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OS X 10.4.11 update, you suck

After a long time of not updating my trusty old iLamp iMac, I finally updated it to 10.4.11 over the weekend and let it lie. Later on I hear a report that Safari won’t start up.

That’s odd, I’ve never heard of Safari having launch problems before. I check the log and I see something like the following:

Date/Time:      2008-04-14 22:06:45.474 +0900
OS Version:     10.4.11 (Build 8S165)
Report Version: 4

Command: Safari
Path:    /Applications/
Parent:  WindowServer [86]

Version: 3.1 (4525.13)

PID:    20987
Thread: Unknown

Link (dyld) error:

Symbol not found: _WebDatabaseDirectoryDefaultsKey
  Referenced from: /Applications/
  Expected in: /System/Library/Frameworks/WebKit.framework/Versions/A/WebKit

Those type of messages go on and on in My first round of Googling brought me to a Macrumors thread that recommended deleting the history.plist and other parts from ~/Library/Safari. I tried removing various files from that directory to no effect and finally just removing the directory altogether. Nada.

Troubleshooting a PC WITHOUT a web browser really sucks. I suggest everyone try it once in awhile to see just how much the nature of debugging IT problems has changed when you are deprived of a very powerful tool. Luckily, this Mac had a very crufty version of IE lurking so the first thing I tried was a download of Firefox. However, the disk image refused to be mounted! Seems this is also tied in with the security update. So basically, I’m left with using IE as my main tool for debugging on this Mac.

After a bit of googling, it seems that the fix is tied requiring the latest OS X security update (Available at the Support Download page). For OS X 10.4.x users you can find a link to the latest Universal here.

However, there is a catch. The security update is only available from that page as a Disk Image. Guess what you can’t open it up under the affected Mac. At this point you’re left with 2 options:

  1. Burn the Disk Image to a CD-R/DVD-R and use it that way
  2. Transfer the disk image to another Mac and unarchive it then push it back

I decided on the latter option since I hate wasting a CD-R if I don’t have to. After applying the Security Update and rebooting, Safari boots up and things seem chipper again but that was a serious side trip on something I’ve rarely seen Apple ever mess up. Anti-kudos to Apple for making this update on your ‘legacy’ OS really sucky.

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