Once again, the MacFixIt reader community has come through in the clinch. Many Tiger users have been experiencing problems with Safari crashing after updating to 10.4.11. Very quickly, several MacFixIt readers figured out why.
It appears that there can be a problem with the process whereby the installer updates from Safari 2 to Safari 3. Investigation suggests that, in these cases (which may be due to the user having modified Safari with Safari Enhancer or similar), Safari 2 is not being cleanly removed, so that the result is a kind of melange of bits from Safari 2 and Safari 3.
The solution: use Pacifist to extract Safari 3 from the installer and simply put Safari 3 into Applications, replacing the existing Safari.
Here is how reader Rich explains it:
When I did a Show Package Contents on the upgraded, crashing Safari, I found that the package contained many old elements and resources left over from version 2. It appears that the Combo Updater tries to merge the contents of the old Safari 2 application with the contents of Safari 3. Many of these resources may have been leftovers from previous tweaks I made to Safari using tools such as Safari Enhancer, which work, in part, by actually modifying the Safari application.
To correct the problem, I removed the upgraded Safari application, and replaced it with a clean copy of Safari 3 extracted from the 10.4.11 Combo Updater package using Pacifist.
If you have two copies of the system and the install worked well on one of them, you can imitate user Des and copy the working Safari to the other system:
I too upon upgrading to OSX 10.4.11 on my PowerMac G5 Dual 2.3, 4Gb RAM have experienced Safari crashing on launching. I have two internal Hard Drives. The other Hard Drive, apart from diagnostic tools installed has only the basic OSX on it. Upon upgrading the latter system, all went well, including Safari. Spent quite a while trying to get Safari running on the main system without success. As a last ditch effort I dragged the new Safari app from the good Hard Drive to replace the Safari app on the bad one. Ran permissions and immediately Safari launched successfully.
That note from Des, by the way, serves as a salutary reminder of the fact that it is good always to maintain an absolutely clean copy of the system, on a secondary internal drive or partition, or on an external drive, as a way of starting up in emergencies. You never know when, as here, it will prove to be useful in some unexpected way.