths.
As the kernel has been replaced it's not a surprise that they aren't working, and are stopping the GUI from fully loading. Technically they probably haven't kernel panic'd from the description (not that it helps).
I would only really recommend "Upgrade" on the install if your system if free of this sort of thing and fairly standard. I used "Archive & Install" which was slow and allowed me use the same Users I'd already set up. I'm replacing this machine in a couple of months anyway so I'll be able to "Erase & Install" a clean system then.
BTW I've so far found that most things work without any issues. QuickLook is something I already don't want to live without. I've only found one thing that outright refuses to work, a custom trackpad driver (SideTrack) which I will miss as I fall into familiarity. A very solid progression of Mac OS X.
Rough with the smooth or speedier!
It has to be said that associating with Intel did give Apple the performance boost they needed to stay in the race, but all the pain that goes with it is just heaped on top.
Lets look at where the real problem is and look at some of the high end systems....
Starting with your basic Linux.... UI ugly.... operationaly excellent and stable on Intel.
Irix.... soon to be unsupported but UI appalling.... operationaly rock solid on Mips processors
Novell.... OMG where did the UI designers come from, but rock solid....
The list can go on, OSX underneath..... rock solid, add the eye candy for the User and BANG problems.
You tell me what the issue is here!
Is there a reason why this story isn't being covered by the above reporter who was espousing how wonderful Leopard would be only yesterday?
The blue screen is during the boot process, where you normally see the 'Starting Mac OS X' or Login windows.
Its often caused by corrupted caches, or third part applications causing problems on boot - I work in an AASP - yesterday we all pretty much threw leopard on around the same time, some doing complete clean installs by choice (Me being on of them - I wanted a fresh start) Others doing upgrades - while we noticed all the upgrade macs bluescreening on boot - if they were left about 5 minutes, it generally cleared itself and carried on as normal. We put it down to an issue updating the keychains, since in most cases (bar one or two, which used third party apps that break in leopard/break leopard) the Keychain was never actually updated and transferred accross to the new account.
Pioneers get Scalped.
Not a very helpful comment I know but every new OS we've ever seen has had issues when released into the wild and that includes nix's and winhoes. It's hardly surprising.
Give it a week it'll be fixed and everyone will be happy again.
Good point. Perhaps it has some pretty reflections, or a metallic sheen, to make the whole BSOD experience a bit more pleasant so as not to panic the unsuspecting fairy using the thing.
Leopard is bringing in at least 2 new pieces of functionality that previously required APE applications - the ones i have installed on my Tiger box are a transparent dock and multiple desktops (i forget what they are called!).
I believe APE ties itself pretty closely into the kernel, which means that when someone tries to install something new on top of that, OSX goes into the corner and cries.
Sounds to me like someone didnt bother testing every single piece of software in the multiverse - people should be sacked over this travesty! [/sarcasm]
The BSOD sounds a bit bizarre, though - i thought installation problems got a black screen, the grey screen being reserved for fatal problems while running normally?
And why am i posting something almost sensible at the weekend?
Rule 8 invoked..
never be first, never be last & never volunteer for anything.
Mate of mine has loaned me an old mac mini - pre-intel - which he upgraded on friday. It's fast, smooth & impressive. By comparison, my dell desktop, which is a similar age, isn't even vista compatible.
I've always regarded apple fanboiz as style conscious fools with more money than sense, my opinion is changing, i might even buy one!
Simple Problem, simple Fix!
The problem is that this happens when people try to do an Update on a non-standard altered system which has seen software "bend" and replace system files, especially in /sbin/ and /etc/. A bit like replacing some .dlls and wondering why other things crash depending on these dll's. We've seen this with early Leo builds, but it's not really an Apple problem.
On a "clean install" or "archived install" everything is OK.
ps, I'm not working for Apple but we've been testing Leo on a 1500+ IP's sized network including 10.4 & 10.5 servers and XSAN 1.4 ;-)
"Caused by associating with Intel Chips? "
- Do you know what a computer is? Are you from past?
Once again my decision to abandon Mac in favour of Vista has been completely vindicated.
