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Security Update 2012-001 1.1 No Longer Kills Rosetta Apps

Apple’s initial release of Security Update 2012-001 for Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard caused massive problems for many people who have continued to run Snow Leopard over 10.7 Lion because of needing older PowerPC-based software that relies on the Rosetta emulation layer. The problems primarily revolved around using the Open and Save dialogs and printing, though there were additional troubles as well. Affected programs included Quicken 2007, Microsoft Office 2004, Eudora 6.2.4, Photoshop CS 2, FileMaker Pro 6 and 7, Freehand MX, and more.

When I realized the extent of the issues, I wrote (and revised as additional information came in) the initial version of this article to explain the problem. Once it was up, I used social media to help spread the word that Snow Leopard users should avoid Security Update 2012-001 1.0, given that the only fixes at the time were a partially effective “reversioner” developed by Joseph Morris, Rob Uchtman, and Jordan Bellanti, sysadmins at a Nebraska high school, and reinstalling 10.6 Snow Leopard from DVD, followed by an update to 10.6.8.

Although Joseph Morris and his team deserve a medal for their tireless efforts, the true fix had to come from Apple, and it finally arrived late on 3 February 2012, two days after the security update’s initial release. Needless to say, Apple didn’t apologize for the trouble it caused a significant swath of the Macintosh community — it’s not the company’s style. The only public statement about the situation came from the Apple Product Security mailing list, which sent email saying:

Security Update 2012-001 v1.1 is now available for Mac OS X v10.6.8 systems to address a compatibility issue.

Version 1.1 of this update removes the ImageIO security fixes released in Security Update 2012-001.

Comments on this article and my own testing confirm that the 1.1 release does appear to solve all the problems introduced by 1.0. So, my recommendations are as follows:

  • If you installed Security Update 2012-001 1.0, immediately install the 1.1 release, which you can get via Software Update or from the Apple Support Downloads page for both Snow Leopard (192.73 MB) and Snow Leopard Server (212.09 MB).

  • If you have not yet installed Security Update 2012-001 1.0, queue up the 1.1 release for installation at some point in the future. Although initial reports indicate that it solves the most egregious crashes, it’s still possible that other issues remain and haven’t yet come to light. So it’s best to wait a bit longer before installing; check back on this article before you install — we’ll be sure to note any new information as it comes in. [Update: It now appears that version 1.1 does resolve the problems and can be installed with impunity. -Adam]

  • The next time a security update comes out, much as I hate to say it, hold off on updating for at least a few days. Enough other people will install it that reports of problems will percolate through the community quickly, and you can make a more-informed decision after a while.

(For what it’s worth, the now-removed ImageIO security fixes revolve around eliminating vulnerabilities that could be exploited by maliciously crafted TIFF and PNG images, and there’s no way users can identify and avoid such files. We may see Apple release a 1.2 version that brings those fixes back, without causing crashes.)

Unfortunately, we were lulled into a sense of complacency by the last six months; if you think back to earlier last year, Apple biffed the releases of 10.6.7 and 10.6.8 as well — see “OpenType PostScript Fonts Troublesome in 10.6.7” (27 March 2011) and “Mac OS X 10.6.8 Suffers Printing and Audio Problems” (1 July 2011).

Apple eventually addressed both problems, but it took weeks, not the two days that this most recent misstep took. I argued that public betas might be the answer in “Apple Needs Public Betas for Mac OS X” (8 July 2011) and while there were plenty of dissenting opinions in the comments, it’s clear that Apple’s testing of new releases of Mac OS X — at least with Snow Leopard — isn’t currently getting the job done.


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Comments about Security Update 2012-001 1.1 No Longer Kills Rosetta Apps
(Comments are closed.)

Jean-Francois Denis  2012-02-03 07:02
FileMaker Pro 7 is also affected (crashes upon startup).
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2012-02-03 07:22
Good to know, thanks. I haven't yet heard of any Rosetta-reliant software that isn't affected.

