Mac OS X 10.3.3 or 4: Fixing problem with installing Java 1.4.2

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
June 2nd, 2004 • 12:12 am

There seems to be a problem that is quite common with people running Mac OS X 10.3.3 or 4 and trying to install the most recent version of Java (1.4.2) on their machines. Typically, the symptoms will be that the Java 1.4.2 shows up in Software Update when checking with the Apple web site, but when you download the installer and try to run it, it tells you that it cannot install it on your startup volume because you “need Mac OS X 10.3.1 or higher“, even though you already have 10.3.3 ou 10.3.4. Alternatively, it says that you have to install Java 1.4.1 first, even though you’ve already installed it.

It’s obviously a bug in the Java 1.4.2 installer, but so far Apple has failed to acknowledge it and fix it. It also doesn’t help that the update is mentioned in two different places, with two different dates. This Java update page has a date of May 17, 2004, whereas this page has a release date of February 2, 2004.

I found a number of posts referring to the problem in Apple’s Discussions forums. A work-around is also provided. The work-around is also described in a MacInTouch reader report posted yesterday.

What you need to do is modify the Java 1.4.2 installer package itself. In order to do so, control-click on the package and select the “Show Package Contents” command.
Look for a file inside Contents/Resources/ that is called VolumeCheck. Remove that file by dragging it to the desktop. Then double-click on the installer package again to launch it. This time, it will not complain about your having the wrong version.

Presumably the VolumeCheck tool is the part of the package that scans your startup volume and verifies that you have the right version (Java 1.4.1 and Mac OS X 10.3.2 or higher) for the update. And that’s where the bug is. By removing VolumeCheck, however, you are creating an installer package that will run anywhere, even on startup volumes that don’t have the correct versions of Java and Mac OS X. So if you plan on archiving the Java 1.4.2 installer package, I recommend that you put the VolumeCheck file back in place after you’ve run it. It means that you will restore the bug, but it’s probably safer than leaving it out permanently.

2 Responses to “Mac OS X 10.3.3 or 4: Fixing problem with installing Java 1.4.2”

  1. Rob Fairchild says:

    That workaround performed beautifully! Thanks! It’s been driving me crazy!

  2. Betalogue Search says:

    I had the same problem when I wanted to install Mac PPD-installer (Ricoh-drivers). I performed the same trick as you suggested for Java, which worked out splendidly! Thanks a lot!

Leave a Reply

Comments are closed.