Clearly Apple is reduced to copying Microsoft.
Why they can't be original is beyond me.
Memo to Mac users: Get a Vista PC and experience a world where everything just works for a change.
Never ever upgrade an installation
Man, I wouldn't event attempt installing Vista by upgrading an XP installation. Don't upgrade major OS revisions, particularly when you've installed dodgy low level hacks like Application Enhancer (which I try to avoid like the plague anyway).
@gollux - the BSOD is probably the installer's blue background with no windows displayed.
Hasn't anyone noticed?
Leopard is the first MacOS that includes Boot Camp in the installation; an application for running Micro$oft operating systems!
So yet again, we see that it boils down to, "Install Micro$oft software, get the blue screen of death".
Quite clearly, it's all Micro$oft's fault!
Oh yeah... That's why the world + dog are staying AWAY from Vista because 'everything just works'. Don't make me laugh!
APE is the problem, not Leopard
Application Enhancer is known malware. It interacts with root in unacceptable ways. Apple has counseled users not to install applications that use it for years. I retired Windowshade, one of Unsanity's applications, when I moved from my PowerBook G4 to my MacBook Pro four months ago. I guess some people still haven't gotten the message.
Sure its Apples fault
Funny to read comments that say that an update may fail if the install is somewhat non standard. I would expect that if so many Mac User have such a software installed that on an update Apple tells the user that this is incompatible and offers to remove or suggests to make a fresh install. But it looks like Apple doesnt care about that. I only can say that if we, who work on Linux distros would act like that (blame failures on updates on some third party tools) all would say that this happens only on Linux. Well its not. Rather the opposit. If Apple does an update it must overwrite the core components in order to get a working system what else? How could an update work if you are guessing that its a clean system?
Ha ha! ROFL. That's the funniest comment I've read all year!
Even the abuse of the Reg "Stupicon" is class.
Archive and Install OK
I had the blue screen on my first couple of attempts to upgrade but then went for Archive and Install and everything went hunky dory. APE might be the culprit - I had Unsanity Fruitmenu running.
How the hell can this happen when all the hardware is the same.... Least Microsoft can say "we cannot test all hardware combinations". I'm not going to go on maybe the fanboys can remove BSOD from their arsenal now… Next stop with increased popularity of MacOS let’s see what the future holds in regards to spyware, adware and virii.
Not Intel chip related
It's definitely not related to the Intel architecture, I had the same problem on my G5 Powermac. It can't be boot camp, my machine doesn't have it.
The "blue screen" isn't a BSOD in the Windows sense of the term. Instead, as a previous poster has said, it's a blank blue screen where you'd normally expect to see your user login icons.
I had the Application Enhancer installed, because I liked to have a transparent background on the dock, so I expect that's what the problem was. That'll teach me.
I can also confirm it's easily workable-round. I just ran the upgrade again in "archive and install" mode and it worked fine the second time. The only work I've had to do is reconfigure my printer and scanner, everything else just works, just like it always has.
At risk of sounding like a fanboi, even with this minor glitch there's no doubt that upgrading the OS on a Mac is easier and generally more foolproof than any other OS. I program on Windows and Linux for a living and I bought a Mac to provide some sanity when I get home at the end of the day. If I thought I could persuade my company to use them I definitely would.
As usual, Orlowski is right.
Payback time at last
Day after day I have to listen to the disciples of Jobs bang on about how the Mac is superior and how bad it is the educational establishment I work for only provides Windows versions of software and that they are being discriminated against blah blah blah (I start to hear white noise after about 10 seconds of that)
This proves that the Mac OS is no better and no worse then Windows (for the record, I'm no fan of Gates and Ballmer but I use whatever gets the job done)
However, I view this as payback for the earache they give me.
So I say to all Mac die hards SHUT IT,NO ONE CARES WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT YOUR MAC,GO OUT AND GET A LIFE.
You bought a machine named after an overcoat from a company namd after a fruit so what can you expect.
I wonder what the zdnet/usa shills will make of this...
Cry havoc and let loose George Ou, Ed Bott and the rest of the (f)lamers.
Real headline OSX not perfect!