Is it possible that FileMaker is putting up an Open dialog on launch? If so, you may be able to open it by double-clicking a document or dragging a document onto its Finder icon.
Joseph Morris  2012-02-03 07:45
FileMaker Pro 7 DOES work after this installer. It's one of the pieces of software that we originally had an issue with and tested.
Filemaker Pro 6 crashes on printing. But open and save work fine. This is without the installer, just the security update.
Andrew Laurence  2012-02-03 07:51
Quicken 2007 seems to work OK here. No visual artifacts or crashing that I can detect.
Still can't print in Office 2004 after installing the fix.
Joseph Morris  2012-02-03 08:20
Make sure to repair permissions and restart after installing. It requires a restart for the framework to reload.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2012-02-03 08:37
Added that to the article, but it still isn't helping Eudora and Acrobat Pro 7 here.
Thanks for the suggestion, but after repairing permissions and restarting, still can't print. :-(
Andrew Laurence  2012-02-03 08:11
I verified visual artifacts and an error on save in Omni Outliner. Used Get Info to set the "Launch in Rosetta" flag, then tried it out. The inline spell check indicator (red squiggly) comes out black, and an NSarray error comes up when you try to save.
Screen grab:
Normal Intel/native test:
Andrew Laurence  2012-02-03 23:31
FYI, these errors no longer occur after installing 2012-001 v1.1.
Hector L  2012-02-03 08:50
Holy-Moley, I Installed the security update and low and behold my version of Photoshop CS4 running on Rosetta was crashing. It wouldn't open any files and couldn't save at all. Panicked, I was considering having to nuke and restart everything - because I didn't know where the new system files were located; but finding this page just saved me completely. Thank you! You guys creating the RosettaFixer deserve many medals.

If only Apple understood how much people still require the programs that they have grown use to and not force people to have to pay more money for newer programs just because they say so.
Noah Rosenblatt  2012-02-03 09:37
Killed printing from MS Office 2004 and Freehand MX for me too. Bummer! Going though Snow Leopard reinstall now. Not happy to hear Lion won't support Rosetta-- don't mind updating to new MS Office suite but Macromedia Freehand is no longer made. Too bad, cause it Is better than Adobe Illustrator for some jobs.
- N. R . San Diego
I haven't installed the security update, so I can't try this, but someone said that using Pacifist to reinstall Rosetta did the trick. Has anyone tried that?
Noah Rosenblatt  2012-02-03 10:31
Reinstalled Snow Leopard from 10.6.3 disk and combo updater to 10.6.8 (from download) and I am back in businesses. I also had to reinstall my Xerox Phaser 7760 GX print driver  All programs (new and legacy Rosetta) now working and printing.
Henry M-J  2012-02-03 10:46
Just alerted to this by my Apple User's Group (Washington ApplePI), and ran Quicken immediately (after not knowing and installing the Security Update yesterday). All looked well with Quicken until I tried to quit the program which normally would then run my backup of the latest changes. Quicken crashed, and no backup was made either to my external disk or to MobileMe. Will try RosettaFix, but will wait a couple of days in hopes that Apple will offer a repair of its irresponsible damage causing update.
dbrugger  2012-02-03 11:01
"nothing to gain by angering long-time customers who still rely on older apps." I don't find that to be true and while Office for Mac is not their product, it is a total failure using Lion 10.7.2 and a total failure when using older apps.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2012-02-03 11:25
So what does Apple have to gain by making customers unhappy by causing crashes and potential data loss?
Matt Neuburg  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2012-02-03 11:33
A fix that I read about, which the article doesn't mention, is to reinstall Rosetta. Apparently a copy of Pacifist helps a lot here. (I haven't tried this.)  2012-02-03 11:39
I run MT Newswatcher in Rosetta mode on an old Core Duo iMac. I have not experienced any problems. (Why run it under Rosetta? Not all of MT Newswatcher's features work properly in Intel native mode.)
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2012-02-03 12:31
Good to know. Have you tried things that relate to the Open and Save As menu commands, or printing? Those seem to be the main pain points.
Moeskido  2012-02-03 11:51
Thank you for covering this issue.
NeedleFactory  2012-02-03 14:31
I too am affected - for 15 years I have developed and used a PowerPC program written under CodeWarrior. For various reasons I cannot convert it to Xcode. The program cannot open or save files; otherwise seems OK. Don't know about printing.
Jim Reith  2012-02-03 15:03
Fixed it for me. I wasn't crashing but it would hang waiting for the print dialog and the page Setup would be blank. Excellent catch. I was getting frustrated that my MS Word stopped printing
Vic Bafaro  2012-02-03 15:39
I am running 10.6.8 on a dual core machine. I noticed today that Word 2004 freezes when "Save As" is selected. I haven't used it for a few days. I use excel every day. It is similarly gummed up today. I have not installed Security Update 2012-001 yet. Not going to either!
I just installed security updated version 2012-001 v1.1
AND FMP 6 is okay now and so is Quicken 2006
Noah Rosenblatt  2012-02-03 16:41
Are you sure about version # 2012 v1.1 ? If so, where and when did you get it? Have you tried to print yet?
Glenn Fleishman  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2012-02-03 16:54
Apple sent out an email alert to those subscribed to its security updates list (which is free and open to everyone).

