Rotten Apple

Not supposed to have happened this. I’m sitting here looking at several thousand pounds worth of PowerMac, which is calmly looking back at me and showing me a Blue Screen of Death (henceforth BSOD). Yep. I’ve tried to upgrade to Leopard and it hasn’t like it, not one little bit. The annoying thing is that I didn’t just dive on in. I wasn’t doing the upgrade the day it came out and I’ve already successfully update my MacBook Pro at work. Still it doesn’t help much, I’m still left with a rather disappointing situation. So here are the fixes I’ve tried so far. I’ll post remote updates until I get a working fix (thanks to Blackberry):

1. A derivative of the BSOD fix documented on SwitchingtoMac. The changes are to the initial commands (lacking a /sbin/ and a surplus /) and changing the two ‘exit’ commands for one for ‘reboot’. Based on the details in this Apple support document.

a. Reboot into single-user mode (hold Cmd-S while booting machine)

b. Type the following two commands:

/sbin/fsck -fy

/sbin/mount -uw /

c. Remove the following files:

rm -rf /Library/PreferencePanes/ApplicationEnhancer.prefpane

rm -rf /Library/Frameworks/ApplicationEnhancer.framework

rm -rf /System/Library/SystemConfiguration/ApplicationEnhancer.bundle

rm -f /Library/Preferences/com.unsanity.ape.plist

d. Restart the system by typing:


This didn’t solve the issue, but when booting the system loaded to the traditional grey screen with the Apple logo and the swirling clock timer rather than going straight to the BSOD. After looking like it was going to load it went to the BSOD anyway.

2. Phoned Apple. They took me through:

a. Reboot from CD rather than hard disk. Restart the Mac whilst holding down the C key.

b. Attempt to reinstall Leopard by following the on screen instructions.

This didn’t fix it either.

3. Next step is going to be to phone Apple again and see if they have anything else to suggest before option 4.

4. It may be necessary to perform an Archive and Install installation. At this point I am going to need to go pack to Tiger and then go forward again to Leopard. Archive and Install moves your existing Mac OS X system files to a folder named Previous System, and then installs a new copy of Mac OS X on the selected volume.


So yesterday over lunch I did some searches on the issue and looked for people with PowerMac Dual G5s who’d had similar issues upgrading. In the end I found this thread on the Apple Discussion boards, so last night took my MacBook Pro home and tried it out. I firewired in to my PowerMac drives and removed the following two files:



After rebooting the Mac still loaded to the BSOD, so I checked for the files listed in the second section of Serendipity’s post (those listed above in point one), but found that either they’d never been there or I’d successfully deleted them already. Reading further down the thread I came across the post from PenguinSix which reads:

Just wanted to chime in that in another thread some of us are discovering the DIVX preference files are causing a similar problem to the APE files. A simple renaming of the DIVX preference rescued my machine and several others.

Here is the thread: good luck to everyone:

This was an interesting one as I knew I definitely had DivX software installed. From the content of the thread it didn’t look like it was going to fix the issue for me, but I renamed the following folder anyway:

/Library/Application Support/DivXNetworks


/Library/Application Support/DivXNetworks-old

Rebooted and it fired up to the Leopard log-in screen straight away. Phew! Logged in and everything is just fine. Big relief! Not to bothered about all the hassle now it’s working again, but I think my attitude towards Apple products has been irreversibly changed. The ‘it just works’ motto will always now carry the additional small print ‘except if you install any software we don’t make’.

Author: Cris Bloomfield

Usually mountain biking in the North.

3 thoughts on “Rotten Apple”

  1. Boot from a Ubuntu live CD, use dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/whatever to archive entire drive to an external device, dd of=/dev/zero if=/dev/sda to erase the first few hundred meg of the HD and then install from scratch. Migration Assistant will recognise the contents of the drive you copied everything to.


  2. Well everything seems to be okay. I think I’ll post additional comments on this post as I come across issues related to the upgrade. As they’re all about or related to an Apple upgrade.
    First additional issue to date is the Cisco VPN client I use for work. On my MacBook Pro when I upgraded if you double clicked the VPN icon in the dock it bounced and then didn’t load. I thought I’d fixed this by downloading the latest client, deleting the existing dock item and files and installing the new version. Then in a meeting earlier today when I tried to use it for the first time after this fix it errored with:
    “Error 51: Unable to communicate with the VPN subsystem. Please make sure that you have at least one network interface that is currently active and has an IP address and start this application again.”
    I used to get this error under Tiger occasionally, especially if you tried to access the VPN before the system had fully finished booting after log-on. Putting “Cisco VPN Leopard Error” into google brought up this thread but even when logged in, it was still unavailable, so I used the cache to get at the original version.
    People were getting mixed success with the Cisco VPN Client 4.9.01 (0080) version. Some people reporting that if it didn’t work you had to reinstall it. I downloaded the version from macupdate as it’s proven impossible to get it off the Cisco website due to their “Sign up before you can download policy” (I hate this attitude).
    Installed the files from the .dmg and it’s all working again now.


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