The only thing I hate about the Mac is all the hype.
Not talking about Mac users or Mac Fans, just the Fanboys.
You talk to certain Mac users and they will tell you with religious furor who every single computer problem is solved by switching to Apple.
When my uncle bought his first Mac he was bitterly disappointed. Not because his laptop had any real problems, but because of certain minor annoyances and problems which he was repeatedly told only happen to Windows users.
Macs are far from perfect just like any other computer.
PS after I installed XP in a virtual machine (for two Windows only Programs), and gave him some OSX training videos my Uncle now loves his Mac.
Bout time the anti-Mac brigade showed up
I mean, this comment thread was running out of laughable points...
The problem with most cases seems to be APE, not made by apple. Heck, as one poster pointed out, they even council against installing it.
Still seems to be a lot less problems so far than Vista.
Stop Press - Idiots use Macs too
So we are supposed to be surprised (Windows and Mac users) that OS X Leopard has been scuppered by some Mac users who installed software that hacks into the OS in the name of improvements, not content with what they got out of the box. Big deal. Anyone who has installed similar "improvements" to Windows has seen it all go pear-shaped come upgrade time. What do these reveller's in Apple's downfall [percieved by them] expect? Its nice and simple really - those who didn't install these utilities didn't suffer during upgrade. Doh! It really isn't that hard to see, is it? Instead of getting all ejacular about it, see the problem for what it is.
I have just upgraded a stock Mac Mini OS X Tiger to Leopard in just over an hour and with little to no intervention. Contrast the near-2 hours it took to re-install XP today, having to nurse it along its way to completion and then sit back and enjoy the wait for 86 service updates to install. Delightful, not. But both machines were stock installs. I will not allow these so-called "improvements" on my systems and thus they work as expected.
Being a user [and maintainer] of XP, Vista and OS X I can safely say that in a standardised environment OS X is head and shoulders above the Microsoft camp. No way is OS X as flaky as Vista (in all of this variants) and Leopard already is stable and well behaved out of the box unlike Vista.
But one mustn't complain too much about Microsoft OS - they do keep a whole industry in gainful employment. I gotta pay the mortgage somehow. Thanks Bill.
Lessons from Microsoft...
OK, so you Mac wearers, sorry, users, should take a lesson from Windoze sysadmins. Never, ever, EVER, ever do an upgrade (except if you're trying to do a data recovery and will be formatting in about 10mins after you've retrieved the files you need). Always start a fresh! I don't know how the Mac install process runs, but I'm assuming you can format/reload?
Should I ask Paris?
leopard login has problems... there is a update !
the login app has problems and apple have issued a update
they have also changed the software update look and feel as well as allowing download and not install...
grand thank you apple
By George Flecknell
Posted Saturday 27th October 2007 12:51 GMT
"Caused by associating with Intel Chips? "
- Do you know what a computer is? Are you from past?
It's official, you have no sense of humor!
Being involved with catalog publishing, I definitely am from the past, having worked on Macs with Motorola, Power PC and currently Intel chips and from OS 6 thru OS X. The whole blue screen thing is something I expect from the Intel Powered, Windows XP running computer sitting on the desktop next to it, SO I find it kind of humorous. I'd think that Apple could choose some fancier color scheme to be displayed by the boot process so they'd not get laughed off the planet since Wintel owns BSOD by the majority.
Since I'm from the past, I've also worked on everything from DOS/PC XT forward to a current Xeon processor powered workstation.
So, I definitely do not know what a computer is.
BTW, anyone who tells you that Macs don't crash has never used one to do actual work. I've cursed them roundly through each OS that Apple has released. Since I've had to put up with reality, and expect a little "Truth In Advertising", I think I can poke a little fun at a tool I use every day.
Wanted to have a laugh @ teh fanbois and clicked the link.
The firefox tab *did* make me laugh: a tiny little bomb; like in mine-sweeper.
Check yourself !
We just learned that Andrew Orlowski is of all things an ilemming now this you knock me over with a feather you never know who might be one of "them".APE sounds deeply disturbed as a concept only a complete idiot would install something like that.
"Like we learned in the military ...
never, ever be first."
