Yesterday we reported that Apple's Up-to-date program for pre-Mac OS X 10.3 Power Mac G5s may deliver to users a CD that is not "downgradable." In other words, once you have installed Mac OS X 10.3.x from the Up-to-date Panther CD, then upgraded to Mac OS X 10.3.2, the Up-to-date CD will not allow the user to re-install a fresh copy of Mac OS X 10.3.x using the "Archive and Install" option. So if, for instance, you faced a troubleshooting issue that required a downgrade to Mac OS X 10.3.1, you would not be able to do so without a reformat.
We've since received several letters of confirmation, and it seems that G5 owners are not the only ones affected.
MacFixIt reader Craig Blair writes "I am running a 12 inch PowerBook G4, 10.3.2, and can confirm that the up-to-date CDs will not allow me to 'Archive and Install'."
Knowledge Base article #25647 effectively confirms this problem, stating:
"If you've installed Mac OS X 10.3.1 Update or later and you want to reinstall Mac OS X 10.3 from a Mac OS X Panther Upgrade CD, first install Mac OS X 10.2, then install Mac OS X 10.3 again.
"If you have Mac OS X 10.3 Panther retail CDs, DVD, or Restore discs, you can simply reinstall Mac OS X. You don't need to follow the steps in this document."
Forum thread There is also a thread in the MacFixIt forums discussing this issue.