Leopard Is Damage If You Are On PowerPC — Do not install

I have just spent a very frustrating 8 hours trying to upgrade an iMac that was purchase just 3 short months before the shift to Intel processors. My discovery is, it won’t upgrade, it won’t Archive and Install and it won’t Erase and Install on PowerPC hardware very reliably.

The puzzling thing is, the install was nearly flawlessly on my recent vintage dual processor Mac. When I attempted the same on a recent vintage PPC, it has been hours of frustration. Apparently, the Apple support robots are programmed to tell you that you must Archive and Install, rather than upgrade. Note: I will post a verbatim dialogue with Apple support on this topic in the near future — it does not reflect well on Apple’s outsourced support.

I don’t understand how the install can spend 45 minutes validating the install media and then tell me within 2 minutes of trying the actual install that:

The installer could not validate the contents of the ‘base system’ package. Contact software manufacturer for assistance.

Uh, that’s you Apple. I also love that, even though I have an Applecare protection plan on the system in question, when I call support I get a message that basically states that Apple can’t deal with the call volume of their current cluster f**k, try again later. Click! That’s what I get for buying a ‘premium’ support plan?

I suspect that this is something to do with poor QA on the non-Intel install packages. I will attempt another update on an Intel-based system tomorrow. If that works, I will be convinced that non-Intel install media is suspect and all should exercise necessary caution.

Apple have managed to go from 7-8 years of near flawless OS upgrades to a Microsoft grade f**kup. Steve Jobs, please focus on your base and don’t sacrifice the quality of the core OS for the iPhone. I have basically bricked one of my iMacs with no relief in sight. I don’t anticipate that Apple will get off their asses until Monday to float some damage control on this one. Sad.

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5 Replies to “Leopard Is Damage If You Are On PowerPC — Do not install”

  1. I decided to put off purchasing a Leopard license for my wife’s three year-old iBook because I suspected that there might be some problems with running it on PowerPC. She’s due to upgrade soon anyways, and I figured we’d just wait and buy her a new MacBook with Leopard pre-installed.

    I hope that Apple is able to make this right ASAP.

  2. Have a four-year-old g4 PowerBook and did a Leopard upgrade with no problems whatever.

    PB @ 1.33ghz w/1.5gb RAM circa Oct 2003

  3. Balbas, glad to hear that it worked without a hitch for you. I wouldn’t wish this upgrade pain on anyone.

  4. I’ve got same problem…. NIGHTMARE. I thought it was the disks and got a new one from apple store – same message! Could be bad ram sticks? Please update if you figure it out… i’m reverting to 10.4 which is a lame solution

  5. Update! – it was RAM. I took out 2 sticks of third-party ram (I had always been suspicious of this RAM) and… LO! it installed fine.

    One word of warning… at direction of apple tech support I formatted the disk as case-sensitive… immediately I found I could not install CS3 on case-sensitive disk. Now I am reformatting and reinstalling leopard… but at least it installs!

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