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Some Leopard upgraders see 'blue screen of death'

'Archive and Install' option fixes the problem; users blame APE

October 27, 2007 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Eds. note: The code at the end of this article has been changed since the article's initial appearance at Computerworld.com.

A significant number of Macintosh owners upgrading to Leopard on Friday reported that after installing the new operating system, their machines locked up, showing only an interminable -- and very Windows-like -- "blue screen of death."

Easily the heaviest-trafficked thread on the Leopard support forums as of late Friday, "Installation appears stuck on a plain blue screen" told how, after a successful Leopard install using the default "Upgrade" option and the required restart, some users' Macs refused to budge from the blue screen. Although many gave up after 30-60 minutes and rebooted, others were more patient and let their Macs be as long as six hours.

"Hmmmm. I feel like a windoze user now," said Doug Mcilvain. I have re-installed and it has been sitting there with a blue screen for 4 1/2 hours."

Almost everyone who added to the thread -- which included more than 200 messages and over 7,400 views by 10:30 p.m. Friday, Pacific time -- selected the Upgrade option. Set as the default, Upgrade is the least intrusive of the three install options. "Most of your existing settings and applications are left untouched during an upgrade," Apple Inc. stated in an online support document. In fact, some reports speculated that the glitch might be related to a third-party program that installs a base-level framework that modified Mac OS X.

Frustrated users who rebooted to the install DVD then upgraded a second time using the "Archive and Install" option reported success and no lingering blue screen after restart. "I grew impatient after the first hour and rebooted to DVD and then reinstalled choosing the Archive/Install option," said a user identified as Volksapple. "That worked just fine. Despite this small hiccup, it's far better than any Windows upgrade I've suffered through."

Other users, however, waited it out or were told to by Apple support personnel. One user, James Mitchell9, said the blue screen finally vanished at the 75-min. mark. Others claimed they had been told the long blue-screen-of-pause could last as long as two or even three hours.

Still others jumped in with instructions to manually uninstall APE (Application Enhancer), a framework created by Unsanity LLC for use with its Mac customizing haxies such as ShapeShifter. "Please note that this does involve manipulation of files from the root prompt," cautioned Chris Mcculloh, who first made the suggestion. "This is not for the faint of heart, or those who are unfamiliar with the Unix file system/command structure."



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