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Troubleshooting Mac OS X 10.3.x: G5 Up-to-date CDs may not be "downgradable"; more

Troubleshooting Mac OS X 10.3.x: G5 Up-to-date CDs may not be "downgradable"; more

G5 Up-to-date CDs may not be "downgradable" 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.

A MacFixIt reader who wishes to remain anonymous writes:

"I found out that the system included in the promotion does not allow any downgrading. In other words if after upgrading Panther to 10.3.2 you need to re-install the system with your Panther diskettes, you can?t. Only option is to reformat your hard disk; no archive and install procedure is available.

"This has been confirmed to me by an Apple representative. My comment is that Apple sold to thousand of G5 owners a deliberately flawed product without a reason I can imagine. [...]

"In my conversation with customer support I threatened to sue and I was immediately offered a free complete retail set of Panther (disks). [...] I have yet to receive my Panther retail set."

We have not confirmed this issue, so if you are having problems with performing an Archive and Install process with your Up-to-date CD, please drop us a line at

Problems running Britannica The makers of the Encylopaedia Britannica have issued a warning for several issues that may occur with the application under Mac OS X 10.3.x (Panther.). Problems include:

  • On some systems, the program may perform very slowly.
  • The program crashes immediately on startup.
  • The Installer does not launch.
  • Application 'unexpectedly quits' when searching (minimal installation only)

The company's technical support team says "Our Product Development group has been made aware of these issues, and they are working on a solution. We are currently consulting with Apple in order to find the cause of these problems, and hope to have a resolution soon."

Serial number location Separately, MacFixIt reader Wolf Naegeli notes that the serial number for Encyclopedadia Britannica application may be difficult to find depending on how the program was purchased:

"The CD had not arrived in a jewel case, but in a window envelope with nothing on it but a small sticker saying PN 280720. That looked like a product number to me. The flyers included with TurboTax didn't mention the bonuses (which also included a worthless, obsolete Mac-Classic-only version of PrintShop for Mac). So, I tried that number anyway, but without success.

"I was about to call Intuit customer relations when I noticed an innocuous 16-digit alphanumeric string next to my order date just beneath the product listing field on the "THIS IS NOT AN INVOICE" statement. Well, it can't hurt trying that too... It worked!

"The installer claimed success, but the Encyclopedia Britannica application crashed during launch every time."

UPDATE: Several readers have noted that if you study the CD itself carefully, the serial number is on it.

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