Apple propagates its updates in a staggered way, often after they announced, so that they become available in Software Update and from the Web site. Sometime, some people have access long before others to the update. It's usually a matter of no more than hours until it is generally available.
John Stoll  2012-02-04 01:55
Also just installed v1.1 - AppleWorks ok again
Michael in NH  2012-02-03 19:06
I can not import BofA downloads without Quicken crashing. I can not export my data to an file that I can import into SEE Finance either. It all started after my last security update (that said nothing about expecting compatibility issues) last night... Sooooo frustrating. Quicken (Apple?) need to get their xxxx together. Hopefully someone will fill the void for home users seeking sophisticated (but not complicated) home finance software.
Jim McCarter  2012-02-04 04:16
Running 10.6.8 on a 21-1/2in iMac, having installed 2012.001 I now cannot save text written in Appleworks nor can I print from an Appleworks document. My workaround: write in Appleworks, copy, open Pages, paste text into it & print. I curse Apple for making this clumsy approach necessary.
I installed the Rosetta fix on my imac and appleworks and apple script editor are now working. I have not tried other Rosetta programs yet.  2012-02-04 05:55
Installed Securiy Update 2012-001 Version 1.1 on external firewire drive with 10.6.8. No longer any problem printing or saving or opening files in Eudora. Apple seems to have fixed the problem, but I can't speak for other PPC applications since Eudora is the only one I stil use.
Jim Carr  2012-02-04 05:55
Whatever happened to testing and quality control at Apple?

The 1.1 update has things back to normal as far as I can tell on my 2008 MacPro.

Between this snafu, Lion 10.7.3 via software update, more firmware updates and 2012 is just begun! SIGH

The same thing that always happens. Remember the exploding PowerBook? The iTunes update that wiped out people's music? This isn't unusual.
Dave Scocca  2012-02-04 08:11
A data point:

My mother called me this morning because Word X was hanging and not displaying File menu options on her 10.6.8 machine. I am assuming that my father installed 2012-001 v1.0 via Software Update sometime in the last few days.

I had her run Software Update, which showed the v1.1 version of 2012-001 as available. She installed that and the problem seems to have been resolved.
Matt Neuburg  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2012-02-04 08:26
Very good to know; thanks for reporting that! A lot of us are in this sort of "remote care" position, especially with a parent.