...but like I learned from "The Lord of the Rings", if you *are* first, yell like a motherf*cker on the way in.
Apple is the problem, not APE
If Apple provided the proper tools for users that wish to customize their desktop interface, then people would not have to resort to 'unsafe' apps like APE. It is amazing that a company who caters so strongly to the graphic arts community would limit the ability of these users to make visual changes to the standard appearance of the desktop.
I use Camouflage to hide all desktop icons (revealed in finder by a single click on the desktop), Candybar to change that stupid smiley face to a laptop icon, and APE to make my dock background transparent. The resulting look is as simple and minimalist as you can get. I really like it this way and am frustrated that Apple can't seem to get that users might like a choice.
The Return of Jesus?
Mac has errors too!!!! What can possibly be happening? Is the world coming to an end? Is Jesus on his way back?
Nope, it's just that now that Apple has started adding more useful functionality to their tools, they are experiencing the same problems as any widely distributed OS.
If it is APE ...
... then I wouldn't fully blame Apple on this one. I do remember some similar shoddy extensions crapping out after some System 7 updates back in '94 me thinks. Apps that do low-level kernel interaction should check versions before running, though the OS should do them too ;)
That said, I think the worst OS bug I've *ever* seen (bar Vista) might be the "disk 1" we got in some 7.5.x update. For those who don't know:
Back then, floppy disk installations were still common, and with multi-disk installs you usually inserted disk 1, run the installer, and for disks 2 and beyond you would insert disk 2, or insert disk 1, then insert disk X and go on. Except on this particular update, something weird happened, and now after disk 2 you would enter the "endless cycle of doom" where you insert disk 2, OS reads a sector, pukes disk 2, ask disk 1, read sector, puke it, ask disk 2 ... you get the idea.
After 200 cycles of "disk 1,2,1,2,1,2,1,2,1,2,1,3,1,3,1,3,1,3" my dad just went "aaah fuck it!" and returned to the older OS version. Now that was bad, real bad. Of course, Apple issued a fix pretty quick, but these were the days before broadband Internet, or even used for such updates: that fix would be sent by mail, which in our case took weeks.
Still, much quicker than the major fixing overhaul required by Vista...
Oh and by the way, I hate what Jobs has done to my formerly beloved Apple, but at least they are still kicking MS ass.
A sign of success
It started with Intel chips. Now that Apple is delivering a true BSOD experience we can be sure it will soon be a $300 bn company with absolute monopolistic domination over the world of IT. Expect European antitrust suits against Apple within the next decade, and Steve Jobs resigning to become a Gatesque world-wide philanthropist curing malaria, TB or whatever. Deja vu - all over again!
Why do Apple fans always excuse the cock-ups they make? 'It isn't their fault it's a 3rd party app.'
From the sound of it, it is a very common app but they couldn't be bothered testing with it because it wasn't created by Apple.
While MS software does have its problems, the majority of them are caused by 3rd party apps that tweak the system or interact with it in a way MS didn't expect. Given the amount of software available for Windows, it would be impossible for them to test everything.
Given the amount of software available for Macs, it shouldn't be too hard to test against the common apps that people choose to install.
The lesson here seems to be the same one as with all Apple stuff - Macs, Ipods, Iphone 'Everything works great as long as you don't dare move away from the church and use somebody else's stuff'
As has been said before, let's see Apple produce an OS compatible with as much hardware and software as MS and see if they can get it run half as stable as MS manage. They won't try it though because they know how difficult it is. The mighty Steve is more than happy to look down on his cult and declare in a large booming voice 'THOUGH SHALT NOT USE ANY HARDWARE THAT WE DO NOT DICTATE AND IF YOU DARE INSTALL NON-APPLE SOFTWARE THY MAC WILL BE UNSTABLE, YOUR IPOD WILL LOSE MUSIC AND THY IPHONE SHALL BE BRICKED'
Wearing flame retardant jacket in preparation
Apple software has really gone downhill
I have iTunes installed on Vista. The piece of crap must have received 8 updates since Vista was released but it still paints black when it starts, still suffers from choppy video, still has attrocious scrolling speeds and still crashes without warning.
