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.

Top Rated Comments

longofest Avatar
137 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
137 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
137 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
137 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
137 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
137 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)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Pro Purple Rear Flat MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Predicted to Start With Increased 256GB Storage Alongside Rumored Price Increase

Wednesday August 10, 2022 11:14 am PDT by
Earlier today, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed iPhone 14 Pro models will be more expensive than iPhone 13 Pro models. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing, but he said that the average selling price of all four iPhone 14 models will increase by about 15% overall. While higher prices would be disappointing for customers, it is possible the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will offer increased...
iPhone 14 Pro Lineup Feature Silver

Kuo: Apple to Increase Prices of iPhone 14 Pro Models

Wednesday August 10, 2022 8:22 am PDT by
Apple plans to increase the prices of iPhone 14 Pro models compared to iPhone 13 Pro models, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing for the iPhone 14 Pro models. However, in a tweet today, he estimated that the average selling price of the iPhone 14 lineup as a whole will increase by about 15% compared to the iPhone 13 lineup. In the United States, the iPhone...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive feature

iPhone 14 Is Just a Few Weeks Away: Three Tips to Prepare for the New iPhone

Wednesday August 10, 2022 4:08 am PDT by
The launch of the new iPhone 14 is just a few weeks away, meaning millions of iPhone customers will soon upgrade their existing iPhone or perhaps get an iPhone for the first time. Exclusive MacRumors iPhone 14 Pro renders by graphic designer Ian Zelbo Whether upgrading from an older model or this is your first iPhone, we've rounded up a few tips to help you prepare for the next flagship...
battery percentage ios 16

Here's Why the iPhone Battery Status Icon in iOS 16 Is So Controversial

Wednesday August 10, 2022 4:34 am PDT by
In the latest iOS 16 beta, Apple has updated the status bar battery icon on iPhones with Face ID to display the exact percentage remaining rather than just a visual representation of battery level, and while the change has been largely welcomed, some users are unhappy with the way it has been implemented. In iOS 15 and earlier, battery percent has not been present on iPhones that have...
Apple Watch Body Temperature Finished

'High-Accuracy' Apple Watch Temperature Sensor Revealed by Patent Filing Just Weeks Before Series 8 Unveiling

Wednesday August 10, 2022 5:39 am PDT by
Apple has been granted a patent for a temperature sensor suitable for the Apple Watch, just weeks before the company is expected to unveil the Apple Watch Series 8 with body temperature sensing capabilities. The newly granted patent, spotted by MyHealthyApple, was filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and is titled "Temperature gradient sensing in electronic devices."...