Snow Leopard Security Update Kills PowerPC Apps Using Rosetta

snow leopard boxWhile the odd "CUI Error" experienced by some users after upgrading to OS X 10.7.3 earlier this week has garnered a fair amount of attention, it appears that a security update released for Mac OS X Snow Leopard at the same time is also causing major issues for users who rely on older PowerPC applications that run under Apple's Rosetta framework.

Security Update 2012-001 was released alongside OS X 10.7.3 on Wednesday in order to bring some of the security fixes found in OS X 10.7.3 to users still running Mac OS X Snow Leopard. But as noted in several discussions at Apple's forums (1, 2, 3) and elsewhere, users are experiencing a variety of problems with Rosetta apps following the update, including repeated crashes when trying to use any commands from the applications' main dropdown menus.

Users are reporting a significant number of applications being affected by the issue, including Microsoft Office X and 2004, older versions of Adobe Photoshop, Quicken, Filemaker 7, and various other applications that had been written to run on PowerPC chips used in Apple's older machines.

With Apple's transition to Intel, the company developed the Rosetta framework to allow those applications to continue to function on new hardware. Apple has discontinued Rosetta in OS X Lion, but it was still included as an optional install in Mac OS X Snow Leopard and a number of users have continued to use PowerPC applications on those systems either because they do not wish to upgrade or because newer versions are simply not available.

As noted in the Apple discussion forums, one user has worked to create a patch to address the issue, but the patch does not yet appear to work for all Rosetta applications.

This is a band-aid and is only recommended in emergency situations. Apple is currently working on a fix, but until that happens, we are stuck with reverse-engineering their update. I hope this helps those in distress from this update.

Those who have spoken to Apple customer service about the issue have received varying responses, from notes that the company doesn't yet know what the problem is to claims that there is no issue and that Rosetta support has simply been discontinued, with the latter being unlikely to be true given that the change occurred with a minor security update.

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Top Rated Comments

longofest Avatar
161 months ago
Apple's QC has completely gone to ****.

"it just works"

...except when it doesnt...

some recent bugs that come to mind:
- Snow Leopard Security Update kills PowerPC apps (https://www.macrumors.com/2012/02/03/snow-leopard-security-update-kills-powerpc-apps-using-rosetta/)
- Mac OS 10.7.3 CUI error (https://www.macrumors.com/2012/02/02/os-x-10-7-3-update-issues-fixable-in-many-cases-with-combo-version/)
- Apple TV 2 Homesharing (http://www.techperfect.net/2011/12/longstanding-issues-with-home-sharing-and-appletv2/)
Score: 58 Votes (Like | Disagree)
visim91 Avatar
161 months ago
For the love of God Apple,

I just want to play Age of Empires one more time ...
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
InuNacho Avatar
161 months ago
Theres a reason why those of us still on SL are still on SL and for a nice chunk of its PPC support.

So glad I checked here before updating.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
The Phazer Avatar
161 months ago
Time to upgrade, folks.

Yeah, going to Lion to avoid bugs is a great idea.

Phazer
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
roadbloc Avatar
161 months ago
Then be prepared to deal with the consequences. Snow Leopard is now a superseded OS.

Whoa. Thats really consumer friendly. "Hey there Snow Leopard user. Even though you are really happy with you Mac and the software that runs on it, you need to buy our new software. Or we are going to remove functionality until you have a £1000 paperweight sat on your desk."

Is that seriously what you're implying? People need to always get the latest Apple gear to be able to do anything? Because aside from it being very inaccurate (I'm sure this Rosetta deal was just an example of Apple's dizzy Q&A department nowadays), but I'm sure if Apple were to undertake such an attitude and practice, many once happy Apple users will be switching to Windows. I know I would be, I don't want to have a constant flow of cash going to Apple just so I can continue doing what I've always done on my computer.

Your attitude never ceases to amaze me. Do you seriously believe what you have posted there? Buy Lion or else? Give me a break. :rolleyes:
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WardC Avatar
161 months ago
Good, thanks for passing this along. I just shared this with my Dad, who runs his legal practice on an iMac using Snow Leopard and AppleWorks 6 (A PowerPC Application). He literally has *thousands* of AppleWorks files on his iMac and relies on AppleWorks everyday for his daily work (he has been using it since his old iMac Bondi Blue, Classic Mac OS 8.6/OS 9). This is the sole reason he has not upgraded to Lion is due to the inability to run Rosetta or launch PowerPC applications. The inability to run AppleWorks would cripple his entire operation, since he basically relies on this for everything.

I've told him to ignore any security updates, or at least until Apple gets this ironed out. Thanks again for sharing this news.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)