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Tiger update forces some to reformat

updated 07:15 am EST, Mon November 26, 2007

Tiger update, data loss

Apple may have knowingly shipped its latest Tiger operating system update with a bug that could cause complete data loss on Macs with Apple's Boot Camp installed. Echoing a growing support thread in Apple's forums, a report by Macworld UK suggests that older Macs with Boot Camp partitions may suffer a system error on restart when users install the Mac OS X 10.4.11 update: although the problem affects unknown number of users, it is reportedly acknowledged by Apple support as a known issue and requires affected users to completely reformat their drives. The consequences not only include complete data loss in some cases, but also the inability to re-install Boot Camp, as the software -- bundled with the newest Leopard operating system -- is no longer available to Mac OS X Tiger users. Some users in Apple's own forums have reported success retrieving data from the Mac partition when using it as "target FireWire disk."

"Reports from trusted sources indicate Apple may have shipped the software update with a known bug, and owners of some Macs have seen their systems become inoperable since installing the software," the publication said. "When restarting, users find their Mac partition hangs in the blue screen. Apple support staff appear to suggest the only solution is to erase the entire drive an all data in order to resolve the problem."

The report said that the flaw is known to have affected an analyst firm's former Apple analyst:

"It is evidence (in my opinion) of very sloppy software release. To crash a system on a known problem with Boot Camp is 100 per cent totally unacceptable. People (like me) have just too much stuff on their systems to be having to start over with hard disk reformat," the analyst told Macworld UK.

by MacNN Staff





  1. das

    Joined: Dec 1969


    REALLY sloppy story

    This story is so incredibly sloppy that I can't even believe it.

    First of all:

    - This does NOT affect all 10.4.11 users. The vast, overwhelming majority of 10.4.11 users have not experienced this issue. At our site alone we have hundreds of Tiger Boot Camp users, and have not seen this problem.

    - Because it only affects such a small fraction of 10.4.11 users, there is NO EVIDENCE whatsoever to support any claim that Apple is "knowingly" doing anything of the sort to get Tiger users to stop using Boot Camp.

    - The claims made in the linked article are BS:

    1. There is no reason I can think of why an Archive and Install wouldn't work to recover from the situation.

    2. There is no reason I can think of, even if an Archive and Install didn't work, that just the Mac partition couldn't be erased and reinstalled. And no, this isn't some "special case". There is NO REASON why simply erasing the Mac partition, as opposed to reformatting the entire drive and losing the Boot Camp partition, wouldn't work. And on top of that, an Archive and Install should work.

    3. The article seems to imply that all data is unrecoverable. Whaaa? At the very least, you can always view the contents of the drive from another system.

    This is a sloppy, sloppy article and deserves to be killed here and now before it starts getting picked up everywhere as Apple trying to somehow kill off Tiger Boot Camp users. (To say nothing of the fact that Boot Camp for Tiger was ALWAYS advertised as use-at-your-own-risk unsupported beta software that would effectively disappear once Leopard shipped.)

    What a shamefully ridiculous story.

  1. eldarkus

    Joined: Dec 1969


    dont blame MacNN

    They dont write original content.. Never have, never will. All they do is rewrite (Very poorly, I might add) other peoples articles. The original article is on

    which of course, is better written than this one.

  1. sammaffei

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Just as sloppy as 10.5.x

    Doesn't surprise me...

    Apple's System Software has been quite sloppy of late.

    Bugs in in 10.5.1 still exist. AirDisk still doesn't work right. My mini doesn't reconnect to AirPort when waking from sleep. iTunes crashes or refuses to skip ahead in a shared song. Just to name a few.

    It's obvious that someone in the OS Team is asleep at the wheel. Please Kool-Aid drinkers, stop defending.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969



    ah... did anyone forget that bootcamp on tiger was beta? not to be tested on production/work machines coz it was BETA???

  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Many issues 10.4.11

    ...I haven't had so many hangs & crashes in years & while I've isolated some issues as application related my machine is still relatively unreliable making me regret the maintenance update even after waiting the requisite 'bleeding edge' few days for any horror stories to emerge... There would seem more work to be done...

  1. pt123

    Joined: Dec 1969


    great move

    Great move by Apple. Now those user must upgrade to OS 10.5. Another $129 in the bank. Yeah!

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: b

    Apple users do not call an update "maintenance update" only PC people do

  1. TheSnarkmeister

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not only Bootcamp...

    I have had two separate upgrades to 10.1.11 go south on me, both with blue screens. However, I was able to recover both by doing archive installs. Here is a critically important point though. If you have Leopard installed on another drive or volume, do not use the Leopard Disk Utility to attempt repair of the drive. The Leopard version of Disk Utility will rewrite the partition map on the Leopard volume in a very strange way, such that Leopard will no longer be able to see the other volumes that were formated with the Tiger version of Disk Utility. In both cases I was still able to recover the computer, by rebooting from a Tiger CD and doing an archive re-install on the Tiger volume (yes, the Tiger CD's still sees the original partitions even after the Leopard Disk Utility buggers its version of the map. And yes, once a clean Tier is reinstalled the partition map appears to function normally for all systems). It is all very, very strange--and sloppy. If Apple actually communicated with their developers maybe they could have discovered this before shipping.

  1. macnscott

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What they don't say...

    The article doesn't state if the affected Macs were completely healthy BEFORE they started the update. Best practices dictate that the user do a bit of maintenece on their system before installing ANY updates that require a reboot. I always restart in single-user mode and run fsck-fy. I then reboot and run disk utility and repair disk permissions. If any weird problems crop up, after I have done this, I will put this Mac in TDM and hook it up to another Mac and run Disk Warrior. Only then do I install a system updater.

    I installed 10.4.11 on both of my personal machines (iMac 24" and 15" MBP) that are using Boot Camp and both took the update just fine.

    One additional note...only a novice would not have proper CURRENT back-up before installing a system update. Remember folks, back-up, back-up, back-up. :-)

  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I had a problem...

    with updating from 10.4.10 to 10.4.11 on my MacBook Pro. I did a standard Software Update and everything seemed fine until the update was just about finished. Then I got some error message I'd never seen before and it said something about my System could not be updated. ( I didn't have anything unusual running and had fixed permissions before running the update.) I'll add that my MacBook Pro was running rather well before the System update.

    I wish I could remember the error, but anyway I was really spooked. When I tried to reboot, my MacBook Pro only got as far as the gray screen with the counter wheel spinning endlessly.

    Eventually I did an Archive and Install and ran a Combo Update and everything was back to normal. Most of my User prefs carried over, so I didn't have to do much extra work. I had to reinstall my Airport Extreme Base Station N software since that didn't carry over (my AirDisks showed as mounted, but I couldn't see any files). The AEBSn reinstall fixed that problem.

    I also had a BootCamp partition and that also worked fine. Maybe I could even say that everything worked slightly better than before the Archive and Install.

    I've done many updates and never had this happen so it was just a rare occurrence as far as I can tell.

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