I'd add that in the days of MacOS Classic, Apple used to insist all apps had a common look and feel, yet apparently this advice doesn't apply any more, especially for Apple's Windows apps. No instead, they force some kind of Aqua / chrome crap on users and to hell with consistency.
I remember a day when Apple used to stand for consistent and easy GUIs. These days it seems like they really don't care any more. Just push out any old crap, preferably reskinning or changing it in some non-standard way.
Be patient - and keep it clean
My initial reaction to the headline "Blue screen of death mars Leopard..." was, naturally, smugness. About time those condescending Mac fanboys got a taste of the BSOD.
In fact, the mad ranting of various fanboy factions is one of El Reg's most entertaining facets.
Actually, of course, there are some problems that apply equally to Linux, Mac and Windows.
Two very sensible suggestions (above) are worth repeating:
1) Wait! Any newly-released OS will have bugs that haven't been picked up in betas and release candidates. It is always better to wait til bugs have surfaced and been fixed (in Windows that usually means a longish wait til the first full Service Pack; in Mac and Linux, there's less of a delay as a rule.)
2) Go clean. Never try to "upgrade" an installed OS. Always go for a clean install: back up all your data to removable media, zap the disk, re-partition and/or reformat if necessary, install the new OS, re-install any required apps, then re-load your user data. (This is also, obviously, the most effective way to rid a machine of malware.)
Ok, so explain to me
how is third party incompatibility together with user stupidity (not to check that compatibility) is Apple's fault?.. Are we going to say it's car manufacturers' fault then drivers put diesel instead of petrol and vv?..
"You bought a machine named after an overcoat from a company namd after a fruit so what can you expect."
You fool ... the "Mac" is named after a variety of Apple.
(FACTS != straight) == Windozer
Of course it's Apple's fault
Microsoft spends huge amounts of time and money testing compatibility with all sorts of applications and ensuring upgrades work. Mostly it works well enough not to affect the operation of the operating system itself (although some drivers and apps may not work). Despite what certain people say, Microsoft also spend a lot of time preserving certain bugs so that poorly written major third party applications (and probably some of Microsoft's own..) still work.
If there are widely used apps for OS X that Apple is aware of, but does not approve of, it is still their job to work round/disable that app so that upgrades complete successfully.
Having said that, personally I never trust upgrades, and only perform them as a last resort.
@Abdul Omar @Ron Eve @Tarigrade
"Clearly Apple is reduced to copying Microsoft."
Clearly sir, you have not been around the IT industry long enough to see and understand exactly how Bill and Steve's (Jobs) excellent idea recycling adventure works, and Microsofts coveted 5 year idea recycling program...
Steve: hey Bill, Check this new idea/program/gadget we're developing!
Bill: oh please, thats garbage, nobody would ever buy that trash...
5 years later (you can set a clock to this)...
Bill: oh shit, i think he was on to something... Ballmer! Steve is making way too much money from that, recycle his idea, rip off his style, then poison the market so we can make our cut from his idea!
Now, @Ron Eve @tardigrade
Abdul Omar was on to something, just smoked a little too much crack first...
I've been running Vista since the closed beta, the OS has had its problems in its infancy, however, i've said this before and i'll say it right here, right now...
I call any and everyone to the mat, show me proof of concept why Vista is such trash, and dont point me to articles written by people who just like to hear themselves bitch, list out, in bullet points, issues that you have personally had / discovered with Vista. hardware issues, anything...
or are you too full of hot and taking swipes at someone just to make yourself look and feel cool?
If Vista has issues due to third party apps then it's 'Bad MS!', everything should just work! When it's Apple third party app developers are supposed to test their own software against the new releases and inform all users of problems. Nothing to do with Apple who released the new OS.
Hmmm, bit of hypocrosy there or what?
Incidently have been using Vista since it was released on a laptop with only 1 issue - my Asus remote driver is useless and won't install. Which I blame on Asus not MS. Other than that faster, spanglier and basically 'nicer' than XP was. Would get an apple to join it but for the 1000 euros or so extra you need to get equivilant (sp?) specs.
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