By the way, this is why in my Take Control books I always recommend turning automatic download of software updates *off*. My mother never runs Software Update so she never acquires any updates automatically. *I* run it, from time to time, remotely, when I think it's useful and safe to do.
Mark Tweedie  2012-02-04 09:23
Photoshop CS is affected too. Page setup options are missing and any attempt to print crashes the application.
Iconoclast  2012-02-04 13:35
I installed the update on day 1 & it broke my Quicken 2007 so it crashed when I attempted to back it up b4 closing. Thanks to this web site, I heard about the 1.1 updated update & installed it yesterday & it fixed the issue.
Got lucky. Usually prefer to download the stand-alone update of any thing rather than using Software Update.
I had downloaded Security Update 2012-001 but had not yet installed it.
Read some posts regarding it and held off.
My comment is the following:
The original defective update showed the following info:
Version 2012-001
Post Date: February 01, 2012
Download ID: DL1489
The corrected update showed the following info:
Version 2012-001 v.1.1
Post Date: February 01, 2012
Download ID: DL1489
Would have been reassuring to see a Post Date of Feb 03 and a different Download ID number.
File Size is the same for both.
Apple could be a little more specific on some of these things.
Really didn't want to chance it so am waiting to see how things get reported before installing.
Jean Wade  2012-02-04 18:32
I did install the update when it first came out like a fool. My appleworks opens but you can't do anything with it or print. I do have word 2008 it is ok for now. Apple needs to fix this. I'm not up to upgrading to Lion with all the problems they are haivng. Or spending money to fix my problem. So what do you do?
George Chase  2012-02-04 23:33
From looking at these comments, am I the only one with up to date software, sans the security update in question? And I tease a friend about still using OS 9.2.2. I learned last time to wait before updating.
Alan Neubert  2012-02-05 10:14
After installing 1.0, most of my old AppleWorks files wouldn't open. After installing 1.1, NONE of the old Appleworks files would open. Then I repaired permissions, and everything was OK again.
Henry M-J  2012-02-05 13:17
v1.1 fixed the Q2007 shut down crash problem I reported above; so far all is back to normal. Of course, the security problem this update was supposed to fix is presumably still there, so beware of PNG and TIFF files downloaded from the web or in email...
Kathy C  2012-02-06 12:34
Thanks for posting this info. I was unable to open FileMaker 7 and unable to print from Entourage 2004. Installing the 1.1 release fixed both.
Thanks for your article. I spent an hour yesterday pitching out cache files, preferences, doing safe reboots because I couldn't open files from within Photoshop CS 2. I was able to drag-and-drop them to open them, but couldn't figure out the root cause. I was prepared to live with it, but now the update you wrote about has restored things. I think...
John Baxter  An apple icon for a Friend of TidBITS 2012-02-06 23:06
Since the fixes removed to make the 1.1 release of the update cover serious vulnerabilities, it's pretty clear that Apple will be releasing yet another update as soon as they feel they can. Crafting the thing may be a little tricky though.
eharts  2012-02-07 09:24
Clearly, removing Rosetta was a huge mistake - clearly, because Apple really did leap to come up with the fix, as opposed to the weeks it took to offer fixes before. I hear it from everybody, including employees at the Apple Store and AppleCare: "I keep Snow Leopard because I need Rosetta." And of course, sales of Lion were pretty low. As you say, Apple never apologizes, but they know how much people rely on Rosetta, and they need to reinstate it.
Eric Maslen  2012-02-08 17:53
I installed version 1.1 but it killed plotting in Octave and any other use of Gnuplot. Sure do hope that version 1.2 comes soon. It happened to my laptop at work. I went home today and checked my iMac: everything was working fine. Then I realized I hadn't done the security update. Just like magic, plotting died immediately. It looks like the security update reverted the version of libfreetype.6 from version 14 to version 13, for some reason. I noticed in the list of security fixes provided by the update that there was a security issue associated with Free Type.
drew parnell  2012-02-10 03:53
There appears to be a problem with both Compressor and Share Monitor (ProApps), since this update was installed.
Anyone else had similar problem?
Thanks for the article.
Louis Bergeron  2012-02-10 13:15
My HP scanner does not work anymore after using that update. I have yet to try it because I have made the transfer to a PC machine.
Adrianna  2012-02-24 07:25
I lost Adobe Reader X, I tried everything. I even trashed it planning to reload it and now I can't even do that it has failed to load from Adobe and is completely missing from Apple APPs!!!
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2012-02-24 08:10
There shouldn't be any reason you can't run a modern version of Adobe Reader - it hasn't been a PowerPC app for some time, I don't believe.

And, of course, Preview will do most of what Adobe Reader can in terms of viewing PDFs.
Richard H. Reitz  2012-03-15 11:56
It is now March 15th and I have not installed either Security Update 2012-001 or 2012-001.1.

In the article above you advised waiting to install anything until things clarify a bit as to whether or not 2012-001.1 is OK or not saying you would "...note any new information as it comes in."

What is your current feeling - is enough known to comfortable install 2012-001.1 or are you still advising abstinence for the time being? Thanks
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2012-03-15 12:06
I definitely think it's fine now - I haven't heard of any issues with 1.1, so yes, go ahead and install.